My career with the USGS began when I landed an internship as a hydrologic technician under a Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) appointment with the Utah Water Science Center in Salt Lake City in the summer of 2010. I quickly knew that this was the career that I wanted to pursue. As a SCEP I worked with a lot of really great people in both the Utah Water Science Center and later at the Tempe, Ariz. Field Office.
During my summer in Utah I helped with lots of field work. During a period of very warm days the snowpack melted and ranoff quickly causing some very high flows in some of the rivers. As a result I assisted with some pretty exciting high flow measurements. I also traveled to many parts of Utah that I may not have seen otherwise.
I also really enjoyed working at the Tempe Field Office while completing my AAS degree. The highlight of that experience was visiting streamgages along the Verde River in a helicopter. I loved getting paid to ride in a helicopter and wade in streams in beautiful locations!
I completed my degree in May 2011, and accepted a full time position as a hydrologic technician at the Utah Water Science Center, and relocated to Salt Lake City.
No Typical Days
In addition to working with some very fine people, one of the things that I love about my job is that there’s not really any such thing as ‘a typical day’. Some of my primary responsibilities include performing maintenance such as updating and upgrading streamgaging equipment, making repairs as soon as possible when a gage stops working to ensure that minimal data is lost, and making periodic measurements at several streamgages in the Cache Valley area of Utah that are part of our continuous data collection program as well as several streamgages within a wildlife refuge that are part of a study that the state of Utah is conducting. I am responsible for keeping my sites the data from my streamgages updated in the data base with occasional data corrections or data flags when data has been affected by unusual circumstances or extreme conditions such as ice so that accurate data is displayed on our public website. I also write analyses of the data that the streamgages I monitor collect before the data is reviewed and published.
In addition to my primary duties there is always a new project to work on such as learning about and installing new streamgage and measurement equipment, or helping with water quality sampling. Last month I even gave a streamgage and stream measurement demonstration for a University of Utah hydrology class.
There is a lot of variety in my day-to-day activities. I am looking forward to advancing my skills as a hydrologic technician, and I know that there will be many new opportunities and challenges that will arise in the coming years of my career that will keep me engaged and keep my job interesting and fun.
Working as a student for the USGS is an excellent way for anybody interested in working in a science field to ‘get their foot in the door’ and personally experience the benefits of working within a well-respected federal science agency with some excellent scientists and technicians. and for one of the finest science agencies there is.
A recent compilation of USGS science along the 2000-mile stretch of shared landscape between the United States and Mexico highlights scientific projects, challenges and future opportunities. Read more
Hurricane season has arrived, and USGS is ready. Read more
USGS hydrologists respond to spring flooding in North Dakota. Read more...
Crews respond to spring flooding in the Midwest and Northern Plains. Read more...
The USGS is ready to address some of society’s most critical issues for years to come. Read more
Invasive species that hitch rides into new environments via global trade can cause immense damage. Read more
Enter the secret world of freshwater mussels, the most endangered species in America. Read more
Lake Mead: Clear and Vital — A new USGS video highlights the research & monitoring on the lake.Read more
Reliable streamflow information is needed for many purposes-USGS streamgages provide it. Read more
How streamflow information is used in expected and extraordinary ways. Read more
USGS studies the quantity and quality of groundwater to provide consistent and integrated information needed by decision-makers.
On March 3, the U.S. Geological Survey turned 134. Established by Congress in 1879 and built on a legacy of impartial science, the bureau faces unusual challenges in the near term.
Manatees are often used as sentinels for emerging threats to the ocean environment and human health. Read more
The extent and distribution of the world’s ice, primarily in the form of glaciers, provide insight about changes in the Earth’s climate and changes in sea-level. Read more
Washington, D.C., is a unique city full of landmarks and buildings that are recognizable worldwide. But how were these stone giants built? Read more
Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder of just how essential it is for the Nation to become more resilient to coastal hazards.Read more
In honor of Earth Science Week the USGS is taking a look back into history at the scientists who laid the foundation for the innovative earth science research taking place today. Read more
The majority of the nation is still experiencing abnormally dry conditions, even after soaking rains from Isaac. Read more
While Hurricane Isaac has passed, scientific work to understand the storm’s impact on Gulf Coast states continues. Read more
Real-time map showing the extent of flooding (black dots) and drought (red dots) in the U.S. Read more
USGS scientists, engineers, and technicians are working along the Gulf coast in response to Hurricane Isaac. Read more
The U.S. Geological Survey is keeping careful watch as Tropical Storm Isaac continues to track northwest toward the west coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. Read more
Fifteen years of data illuminate complex interactions driving land change in Puerto Rico. Read more
USGS scientists look to see if water quality is improving. Read more
The majority of the nation is facing dry conditions; in most areas drought conditions are expected to persist or intensify. Read more
Kati is a USGS student employee studying water and traveling the California coast. Read more
This year, a large dead zone again threatens the Gulf of Mexico. Read more
Please comment on the USGS’ draft science strategies! Read more
Are you surprised the water bubbles look so small? Read more
USGS Details how climate change could affect water availability in 14 U.S. Basins. Read more
The USGS plays an integral role in the new U.S. Water Partnership, which will bring together public and private resources to address water challenges around the world.
Timing is everything! Consider helping track changes in spring’s arrival
Meet one of the next generation of USGS physical scientists.
Flood Safety Awareness Week is March. 12-16. What can you do to prepare?
National Groundwater Awareness Week is Mar. 11-17, 2012. See how USGS science is connecting groundwater and surface water.
Since Japan’s March 11, 2011, Tohoku earthquake and subsequent tsunami, scientists at the USGS have learned much to help better prepare for a large earthquake in the United States.
Five USGS employees honored with Distinguished Service Awards for their service to the nation
Meet a member of the next generation of USGS hydrologic technicians.
Meet a member of the next generation of USGS hydrologic technicians.
It’s National Invasive Species Awareness Week. Did you know invasive species cost our country more than 100 billion dollars each year? Get to know America’s ten top invaders this week.
Groundwater in aquifers on the East Coast and in the Central U.S. has the highest risk of contamination from radium, a naturally occurring radioactive element and known carcinogen.
The proposed USGS budget reflects research priorities to respond to nationally relevant issues, including water quantity and quality, ecosystem restoration, hydraulic fracturing, natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes, and support for the National Ocean Policy, and has a large R&D component.
Four new reports examine the contaminants polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) found in house dust, streams, lakes, soil, and air.
Exploding lakes in Cameroon, Africa, have killed people and livestock. Find out how USGS science is helping prevent such an event from occurring again.
A summer intern turned permanent employee discusses his career path. Most memorable moment
Oct. 9-15, 2011, is Earth Science Week, themed "Our-Ever Changing Earth," and Oct. 12, 2011, is International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction. Answers to questions posed by a changing world
As the team of responders struggled to end the worst oil spill in our Nation’s history, USGS scientist Paul Hsieh provided the critical scientific information needed to make a crucial decision.
After years of planning, the Department of the Interior has begun removing two dams on the Elwha River in Washington. But how will the removal of these dams impact the river’s sediments, waters, and fish?
As a nation, we use more than 75 billion gallons of groundwater each day. September 13 is the National Groundwater Association’s “Protect Your Groundwater Day.” What we can do to ensure we continue to have enough of it?
USGS scientists are working to characterize the contaminants and habitats for a number of aquatic species along the lower Columbia River.
The effects of drought are felt throughout the United States and the world, and USGS science has a prominent role in understanding the causes and consequences of this hydrological phenomenon.
USGS crews continue to measure streamflow and collect water quality and sediment samples in the Ohio and Mississippi River basins using state-of-art instruments.
Many communities in South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming and Iowa are dealing with record floodwaters and bracing for more flooding in the upcoming weeks.
The most recent earthquake in Japan affected water levels in groundwater wells all over the country. Water level fluctuations were recorded as far away as Illinois, Virginia, Missouri and Florida.
Groundwater is one of our most vital natural resources. The USGS studies the quantity and quality of the nation's groundwater. Learn about USGS research in an aquifer near you.
Learn how 3-D modeling is used to examine groundwater and how this cutting edge science is used to solve tomorrow's problems today.
The Great Lakes are the largest freshwater system on Earth. However the basin has the potential for local shortages, according to a new basin-wide water availability assessment by the USGS.
The Department of the Interior has established a new website to find and share websites that provide water conservation and sustainability information.
The USGS is providing information on arsenic levels at the town level in Maine to protect human health and further promote citizen participation in State well-testing programs.
Water Security is the protection of adequate water supplies for food, fiber, industrial, and residential needs for expanding populations, which requires maximizing water-use efficiency, developing new supplies, and protecting water reserves in event of scarcity due to natural, manmade, or technological hazards.
Decreases in stream flow, which are often caused by human activities, affect the integrity of aquatic life in streams, according to a new USGS study.
The USGS and the National Weather Service have developed a new flood inundation map tool that enables management officials and residents to see where the potential threat of flooding is the highest along the Flint River near Albany, Georgia.
Looking for information on natural resources, natural hazards, geospatial data, and more? The USGS Education site provides great resources, including lessons, data, maps, and more, to support teaching, learning, K-12 education, and university-level inquiry and research.
The Chesapeake Bay has long been an R&R destination for DC residents. However, the watershed’s overpopulation contributes to its decline. Join us when USGS’s Scott Phillips and Peter Claggett discuss new science efforts applied to restoring the Nation's largest estuary on October 6th.
The "Flood and high flow" map shows the location of streamgages where the water level is currently above or near flood stage. Find out what rivers and creeks near you are doing.
Nutrient sources in both agricultural and urban areas contribute to elevated nutrient concentrations in streams and groundwater across the Nation.
USGS is playing a critical role in the federal government's coordinated Deepwater Horizon response efforts.
Population growth in the Kabul Basin, Afghanistan, due in part to returning refugees, is estimated to lead to a six-fold increase in drinking water needs by 2057. The USGS has worked in partnership with the Afghanistan Geological Survey to address questions of future water availability.
Flash flooding is one of the major causes of natural hazard-related deaths in the United States and is hard to predict, but data collected by the USGS is crucial to formulating better predictive models.
Did you know that contaminant-ridden dust from Africa may be harming coral reefs in the Caribbean? Scientists at the USGS are examining the air in Africa and in the Caribbean to determine what kinds of nutrients, microbes, and contaminants are traveling across the ocean.
Pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities can be a significant source of pharmaceuticals in surface water. The USGS is working with water utilities to try to reduce the release of pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants to the environment.
The United States Group on Earth Observations (USGEO) is working to connect Earth observations with public health, agriculture, climate, and data management and dissemination.
The USGS Science Strategy is a comprehensive report to critically examine the USGS's major science goals and priorities for the coming decade. The USGS is moving forward with these strategic science directions in response to the challenges that our Nation's future faces and for the stewards of our Federal lands.
February 28th at 7 p.m. (PST) — Public Lecture information: http://online.wr.usgs.gov/calendar
In response to Hurricane Isaac, USGS has deployed several hundred storm surge sensors to collect information about the effects of Isaac on the Gulf Coast.
7 p.m.—Public lecture (also live-streamed over the Internet)
Join us on August 1 to learn more about the anatomy of flooding: What are the different causes of these extreme events, and how is USGS science helping prepare residents for future foods.
Join us in Menlo Park for our Evening Lecture on Scanning the Seafloor with Sound!
Stressed agricultural lands may be releasing less of the moisture needed to protect the breadbasket of a continent.
The U.S. Geological Survey had a very busy 2011 — below are a few of our highlights from last year.
Over the next 10 years, the USGS plans to conduct a new assessment of water availability and use. This national Water Census will address critical aspects of recent Federal legislation, including the need to establish a national water assessment program.
Recent USGS research shows that climate, vegetation, groundwater recharge rate, and proximity of the contaminants to the water table can all affect and control natural removal rates.
USGS scientists will join thousands of scientists, managers, and decision makers in Boston this week to present new findings on toxics at the Society for Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) conference in the Hynes Convention Center, Nov. 13-17.
On Nov. 3, USGS scientists Patrick Barnard and William Ellsworth will present a public lecture in Menlo Park, CA, providing Bay Area residents information about USGS research in the San Francisco Bay Area, including recent discoveries beneath San Francisco Bay and ongoing studies to better understand earthquake probabilities and the potential hazards associated with strong ground shaking.
Rivers and streams in the United States are releasing substantially more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than previously thought.
Meet the R/V Muskie and the R/V Kaho, the USGS Great Lakes Science Center's two newest additions to its Great Lakes research fleet!
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