What Does a USGS Hydrologic Technician Do

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Detailed Description

What do USGS Hydrologic Technicians do on the job? This video features five different Hydrologic Technicians from Washington Water Science Center and Nevada Water Science Center sharing some of their work. This video was sponsored by the USGS Hydrologic Data Advisory Committee.
 

Details

Date Taken:

Length: 00:06:44

Location Taken: Henderson, NV, US

Transcript

0:05
<v ->Hi, my name is Megan Poff and I'm the Data Chief</v>
0:07
at the USGS in Nevada.
0:09
I started off my career with the USGS
0:11
as a hydrologic technician.
0:13
And when I took that job,
0:15
I didn't know what a hydrologic technician did.
0:18
So as I found out through the years
0:20
hydrologic technicians do a variety of work.
0:24
It's field work, it's office work and pretty much anything
0:27
you can think of in support of collecting USGS water data
0:32
is what our hydrologic technicians do.
0:34
So a few of my colleagues are going to introduce
0:37
what they are doing in the field.
0:41
<v ->Hey folks, my name is Adam Opryszek,</v>
0:43
I'm with the United States Geological Survey
0:45
here in Washington State.
0:47
I'm on the beautiful Qualup River, measuring stream flow.
0:52
I'm using an acoustic Doppler current profiler today.
0:56
This uses sound pings in order to measure water velocity
0:59
and water depth.
1:01
This particular station is important for flood warning.
1:05
The National Weather Service uses this data
1:07
in order to issue flood forecasts
1:09
and flood warnings when necessary.
1:13
<v ->My name is Bryce Redinger.</v>
1:14
I'm a Hydrologic Technician with the US Geological Survey.
1:16
And here I am off-roading to get to one of my gauges.
1:19
Four wheel drive trucks are lifesaver out here.
1:25
Here's another shot of me. I'm cleaning out my measurement
1:28
cross section at one of my stations.
1:31
These plants block our stream flow measurement meters
1:35
and so making some obstruction free water to measure in.
1:42
I wish I could describe the smell here.
1:47
It's quite spectacular.
1:50
Let's say it smells very organic.
1:56
But yeah, we have a cross section.
1:58
So we're gonna let that clear.
1:59
I'll walk you up to the Gauge house.
2:22
Here we go, we putting it.
2:24
We had a bunch of visitors earlier,
2:29
I nuked them, so don't worry.
2:32
We're gonna be fine.
2:34
But yeah.
2:38
Yo, once that clears out,
2:41
we'll go and make measurement.
2:44
<v ->My name is Alison, I'm a hydrologic technician</v>
2:46
with the US Geological Survey
2:48
Washington Water Science Center in Tacoma, Washington.
2:52
And today, I am at Rock Creek
2:55
near Maple Valley Washington and I am calibrating this guy,
3:01
this precipitation gauge. And what's happening right now
3:05
is I've got my calibration bottle
3:07
inside of this funnel here.
3:09
And it's filled with a known amount of liquid.
3:12
And there's a small nozzle at the end of the bottle
3:15
which slowly lets water drip down into the gauge.
3:19
And we call this a dual tipping bucket rain gauge,
3:22
meaning that there are two small buckets
3:24
inside of this apparatus and as one bucket fills up
3:28
completely, it tips down and empties its contents
3:32
and the other bucket rises up and starts filling with water.
3:35
And so each tip equates to a known amount of rainfall
3:41
or in this case, just tap water.
3:44
I have right here, a digital counter that I've hooked up
3:49
that will count every tip for me.
3:51
So I don't have to do it manually.
3:53
Each test, which I do about three times
3:57
takes about 30 minutes to complete.
4:00
So, I will be here for a while,
4:04
but that is essentially it. That is a rain gauge
4:08
and this is just one of the small things that we do
4:12
in the USGS to further improve and communicate science
4:16
and data to the public.
4:20
<v ->Hello, my name is Stephen Sissel.</v>
4:21
I work for the United States Geological Survey.
4:24
I'm here in the beautiful, albeit rainy Pacific Northwest
4:30
in the Wacom Creek.
4:32
Today, I am charged with getting a velocity,
4:38
a width and a depth of this stream.
4:40
With those three parameters, we can collimator that data
4:45
via the web
4:49
from this Gauge house.
4:51
These Gauge houses are all over the country.
4:53
They're on mountainsides, they're under bridges
4:55
they're everywhere and the farms.
4:57
It's very vital that we share this resource with all.
5:02
Just like this rain is free, this river is free
5:04
so is our data.
5:06
It's the only natural resource that is necessary
5:10
for every biological process here on the planet Earth.
5:16
<v ->Greetings earthlings, its Russell Sherman with USGS</v>
5:19
Washington Water Science Center.
5:21
I'm here today at the Cowlitz River
5:22
Castle Rock stream gauge, meeting with scientists
5:27
and technicians from the Oregon Water Science Center
5:29
and Cascades Volcano Observatory
5:31
to do a recon for new equipment install.
5:35
We're looking at putting in
5:36
a acoustic velocity profile meter
5:40
and a turbidity sensor and we need to figure out
5:44
where it's all going to go.
5:45
So, here's what the site looks like.
6:04
(train engine whistling)
6:08
The steering wheel behind me is an old one built
6:12
in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
6:14
It's been abandoned since
6:16
the Mount St. Helens rupture in 1980.
6:19
Current stream gauges is on the opposite side of the river.
6:22
And you know, we're trying to decide
6:23
whether we're going to try to rehab this old one
6:25
or install something new.