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Aquatic Scientist PDF Print E-mail

Job overview
Aquatic scientists study the physical, chemical, biological and ecological aspects of inland and marine water environments.

What do people do in this job?
Using advanced technology and various methods, such as biological monitoring, chemical analysis, computer models and satellite remote sensing, aquatic scientists study the following aspects of the water environment:?

  • Physical aspects - temperature, available light, water movement, etc.
  • Chemical aspects - organic and inorganic composition of water, the importance and role of nutrients, etc.
  • Biological aspects - migration, distribution, behaviour, environmental requirements of the different types of plants, bacteria, algae and organisms associated with water.

Other aspects studied are:-

  • The occurrence, intensity, treatment and control of different types of pollution that result in the death of fish, and the effect on colour, smell and taste of pure water caused by the excessive growth of certain organisms.
  • The cultivation of organisms for the manufacture of chemical.
  • The cultivation of molluscs, shrimps and fish for food.
  • The development of plans to ensure the ongoing health of the aquatic ecosystem and fitness of water for use.

Career possibilities include:-?

  • Research work on various aspects of the water environment.
  • Administration, in the public or other sectors, of water purification and?  ?water supply.
  • Training future aquatic scientists.
  • Managing water resources.

What kinds of people are suitable for this career?
The development of new methods and procedures forms an integral part of the aquatic scientist?’?s work.

Consequently he/she may spend time both in the laboratory and in the field.

This may be demanding, sometimes requiring long periods of time spent away from home.

The management aspects of the job also call for a sound knowledge of water management issues and the ability to work with people.

Aquatic scientists must be able to work accurately, have perseverance and be able to take initiative.

They must be responsible, observant and possess scientific aptitude.

What qualifications are needed?
A BSc, preferably supplemented by a postgraduate qualification in hydrology or biology.

Aquatic scientists are employed by consulting firms, universities, Departments of nature conservation, various government departments, various water boards, municipalities.

Can I work for myself in this occupation?
There are limited self-employment possibilities due to the fact that the aquatic scientist often requires a lot of expensive equipment.

Many aquatic scientists are working as consultants.

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