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Waikato graduate’s globetrotting science career

2 April, 2014

Waikato graduate’s globetrotting science career

University of Waikato Earth Sciences graduate James Blyth is living the dream, working on mining projects around the world.

James holds a position as a mining consultant in the Mine Water Management division of SRK Consulting in Brisbane.

“A typical day at work involves hydrological and environmental analysis of a range of mining projects overseas. This can include water balances, peak flow assessments, flood, environmental and water quality modelling, sediment and erosion plans, groundwater investigations, ArcGIS topographic analysis, reporting, client presentations and project management,” says James.

South Africa to Thailand
Within just the last year James has spent two weeks in South Africa running a water balance training course, six weeks in Vancouver working on water management studies for mines, and time in Laos and Thailand working on a major water balance/quality project.

“As well as enjoying the variety of work, I have also managed to make the most out of each overseas trip. Recently I participated in an amazing two-day safari in South Africa, and went hiking, sturgeon fishing and on a three day kayak adventure into the inlets and coves around outer Vancouver.”

Earth Sciences focus
The former Tauranga Boys’ College student completed a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Science (MSc) with first class honours at Waikato University, majoring in Earth Sciences and focusing primarily on environmental science, hydrology, soil science and geochemistry.

“Undertaking my MSc allowed me to gain the Masters Research Scholarship, a $12,500 grant, and also a fully funded research thesis by the Department of Conservation (DOC). Having a grant from DOC provided me with the backing to manage a large and detailed study, where the great results led to a co-authored paper with my two supervisors, Dr David Campbell and Professor Louis Schipper.”

Future goals
As for the future, James’ goal is to become a well-rounded scientist in hydrology and environmental science. “Eventually I’d like to become a senior consultant, and potentially open my own consulting firm in hydrology, environmental science and possibly, renewable energy.”


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