A Day in the Life of an ECP August 2023

ACLCA Early Career Professional Subcommittee have introduced a new monthly series of ‘A Day in the Life of an ECP’.

Zoe Baxter – GHD

BSc (Environmental/ Earth), GradDip (Groundwater Hydrogeology) Environmental Scientist

‘My name is Zoe and I work at GHD as an early career professional in the contaminated assessment and remediation, and hydrogeology team. I wanted to share a recent day of my life working in the field

I recently I completed a five day swing on a mine in Moranbah. During this swing we needed to sample surface water, sediment and groundwater. Most days started off at the crack of dawn with a 5.30am prestart, and then out in the field to complete the sampling, which included hiking out into ephemeral creeks to take sediment samples, scooping water out of dams, and using low flow pumps to purge and sample groundwater bores. This trip was a great way to build on multiple sampling skill

My favourite part about being out in the field is that no day is ever the same, you learn pretty quickly to think on your feet, and you get to go some really cool place



Ashlee Baines – Jacobs

B.Eng (Hons) BSc Graduate Environmental Scientist | Contaminated Lands Assessment & Remediation

My name is Ashlee but I go by Ash. I am the outgoing Jacobs early career professional that is always up for a chat at any industry event (and I mean AWLAYS). I am here to share a day in my life in the field on one of my interstate sites.

It’s 5:30am in mid-winter, the chill of the Tasmanian air at -4 degrees is a tad more brisk than a single layer of PPE can keep you warm from. Armed with thermals and several jumpers you leave the accommodation to venture out in search of liquid gold… coffee. Once acquired, you get into the ute and proceed to wait 5 minutes for the heater to work so you can feel you fingers on the steering wheel. Its now 6:00am and you head to the land of bob-the-builders and failed DIY projects, Bunnings. First on the list is buckets followed by a hammer and tube cutter. The next station is the servo, because even though its negative degrees you still need ice. The man at the servo gives you a funny look and may think you’re crazy for needing ice on a day like today.

Pre-start, check. Safety brief, check. Speak with Site Manager, check. Delegate field tasks and run sheets, check. The day is ready to begin.

Its now lunch time and you’ve been hand-auguring in high plasticity clay for hours. You are now regretting never training upper body at the gym. The intense 13 degree heat is a far cry from the chill of the morning and the jumpers have been piled into the back seat of the ute, and the Bunnings broad brim donned.

Its now late afternoon, you are doing the final decontamination of the auger. You hope tomorrow there is more sand that clay, preferably moist with some silt for cohesion.  Your hands are getting chilly in the cooling air, but you are thankful the day is a success!

COC filled, check. Samples counted, check. Ute packed, check. De-brief conducted, check. You demobilise for the day and head to the lab drop off. The man there recognises you from the previous day. Once the samples are safe and accounted for, you head back to your ute and drive back to the accommodation.

Store equipment, check. Send daily run sheet and sample list, check. Hot shower, check.

Now it’s time for dinner with the team and continue the search for the best Tasmanian Pi