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STEM careers in water management
Careers in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields can be exciting. At the St. Johns River Water Management District, a STEM-related career is all about the world of water.
Students may want to consider a water management career in a STEM field if they want to help protect water and related resources that people, plants and animals all need. Water management employees find creative ways each day to use science and emerging technologies to keep Florida a special place to live and work.
Following are some of the academic requirements and skills needed to work at the district in STEM-related positions, with a summary of tasks that our team members perform as part of their work. Details for specific positions are posted in the district’s online job application page when positions are available.
A district environmental scientist collects light reading profiles to be used to calculate light extinction in a water body.
Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree and higher-level positions require increasing amounts of related experience or education. Areas of specialization include agronomy, forestry, taxonomy, ecology (aquatic, estuarine), cartography, geography, geology, environmental science, limnology, oceanography, biology, toxicology, chemistry, statistics, mathematics, land management and soil science.
- Research to support the development of regulations and/or management plans that will improve the district’s ability to protect water resources
- Design and conduct scientifically sound research investigations or manage investigations conducted by private consultants, academic institutions or other agencies
- Assess the quality and quantity of the groundwater resources within the district
- Evaluate the responses of the hydrologic system to changes in the climate and to meet current and future needs for water
- Perform day-to-day maintenance and operation of district-owned or managed lands such as timber inventory, plant and animal species protection, and prescribed fire
- Evaluate the wetland impacts associated with development and water withdrawals
- Analyze data from permit applications, apply rule criteria and recommend either issuance or denial of a permit
- Work with permit applicants to bring planned withdrawals of water into compliance with the rule criteria and develop site-monitoring plans
- Develop estimates of future water needs and identify the sources to fulfill those needs
- Obtain, research, analyze and interpret hydrologic and geologic data and prepare reports on the findings to aid in water management decisions
District computer technology staff maintain desktop computers, servers, networks and other information technology equipment and software.
Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in computer science such as management of information systems, computer systems analysis or applications development and five years experience. Higher-level positions require advanced degrees and experience.
- Purchase and support the district’s personal computers and servers, wireless (voice and data) services, cellular phones, smart phones and wireless modems
- Secure, manage and configure the district’s Local Area Networks (LAN) and Wide Area Networks (WAN)
- Configure and manage the district’s enterprise databases and data storage
- Support the district’s financial applications and human resources management system
- Implement business application off-the-shelf software, and cloud-based software or hardware services
- Manage and support business applications, such as district cell phone usage and billings, internal facilities management system and purchase card (P-card) management
- Manage fixed assets and the inventory of all technical equipment throughout the district
- Support and inventory management for data backup
- Geographic information system (GIS) data collection, analysis, staff training and support
- Software development for new systems in support of the daily operations of the district
- Application maintenance and support for applications supporting the district’s regulatory, business and scientific activities
- Web-enabled GIS and GIS custom tools development
- Enterprise GIS database maintenance and development
A district engineer uses data collected from throughout the St. Johns River to create a model that measures and predicts water flow.
Entry-level positions require a bachelor’s degree in engineering. Higher-level positions require increasing amounts of related experience, and may require advanced degrees and professional licensure.
- Conduct engineering review of permit applications
- Provide engineering services for district projects and programs through hydrologic, hydrodynamic and water quality analyses, including numerical modeling and computer simulations
- Conduct hydrogeologic and geotechnical analysis
- Design levees, water control structures and other related infrastructure
- Provide management and field support for water resources construction projects
- Operate district water control structures
- Conduct land management activities, including environmental assessments, hazardous materials management and conceptual project planning
- Conduct minimum flows and levels projects
- Conduct emergency management and planning in partnership with local governments, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others
- Develop plans and policies, and review of local government initiatives
- Provide program and project management
A district staff member collects hydrologic data in the field.
Entry-level positions may require a bachelor’s degree or related experience, and higher-level positions require increasing education and related experience.
- Analyze and evaluate water conservation potential for all water use types, including statistical analysis of water use data, compilation and refinement of water use benchmarks, and the economic cost and feasibility of realizing potential water use reductions at local and regional scales.
- Analyze and evaluate the economic, technical and environmental feasibility and benefit of implementing existing and emerging technologies to enhance water conservation practices
- Develop sophisticated statistical and numerical groundwater flow models to support water supply planning
- Develop groundwater modeling to assess the effects on aquifer systems of water withdrawals. Perform environmental assessments to determine the acceptability of potential impacts resulting from water withdrawals and to protect natural systems
- Collect, process, manage and disseminate hydrologic and meteorological data used for water use planning and management, environmental protection and restoration, and flood control
- Develop and implement systems of accounting and budgetary controls
- Manage all payroll, accounts payable and accounts receivable functions, including processing invoices for payments to vendors and preparing and recording monthly fixed asset reports
- Analyze accounting functions to determine appropriateness and effectiveness
- Interpret and apply policies and procedures for fiscal activities within the scope of federal, state and district rules and regulations
- Coordinate the development and compilation of the district’s annual work plan and budget