Since graduating last year with a Master’s of Science, Melanie Irvine has found employment as a project geologist for the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador. In this position, Melanie studies how coastal areas are changing and the impact this has on people and infrastructure. Her main project is a long-term coastal monitoring program to determine rates of shoreline erosion, changes in beach profiles, and an identification of areas at risk to coastal flooding, slope movement and coastal erosion.
“This project involves a combination of fieldwork, data analysis, research and writing,” noted Melanie. “My background in geography has helped me integrate aspects of the physical and social sciences in my job responsibilities, and to understand the connections between the environment and people, which is important in my position as a project geologist. My training has enabled me explore the relationships between the different components of this world, such as climate, hydrology, biology, people, culture and geology when exploring an issue.” Another skill set she developed while pursuing graduate studies at Memorial involved fieldwork. “The ability to organize, lead and conduct fieldwork,” responded Melanie, “is critical for a project geologist”.
Melanie’s fieldwork also feeds her love of the outdoors. In addition to hiking and camping, Melanie participates in triathlons, endurance races that involve swimming, biking and running. “One my most memorable triathlons was an Ironman (3.9 km swim, 180 km bike ride and 42.2 km run) in New York State, which required immense training and hard work, but was a lot of fun and an experience of a lifetime.”