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Ross Mowbray (Graduate Geologist)

Ross Mowbray (Graduate Geologist)

Which Geological Survey Ireland programme do you work in?

What do you do?
I am responsible for contributing towards several European-level projects ranging from modelling groundwater levels in order to better understand climate change predictions, to exploring potential for geothermal energy in Ireland. 

Why does your programme do the work it does?
The groundwater system is highly susceptible to pollution (natural & man-made) and climatic changes, such as decreased water quality and flooding of roads/urban areas, so it is imperative that these hydro(geo)logial risks are monitored and studied to better understand how we can mitigate their effects on society and the natural environment.

When do you do fieldwork and what does it involve?
Fieldwork opportunities come up on a regular basis and I have helped out with a range of tasks, from collecting borehole groundwater samples to gathering soil samples for geochemical analysis. Two days are never the same!

Where does your work take you?
So far, my work has taken me all over Ireland, from the Wicklow Mountains to Cork City. I also have the chance to present my findings at technical conferences all over Europe (although Zoom has been a useful alternative in 2020!).

Which Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can be met by the work your programme does?

  • SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 13: Climate Action
  • SDG 14: Life Below Water

Skills involved:

  • Teamwork
  • Fieldwork
  • Independent Thinking
  • Analytical Skills



Left: auger soil sampling.                                                                    Right: pumping groundwater from borehole for lab analysis.

Left: sample grid location in Wicklow (hiking boots required!).    Right: field surveying in Wicklow.