Monica Osuchowski

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Research Scientist

Monica OsuchowskiDescribe some daily tasks that you complete in your position

I work as part of a team that studies natural hazards and their impact on people and places. My daily work is quite varied as I am currently working on five different activities. Most of these activities relate to landslides. Geoscience Australia has been collecting information on why and when they occur and I am demonstrating a way of using the latest database methodology to bring together information about landslides from databases all around Australia. I work closely with landslide experts and we are working out exactly what information needs to be collected in order to help reduce the risk of landslides to people, property, animals and the environment. I spend a lot of time communicating, through writing reports and liaising with other people. A considerable amount of my time is devoted to raising awareness of this work to the wider landslide community, finding out exactly what they need, and exchanging ideas with landslide experts.

What is it that you find most enjoyable/challenging/rewarding about your position?

I really do love my job. I enjoy my work at Geoscience Australia as I enjoy being surrounded by enthusiastic and motivated people. Working in natural hazards provides me with travel opportunities to see the impact of natural disasters, like Cyclone Larry, to collect information that our computer modellers use in their natural hazard research. There is incredible freedom and scope at Geoscience Australia to create new and exciting research projects. Most importantly, my work is useful to others and it's rewarding knowing that my work is helping to reduce the impact of natural hazards in Australian communities.

Monica OsuchowskiDescribe your career pathway(s) that led you to where you are today?

I have always been fascinated and intrigued by natural disasters, but while in college and during university I didn't envisage pursuing it as a career. I enrolled in geology at university because I needed an extra science subject to make up the first year of my science degree and 'geohazards' formed a very small part of my coursework which simply wasn't enough. I did a unit in natural hazards by correspondence from Macquarie University and then did six weeks' vacation work at the 'Natural Hazards Research Centre', the forerunner of the current Risk Frontiers. When I saw the research position with Geoscience Australia advertised, I had to get it!

What formal/educational training have you completed?

I completed Honours in Environmental Geology at the University of Tasmania. My Honours project focused on investigating a large landslide that occurred in 1996 within a drinking water reservoir catchment. I used a variety of methods to look at the potential for future landslides occurring within this catchment. I also investigated the characteristics and source of ad hoc turbidity within the reservoir.

What are the benefits of working at Geoscience Australia?

There is always a very good reason behind the work done at Geoscience Australia. It's driven by the needs of our stakeholders and I love knowing that what I am doing is going to impact on the Australian community. It is encouraging to know that what I develop in my job is useful and helps others.

Topic contact: recruitment@ga.gov.au Last updated: June 17, 2013