Senior Groundwater Technician Phil Abraham works in ESR’s Water, Food and Biowaste group. Phil has an engineering background and BSc (Hons) degree in Geology from Canterbury University. Phil has over 15 years experience working in the natural resources industry both overseas, as an exploration geologist, and in New Zealand for Environment Canterbury and for the last six years in the Groundwater team at ESR.
The role of Groundwater Technician requires a good understanding of groundwater systems, chemistry and geology and the team works on a variety of science projects, mainly focused on characterising the bio-physical properties of New Zealand groundwater systems and studying how contaminants of concern move in the subsurface. More recently, Phil and the team have been focusing on solutions to groundwater pollution, such as nitrate contamination from intensified farming, or microbial contamination from land-based effluent disposal practices. The team is also currently researching the function, composition and vulnerability of groundwater ecosystems.
Phil's role sees him working in the laboratory, in the office, as well as in the field - often in remote locations - which he enjoys as a keen outdoors person. The role is incredibly varied; on any given day you can find Phil undertaking soil surveys, geological mapping, spatial analysis, geo-processing and map production, undertaking investigations in contaminant transportation, groundwater or drilling, and environmental monitoring on a regional or local scale.
The best part about his job is communicating with clients, understanding their needs, and working with them on a solution - "I really enjoy turning scientific ideas into practical experiments that deliver robust high quality science results".
Email Phil: Phillip.Abraham@esr.cri.nz