After her bachelor Garden & Landscape Management at HAS University of Applied Sciences, Suzanne decided to continue with the master Earth and Environment. After her graduation she started working as a junior geohydrologist at Tauw, an European consulting and engineering company.
After my bachelor Garden & Landscape Management at HAS University of Applied Sciences in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, I wanted to continue studying. Besides the good atmosphere in the province of Brabant, I learned a lot about the design of the outdoor spaces and I found out my interest was in the field of water. Now you're probably wondering, "why not follow a master Hydrology in a large 'vibrant' city like Amsterdam or Utrecht instead of Wageningen?”. The answer is that the master Earth and Environment has an ideal combination of challenging and interesting compulsory subjects and free courses you can choose. Moreover, the quality of the master programme is very high and the university has a good international reputation. And maybe the most important thing is as a student you are not a number at Wageningen University: professors and teachers know you by name. Also, I can promise you that Wageningen offers plenty of fun for students!
Experiences and thesis
After following the minor of the Bachelor Soil, Water and Atmosphere I started in 2012 with the master Earth and Environment with a specialisation in Hydrology and Water Resources. As I mentioned, the programme of the master consists of a number of compulsory courses. In addition, the master also offers the opportunity to specialise in subjects of your own interest. You can specialise or broaden your view through free courses, your thesis and an internship. Besides my interest in hydrology courses I followed courses in geology to expand my knowledge in that field. A good example was a study trip to Germany, Luxembourg and France, where we studied the different landscapes and soils. Both compulsory and free courses were very useful during my thesis on possible causes of the mangrove die-back in Lac. This research was done for the organization STINAPA, the National Parks Foundation of Bonaire. For this study, I carried out ten weeks of fieldwork in the area of Lac, located on the beautiful island of Bonaire itself. Here I measured and monitored different aspects of the hydrological system of Lac. Back home in Wageningen I analysed the gathered data and wrote a report about it. My internship was closer to home in the province of Utrecht. During my internship I did research on the groundwater characteristics of eleven nature reserves commissioned by the Province of Utrecht.
I finished my study in the beginning of 2014 and started working at Tauw. Tauw is an European consulting and engineering company specialised in environmental consultancy and sustainable development of the natural and constructional environment. I work as a junior geohydrologist on geohydrological research, supervising fieldwork, measuring & monitoring and I write different advices. As an example, I write geotechnical advices in which I advise on extraction of groundwater during construction projects that are constructed below the phreatic water level. These advices are written for example for municipalities when they construct a new sewer system. We do not only give advice on the extraction, which is calculated with a hydrological model, but we also give advice on the effects of the extraction on the environment.
The knowledge I have gained during my master gives me a solid base for my current job. You learn to process a lot of information in a short period and apply this on various issues. Furthermore you learn to conduct research in order to answer different questions. The fields in hydrology are so broad, interesting and challenging so you keep on learning day by day!