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Careers in Science and Engineering


									Careers in
Science and
This booklet highlights the diversity of careers available within the science
and engineering degrees from James Cook University Australia. It is not a
comprehensive list of all possible careers but a small selection and should be
used as a general guide.
Why Study Science or Engineering   2    Geologist                              19
Why JCU?                           2    Geophysicist                           20
Why the Faculty of Science and          Geoscience Technician                  21
Engineering                        3    Hydrologist                            21
Actuary                            4    Landcare Worker                        22
Agricultural Scientist             4    Marine Biologist                       22
Agricultural Technical Officer     5    Marine Scientist                       23
Aquaculture Technician             6    Market Researcher                      23
Biochemist / Molecular Biologist   7    Mathematician                          24
Botantist                          7    Mechanical Engineer                    25
Chemical Engineer                  8    Meteorologist                          25
Chemical Scientist                 9    National Parks and Wildlife Ranger     26
Civil Engineer                     10   Natural Resources Manager              27
Electrical Engineer                13   Operations Researcher                  28
Electronics Engineer               14   Physicist                              28
Environmental Engineer             14   Science Field Officer                  30
Environmental Scientist            15   Scientific Laboratory Worker           30
Fish Farm Hand                     16   Statistician                           31
Fisheries Officer                  16   Zoologist                              32
Forensic Scientist                 17   Links                                  33
Geographer                         18
Geographic Information
Systems Officer                    18

                                                                       Careers Guide | 1
    Message from the Pro Vice Chancellor Science and Engineering
    Students completing their high school studies are faced with a multitude of options when
    considering tertiary studies. The Faculty of Science and Engineering at JCU offers students
    opportunities to undertake a range of courses to support their career endeavours. Our
    professional degrees such as Engineering and the Bachelor of Planning progress students
    through basic concepts, technology, work integrated learning and communication and
    management principles delivering graduates who are job ready and prepared for life
    long learning.
    The core Bachelor of Science is a generic degree which enables students to develop a deep
    understanding of scientific principles while focussing in particular areas, that is
    key majors. Many students need time to appreciate the conceptual nature of scientific study
    before choosing their particular major. We offer a diverse range of majors which underpin
    our areas of research excellence and tropical location. The BSc is an excellent foundation
    on which to build your future career. One such career might be high school teaching
    specialising in mathematics or physics. This could be achieved with the BSc majoring in
    mathematics or physics supplemented with a postgraduate diploma in Education.
    The Faculty also offers a range of flagship programs which truly underpin our location and
    research position in the world. The BSc (Advanced) is our generic flagship program aimed at
    high profile students. The B.Mar.Sc., ranked among the top few programs in the world, and
    the B. Geol. offer students a unique opportunity to be coached by world leaders in their field.
    Both programs make particular use of our special location in the world.

    Why study science or engineering?
    Society has fast become a science and technology driven community with fewer people
    investing in an education to match. Many challenges facing the world’s future such as
    climate change and sustainable development, will be solved by engineers and scientists –
    possibly YOU.
    Studying these fields at university will give you the skills to observe experiment and seek
    new knowledge across an enormous array of disciplines.
    If making a difference is what you want to do, then studying towards a career in science or
    engineering will give you the expertise to do it.

    Why James Cook University?
    JCU is renowned for its teaching and research excellence in science and engineering. Our
    students benefit from highly qualified and motivated teaching staff, many of whom are
    world-leading researchers in their fields of expertise. JCU works hard to produce graduates

2 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
with the expertise and intellectual curiosity required for the sustainable development of our
communities, and conducts research to provide the knowledge and understanding needed
to meet the challenges facing northern Australia and the tropics world-wide.
You will enjoy exceptional opportunities for practical experience and field trips throughout
your degree, with easy access to the World Heritage regions of the Great Barrier Reef and
Wet Tropics rainforests as potential laboratories, plus island, rainforest and outback research
stations as well as research vessels.
Science at JCU has an extensive range of programs available to suit any possible career
outcome. This extensive range allows you to use electives to broaden your knowledge
base and complement your chosen field of study. All JCU’s science programs adopt a
multidisciplinary approach to their teaching, ensuring you are properly equipped for your
future careers.
The first year of our engineering program is a generic year enabling you to obtain a greater
understanding before having to choose one of our six majors – chemical, civil, computer
systems, electrical and electronic, environmental or mechanical. The School of Engineering
and Physical Sciences has extensive industry contacts ensuring quality job placements and
work experience for its engineering students.
As a leading research university, JCU can offer extensive Honours and postgraduate
opportunities to students who wish to further their studies and gain research skills.

Why the Faculty of Science and Engineering?
We are very proud of our world renowned reputation in natural and physical sciences. As we
are a small-medium University, you will have the opportunity to work with world-recognised
experts in these fields.
The strength of our research programs means you will benefit from dedicated staff and
state of the art technologies. Our research capabilities offer you unique opportunities for
hands-on learning at research stations in the Wet Tropics rainforests of Paluma and Cape
Tribulation, a marine biology research station on Orpheus Island, a working cattle station in
Central Queensland, as well as many other locations. The involvement of staff and facilities
from government agencies, industry and research organisations such as CSIRO and the
Australian Institute of Marine Science ensures student learning is always at the forefront of
the latest research.
Our proximity to the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and Wet Tropics, and ready
access to a broad range of environments makes JCU the ideal place to study.

                                                                                    Careers Guide | 3
    Actuary                                        Agricultural Scientists
    Actuaries analyse mathematical, statistical,   Agricultural scientists study commercial
    demographic, financial and economic            plants, animals and cultivation techniques
    data in order to predict and assess the        to improve the productivity and
    long-term risk involved in financial           sustainability of farms and agricultural
    decisions and planning.                        industries.
    Actuaries may:                                 Agricultural scientists:
    ƒ analyse statistics relating to factors       ƒ act as consultants in the application of
        such as death, illness and accident,           science to the practice of agriculture
        and current trends in the economy to       ƒ   carry out research programs on
        design new types of life insurance and         the breeding, nutrition and disease
        superannuation policies                        resistance of plants and animals
    ƒ   work out appropriate premiums or           ƒ   provide technical information to
        contributions and rates of return, by          farmers and commercial firms trading
        calculating the future probabilities of        in agricultural commodities and
        events such as unemployment, illness           produce
        or changes in interest rates
                                                   ƒ   study the effects of agriculture on
    ƒ   make sure that insurance companies             the environment by collecting and
        have enough financial reserves to              analysing samples of soil, ground
        meet claims                                    water and plants
    ƒ   advise companies on investment             ƒ   carry out experimental programs in
        policy and the distribution of profits         controlled environments to develop
        to policyholders                               better environmental management
    ƒ   undertake financial projections                methods
        for, and measure and analyse the           ƒ   assist farmers in the planning and
        investment performance of, life                monitoring of agricultural activities,
        insurance companies, financial                 and in the diagnosis and treatment
        institutions and government                    of problems (e.g. nutrient disorders in
        organisations                                  plants and livestock; weed and plant
    ƒ   provide advice to potential buyers or          disease management)
        sellers of companies.                      ƒ   prepare policy advice and assist in
    If this career option looks interesting            putting government policy into
    to you, pursue a Bachelor of Science               practice.
    (Mathematics) . You may be able to take        Other careers that may interest you
    some economics electives under this            include:
    degree program to better prepare you for
    working in this area.                          Agricultural Adviser who assists and
                                                   advises farmers, agricultural businesses,
                                                   rural industries and government in the
                                                   production, processing and distribution

4 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
of farm products. They may specialise in        At JCU, you can study agriculture under
areas such as aquaculture, crop, dairy, fruit   several different degree programs
production, water use, farm economics or        dependant upon which part of the
land management.                                industry you wish to enter. These include
Agricultural Biotechnologist who uses           ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Genetics and
techniques such as genetic engineering to           Genomics)
improve the quality and diversity of plant      ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Plant Sciences)
and animal products.
Agricultural Entomologist who
investigates the causes of insect outbreaks     Agricultural Technical
and researches methods to control them
through integrated pest management,
biological control and chemical means.          Agricultural technical officers provide
                                                complex technical support and advise on
Agronomist who deals with soil                  aspects of agriculture such as research,
management and methods of improving             production, servicing and marketing.
growth and quality in a wide range of
crops.                                          An agricultural technical officer may:
                                                ƒ work with agronomists using small
Crop Physiologist who studies the                   plot experiments to compare plant
mechanisms of normal plant growth and               varieties and test the effects of various
the effects of environmental conditions             treatments on growth and yield
and chemicals upon them.
                                                ƒ   work with soil scientists to study
Horticultural Scientist who applies                 techniques of irrigation and
scientific knowledge to the cultivation             analyse symptoms of plants used in
and propagation of plants such as                   experiments with soil treatments
fruit, vegetables, berries, flowers, trees,     ƒ   work with plant breeders to produce
shrubs and crops. They may also work                new strains and to select superior
in landscape design to create parks                 products
and gardens, with concern for the
conservation and preservation of natural        ƒ   record and interpret experimental
resources.                                          data in field experiments
                                                ƒ   interpret aerial photographs and
Plant Pathologist who studies the effects           prepare maps showing soil and
of diseases harmful to crop growth and              vegetation patterns
assists in developing methods to control
them.                                           ƒ   in laboratories, assist in the chemical
                                                    analysis and culture of micro-
Soil Scientist who studies the biology,             organisms which cause disease to
chemistry, physics and hydrology of                 plants and animals
soil systems, and conducts research             At JCU, you can study towards this career
and advises on matters relating to              by undertaking a Bachelor of Science
conservation and management.                    (Plant Sciences).

                                                                               Careers Guide | 5
    Aquaculture Technicians                      ƒ   assists with experiments on nutrition
                                                     or methods to control predators,
    Aquaculture technicians are involved in          parasites and other disease causing
    freshwater and marine farming, hatchery          organisms
    management and research into farmed          ƒ   monitors the environment using
    species. They can be involved in research,       oxygen meters, salinity meters, pH
    equipment design, site development, and          (acidity) meters and water chemistry
    the harvesting, processing and shipment          analysis kits
    of products.
                                                 ƒ   maintains live feed and algae cultures
    An aquaculture technician:                   ƒ   keeps records of breeding, production
    ƒ breeds and raises marine organisms             and treatment programs
        such as fish, eels, crustaceans,
        shellfish, pearl-producing shellfish,    ƒ   develops and implements systems of
        algae, crocodiles and turtles in             profitable farm management.
        artificial conditions                    Studying a Bachelor of Science
    ƒ   identifies common diseases in fish       (Aquaculture) at JCU will start you on the
        and shellfish, and take the necessary    path towards this career.
        steps to prevent problems which may
        occur in intensive farming

 It wasn’t until I
 got to JCU that I
 really got a taste for
 serious field work ...
 Jodi Rowley
 Doctor of Philosophy, 2007
 Scientific Officer, Australian Museum

6 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
Biochemist / Molecular                        Botanists:
                                              ƒ investigate the effects of
Biologist                                         environmental factors such as
Biochemist/ molecular biologists                  rainfall, temperature, sunlight, soil,
have an underlying understanding of               topography and disease on plant
the way organisms (bacteria, fungi,               growth
plants and animals) function and may          ƒ   grow plants under controlled
gain employment in a wide range of                conditions to assess the significance
employment opportunities.                         of environmental and genetic
A biochemist may:
ƒ join a biotechnology company                ƒ   study the genetics of plants
    to conduct research and the                   using biochemical and molecular
    development of new technologies               techniques in the laboratory and
                                                  so determine the patterns of plant
ƒ   work in a research laboratory in a            evolution
    University, government organization
    (CSIRO, Department of Agriculture,        ƒ   study the nature and occurrence of
    Australian Quarantine Service,                plant chromosomes, cells and tissues
    diagnostic facility) or in a private      ƒ   work with other scientists to develop
    company                                       drugs, medicines and other products
ƒ   with training in law work gain                from plants
    employment as a patent examiner           ƒ   search for and classify new species of
ƒ   work in a pathology laboratory                plants and identify plant specimens
By studying a Bachelor of Science             ƒ   prepare handbooks for plant
(Biochemistry/Molecular Biology)                  identification
degree at JCU, you will be well prepared      Botanists may carry out field work to
for this career option.                       collect and document plant species
                                              and numbers in particular areas, so
                                              that after mining has taken place the
                                              natural environment can be restored.
Botanist                                      They may be approached to advise on
Botanists study the biology of all types of   environmental and management issues
plants to increase scientific knowledge       and possible courses of action.
and apply this knowledge in areas such        Other careers that may interest you in this
as conservation and management of             area include:
natural resources, agriculture, forestry,
horticulture, medicine and biotechnology.     Agronomist who studies agricultural
                                              crops and grasses.

                                                                              Careers Guide | 7
    Marine Botanist who studies plants and
    related underwater environments.
                                                   Chemical Engineer
                                                   Chemical engineers design and
    Plant Ecologist who studies the                coordinate the construction and
    relationships between plants and               operation of manufacturing facilities and
    their environment. This may include            processes which convert raw materials
    investigations into the effects of rainfall,   into every-day products such as petrol,
    temperature, sunlight, soil, terrain,          toothpaste, pharmaceuticals and plastics.
    animals, pollution and diseases on plant
    types and their distribution.                  Chemical engineers:
                                                   ƒ design methods and equipment to
    Plant Pathologist who studies the effects         control and contain the processes that
    of diseases harmful to crop growth and            transform basic materials into useful
    assists in developing methods to control          products
                                                   ƒ   make sure of the safe, efficient and
    Plant Physiologist who studies internal            environmentally friendly operation
    plant functions and their chemical basis           of equipment and test products at
    to learn how they grow, process nutrients          various stages of production to check
    and reproduce.                                     the quality
    Plant Taxonomist who studies and               ƒ   design and build pilot plants to
    documents the diversity in plant life              indicate how full-scale plants will
    and develops classifications reflecting            operate when built
    evolutionary relationships between             ƒ   make plans and specifications for full-
    different plant groups and species.                scale production plants, taking into
                                                       account available technology, the cost
    Degree options available from James
                                                       and size of equipment and storage
    Cook University which will also allow
                                                       space, market needs, transport
    you to pursue any of the above
                                                       methods and disposal of surplus
    careers include:
    ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Ecology and           ƒ   review current methods of production
        Conservation)                                  for cost efficiency, environmental
    ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Plant Sciences)           friendliness, maximum output and
                                                       product quality
                                                   ƒ   prepare reports, feasibility studies and
                                                       cost analyses of processes
                                                   Chemical engineering graduates from
                                                   JCU can choose from careers in any of the
                                                   following diverse fields:

8 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
       Bioprocess involving pharmaceuticals       Petrochemicals involving the conversion
       and the food and drink industries.         of oil and gas into plastics, synthetic
                                                  rubber and similar end uses.
       Chemical Process involving the
       fertiliser industry including pesticides   Petroleum involving the production of oil,
       and herbicides, caustic soda, glass and    gas and LPG from onshore and offshore
       specialty chemicals.                       fields.
       Combustion involving large industrial      Process Control involving the
       furnaces such as those for steel           instrumentation and control systems
       manufacture or for power generation        which enable a manufacturing process to
       from coal or gas.                          run smoothly, safely and efficiently.
       Environmental involving waste              Project Delivery involving the
       and water treatment, environmental         construction of a process plant,
       regulations and recycling.                 converting the design into an
                                                  efficient safe operating plant.
       Minerals involving major minerals
       industries such as alumina/aluminium,
       steel, copper, lead and gold.

At first I thought engineering
was a man’s world, but after
doing some research, getting out
into the industry and on career
days, I found engineering is for
anyone with an aptitude for
problem solving.

Kristen Gileppa
Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical)

                                                                                Careers Guide | 9
    Chemical Scientist                            A chemist may specialise as an:
                                                  Analytical/Clinical Chemist who carries
    Chemists study and apply the physical         out tests and analyses to determine the
    and chemical properties of substances to      compositions of substances, and to detect
    determine their composition, to develop       the presence of residues.
    new substances, processes and products,
    and to increase scientific knowledge.         Development Chemist who applies
                                                  the findings of research chemists to
    Chemists should not be confused with          develop new products or improve existing
    pharmacists.                                  processes.
    A chemist may perform the                     Environmental Chemist who monitors
    following tasks:                              pollutants, their products and natural
                                                  chemicals, determines ways to reduce
    ƒ   conduct experiments to identify
                                                  the bad effects of chemicals released into
        chemical composition and study
                                                  the environment, and devises industrial
        chemical changes which occur in
                                                  processes which are environmentally
        natural substances and processed
    ƒ   undertake research and analysis to        Geochemist who studies the chemistry
        develop and test theories, techniques     of earth materials.
        and processes                             Industrial/Production Chemist who
    ƒ   develop practical applications of         supervises the production of chemicals
        experiments and research findings         and materials on an industrial scale.
        such as for the combination of new
        compounds for industrial, agricultural,   Research Chemist who provides
        veterinary and medical use                innovative solutions to chemical
                                                  problems and may be involved in pure or
    ƒ   test products and materials               applied research.
        and prepare specifications and
        standards to ensure compliance with       Chemists may work alone or as part of
        government health laws and quality        a team of professionals and technicians.
        standards                                 They work in laboratories or in the field,
    ƒ   undertake cost analysis, pricing          chemical processing plants, offices and
        and quality assurance exercises           educational institutions.
        when developing new substances,           Depending on the type of laboratory,
        processes and products                    chemists may have to handle dangerous
    ƒ   take part in the marketing and            or hazardous materials. Protective clothing
        financial reporting of substances,        and equipment are usually provided.
        processes or product development
                                                  Studying a Bachelor of Science
    ƒ   supervise and coordinate the work of      (Chemistry) at JCU will help you get
        technical support staff                   started in this profession
    ƒ   conduct routine analyses in a process

10 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
Civil Engineer                                ƒ   analyse and interpret reports on
                                                  loading, labour, productivity, quality,
Civil engineers plan, design, construct,          materials and performance
operate and maintain roads, bridges,          ƒ   analyse risks associated with natural
dams, water supply schemes, sewerage              disasters including wind, earthquake,
systems, transportation, harbours, canals,        fire and floods, and design structures
dockyard facilities, airports, railways,          and services to meet appropriate
factories and large buildings.                    standards
Civil engineers:                              Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)
ƒ investigate sites to work out the most      graduates from JCU can choose from
     suitable foundation for a proposed       careers in one of the following
     construction                             diverse fields:
ƒ   research and advise on the best           Airport Engineer who specialise
    engineering solution to meet with a       in preparing designs for airports,
    client’s needs and budget                 hangars and control towers as well
ƒ   produce detailed designs and              as supervising the construction,
    documentation for the construction        maintenance and repair of runways,
    and implementation of civil               taking into consideration factors such
    engineering projects                      as weight, size and speed of aircraft
ƒ   organise the delivery of materials,       Geotechnical/Soil Engineer who
    plant and equipment needed for the        inspect proposed construction sites to
    construction project and supervise        work out soil and foundation conditions
    labour                                    by conducting drilling and sampling
ƒ   develop detailed programs for the         programs, oversees and participates
    coordination of site activities           in field and laboratory testing of soils,
ƒ   assist government bodies in               and makes sure that test equipment
    preparing yearly works programs           and machinery is properly set up.
    within set budgets, e.g. car parks,       Geotechnical / Soil Engineers also
    drainage, roads, aerodromes or            prepare specifications of soil mixtures for
    sewerage                                  use in roads, embankments and other
                                              construction, and calculate and advises
ƒ   prepare engineering calculations
                                              on the required slope at cuttings and the
    required for the design of projects and
                                              thickness of soil dams and retaining walls.
    supervise the drafting
ƒ   research, advise and plan on the          Harbour Engineer who is responsible
    control and minimisation of air, water    for the design and supervision of the
    and solid waste pollution and the         construction of facilities associated with
    management of water                       harbours such as breakwaters, navigation
                                              aids, navigation channels, jetties, wharves,
ƒ   supervise the testing and
                                              heavy-duty pavement surfaces, cargo
    commissioning of completed works

                                                                            Careers Guide | 11
    sheds and bulk handling plants for grain,    Materials and Testing Engineers
    ore and other cargo.                         conduct research, development tests and
                                                 evaluation of the quality or suitability of
    Highway Engineer specialise in analysing     materials and products related to projects,
    population and growth statistics and         coordinate and directs the research,
    traffic patterns and volume to project       development and testing of materials
    future requirements and studies roadway      such as asphalt, concrete, steel, cement,
    and embankment design, the geometry          timber and plastics, taking into account
    of highway interchanges and the              factors such as stresses and strains,
    maintenance of facilities such as culverts   estimated load, water pressures, wind
    and overpasses.                              resistance and temperature fluctuations
    Hydraulic/Water Resources Engineer           Pipeline Engineers specialise in
    who designs and supervises construction      preparing design proposals for pipelines
    and advises on the operation,                and pipeline equipment, facilities and
    maintenance and repair of water resource     structures in consultation with petroleum
    facilities such as dams, aqueducts, hydro-   and mechanical engineers, works out
    electric plants, water supply systems,       a suitable layout of lines based on
    beach protection, drainage systems,          accurate mapping and surveying and
    sewerage systems, harbour design and         analyses operations and maintenance
    river control.                               costs to determine efficiency and devise
    Irrigation/Drainage Engineer use             improvements or innovations in the
    tests and measurements, works out the        system.
    characteristics of soil such as salinity,    Railway Engineer who studies
    water table level, areas of subnormal        design proposals and advises on the
    plant growth, type of soil and surface       construction, maintenance and repair of
    profile, calculate or estimates the          new or existing railway systems including
    rates of water flow and supervise the        tracks, terminals, yards and other facilities,
    preparation of plans showing channels,       specialises in studying the natural features
    conduits, mains and ditches, and the         of proposed routes and plan the types of
    construction of laboratory models to         rail beds, rail size and curves to meet train
    study construction and flow problems.        speed and load requirements, conducts
    Local Government Engineer administer         traffic surveys to establish suitable routes
    and supervise the design, construction       for rapid transit or urban railway systems.
    and maintenance of projects such as          Structural Engineer who designs the
    roads, drainage systems, pedestrian          framework of buildings, towers, bridges,
    and cycle facilities, bridges, buildings,    water treatment structures, tunnels and
    recreation grounds, parks, waste disposal    other structures to make sure of strength
    and water treatment schemes within a         and rigidity, studies developments of new
    local government area.                       materials and methods and their impact
                                                 on design and construction.

12 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
Earth Scientist                              At JCU, you can prepare for a career in this
                                             field by studying either a:
Earth Scientists research the makeup,
history and resources of the solid           ƒ   Bachelor of Geology
Earth and the nature and dynamics of         ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Geology)
materials such as soil, water and sediment
represented in the landscape. This group
of professionals supports the resource       Electrical Engineer
industries which dominate national
exports and wealth creation.                 Electrical engineers design, develop and
                                             supervise the manufacture, installation,
Earth scientists:                            operation and maintenance of electrical
ƒ Map and document rock systems              systems for the generation, distribution,
    represented in the Earth’s crust         utilisation and control of electric power
ƒ   Interpret the history through which      or electronic systems used for computer
    the continents were constructed          systems, communication systems and
ƒ   Document the nature and history of       other industrial applications.
    the ocean floor                          Electrical engineers:
ƒ   Research and understand processes        ƒ plan and design power stations and
    which have shaped the solid Earth            equipment for generators
ƒ   Explore for mineral and energy           ƒ   design and produce drawings of
    resources in Australia and overseas          electrical systems, using computer-
ƒ   Research and evaluate surface and            assisted design (CAD)
    subsurface water resources               ƒ   decide on the type and arrangement
ƒ   Assess and repair damaged ground             of circuits, transformers, circuit-
                                                 breakers, transmission lines, and
ƒ   Plan and monitor the extraction of           equipment, based on calculations
    coal, natural gas, petroleum and
    mineral ores from their sites of         ƒ   make or improve products such as
    occurrence                                   electric motors, parts, equipment and
ƒ   Survey and document soil systems
    and plan for their management and        ƒ   prepare and interpret specifications,
    sustainability                               drawings and regulations for the use
                                                 of electric power equipment
ƒ   Advise client groups on resource
    economics and commercialisation          ƒ   make sure that completed works
                                                 meet specifications and safety
ƒ   Develop policy and provide                   standards
    educational services on issues of land
    utilisation                              ƒ   design and install control and
                                                 signalling devices for road, rail and air

                                                                           Careers Guide | 13
    ƒ   design telecommunications                 ƒ   check installations to make sure they
        equipment and networks                        meet contract conditions
    Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical           ƒ   research new applications of
    & Electronic) graduates from JCU                  technology
    may choose a career, in electrical            Those wishing to pursue this career
    maintenance engineers, electrical power       option should enrol in a JCU Bachelor of
    engineers, electrical design engineers,       Engineering (Electrical and Electronic
    communications engineers or computer          Engineering).
    engineers, or in areas such as the
    design and operation of power plants,
    generators, metal refining, rolling mills,
    motors and transformers, and researching      Environmental Scientist
    new appli-                                    Environmental scientists measure and
    cations of technology, or production          record features of the environment and
    machinery.                                    study, assess and develop methods of
                                                  controlling or minimising the harmful
                                                  effects of human activity on the
    Electronics Engineer                          environment.

    Electronics engineers design, develop, test   Environmental scientists:
    and maintain electronic parts and systems     ƒ plan and conduct research into the
    used in computers, communications,                physical and biological nature of the
    navigation, industry and entertainment.           environment
                                                  ƒ   develop ways of minimising the
    Electronics engineers:
                                                      impact on the environment, based
    ƒ   design circuits for electronic control        on the study and assessment of
        systems and instrumentation                   production processes, environmental
    ƒ   prepare and supervise designs,                legislation and physical, biological
        specifications, estimates, tenders and        and social environments
        contracts                                 ƒ   investigate and report on accidents
    ƒ   program and operate computers to              that affect the environment, such as
        assist with complex calculations              chemical incidents and pollutant spils
    ƒ   work out the type and arrangement         ƒ   monitor the effects of pollution and
        of circuit parts and develop testing          land degradation, and recommend
        equipment and methods                         ways of prevention and control
    ƒ   work out the type of installation,        ƒ   rehabilitate land, water and air
        location, layout and transmission             affected by mining, logging,
        medium by assessing communication             construction, degradation and
        traffic and levels of service at              pollution
        installations                             ƒ   negotiate with, and provide advice to,

14 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
           industry, government departments
           and the public on environmental
                                                    Fish Farm Hand
           matters such as the management, re-      Fish farm hands assist with the
           use or disposal of hazardous materials   growing and cultivation of fish and the
       ƒ   assist in developing policies,           maintenance of fish farm premises and
           strategies and codes of practice on      equipment.
           environmental management                 A fish farm hands:
       ƒ   conduct environmental audits.            ƒ feed and grade fish and monitor their
       JCU has many degree options available             growth
       which can kick start your career in          ƒ   assist with farm layout and the
       Environmental Science. These include:            construction of nets, longlines and/
                                                        or cages
       ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Ecology and
           Conservation)                            ƒ   check and look after all equipment
                                                        and fish housing
       ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Environmental
           Science)                                 ƒ   test and check on water quality
       ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Plant Sciences)     ƒ   handle marine vessels (e.g. barges)
                                                    ƒ   harvest fish, and sort and pack for
                                                    ƒ   maintain farm records.
                                                    Fish farm hands may be employed in
                                                    either fin fish farming or shellfish farming.
                                                    They usually work outside, either on or in
                                                    the water, and at shore-based facilities.

The field trips
were the highlight
of my course.
Shane Ross
Bachelor of Applied Science,
Honours 2005
Land Protection Officer, Cape York
Region, Department of Employment,
Economic Development and Innovation

                                                                                  Careers Guide | 15
    Fish farms are generally located in                 and the beaching of whales
    sheltered waters.                               ƒ   provide assistance in research
    Studying a Bachelor of Science                      programs
    (Aquaculture) would help start your             Studying a Bachelor of Science
    career in this field.                           (Aquaculture) would help start your
                                                    career in this field.

    Fisheries Officer
    Fisheries officers are responsible for
                                                    Forensic Scientist
    the management, conservation and                Forensic scientists apply scientific
    preservation of state and territory fisheries   procedures and techniques to the
    resources, and work to make sure that           examination of physical evidence that
    these resources are not endangered or           may assist in legal investigations.
                                                    A forensic scientist may perform the
    Fisheries officers:                             following tasks:
    ƒ patrol and investigate waterways for          ƒ identify illicit drugs
        unlawful fishing activities and/or the      ƒ   analyse drugs and poisons in human
        removal of protected marine life                tissue and body fluids, including
    ƒ   make sure that relevant laws and                blood alcohol results
        regulations are obeyed                      ƒ   examine and compare materials
    ƒ   inspect fishing vessels, fishing gear           such as fibres, paints, cosmetics, oils,
        and processing establishments to                petrol, plastics, glass, metals, soils and
        ensure compliance                               gunshot residues
    ƒ   advise industry personnel on fishing        ƒ   examine human and animal
        regulations, export standards and the           biological material to be compared
        renewal of fishing licences                     with victims and suspects using DNA
    ƒ   investigate alleged breaches of                 profiling
        legislation                                 ƒ   conduct botanical identification of
    ƒ   assist in the supervision of shark nets         plant materials at trace levels and
                                                        whole-plant identification
    ƒ   identify, survey and monitor areas and
                                                        (e.g. cannabis)
        activities of importance to fish and
        their habitats                              ƒ   conduct document examinations,
                                                        both physical (e.g. handwriting,
    ƒ   promote marine management
                                                        typewriting) and chemical (e.g.
        programs and policies
                                                        analysis of inks
    ƒ   educate, advise and provide                     and papers)
        information on a wide range of topics
                                                    ƒ   examine crime scenes
        relating to fish and their protection
                                                    ƒ   identify firearms and ammunition
    ƒ   assist other agencies by responding to
                                                        (forensic ballistics)
        emergency situations such as oil spills

16 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
ƒ   detect, enhance, recover and identify
    latent fingerprints, footprints, tool
    marks, shoe marks, tyre marks and           Geographers study and analyse the
    tracks                                      relationships between human activities
ƒ   examine fire and explosion scenes to        and the natural and built environment.
    establish the origin and cause              Geographers:
                                                ƒ observe, measure and collect data
                                                   and compile maps on climate,
ƒ   improve the clarity of and analyse             vegetation and animals, soils, land
    audio recordings                               surface features and distributions,
ƒ   produce reports, appear in court and           populations and social, economic,
    present scientific and/or opinion              political and land use activities
    testimony accurately and in a               ƒ   analyse and interpret a range of
    manner which is readily understood              statistical data, maps, charts and other
    by the court                                    geographic information
ƒ   make presentations to a wide variety        ƒ   interpret satellite imagery for
    of audiences on the work of forensic            assessing and mapping natural
    scientists                                      resources, land uses and human
ƒ   keep contact with, and provide advice           activities
    to, police investigators, scientists and    ƒ   advise or act as consultants to
    pathologists across a broad range of            governments and organisations on
    disciplines.                                    urban and rural land use, regional
A wide range of expertise is required in            economic development, resource
forensic investigations. A forensic scientist       planning and management, tourism,
may specialise in chemistry, physics,               land degradation and erosion,
biochemistry, molecular biology, botany,            environmental quality and boundary
geology, metallurgy, pharmacology,                  demarcations
toxicology, crime scene examination,            ƒ   edit and assist in the preparation
firearms examination, fingerprint and               of maps, atlases, reports and other
document examination.                               geographic information for analytical,
At JCU, there are several ways for you              administrative and cartographic
to undertake study preparing you for a              purposes
career in this field. These include             ƒ   analyse population data and forecast
                                                    population trends
ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Biochemistry /
    Molecular Biology)                          ƒ   develop, plan and execute regional
                                                    and international development
ƒ   Bachelor of Science
                                                    assistance projects
    (Genetics and Genomics)
ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Pharmacology)

                                                                             Careers Guide | 17
    Students graduating from JCU with a           land ownership and titles, urban and
    Bachelor of Science (Geography) may           regional planning, utilities and asset
    choose careers in the following fields:       management, and demographic
    Economic Geographer who works
    in commercial, trading, banking and           GIS officers:
    industrial organisations, analysing and       ƒ manipulate and analyse data such
    planning the location of firms or branches        as geographic and land information
    of institutions and documenting the ways          source maps and survey data
    labour markets and economic production        ƒ   link spatial data for land
    vary between locations and regions.               administration purposes
    Environmental Geographer who deals            ƒ   develop and customise computer
    with land and water management, urban             programs used in geographic
    and regional planning and natural hazards         information systems
    such as floods, drought and bush fires.       ƒ   prepare, edit and revise cartographic
    Human Geographer who analyses                     output for the preparation, repro-
    the forces influencing distribution and           duction and publication of maps.
    changes in the patterns of populations        The cartographic and analytical output
    and social, cultural and economic             produced by geographic information
    activities.                                   systems officers is used to aid in the
                                                  efficient management and use of land
    Physical Geographer who studies the
                                                  assets within Australia.
    physical environment and the forces
    which shape it. They are concerned            If you would like to pursue this career
    with things like climatic variability, land   option, enrolling in a Bachelor of Science
    degradation, river quality and coastal        (Geography) at JCU will get you on your way.
    erosion; environmental conditions and
    how they have changed through time
    and what they will be like in the future.
    They often undertake fieldwork to collect
    primary information.                          Geologists study the nature, composition
                                                  and structure of the earth to increase
                                                  scientific knowledge, locate materials and
    Geographic Information                        minerals, and advise on the extraction of
                                                  minerals, environmental protection and
    Systems (GIS) Officer                         rehabilitation of land after use.
    GIS Officers develop and customise            ƒ   Bachelor of Geology
    geographic information systems and
                                                  ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Geology)
    provide technical and analytical support
    to address issues such as environmental       Graduates may choose to specialise in one
    management, exploration and mining,           of the following fields:

18 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
      Environmental Geologist who studies             Hydro geologist / Hydrologist who
      the nature of ground and surface waters;        evaluates and manages the quality,
      soil movement, erosion and degradation;         quantity, reliability and sustainability of all
      salinisation and coastal erosion; the effects   aspects of water resources.
      of pollution and human activity on rivers;
                                                      Mathematical Geologist who predicts
      and the environmental effects of mining,
                                                      the outcome of geological problems, by
      nuclear energy and waste disposal.
                                                      applying the most appropriate data and
      Field / Exploration Geologist who carries       computer models.
      out surveys to determine the geological
                                                      Mine Site Geologist who controls the
      structure, distribution and age of rocks;
                                                      grade (or quality) of the ore mined and
      and can indicate where particular natural
                                                      locates extensions to ore deposits, by
      resources are likely to be found.
                                                      deciding which areas of an ore body
      Geochemist / Mineralogist /                     should be mined at a particular time and
      Petrologist who studies the mineral and         defining the ore limits at the mine based
      chemical composition of rocks using             on economic considerations.
      equipment such as optical and electron
                                                      Palaeontologist, who examines,
      microscopes, X-ray diffraction, atomic
                                                      classifies and describes animal and
      absorption and mass spectrometry. They
                                                      plant fossils found in sedimentary rocks.
      may also be involved in examining the
                                                      Understanding the evolutionary order of
      transport of pollutants through rock masses.
                                                      the fossil record is particularly important
      Geo-morphologist who studies the                in oil exploration.
      origin and age of landforms and land
                                                      Petroleum Geologist who explores
                                                      and charts stratigraphic arrangement,

... its not every day
you get to learn
about how the
earth works.
Justin Conn
Bachelor of Science
(Geology/Economic Geology)

                                                                                      Careers Guide | 19
    composition and structure of the earth’s          engineering structures such as dams,
    surface layers to locate petroleum and            bridges or roadworks
    natural gas. They estimate the extent of      ƒ   study earthquakes and earthquake
    reserves using seismic and geological             risk, time variations and the
    survey evidence and recommend                     distribution of the earth’s magnetic
    the most appropriate drilling and                 and gravity fields, the physics of rocks
    production methods.                               and minerals and fluid dynamics of
    Stratigrapher who deals with the order in         molten rocks (magmas), oceans and
    which sedimentary rock strata have been           atmosphere
    deposited, their age and the processes by     The two main divisions of geophysics
    which they were formed.                       are exploration geophysics which deals
                                                  with the search for the earth’s resources,
    Structural Geologist who assists
                                                  and global geophysics which uses the
    engineers by advising how rock structures
                                                  same techniques to study the earth
    can influence failure of weight bearing
                                                  as a whole and study earthquakes,
    loads in bedrock when seeking building
                                                  magnetic fields, etc. Geophysicists often
    foundations, or to conduct water and
                                                  specialise in areas such as seismology
    seepage into deeper zones and aquifers.
                                                  and seismic interpretation, borehole
                                                  geophysics, mineral exploration,
                                                  engineering geophysics, environmental
    Geophysicist                                  or groundwater geophysics, or computer
                                                  processing and software development.
    Geophysicists study the structure and
    composition of zones below the surface        If you would like to enter this field, then a
    of the earth by taking measurements           Bachelor of Science (Physics) at JCU is
    with techniques such as seismic, gravity,     the best starting point.
    magnetic and electrical methods.
    A geophysicist:
    ƒ plans, conducts and interprets
                                                  Geoscience Technician
        geophysical surveys in exploring for      Geoscience technicians assist earth
        mineral commodities such as gold,         scientists such as geologists, engineers
        base metals, diamonds and coal            and geophysicists to find and develop
        using various electrical techniques,      mineral and fuel resources, by making
        magnetic or gravity surveys               observations, collecting and analysing
    ƒ   plan, conduct and interpret               samples, recording information, and
        geophysical surveys to locate and         looking after the practical tasks involved in
        estimate quantities of recoverable        servicing a remote field operation.
        groundwater reserves, the distribution    Geoscience technicians:
        and extent of salinity in agricultural    ƒ mark outlines of ore, waste and drill
        areas or the extent of pollution in the      hole patterns in operating mines
        ground or atmosphere
                                                  ƒ   collect, record and transport samples
    ƒ   carry out geophysical surveys of areas        of rock, soil, drill cuttings and water
        prior to the construction of major

20 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
ƒ   undertake geophysical surveys,           ƒ   conducts research and communicates
    involving the measurement of such            information to promote the
    factors as magnetism and gravity,            conservation and preservation of
    and using Global Positioning Systems         water resources.
    technology (GPS) to establish deposit    ƒ   Conducts short-term and long-term
    locations                                    climate assessments, and study storm
ƒ   operate geophysical instruments              occurrences.
    to complete surveys which outline        ƒ   Investigates properties, origins and
    hidden rock features                         activities of glaciers, ice, snow and
ƒ   collate information collected from a         permafrost.
    range of sources such as geochemical     Study public water supply issues,
    sampling surveys, seismic surveys and    including flood and drought risks, water
    meteorological observations, and carry   quality, wastewater, and impacts on
    out computer processing of the data      wetland habitats.Students wishing to
ƒ   use digital technology to produce        enter this field can do so by studying a
    geological and geophysical maps and      Bachelor of Science (Hydrology & Water
    sections                                 Resources) at JCU.
Students wishing to pursue this
career should enrol in either a
Bachelor of Science (Geology)

or Bachelor of Geology.

H                                            Landcare Worker
                                             Landcare workers perform a range of tasks
                                             to maintain and restore native bushland
Hydrologist                                  and farmland.
Hydrologists measure, describe and map       A landcare worker may:
the earth’s surface waters (including        ƒ kill and remove weeds and unwanted
oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, estuaries and       vegetation using minimal disturbance
the water in channels and pipes). They are       techniques or herbicides
also involved in collecting and analysing    ƒ   collect seed from local native plants
information on surface and below-surface
flow and quality.                            ƒ   propagate local native plants
                                             ƒ   replant native trees, shrubs, grasses
A hydrologist:                                   and wildflowers
ƒ applies reserach findings to help
    minimise the environmental impacts       ƒ   take part in pest (e.g. rabbits)
    of pollution, water-borne diseases,          eradication programs
    erosion, and sedimentation.              ƒ   collect botanical and

                                                                           Careers Guide | 21
         environmental data                      Marine Biologist
    ƒ   map vegetation
                                                 Marine biologists study the origin,
    ƒ   construct and maintain tracks            structure, functions and behaviour of all
        and facilities in bushland               forms of life in the sea and connected
    ƒ   apply control measures to                rivers and lakes, their relationships with
        combat salinity.                         each other, and how they are affected by
    Student s wishing to undertake a career as   environmental factors.
    a Landcare Worker should study:              Marine biologists:
    ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Ecology &           ƒ estimate the numbers of marine
        Conservation)                                organisms and analyse their
                                                     population features
    ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Natural
        Resource Management)                     ƒ   observe the structure of communities
                                                     of marine organisms and work out the
    ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Plant Sciences)
                                                     factors influencing this structure
                                                 ƒ   assess and advise on introduced
                                                     species - causes, effects, prevention
                                                     and control
                                                 ƒ   use numerical and statistical skills
                                                     to design laboratory and field
                                                 ƒ   design and carry out environmental
                                                     impact assessments to work out
                                                     whether change is caused by natural
                                                     or human factors

 For studying tropical
 marine biology, there
 is really no other
 uni in Australia you
 would go.

 Ingrid Cripps
 Bachelor of Science
 (Marine Biology – Advanced)

22 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
ƒ   develop long-term programs for               collected from marine surveys
    monitoring environmental pollution       ƒ   Study, predict, and plan to moderate
ƒ   provide information and                      anthropogenic influences on the
    recommendations for the                      marine environment
    development of marine conservation       ƒ   Research the past history of the
    and harvesting policies, including           marine environment and predict
    aquaculture                                  future change
James Cook University offers three           ƒ   Provide environmental assessments
different options for those wishing to           of infrastructure developments
pursue a career in Marine Biology with           involving the marine environment
each dependant on which area of Marine
                                             ƒ   Document and monitor marine
Biology you would like to pursue.
                                                 natural resources within Australia’s
These are:
                                                 Extended Economic Zone
ƒ   Bachelor of Marine Science               ƒ   Contribute to national marine policy
ƒ   Bachelor of Science                          development under the Law of the Sea
    (Marine Biology)                         ƒ   Study the influence and impact
ƒ   Bachelor of Science                          of natural disasters on coastal and
    (Marine Biology Advanced)                    marine environments
                                             ƒ   Educate and inform the public on the
                                                 nature of the marine environment
Marine Scientist                             ƒ   Develop, deploy and collect and
Marine scientists study the components           interpret records from scientific
of the oceanic environment and their             instruments designed to investigate
interrelationships, inclusive of physical,       and monitor the marine environment
chemical and biological properties;          James Cook University offers three
sediment origins, disbursal and              different options for those wishing to
accumulation; oceanic history and future     pursue a career in Marine Biology with
change; and marine resources, their          each dependant on which area of Marine
utilisation and management.                  Biology you would like to pursue.
                                             These are:
Marine scientists:
ƒ Research the components of marine          ƒ   Bachelor of Marine Science
    systems and their interrelationships:    ƒ   Bachelor of Science
    hydrodynamics, sediment properties           (Marine Biology)
    and dynamics, water chemistry, biota,
    and marine resources                     ƒ   Bachelor of Science
                                                 (Marine Biology Advanced)
ƒ   Undertake assessments of, and
    develop management plans for,
    marine parks
ƒ   Collate and interpret information

                                                                          Careers Guide | 23
    Market Researcher                              A mathematician:
                                                   ƒ applies geometry and calculus to
    Market researchers collect and analyse            design objects as in architecture,
    information to assist in marketing and            computer graphics and robotics
    determine whether a demand exists for a        ƒ   analyse statistics to find models for
    particular product or service.                     traffic flow, insurance risks, consumer
    Market researchers:                                research, market analysis and
    ƒ design questionnaires and select                 clinical trials
       sample groups to survey                     ƒ   develop models for financial markets
    ƒ   interpret and predict current and              and products for financial risk
        future consumer trends, such as                management
        changes in tastes and lifestyles           ƒ   analyse processes from chemical,
    ƒ   write reports on the results of the            mining or agricultural industries
        research activities                            by translating them into
                                                       mathematical models
    ƒ   identify specific consumer
        markets for clients.                       ƒ   develop computer modelling for
                                                       industrial design
    Market researchers may specialise as a:
                                                   ƒ   develop and improve mathematical
    Market Research Analyst who                        models to describe natural
    determines the market for new products,            phenomena, such as soil erosion,
    develops advertising strategies and                the weather, ocean currents or
    evaluates the best business sites for              biological behaviour
    various types of commercial enterprises.
                                                   ƒ   carry out network analysis for the
    Market Research Interviewer who                    study of road systems, airline routes,
    assists market researchers by collecting           transport and communication
    information by speaking with people                systems
    face-to-face or over the telephone,            ƒ   use linear programming for urban
    and recording (on questionnaires or in             and regional planning
    reports) the answers or details given by
                                                   ƒ   engage in image and signal
    interviewees about the market
                                                       processing for astronomy,
    research subject.
                                                       cartography, medical and radar
    To pursue a career in market research, you         imaging
    should enrol in a Bachelor of Science          ƒ   analyse problems from the service,
    (Mathematics) and take some marketing              engineering or manufacturing sectors
    subjects as electives.
                                                   ƒ   develop new mathematical
                                                       relationships ranging across the areas
                                                       of pure and applied mathematics,
    Mathematician                                      statistics, computing, operations
                                                       research, commerce and industry
    Mathematicians apply mathematical
    principles to solve problems in all areas of   Those wishing to pursue a career as a
    the sciences, technology, social sciences,     Mathematician should enrol at JCU in a
    business, industry and commerce.               Bachelor of Science (Mathematics).

24 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
       Mechanical Engineer                              and iron ore mining facilities
                                                    ƒ   specify, select, install and manage the
       Mechanical engineers plan, design                maintenance of factory production
       and oversee the development,                     and machinery
       installation, operation and maintenance
       of machinery. They conduct research          Mechanical engineers may specialise in
       to solve practical engineering               areas such as research and development,
       problems and improve efficiency.             engineering design, production, plant
                                                    and maintenance. For those wishing to
       Mechanical engineers:                        pursue this career option, you should
       ƒ design new machines, equipment             enrol in a JCU Bachelor of Engineering
          or systems taking into account cost,      (Mechanical Engineering).
          availability of materials, strength
          and maintenance requirements,
          appearance and impact on the user
          and on the environment                    Meteorologist
       ƒ   carry out research in the use of         Meteorologists forecast the weather and
           different types of fuel and energy,      study the atmosphere to improve the
           materials handling, heating and          understanding of climate.
           cooling processes, the storage and
           pumping of liquids and gases and
                                                    ƒ use and develop scientific techniques
           environmental controls
                                                       to forecast and interpret climatic
       ƒ   use computer-aided design (CAD) to          conditions
           assist in design and drawing
                                                    ƒ   analyse and interpret surface, upper
       ƒ   undertake the design and                     level and other measurements
           construction of resource                     (including satellite cloud images,
           development projects such as                 remote sensing data and other
           offshore platforms, onshore gas plants       information about atmospheric

Maths is the universal
language and it allows
you to work in all sorts
of industries.
Alicia Duncanson
Bachelor of Science
(Mathematics & Physics) 2004
Meteorologist, Bureau of Meteorology,

                                                                                 Careers Guide | 25
        conditions)                                    monitoring of wildlife
    ƒ   prepare weather forecasts for the          ƒ   participate in search and rescue
        public and for specific users                  operations
    ƒ   issue warnings for cyclones, storms,       ƒ   supervise and coordinate fire
        floods, frosts, fire dangers and gales         management, weed eradication and
    ƒ   prepare special forecasts for aviation,        pest-control programs
        agriculture, fishing, shipping and         ƒ   investigate and report to supervisors
        national events                                on matters relating to park
    ƒ   study climate and identify                     management
        climatic change                            ƒ   support local communities in
    For a career in this field, you will need to       protecting their cultural heritage
    undertake a Bachelor of Science (Physics)          and in developing sustainable land
    followed by a postgraduate degree.                 management practices
                                                   ƒ   conduct research into the protection
                                                       and recording of Aboriginal and
                                                       historic sites
    National Parks and                             A National Parks & Wildlife Ranger working
    Wildlife Ranger                                in wildlife management may:
                                                   ƒ capture and relocate potentially
    National Parks and Wildlife Rangers                dangerous animals
    control, supervise and manage national
    parks, scenic areas, historic sites, nature    ƒ   manage commercial and recreational
    reserves and other recreational areas.             harvesting of native wildlife
                                                   ƒ   inspect commercial operations
    A National Parks & Wildlife Ranger may:            making use of wildlife
    ƒ promote awareness, understanding
        and appreciation of the natural and        ƒ   process animal permits
        cultural features of the park              ƒ   care for sick, injured or orphaned
    ƒ   advise visitors of park rules and              animals
        regulations and enforce these              James Cook University offers many
        when necessary                             different options for those wishing to
    ƒ   patrol waterways, roads and tracks         pursue a career within National Parks.
        to observe and report on the park          These include:
        environment, including the condition       ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Ecology and
        of animals and plants                          Conservation)
    ƒ   make sure endangered animals and           ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Natural
        plants are protected, and assist in            Resource Management)
        research projects
                                                   ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Plant Sciences)
    ƒ   assist in the development of
                                                   ƒ   Bachelor of Marine Science – for
        visitor facilities
                                                       those looking at marine type national
    ƒ   assist in wildlife management                  parks (such as the Great Barrier Reef)
        projects, including surveys and

26 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
Natural Resource Manager                        include:

Natural resource managers develop               ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Plant Sciences)
conservation plans for nature parks,            ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Ecology and
land and other natural resources, so that           Conservation)
people can use these resources in an            ƒ   Bachelor of Science (Natural
ecologically sustainable way.                       Resource Management)
Natural resource managers:                      ƒ   Bachelor of Marine Science – for
ƒ assess techniques for flora and fauna             those looking at marine type national
    conservation                                    parks (such as the Great Barrier Reef)
ƒ   monitor components of the
    environment (e.g. soil, water and air)

    develop practical solutions in
    environmental management and
    develop techniques to make sure
    there is ecologically sustainable
    development and use of vital land
                                                Operations Researcher
    and water resources                         Operations researchers develop
ƒ   undertake plant and animal pest             methodologies for analysing and solving
    management                                  problems in government, business and
                                                industry, often using mathematical tools,
ƒ   organise geological and plant and           statistical analysis and computers.
    animal surveys
ƒ   undertake laboratory work                   Operations researchers:
                                                ƒ analyse complex stock management
ƒ   develop resource management policy             problems
Natural resource managers specialising in       ƒ   perform financial modelling in
water and soil resources may apply their            areas such as banking, finance and
skills to include irrigation, drainage, water       investment
supply, water catchment management,
pollution control and rehabilitation after      ƒ   work out the best location for a new
mining activities.                                  facility such as a warehouse, hospital,
                                                    retail outlet or service centre
Natural resource managers specialising          ƒ   work out the best route to be taken
in land and biological resources work               for delivering goods to various
in agencies where they can apply                    customers or for picking up goods
ecological and planning principles to the           from various collection points
management of renewable resources
such as forests and crops.                      ƒ   design telecommunication or
                                                    computer networks
James Cook University offers many               ƒ   construct computer models to
different options for those wishing to              simulate and analyse a complex
pursue a career within this field. These

                                                                             Careers Guide | 27
        problem area such as the construction      A physicist:
        of a new runway at an airport
                                                   ƒ   observes and measures phenomena
    ƒ   analyse queuing systems with a view            in the physical world, from the
        to making them more efficient                  smallest sub-atomic particle through
    ƒ   analyse defence-related problems               to the universe as a whole
        and assist in the development of           ƒ   propose theories and models to
        defence strategies                             explain those phenomena
    ƒ   work out the best replacement              ƒ   use computers to explore the
        strategy for items of equipment                consequences of those theories and
    JCU’s Bachelor of Science (Mathematics)
    will help you launch a career in this area.    Some fields in which physicists work are:
                                                   Astronomy which is the study of the

                                                   characteristics of the stars and galaxies.
                                                   It has given us practical spin-offs
                                                   such as aircraft landing systems, CAT
                                                   scanners used in hospitals, deep space
                                                   communications, remote imaging and
                                                   satellite experiments.
                                                   Atmospheric and Environmental
    Physicists study the behaviour of the          Physics which is the study of the
    physical world at the most basic level,        environment. It is studied to understand
    and then find practical ways to apply new      the ways in which our environment
    knowledge gained from their research in        works and how various aspects of the
    many areas of science and technology.          environment interact with each other.
    A physicist is usually identified within       This work can be applied in agricultural,
    three broad roles:                             meteorological and environmental
    ƒ   theoretical physicists who develop
        theories or models of how particular       Atomic and Molecular Physics which
        aspects of the world work                  is the study of the behaviour and
                                                   structure of atoms and molecules. This
    ƒ   experimental physicists who
                                                   work provides knowledge about atoms
        test these theories, determining
                                                   and molecules, and also provides much
        their limits and suggesting new
                                                   information which is incorporated in
        approaches to them
                                                   new products such as in the electronic
    ƒ   applied physicists who apply these         industries.
        findings in practical settings, such
        as within industry and through the         Cosmology which is the study of the
        introduction of new technology.            characteristics and development of the
                                                   universe as a whole. The mathematical
    There is interaction between all three roles
                                                   nature of this subject, and the challenges
    and physicists generally have skills in each
                                                   it poses, can lead to new mathematical
    of these areas.

28 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
ideas and theories. The development of          Do any of the career options listed above
the global positioning system (GPS) was         sound interesting to you? If so, you should
based on work conducted in this area of         enrol in a Bachelor of Science (Physics)
physics.                                        at James Cook University.
Medical and Health Physics which is

the use of physics in hospitals and in
developing and monitoring safety limits
in many workplaces. Medical physicists
develop and operate medical radiation
therapy equipment.
Nuclear Physics and Particle Physics            Science Field Officer
which is the study of the structure of          Science field officers perform support
the nuclei of atoms and particles that          functions in the field by making
make up those nuclei. This helps our            observations, collecting and analysing
understanding of how the world works at         samples, recording information, and
the most basic level. These studies are vital   looking after the practical tasks involved in
in their own right, but have also given us      supplying a remote field operation.
new techniques in medical therapy and
techniques which are commonly used in           Science field officers:
industry for quality control and product        ƒ collect, record and transport samples
monitoring.                                         of rock, soil and water
Optical Physics which investigates              ƒ   collate information collected from
the properties and behaviour of light.              a range of samples and carry out
Physicists in this field develop new                computer processing of the data
devices such as lasers and lenses, or           ƒ   assist with all aspects of supporting
refine techniques such as holography                personnel in the field
for new purposes, as in high-speed              Science field officers may specialise
computing. Fibre-optic technology and           in a number of different areas such
optoelectronics are exciting applications       as agriculture, environment, forestry,
in this area.                                   geoscience and marine.
Solid and Liquid State or Condensed             Undertaking study within any area of a
Matter Physics which is the study of the        Bachelor of Science program at JCU will
properties and behaviour of solid and           help start your career in this field.
liquid materials under many conditions.
This work has led to the field of solid
state electronics, in which new devices
for future generations of computers and         Scientific Laboratory
consumer products are being developed.          Workers
Physicists may work in many other areas,        Scientific Laboratory workers assist
including acoustics, biophysics, thermal        scientists in the physical, chemical,
physics, geophysics and teaching.               biological or life sciences by collecting

                                                                              Careers Guide | 29
    and preparing samples, carrying out           ƒ   inspect and test animals and plants
    experiments, making measurements                  for diseases
    with scientific equipment, recording          ƒ   perform routine mathematical
    results and presenting results for                calculations and prepare graphs
    critical analysis.
                                                  With experience and sometimes further
    Scientific Laboratory workers:                study, it is possible to become a Senior
    ƒ clean, maintain and set up equipment        Laboratory Technician/Technical Officer
        for use in experiments                    who undertakes similar but more
    ƒ   collect, classify and preserve            complex duties to those of laboratory
        specimens and samples                     workers. They generally have more
                                                  responsibility for work and may also
    ƒ   feed, water and observe plants and
                                                  supervise other staff.
        animals in laboratories
    ƒ   perform diagnostic and other              Undertaking study within any area of a
        scientific tests on specimens, such as    Bachelor of Science program at JCU will
        animal and plant tissues, food and        help start your career in this field.
        water for chemical or cellular or other
        constituents, bacterial content and
        chemical contamination                    Statistician
    ƒ   carry out experimental procedures,
                                                  Statisticians design and apply statistical
        such as taking animal blood samples,
                                                  techniques for collecting and analysing
        testing seed and experimental
                                                  data to produce useful information from
        plants, analysing soil and monitoring
                                                  areas such as science, technology, medicine,
        processes, such as fermentation
                                                  business, finance and government.

 There were so many
 advantages to
 studying at a
 smaller university.

 Jonathan Bathgate
 Doctor of Philosophy in mathematics
 and physical sciences 2005
 Project Scientist and Duty
 Seismologist, Geoscience Australia

30 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
ƒ define precisely what is to be
     measured and decide which                 Zoologists are biologists who study the
     information to collect and from where     structures, characteristics, functions,
ƒ   work out the size of the sample to be      ecology and environments of animals
    tested and how the sample will be          to increase scientific knowledge and
    selected                                   develop practical applications in wildlife
                                               management, conservation, agriculture
ƒ   decide on the best method of               and medicine.
    collecting the information, e.g.
    by mail-out of questionnaires,             A zoologist:
    experiment, survey interviews-either       ƒ investigates the inter-relationships
    telephone or face-to-face                      between animals and their
ƒ   work out the most efficient                    environment by studying animals in
    experimental design if information is          their natural surroundings, in captivity
    to be collected by experiment                  and in laboratories
ƒ   make sure measurement resources            ƒ   studies and performs experiments to
    are used efficiently                           identify species and gather data on
                                                   growth, nutrition, reproduction, prey
ƒ   interpret the data and produce                 and predators
    relevant statistics to describe or infer
    particular trends and patterns             ƒ   studies the development and
                                                   functions of animals
ƒ   develop statistical models to describe
    trends for events such as accidents,       ƒ   devises methods of population
    pollution, incidence of disease and            control, especially of vermin and pests
    economic trends                            ƒ   develops programs to increase (or
ƒ   collect facts, make sure that                  manage) the population of wild
    developed models work and perform              animals and animals in captivity
    calculations using computers               ƒ   undertakes surveys of fauna and
ƒ   evaluate the accuracy of the                   prepare reports for management
    obtained information, represent data           agencies
    graphically and report findings            Zoologists usually specialise in one aspect
ƒ   advise on the design of experiments        of study such as entomology (insects),
    and the analysis of results.               parasitology (internal and external
                                               parasites), ecology (environment of
                                               animals), ethology (animal behaviour),
Enroling in a Bachelor of Science
                                               ichthyology (fish), mammalogy
(Mathematics) at JCU will enable you
                                               (mammals), ornithology (birds),
to fulfil you career aspirations as a
                                               herpetology (reptiles) or physiology
                                               (functions of animals).
                                               Enroling in a Bachelor of Science
                                               (Zoology) at JCU will enable you to fulfil
                                               your career aspirations as a Zoologist.

                                                                            Careers Guide | 31
    If you are looking for a career which is not found within this booklet, or would like to find
    out more, below is a list of science, engineering and information technology career based
    web sites for both Australia and overseas.

    ANSTO                                                New Scientist Jobs Page         
                                                         Science Careers
    Australian Mathematical Sciences           
    Institute                            Smart Futures
    Australian Mathematical Society                               Smart Moves
    CSIRO                          Statistical Society of Australia Inc
    Engineers Australia

32 | Faculty of Science and Engineering
For more
Faculty of Science and Engineering
Townsville Campus
Phone: 07 4781 6823
Cairns Campus
Phone: 07 4042 1330
General Enquiries
Phone: 1800 246 446
This brochure is published by the Faculty of Science and Engineering,
James Cook University, May 2010.
This publication is intended as a general introduction to JCU.
Information is correct at the time of printing. If you wish to apply to
the University, contact any of its offices to confirm current admission
requirements. The University reserves the right to alter any admission
requirement or degree included in this publication without prior notice.
CRICOS Provider Code 00117J

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