NAME: Andreas Hartmann
CURRENT TITLE: Lecturer at the University of Freiburg, Germany
AREA OF EXPERTISE: Karst hydrology, hydrological modeling, model development and evaluation
YEARS OF EXPERIENCE: 9 years of experience in research and teaching
EDUCATION: PhD in Hydrology
What’s your job like?
It’s a great mixture of everything! Except for the times of teaching, I choose my own working hours. Even though model development sounds like a lot of boring office work, my aim to get to know my study sites mostly involves a lot of traveling to research sites around the globe and discussions with dedicated field researchers. Once in a while, they even ask me for a hand when installing devices or performing tracer tests.
What’s a typical day like?
A typical office day starts between 9 and 10 a.m., usually with a coffee or tea together with the team. It’s followed by answering emails and getting started with the modelling or paper development. During the traveling, days usually start earlier as my field collaborators want to use the entire time of daylight. In either case, discussion and scientific exchange with my colleagues is a substantial part of my daily work life. When I teach, the first half of the day usually consists of teaching theory, while I use the afternoon for practical exercises or sometimes even a field trip to the surroundings of Freiburg.
The most pleasure of my job is definitely the work with others. The interaction with dedicated MSc and PhD students brings a lot of fun and teaches me a lot. The formal and informal interaction with colleagues from similar fields at international conferences is something I would never want to miss.
Being free in planning and performing my work is a pleasure and a curse at the same time. Nearby deadlines often make me work during weekends. In addition, fixed-term contracts motivate me to plan the next steps of my career, but they also bring a lot of uncertainty for private life.
What’s your advice to students?
If you want to work in geosciences, especially in academia, listen to your heart. If you enjoy learning, doing research and teaching others, it will weigh much more than the problems that I mentioned above. Also, if you enjoy what you do, you will find it much easier being good in your job (and finding another one easily after your contract ends).