Hydrologist Samuel Mwangi @Hydr_Mwangi: A Day in the GeoLife Series


Budding hydrologist, Samuel Mwangi. ©2018 Samuel Mwangi

NAME: Samuel Mwangi

CURRENT TITLE: Hydrologist

AREA OF EXPERTISE: Surface water resources; hydroinformatic modeler


EDUCATION: I hold a Bachelor of Science in Hydrology and Water Resources Management from South Eastern Kenya University (SEKU). I will soon be enrolling for a Master’s in hydrogeology/geology.

TWITTER: @Hydr_Mwangi

What’s your job like?

My job typical involves:

  • Research on distribution, circulation, and physical properties of groundwater and surface water;
  • Measuring the properties of bodies of water such as volume and stream flow;
  • Collecting water samples to test certain properties such as pH and pollution levels;
  • Using a computer model to forecast future water supply, the spread of pollution, and floods;
  • Evaluating the feasibility of water-related projects, domestic irrigation, and wastewater treatment facilities;
  • Analysing data on the environmental impact of pollution, erosion, drought, and problems;
  • Learning new hydrological products such software.

What’s a typical day like?

  • I wake up at 6 a.m.
  • I have my breakfast
  • I leave my house for work at 7 a.m.
  • I read the river water level at River station at 7:30 a.m. which is when I use its rating curve.
  • I read weather station readings at 9 a.m. for rainfall, temperature, wind speed, humidity, and other records they’re reading immediately
  • I sometimes collect water samples to monitor the pollution level
  • I sometimes do hydrological simulation
  • I leave the office for home at 5 p.m.

What’s fun?

My job involves a lot of traveling to many places, trekking through muck, and wading sometimes in the river and shoreline.

What’s challenging?

Wading in water which may be dangerous from some animals like crocodile and hippopotamuses, as well as the collection and management of large data.

What’s your advice to students?

Being a hydrologist is a very satisfying career. I work with the community and many agencies. I would argue that students who would like to be a
hydrologist should develop strong interests in mathematics, statistics, physics, biology, and critical thinking.

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