The STEM Hub Canterbury Christ Church University
The STEM Hub





Flood and Coastal Risk Management Senior Advisor

Environmental Agency


  • Video »
  • Case Study »
    • Guy’s day to day role is to analyse flood risk and look for ways to reduce that risk. This can include comparing flood model data with survey data and historic flooding records and from there start projects where possible to look at reducing that risk.
    • He also works on longer term strategies for managing flood risk such as the Broadland Futures Initiative and Shoreline Management Plans.
    • Guy has a Biology degree form Essex University and a Masters in Environmental Science from Lancaster University.
    • A career began for Guy with the EA in 2000 as a biologist and quickly became interested in flood risk. First Guy worked as a project manager on flood mapping and modelling projects then spent 7 years working in Flood Resilience improving the Flood Warning Service in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and working with emergency services, local councils and the Met Office to improve our plans and response to flood incidents.
    • Guy has a particular interest in the coast and the risk of flooding from the sea as tidal surges and is interested in ensuring we don’t just talk to those communities that live there now but also to the younger generation of STEM students who may be involved in the future in some of these issues.
    • Guy is working on a range of STEM resources with a colleague Kellie Fisher, which will be available for download from the TES website under the Coastineers.

  • Did you know? »
    • In Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex we have over 351 flood gates and 6 tidal barriers, 9 estuaries, dozens of islands and hundreds of KM of flood walls and embankments. We work on 1000s of KM of streams and rivers,
    • We offer a flood warning service for flooding from rivers and the sea and work with emergency services and local councils to plan a combined response to keep people safe. This is based on forecasts working with the Met Office and from data from hundreds of raingauges, river level and flow gauges, tide gauges and groundwater gauges dotted across our landscape and rivers and coast. We have specialised teams that maintain and calibrate these gauges so we can see and share real time information with the public.
    • Sea levels are rising and will continue to rise through melting glaciers and the oceans warming increasing the risk of flooding form the sea.
    • The Environment Agency covers a range of activities, not just flood risk management. We regulate aspects of Nuclear Power industry, waste licencing and landfills, water abstraction, ecology and fisheries and groundwater and contaminated land and much more.

  • Routes »
    • Typically people join after university. Some people come to the EA later on from jobs in the private sector such as consultants.
    • A few people have joined soon after completing A-levels and gone on to study further whilst working with the Environmental Agency.
    • Guy came to the EA from working as a biologist with the Natural Environment Research Council NERC on a short term contract collecting invertebrate samples in our rivers and identifying the bugs to see whether any species we would expect to see in a location were missing. This could indicate a pollution incident and we could trace the source and stop the pollution.
    • Often people start in a junior role and progress.

  • Entry Requirements »
    • This really depends on the role. The Environment Agency require people with specialist skills and knowledge but also people with general skills.
    • I have a science degree and a masters degree but joined on a short term contract and worked my way up.
    • I have colleagues that started straight after A-Levels and have studied further whilst working.

  • Skills and Knowledge »
    • It is important to be able to communicate well with a range of people so that you can talk to anyone whatever their level of understanding and also take on their thoughts and opinions.
    • Good computer skills are important.
    • Being able to use GIS and mapping software and understand complex data like lidar data is important in my role.
    • Being able to prioritise the most important tasks and be adaptable is useful.
    • A science or engineering background is important but you can learn and change career path once in the EA.
    • A willingness to learn and adapt an approach in light of new information is key as well.

  • 10 reasons why »
    1. The people are great to work with.
    2. You can specialise in the EA or you can learn new skills and do a range of jobs.
    3. You actually get to make a difference for the Environment and people.
    4. You can do an incident duty role like Flood Warning Duty officer as well which is interesting and important.
    5. You can train on the job to gain further skills.
    6. Flooding is a huge issue and will become a bigger challenge in future with climate change so it is an interesting to be a part of trying to reduce the risk for communities and the environment.
    7. Working in flood risk management roles means you get to work on our fantastic rivers and coast.
    8. The EA encourages people to innovate and supports good ideas. So if you see an opportunity or a way to do something better then say something.
    9. We cover England and there is flood risk in all parts of England. So you can move around the country and work in different areas.
    10. In one job you often have a variety of tasks which keeps it interesting. So I could spend one day looking at data in a modelling report but the next talking to a community on our coast about adaptation and long term issues.

  • Other roles that may interest you »

    The EA is the government’s environmental regulator in England. In Wales this role is met by Natural Resources Wales and in Scotland the Scottish Environment Protection Agency SEPA.

    • Within the EA we cover flooding, pollution, waste, water resources and even regulate the nuclear energy industry. There are a range of jobs. Anyone with a science or engineering background could find a role at the EA.
    • However, we also need communication specialists because it doesn’t matter how good we think the science is if we can’t communicate well with communities, the wider public and local partners like MPs and local councils. So there are roles for people with journalist and communication skills to make sure we get good information out early to the people that need it in the right way.
    • We also need people who are good at managing queries and issues and working with members of the public to make sure we can answer their questions well and quickly. This is a skill in itself, knowing who to ask what questions of to get the best for the customer.

  • Useful Links »

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I spend my time looking at what we can do to help communities.