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The physical environment

"I really enjoyed studying geography at school and my teachers encouraged me to continue through A Level to university".

Geographers work in a wide range of professional settings examining, recording and interpreting the physical environment.  This spans field-research and investigations, environmental consultancy, flood modelling and insurance planning and weather observation and forecasting.

Staff from ERM, the environmental and sustainability business, have provided the range of career profiles below, alongside the other profiles you can find in the Going Places with Geography materials. 



Dr Andrew Gregory
Senior Environmental Consultant: Hydrologist and environmental impact assessment (EIA) specialist within the Integrated Water Management Team, ERM
Find out more about Andrew

Oliver Moore
Principal Environmental Consultant: Transaction Services Consultant, conducting Environmental Due Diligence in Sydney, Australia, ERM
Find out more about Oliver

Rachel Cochran
Environmental Project Manager: Principal Consultant leading a team of impact assessment practitioners, ERM
Find out more about Rachel

William Butterworth
Sustainability Consultant and Partner, ERM
Find out more about William

Josie Arthur
Consultant – Ecology & Biodiversity, ERM
Find out more about Josie

Rebecca Shewry
Weather Producer, Sky News

I had a particular interest and flair for weather, geomorphology and glaciology and so studied a BSc Physical Geography course at the University of Reading. Throughout my course I developed a real love for all things weather and climate and this lead me to do a Master’s in Applied Meteorology and Climatology at the University of Birmingham. I was very fortunate to get my first job in weather at the Met Office where I worked as a Meteorologist for seven years producing weather forecasts for a variety of customers. From here I moved to my current role as a Weather Producer for Sky News.

What does your role entail?

My job requires me to analyse weather data from all over the world and produce forecasts that can be broadcast on Sky television. I take complex weather information and make it accessible, so that the viewing public know how the weather will affect their daily lives. This may be as simple as reminding people to take an umbrella out in times of wet weather, but it’s particularly important in times of severe weather. For example, when heavy snow is forecast, I warn people of the risks, allowing them to make informed decisions as to whether journeys are completely necessary, or whether the safest option is to stay at home.

How does geography help you in your everyday work?

Studying geography has given me a broad range of transferable skills, which I use every day. I use observational and analytical skills to interpret weather data on both a local and global scale. I then communicate that information to the general public ensuring it is at a suitable level for the intended audience. Advice to someone thinking of taking geography further Geography will give you a fantastic understanding of the world around you. It also provides a wide range of transferable skills, such as team-working and problem-solving, which will make you very desirable to a future employer.

Others in this sector include

  • Air Pollution Specialist, Local Authority
  • Australia Oil and Gas Team Manager, Deloitte
  • Catastrophe Risk Analyst, Faber
  • Costal Technical Specialist, Environment Agency
  • Coastal Technical Specialist, Golder Associates Ltd (UK)
  • Scientist, Rivers and Coastal Environments, Atkins
  • Soil Mechanics Scientist, GNS Science
  • Technical Specialist: Groundwater and Contaminated Land, Environment Agency


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