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Meet Stephanie Kirk

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Job: 

Environmental Advisor.

Job description: 

I am responsible for implementing our Projects construction management plans on site. These are things such as:

  • Noise monitoring
  • Vibration monitoring
  • Erosion sediment control plan writing
  • Erosion sediment control plan monitoring on site
  • Ecological monitoring and ensuring we comply with our wildlife permits; Making sure we carry out pre construction fishing, vegetation searches for bats, lizards and birds and reporting any accidental wildlife discoveries
  • Working with the project construction and earthworks teams to ensure that we comply with all our environmental requirements on a day to day basis.
Work background: 

When I was at high school I worked at Briscoes for 4 years which gave me some really valuable life skills. While I was studying at uni I worked for Waikato Regional Council for a few years in the GIS department and ecology team mapping vegetation in the Waikato area. I also worked as an entomologist (insect scientist) for Scion in Rotorua where I worked on biological control experiments. I have been working for Beca for almost 3 years now as an environmental scientist and I love it.

Favourite part of job: 

Getting to make a positive impact in day to day activities out on site. I am lucky in the sense that the outcomes of my work are very tangible. The decisions I make I get to see them implemented out on site. Also the people – I have met some really awesome people on the job and love coming to work with them every day.

Least favourite part of job: 

Working outside in the cold and wet every time it rains. I tend to get quite a few colds in the winter time. Also working outside in the hot sun in long sleeves and long pants in the summer time. Probably one of my least favourite things is caring about what the weather does so much. The sound of rain is no longer relaxing to me – it just stresses me out even if I am not at work.

What I am working on now: 

At the moment I am working on a variety of different things. Working on developing some erosion and sediment control plans for different areas of the project to set us up for the upcoming summer earthworks season. I have also been doing some fish relocation work lately down in one of the gullies. Every day I am out on site working with different teams and crews to make sure we are doing the right thing environmentally. Every single day is different – that’s one of the things I love the most is that no two days are the same.

A quick story about a job well done: 

There are a lot of good stories about jobs well done – it is hard to pick one. We were working on a really tricky piece of work on one of the sites which required us to get rid of a very large volume of dirty water to allow us to commence earthworks in the next season. The whole team put their heads together and came up with a solution to the problem which worked really well. We got rid of all the water and treated it so it was discharged clean offsite. Was a good feeling that a plan came together so well.

A (humorous) story about a job that went badly and what you learned: 

I was out in the gully last summer fencing off some protected trees with orange mesh. I was up the top of a hill and the roll of mesh got away from me and rolled all the way down to the bottom of the hill and got stuck up in all the branches of the trees. I spent the next two hours trying to untangle the mesh out of the trees and roll it back up. I learnt – always cable tie the roll of mesh shut.

Qualifications: 

Bachelor of Science and technology – Majoring in environmental planning from the University of Waikato (BscTech – Envp).

Interests outside work: 

I love going deer hunting and pig hunting, super keen on fishing (especially big kingfish) and I am also a cooking enthusiast. I love getting out and about every weekend and try to explore as many parts of New Zealand as I can.


Stephanie Kirk is an Environmental Advisor working on the Waikato Expressway. Image: LEARNZ.