Jurgen Zier – known as Baly – joined the Smart Catchments project team in May 2018.
A qualified Environmental Engineer and highly experienced Instrumentation Technician, on paper Baly’s new role as Senior Technical Officer was straight forward; to establish both the gauging station and monitoring plan for the Smart Catchment pilot study. In reality everyone knew this was going to be a challenge, there was no manual, no protocol, no tried and tested way – “just do whatever is involved” he concluded in his first week with Council.
Eight months later, on schedule, all systems are go in the little blue hut by the edge of the creek, before the turnoff to the Yellow Arrow carpark. The Smart Catchments: Saltwater Creek gauging station is ready for business.
When asked about the challenges he faced through the building and installation process Baly was quick to respond with “sandflies”; but then just as quick to acknowledge the supportive colleagues and expert collaborators who he says were fundamental in reaching this exciting project milestone.
“While we might all have our specific roles to do, which at times can feel like you’re all alone, we rarely solve problems in our head,” he said. “Having an accessible expert team around you, to bounce ideas off and share challenges with has made all the difference."
Thanks go to all those at James Cook University, the Department of Environment & Science and Cairns Regional Council, who assisted in the building of the hut and installing of the technology which will now undergo testing before the live data is made available to the public in early 2019.