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Holly's job protects the environment and people's health

Holly Scott (centre) and colleagues standing in white coats outside a building

Environmental scientist Holly Scott's work helps people and the environment.

An Inspiring the Future role model's story

This is the first in a series of articles about role models for Inspiring the Future, which brings volunteers into schools for fun and educational activities to show students more about the world of work.

We interviewed Holly Scott about her work and why she volunteered as a role model.

How does your job help the environment?  

I’m an environmental scientist at Beca. I work mostly on contaminated land projects. It’s great to be a part of a work outfit that cares for people, communities and the environment.

What do you do in your role? 

My role involves using science principles to investigate contaminants in soil like heavy metals or hydrocarbons. We understand how contaminants may have got into the soil, and find out whether or not the soil can stay where it is or needs to be taken away.

We keep ourselves safe around these chemicals by doing research before fieldwork to understand the area we are working in. We have ongoing training and use personal protective equipment (PPE) while working.

Environmental scientists at Beca also get involved in work around water and air quality, climate change and much more.

How did you get into your job? 

I studied chemistry and mathematics at Massey University (Albany) and quickly figured out that I have a passion for the environment and connecting with people.

What brings you joy?

I enjoy being able to take the skills and concepts I learned at university and applying them to real life projects.

I've had to do a lot of on-the-job learning and the ongoing growth is something that brings me joy! 

Outside of work I like to play football and hang out with my family and friends, including my dog.

Why did you want to be an Inspiring the Future role model?

I wanted to be a role model because I think it's important that young people are exposed to a wide range of career options and diverse people.

When I was younger – and even throughout my studies – I wasn't aware that the career I am currently in was something that even existed.

I always enjoyed science and academia, but I equally enjoyed working with people.

If I had met someone like me in my younger years, it would have put a career like mine on the radar much earlier. I'm passionate about what I do and love passing my knowledge and experience on to those interested in STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) careers.

Can you help?

We're looking for more role models for Inspiring the Future. Maybe you'd like to be one?

Updated 8 Mar 2022