Katherine Atherton
BSc in Biology/Earth Science
Gibraltar Mine Ltd.
“I do field work all year round – I’m out there in everything from ATVs to snowmobiles” Katherine monitors water and air quality, performs routine tailings inspections, examines the growth of trees and shrubs.

Environmental Biologist

Salary Range: 
58,000 - 81,000

Katherine’s position in the BC mining industry has her thinking a lot about water and air quality. As an environmental biologist in training, much of her work is to help make sure that the mine she is with complies with environmental regulations. This means she is outdoors constantly; “I do field work all year round – I’m out there in everything from ATVs to snowmobiles.”

In her position, Katherine performs a wide range of tasks. Summers tend to consist of a lot of fieldwork. She uses her scientific training as she monitors water and air quality, performs routine tailings inspections, examines the growth of trees and shrubs, and so forth. In the winter months, she continues to sample, but also spends time planning, managing data and writing reports. She also interacts with people from many departments in the mine, such as maintenance and mill operations.  As she notes, “There are so many different jobs up here – you meet a huge variety of people.” She loves working in such a beautiful and diverse province such as BC.

To enjoy being an environmental biologist in the mining industry, Katherine believes that a person has to like being in a job that involves working on their own, outside, in the bush. She does a lot of hiking, tree planting, water sampling and various tasks throughout the mine site.

As for the future, Katherine plans to stay in the mining industry, perhaps specializing in reclamation projects.