Dr Helen Gavin

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Dr Helen Gavin

Project Manager: MARIUS project

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Dr Helen Gavin joins MaRIUS as a Project Manager. Her MaRIUS role is part-time, and so she will be continuing with her existing Atkins job part-time as well.

Helen has a background in hydrology and environmental science, and has been working in the water sector for over 13 years. Her interests and experience is wide ranging and includes wetlands, hydroecological investigations, water resource management including droughts, and also wider sustainability issues such as greenhouse gas reporting, water footprinting, and renewable energy

Helen is an Environmental Scientist with over thirteen years of experience in environmental systems, specialising in wetland environments. She is a highly effective project and line manager, skilled in data analysis and interpretation, and is an effective communicator with excellent reporting skills. She works on projects covering the quantitative assessment and management of water resources, and the assessment of anthropogenic effects upon aquatic ecosystems, which have included numerous hydroecological assessments for rivers and wetlands for low flows and droughts, and the preparation of technical evidence.

Her doctoral research was funded by UCL, CEH Wallingford and Natural England, and focussed on the impacts of hydrological management and evaporation fluxes of a lowland wetland of international importance in the North Kent Marshes, UK. She focused on the quantification of wetland water fluxes, particularly evaporation, plus an assessment of the efficacy of wetland management techniques and policy.

This was followed by a research position at UCL on the EU research project SHYLOC: System for HYdrology using Land Observation for model Calibration. This project developed software that allows the use of satellite imagery with digitised stream positions to determine the amount of surface water stored in a network of channels, with a particular focus on wetland environments. Using satellite imagery allows the extraction of key historic hydrological information that might not otherwise be available.

At Manchester University, Helen joined the DFID funded research project, IKRP: the Iraqi Kurdistan Research Programme, to work on socio-economic and environmental data collection and dissemination for the Kurdish authorities in North Iraq. She was resident in North Iraq for three months, operating in offices in Erbil and Suleimaniyah, undertaking liaison and diplomacy with Kurdish Ministries and authorities, data management and analysis, report writing and IT training of local Kurdish staff.

Helen joined Atkins in 2002 to work on water and environment projects. She has worked on numerous wetland projects on a range of different wetland habitats (including wet grasslands and rivers) and topics. A large number of projects involve the quantitative assessment and management of water resources, and the assessment of anthropogenic effects upon aquatic ecosystems, which have including numerous hydroecological assessments for rivers and wetlands for low flows and droughts.

Recently she has been involved in the development of water resource management plans for PR14; a project for UKWIR updating of the Code of Practice for Drought Management, for the Environment Agency examining the options for abstraction reform including water trading and water accounts, and with Water-RF on developing the concept of water footprinting for use in the water industry.

Further to her water resources work she has become a specialist in sustainability issues relating to carbon accounting and onshore renewables, delivering three planning applications for wind energy in the UK.

In light of her expertise and experience, Helen works as an auditor for Ofwat, the UK water regulator, and the Environment Agency, assessing the performance of water companies on their activities regarding environmental programmes, catchment management and greenhouse gas emissions. She has undertaken annual and periodic audits since JR08 for a large number of water companies, including Severn Trent, and Yorkshire Water. She is currently working with the sustainability team within the 820 Alliance to deliver Thames Water's AMP6 plans and schemes.

Helen is a committee member of the CIWEM South Central Southern Branch.