Zoe Buxton

Name Zoe Buxton

Current Job Title Atmospheric Technician

Organisation NIWA

My Story

Getting to converse with my scientist Zoe Buxton for the shadow a scientist programme was valuable for me to open my awareness of the variety of jobs for women in science.

She has started as an atmospheric technician working for NIWA, still in the early years of her career. An atmospheric technician sounds complex and intimidating but Zoe explained that her role important in one of many that NIWA employs to maintain a ‘clean and green’ environment in New Zealand with science playing a key role. NIWA stands for National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research that handle data in sectors such as oceanography, climate/ weather and the fresh water just to name a few.

Zoe works closely with data from the atmosphere. On a day to day basis, she works hands on checking instruments on remote sites that collect this data and maintenance on calibrating the instruments. This requires her to travel all over New Zealand. More theoretical work she handles is programming of these instruments and data analysis before sending the information to the government who decides to make implement changes according to the statistics provided. To obtain this very specialised career opportunity, as there are only a hand full of atmospheric technicians in New Zealand, she completed a Bachelor’s of science in Chemistry with honours.

Zoe loves her job but told me she wants to extend herself into other sectors and progress the development of her career in her near future, similar to many of the other women I spoke to at the conference.

Article authored by Patrisha Berulfo, Auckland Girls Grammar School