What institutions did she attend?

  • Barataria EC Primary School, Trinidad
  • Bishop Anstey High School, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad
  • The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, Trinidad- BSc in Natural Sciences (Mathematics, Physics and Applied Physics), MPhil in Physics, Certificate in Planning and Project Management
  • NIHERST, Trinidad- Postgraduate Diploma in Computer Systems Analysis and Design
  • Institute of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering (IHE), Delft, The Netherlands- Postgraduate Diploma (MSc equivalent) in Hydrological Engineering
  • UNESCO-IHE Institute for Water Education, The Netherlands and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Brazil – Certificate in Water Quality Management Strategies for Sustainable Use of Water Resources

Other Achievements

  • Lectured on Water Demand Management, Water Quality Management and IWRM at the University of Miami in an IWRM programme of the Inter-American Institute of Global Research/University of Miami and UNESCO


A brilliant student, she was in Standard 5 at eight years old, and had to wait three years before she could write the then Common Entrance Examination.


She loves music and sang in choirs throughout her school life. She is a founding member of the famous Lydian Singers.


She is a board member of the children’s ministry of Scripture Union.

Marilyn Crichlow

Caribbean Women in STI

Marilyn Crichlow is a hydrologist with over 25 years of experience in water resources management. A former director of the Water Resources Agency (WRA) in Trinidad and Tobago and the first woman to hold such a position in the region, she has helped Caribbean countries to better manage their water resources using an integrated approach that considers user needs, environmental needs and stakeholder participation. She has consulted on water resources management issues for the Caribbean Council for Science and Technology (CCST), Global Water Partnership-Caribbean (GWP-C), the Organization of American States (OAS), CATHALAC, CAPNET and the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UN-ECLAC). Through her work with these agencies, she developed a model Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) Plan for the Caribbean; led IWRM training workshops; and prepared country water profiles and capacity assessments. Countries assisted include Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St. Lucia.

Mrs Crichlow played a lead role in the preparation of Trinidad and Tobago’s water resources management strategy and the country’s IWRM initiatives. She shared her expertise with students as a lecturer in programmes at The University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine, and the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT), in areas such as watershed management and hydrology.

Marilyn Crichlow (née Cameron) was born in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. She enjoyed her childhood in a home filled with love. Her parents instilled in her strong Christian values and the desire to achieve. From a young age, she enjoyed mathematics and science, and this continued into secondary school. She thought of pursuing medicine but did not have the finances to go to Jamaica. She decided to do a first degree in mathematics and physics at UWI, St Augustine despite also having been accepted to do civil engineering.

She became interested in the field of hydrology while doing an undergraduate applied physics course in geohydrology. This led her to seek a job after graduating at the WRA, a division of the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA). After four years at the WRA, she went on to pursue training in hydrological engineering on a scholarship from the Government of The Netherlands.

Mrs Crichlow is married with three daughters who have all pursued science-based careers. Her advice to students is, “Strive for excellence in everything you do, do it with integrity, and ensure that you have a good foundation and an understanding of science.”


What is a hydrologist?

Hydrologists study, assess and manage the water resources of rivers, lakes, aquifers and glaciers. They study the occurrence, distribution, movement, and properties of the waters (precipitation, surface water and groundwater) of the earth. This information is used to: assess water resources availability; study drought and flood risks; plan water supply systems; address water use and conservation; and consider the impacts of human activities on our water resources.

Hydrologists work on projects varying from computer modeling of groundwater and surface water resources to wastewater disposal, watershed management, groundwater resource evaluation, river hydraulics and channel development.

Areas of Specialisations

  • Water resources management
  • Water supply development and management
  • Applied hydrology
  • Groundwater protection, development and management
  • Coastal hydrology
  • Drought and flood management
  • Drainage
  • Reservoir operations
  • Watershed hydrology/management

What do I need to study?

At CSEC and CAPE: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry

A bachelor’s degree is required in a discipline such as physics, geoscience/geophysics, civil engineering, or agricultural engineering. To specialise, a master’s degree in hydrology or water resources management is needed at minimum.

What skills and traits do I need?

  • Good mathematical background and knowledge of statistics
  • Ability to coordinate actions
  • Keenness for fieldwork and data collection
  • Analytical and computer skills
  • Holistic and integrated approach in thinking

Famous Hydrologists

  • Adriaan Volker
  • Charles R. Hurshs
  • E.F. Brater
  • M.D. Hoover