Geologists study earth materials (rocks, soils, glaciers), earth resources (metallic minerals, mineral fuels, industrial minerals), and/or earth processes and hazards (volcanism, earthquakes, mountain building, global change) with the objective of applying this knowledge to human needs. Geologists use a variety of mathematical and scientific concepts and techniques. Many geologist work outdoors most of the time.
General Interest Area:
Geologists do just about everything involving the earth. There are also marine geologists and planetary/lunar geologists. Geology can be a good background for persons in business, law, and medicine.
High School Background:
Chemistry, physics, mathematics, and outdoor-oriented activities.
Plan of Study:
The geology program is designed with a number of required, “core” courses, intended to give students a broad foundation in basic geology with an emphasis on field-based techniques and applications. In addition, a requirement of upper division electives in geology or other related fields offer flexibility in the curriculum at this level and encourage undergraduate research. A student who completes the geology major is employable in a variety of fields an is well prepared for graduate work in geology.
How to get Involved:
Career and Graduate Possibilites:
Many geologists work for petroleum or mining companies. Others work for state or federal agencies, such as the U.S. Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, Soil Conservation Service, National Park Service, Department of Energy, and Forest Service. Another option is working for engineering companies. Research labs and universities hire geologist as teachers and researchers. For many, but not all of these career possibilities, M.S. or Ph.D. degrees are often required. Many high school science teachers have a geology background. Self-employed geologic consultants are also common. Geologists even, on occasion, become politicians and administrators.