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Careers in Geoscience

  Careers in Geoscience

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Geoscience is the science of exploration, discovery, and Earth stewardship. The geosciences address all issues relating to Earth Systems, including the solid Earth, oceans, and atmosphere. The major applications of the geosciences are: exploration and responsible development of natural resources (oil, gas, coal, minerals, construction aggregate, water, soil), preservation of the natural environment, restoration from environmental damage, mitigation of geohazards such as earthquakes and landslide s, and exploratory research like the Mars space mission and understanding El Niño.

By addressing these issues and developing solutions to problems affecting the Earth, geoscientists act as stewards of the Earth. Though much has been learned about the Earth through earth science, much more is yet to be discovered, especially as new problems face society, such as global climate change, advances in technology, and exhaustion of energy and raw material supplies.

What is a Geoscientist?

Geoscience is the science of exploration, discovery, and Earth stewardship. The geosciences address all issues relating to Earth Systems, including the solid Earth, oceans, and atmosphere. The major applications of the geosciences are: exploration and responsible development of natural resources (oil, gas, coal, minerals, construction aggregate, water, soil), preservation of the natural environment, restoration from environmental damage, mitigation of geohazards such as earthquakes and landslide s, and exploratory research like the Mars space mission and understanding El Niño.

By addressing these issues and developing solutions to problems affecting the Earth, geoscientists act as stewards of the Earth. Though much has been learned about the Earth through earth science, much more is yet to be discovered, especially as new problems face society, such as global climate change, advances in technology, and exhaustion of energy and raw material supplies.

What do Geoscientists do?

Geoscientists gather and interpret data about the Earth and other planets. They use their knowledge to increase our understanding of Earth processes and to improve the quality of human life. Their work and career paths vary widely because the geosciences are so broad and diverse. The National Science Foundation considers geology, geophysics, hydrology, oceanography, marine science, atmospheric science, planetary science, meteorology, environmental science, and soil science as the major geoscience disciplines.

Click Here for a list of geoscience discliplines and sub-discliplines to understand the wide range of work that geoscientists do.

Where do Geoscientists work?

Geoscientists may be found sampling the deep ocean floor or examining rock specimens from the Moon or Mars. But the work of most geoscientists is more “down to Earth.” They work as explorers for new mineral and hydrocarbon resources, consultants on engineering and environmental problems, researchers, teachers, writers, editors, and museum curators as well as in many other challenging positions. They often divide their time among work in the field, the laboratory, and the office.

Field work usually consists of making observations, exploring the subsurface by drilling or using geophysical tools, collecting samples, and making measurements that will be analyzed in the laboratory. For example, rock samples may be X-rayed, studied under an electron microscope, and analyzed to determine physical and chemical properties. Geoscientists may also conduct experiments or design computer models to test theories about geologic phenomena and processes.

In the office, they integrate field and laboratory data and prepare reports and presentations that include maps and diagrams that illustrate the results of their studies. Such maps may pinpoint the possible occurrence of ores, coal, oil, natural gas, water resources, or indicate subsurface conditions or hazards that might affect construction sites or land use.

Salary and Job Outlook:

Please visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics webiste for the most up to date salary and job outlook information for Geoscientists:  http://www.bls.gov/ooh/Life-Physical-and-Social-Science/Geoscientists.htm

Informational Career Links:

American Geosciences Institute Careers Page

American Geosciences Institute Career Video

Profiles of Geoscientists

SAGE Career Resources:

Career Pathways & Hiring Trends

Employer Perspectives What are employers looking for?

Professional Society Career Resources