Career summary

Details for Geoscientists, Except Hydrologists and Geographers


Description

Study the composition, structure, and other physical aspects of the earth. May use geological, physics, and mathematics knowledge in exploration for oil, gas, minerals, or underground water; or in waste disposal, land reclamation, or other environmental problems. May study the earth's internal composition, atmospheres, oceans, and its magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces. Includes mineralogists, crystallographers, paleontologists, stratigraphers, geodesists, and seismologists.

Tasks

  • Analyze and interpret geological, geochemical, or geophysical information from sources such as survey data, well logs, bore holes, or aerial photos.
  • Plan or conduct geological, geochemical, or geophysical field studies or surveys, sample collection, or drilling and testing programs used to collect data for research or application.
  • Prepare geological maps, cross-sectional diagrams, charts, or reports concerning mineral extraction, land use, or resource management, using results of fieldwork or laboratory research.
  • Analyze and interpret geological data, using computer software.
  • Investigate the composition, structure, or history of the Earth's crust through the collection, examination, measurement, or classification of soils, minerals, rocks, or fossil remains.
  • Assess ground or surface water movement to provide advice on issues such as waste management, route and site selection, or the restoration of contaminated sites.
  • Locate and estimate probable natural gas, oil, or mineral ore deposits or underground water resources, using aerial photographs, charts, or research or survey results.
  • Locate and review research articles or environmental, historical, or technical reports.
  • Communicate geological findings by writing research papers, participating in conferences, or teaching geological science at universities.
  • Measure characteristics of the Earth, such as gravity or magnetic fields, using equipment such as seismographs, gravimeters, torsion balances, or magnetometers.
  • Conduct geological or geophysical studies to provide information for use in regional development, site selection, or development of public works projects.
  • Identify risks for natural disasters, such as mudslides, earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions.
  • Design geological mine maps, monitor mine structural integrity, or advise and monitor mining crews.
  • Advise construction firms or government agencies on dam or road construction, foundation design, land use, or resource management.
  • Inspect construction projects to analyze engineering problems, using test equipment or drilling machinery.
  • Develop applied software for the analysis and interpretation of geological data.
  • Identify deposits of construction materials suitable for use as concrete aggregates, road fill, or other applications.
  • Test industrial diamonds or abrasives, soil, or rocks to determine their geological characteristics, using optical, x-ray, heat, acid, or precision instruments.
  • Collaborate with medical or health researchers to address health problems related to geological materials or processes.
  • Determine methods to incorporate geomethane or methane hydrates into global energy production or evaluate the potential environmental impacts of such incorporation.
  • Determine ways to mitigate the negative consequences of mineral dust dispersion.
  • Develop strategies for more environmentally friendly resource extraction and reclamation.
  • Develop ways to capture or use gases burned off as waste during oil production processes.
  • Identify new sources of platinum group elements for industrial applications, such as automotive fuel cells or pollution abatement systems.
  • Identify possible sites for carbon sequestration projects.
  • Locate potential sources of geothermal energy.
  • Provide advice on the safe siting of new nuclear reactor projects or methods of nuclear waste management.
  • Research geomechanical or geochemical processes to be used in carbon sequestration projects.
  • Research ways to reduce the ecological footprint of increasingly prevalent megacities.
  • Review work plans to determine the effectiveness of activities for mitigating soil or groundwater contamination.
  • Study historical climate change indicators found in locations such as ice sheets or rock formations to develop climate change models.

Interests

  • Realistic - Realistic occupations frequently involve work activities that include practical, hands-on problems and solutions. They often deal with plants, animals, and real-world materials like wood, tools, and machinery. Many of the occupations require working outside, and do not involve a lot of paperwork or working closely with others.
  • Investigative - Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.

Education, training, experience

  • Education - Most of these occupations require a four-year bachelor's degree, but some do not.
  • Training - Employees in these occupations usually need several years of work-related experience, on-the-job training, and/or vocational training.
  • Experience - A considerable amount of work-related skill, knowledge, or experience is needed for these occupations. For example, an accountant must complete four years of college and work for several years in accounting to be considered qualified.

Knowledge

  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Clerical - Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Sales and Marketing - Knowledge of principles and methods for showing, promoting, and selling products or services. This includes marketing strategy and tactics, product demonstration, sales techniques, and sales control systems.
  • Education and Training - Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
  • History and Archeology - Knowledge of historical events and their causes, indicators, and effects on civilizations and cultures.
  • Law and Government - Knowledge of laws, legal codes, court procedures, precedents, government regulations, executive orders, agency rules, and the democratic political process.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Administration and Management - Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Biology - Knowledge of plant and animal organisms, their tissues, cells, functions, interdependencies, and interactions with each other and the environment.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Engineering and Technology - Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Physics - Knowledge and prediction of physical principles, laws, their interrelationships, and applications to understanding fluid, material, and atmospheric dynamics, and mechanical, electrical, atomic and sub- atomic structures and processes.
  • Chemistry - Knowledge of the chemical composition, structure, and properties of substances and of the chemical processes and transformations that they undergo. This includes uses of chemicals and their interactions, danger signs, production techniques, and disposal methods.
  • Mathematics - Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
  • Geography - Knowledge of principles and methods for describing the features of land, sea, and air masses, including their physical characteristics, locations, interrelationships, and distribution of plant, animal, and human life.

Skills

  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Writing - Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Mathematics - Using mathematics to solve problems.
  • Science - Using scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Active Learning - Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
  • Complex Problem Solving - Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
  • Judgment and Decision Making - Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Related careers

  • Geophysical Data Technicians
  • Hydrologists
  • Marine Engineers
  • Materials Scientists
  • Mining and Geological Engineers, Including Mining Safety Engineers
  • Petroleum Engineers
  • Physicists