Geologists travel the world studying a wide variety of subjects.
The field of geology is the study of the Earth, and therefore is concerned with every aspect of the Earth’s operation from the core to the edge of our atmosphere. Geologists put their knowledge of the Earth’s processes to use in a vast range of jobs, some in the private sector and others for the government or universities.
Environmental geologists study the environment and how humans, animals and even plants interact with the planet. An environmental geologist might be called upon to test if a business that uses chemicals is properly disposing of chemicals and waste. If a company does harm the environment, the environmental geologist creates a risk assessment that describes the scale of the problem and makes a plan to fix it.
Science and industry rely on a steady flow of raw materials from the Earth. An economic geologist‘s job is to find mineral deposits of valuable materials, such as metals, coal and oil, and make plans to excavate it. For example: an economic geologist working for a steel manufacturer might probe a dry lake bed and find iron ore, then make a plan for a steel company to safely extract it.
Large construction projects have the potential to impact and be impacted by the environment. Geologists working on an engineering project investigate the soil and rock formations beneath the site of major construction. This investigation determines if it is safe to build on a location such as a mountain.
Climatology is a branch of geology that studies the influences of climate change. Climatologists can study weather trends to predict weather based on the weather observed in previous years. There is even a branch of climatology called paleoclimatology, that uses fossil records and glaciers to look at what weather was like millennia ago. Information about the weather in prehistoric times can give scientists insight about global warming and how humans are affecting the environment long term.