What kind of work are Earth Scientists doing?

  • Predicting the behavior of Earth systems and the universe.
  • Finding adequate supplies of natural resources, such as ground water, petroleum, and metals.
  • Conserving soils and maintaining agricultural productivity.
  • Developing natural resources in ways that safeguard the environment.
  • Maintaining quality of water supplies.
  • Reducing human suffering and property loss from natural hazards, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, landslides, hurricanes, and tsunamis.
  • Determining geological controls on natural environments and habitats and predicting the impact of human activities on them.
  • Defining the balance between society's demand for natural resources and the need to sustain healthy ecosystems.
  • Understanding global climate patterns.

What skills are required? (or recommended)

  • Strong foundational knowledge in physical sciences (including not just geology, but also chemistry and physics).
  • Strong math skills (the higher the better -- Calculus minimum for most jobs)
  • Flexibility -- especially in terms of location. There are lots of jobs if you're willing to move to find them!
  • Independence
  • Comfort with working outdoors (for field-based jobs, as opposed to lab-based jobs).
  • Computer skills (modeling, databases, GIS -- all help)