Geology is the study of the Earth, the materials of which it is made, the structure of those materials, and the processes acting upon them. An important part of geology is the study of how Earth's materials, structures, processes and organisms have changed over time. Geologists work to understand the history of our planet. The better we can understand Earth's history the better we can foresee how events and processes of the past might influence the future.
Geologists study Earth processes: Many processes such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions can be hazardous to people. Geologists work to understand these processes well enough to avoid building important structures where they might be damaged.
Geologists study Earth materials: People use earth materials every day. They use oil and gas that is produced from wells, metals that are produced from mines, and fresh water that has been drawn from streams or from underground. Geologists conduct studies that locate rocks that contain important metals. They do similar work to locate and produce oil, natural gas, coal and ground water.
Geologists study Earth history: Today we are concerned about climate change. Many geologists are working to learn about the past climates of Earth and how they have changed across time.
Geology can be a very interesting and rewarding career. Pre-college students who are interested in becoming geologists should take a full curriculum of college preparatory courses, especially those in math, science, and writing. Courses related to computers, geography and communication are also valuable.
Geologists work in a variety of settings. These include: natural resource companies, environmental consulting firms, government agencies, non-profit organizations, and universities. Many geologists do field work at least part of the time. Others spend their time in laboratories, classrooms or offices. All geologists prepare reports, do calculations and use computers.
Employment opportunities for geologists are very good. Most geology graduates with a strong academic background and good grades are in demand. Over the next several years the number of geology job openings is expected to exceed the number of students graduating from university geology programs. Starting salaries for geologists have recently ranged from $50,000 to $100,000 per year. For more information, please visit geology.com.
All students majoring or minoring in an ESSC program, without exception, must meet with an adviser to construct a formal Program of Study, preferably before their second semester in the program and definitely before their third semester. This is particularly important because some upper-level ESSC courses are not offered every semester, in some cases being offered only on an every-other-year basis. ESSC programs include the following: Geology Major (and all associated concentrations), Earth Science Major, Earth Science Secondary Teaching Major, Geology Minor, Earth Science Minor, Earth Science Secondary Teaching Minor.Download the Geology brochure (PDF).