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Geosciences Overview - Preparation - Industries - Day in the Life -
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Day in the Life
Geoscientists can spend a large part of their time in the field, identifying and examining geological formation, studying data collected by remote sensing instruments, conducting geological surveys, constructing field maps, and using instruments to measure the Earth's gravity and magnetic field. They often perform seismic studies, for example, which involve bouncing energy waves off buried layers of rock, to search for oil and gas or to understand the structure of the subsurface layers. Similarly, they use seismic signals generated by an earthquake to determine the earthquake's location and intensity. In laboratories, they examine the chemical and physical properties of specimens. They study fossil remains of animal and plant life or experiment with the flow of water and oil through rocks.

Some geoscientists spend the majority of their time in an office, but many others divide their time between fieldwork and office or laboratory work. Work at remote field sites is common. Some specialists, such as volcanologists, often take field trips that involve significant physical activity and some risk. In the field they work in warm or cold climates and in all kinds of weather. In their research, they may dig or chip with a hammer, scoop with a net, and carry equipment in a backpack. Oceanographers may spend considerable time at sea on academic research ships. Geologists frequently travel to remote field sites by helicopter or 4-wheel-drive vehicles and cover large areas on foot. Many exploration geologists and geophysicists work in foreign countries, sometimes in remote areas and under difficult conditions. Travel often is required to meet with prospective clients or investors. Fieldwork often requires working long and irregular hours.

Geoscientists and hydrologists often begin their careers in field exploration or as research assistants or technicians in laboratories or offices. As they gain experience, they take on more complex and difficult assignments. Eventually, some are promoted to project leader, program manager, or to a senior research position. Those who choose to work in management will spend more time scheduling, budgeting, and reporting to top executives or clients

Note: Some resources in this section are provided by the American Geological Institute and the US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.
 


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