Geologists and Geophysicists

What do Geologists and Geophysicists do?

Geologists and Geophysicists study the composition, structure and other physical attributes of the earth. As a geologist or geophysicist, you could work on projects to locate and advise on the extraction of minerals, petroleum and ground water. You could work to detect, monitor and forecast seismic, magnetic, electrical, thermal and oceanographic activity.

Why do Geologists and Geophysicists do this?

The work of geologists and geophysicists is essential for:

  • Exploration for mineral and fuel deposits
  • Exploration for construction materials and groundwater
  • The study of landforms to aid planning and development
  • The protection of the environment against waste disposal
  • Mitigation of natural hazards and disasters
  • Design of civil engineering structures

How do Geologists and Geophysicists do their job?

  • Conducting preliminary surveys of mineral, petroleum and natural gas deposits with Prospectors, Mining Engineers, Metallurgists, and other Mineral Scientists and Engineers
  • Preparing and supervising the production of laboratory reports and scientific papers
  • Conducting studies of the structure, nature and formation of the earth's crust and the minerals contained in it
  • Studying and dating fossils and rock strata to develop knowledge of the evolution and biology of life forms, and to assess their commercial applications
  • Studying the effects of natural events, such as erosion, sedimentation, earthquakes and volcanic activity, on the formation of the earth's surface and sea beds
  • Carrying out exploration to determine the resources present by sampling, examining and analysing geological specimens, rock cores, cuttings and samples using optical, chemical, electronic and mechanical techniques
  • Conducting surveys of variations in the earth's gravitational and magnetic fields to determine its physical features
  • Investigating the propagation of seismic waves to determine the structure and stability of the earth's mantle and crust
  • Studying the causes of earthquakes and other stress states of the earth's crust
  • Performing laboratory and field studies, and aerial, ground and drill hole surveys.

Where do Geologists and Geophysicists do their work?

Geologists work in laboratories, offices and in the field. You could work across the globe in public and private companies that will enable you to work both independently and as a part of diverse teams. Fieldwork can involve spending time in remote desert, tropical or Antarctic/Arctic regions while working in a laboratory would give you the chance to research.

Tertiary Study

You could begin with a Bachelor of Science with studies in:

You could then continue with graduate study to gain further theoretical and practical skills and become an expert in your field. You could consider studies including:

Companies that employ Geologist and Geophysicists

Traditionally, geologists are employed by companies involved in the exploration and extraction of mineral and energy resources. They are also employed by groundwater and environmental consultant groups, state government geological surveys, Geoscience Australia, CSIRO, state museums and universities.