Last updated December 31, 2014

Rarely do we consider the earth as something active -- we usually think of it as a solid piece of rock. But in fact, it’s a dynamic system with a lot going on. That’s easy to see when there’s an earthquake or a volcanic eruption. Geoscientists study our constantly changing planet. They pay special attention to the earth’s physics and the chemical relationship between the core, crust, and atmosphere. 

Geoscientists specialize in specific areas. Oceanographers, for instance, study the geology, biology, and chemistry of the oceans. Hydrologists study the way water circulates both on the earth’s surface and underground. Seismologists study earthquakes and earthquake faults.

Geoscientists study the earth's structure and composition. They study its history and evolution, rocks, internal structure and core, oceans, and resources like gas and oil.

Did You Know?

Most geoscientists work for an engineering or architecture firm, a gas or an oil company, or the government.

Are You Ready To...?

  • Work with complicated equipment
  • Come up with theories about the earth
  • Write grant proposals to get funding for your research
  • Spend time in the office, but also in the field or in a lab
  • Hammer at rock
  • Hike with a heavy backpack

It Helps To Be...

Someone who sees there’s more to a rock than just a rock and enjoys history, dinosaurs, environmental issues, and the outdoors.

Make High School Count

  • Take a range of challenging science classes, including earth science, environmental science, chemistry, physics, and biology as well as math.
  • Sign up for computer courses. You’ll be using them a lot to analyze data and do other work.
  • Join an outdoors or environmental club and plan activities like fossil hunting.
  • Compete in a science fair.

Did You Know?

Some geoscientists, paleontologists, study the fossils found within rocks.