#61 October 2013: What do you do?

I’ve been getting emails from students and proto-geos trying to understand what the practical differences of the various geoscience jobs are: how is geophysics different than geochemistry? What coursework is helpful if you’re too far along to switch majors, but think you might want to add on a geo-influence to the type of careers you do? Which job titles end up in the field (and how far into the bush do they go)? Which job titles do lab work? What are academic careers besides full-tenure university professors?

I can talk a bit about being a field geophysicist, or working in the entertainment industry, and maybe about science communication, but I think this is one avenue where the more stories we can collect from different aspects of the geoscience research and industry, the more education this can be for all of us!

So, for the October 2013 Accretionary Wedge, tell us: What do you do? What coursework is (or would be) most helpful? How often are you in the field? What does your job look like? How did it or will it change over time (junior to senior positions)? Drop me a link here, or tweet me at @mikamckinnon.

Deadline: October 31. (Hopefully someone Martin Bently will host a November Halloween-themed accretionary wedge to take advantage of all the photos I know you’ll be taking to procrastinate writing this one!)

Edited to add: many professional organization host accurate-but-uninformative descriptions of their professions. Although listing what the area of study is, the purpose is to be more anecdotal and personal: Does your work-life balance mean juggling field time with office work? Are you constantly self-teaching a particular knowledge gap that isn’t in standard graduation requirements for your discipline? Did you switch from one geo-job to a related-but-different field once you were boots-on-the-ground experiencing it? What do you know now that you wish you’d understood as a student?

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5 Responses to #61 October 2013: What do you do?

  1. http://blog.martinb.za.net/2013/accretionary-wedge-61/

    ‘ere we go. Geologist at a small geotechnical engineering company in South Africa.

  2. Ann says:

    Thanks for hosting. I almost didn’t do this one since I’m a stay at home mom now. But many a year ago I did work as a petroleum developmental geologist and thought I might have something to contribute after all. It’s here: http://gallivantingrockhound.blogspot.com/2013/10/accretionary-wedge-61-what-do-you-do.html

  3. Great Topic. I wrote a post about this a couple of years ago. Even though my position has changed (I’m now at Kent State), the job description is still basically the same. http://all-geo.org/highlyallochthonous/2011/04/hydrologist-professor-annes-answers-to-career-profile-questions/

  4. Silver Fox says:

    Running out of time this week to write up something new, so here’s an old post that addresses some of what I do, without going into the specifics that I can’t address online because of confidentiality issues: http://highway8a.blogspot.com/2010/10/why-do-i-like-geology.html

    Hope you get a few more entries!

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