Every day, people use Earth’s resources, such as oil, metals, natural gas and water. It is the work of geologists to study the location of these earth materials. Moreover, the geologists plan the mines that produce the resources as well as their extraction methods. Geology is however the study of earth, its formation history and processes, and all the natural component parts and how they impact on each other (Pipkin et al. 18). It is thus important to study geology to understand how earth’s materials, processes, structures and organisms have changed over time.
Geology helps people know where to find the natural resources that make the society to function, albeit with the knowledge that these resources are subject to running out. Further, the study of geology helps people know how to manage the Earth’s resources. Consequently, geological knowledge is important for practical reasons, such as choosing safe construction sites for dams, bridge, buildings, and waste disposal sites to ensure safety from landslides, river flooding, volcanic eruptions, or creation of environmental disasters.
Geology is sub-divided into physical and historical geology. Physical geology involves the study of the earth’s physical features and the processes that act on them, for instance rocks, oceans, earthquakes, volcanoes and mountains. Conversely, historical geology entails the study of the earth’s history, such as how it has changed over time. Geology is further divided into sub-disciplines, which include; geochemistry, stratigraphy, engineering geology, mineralogy and petrology, paleontology, sedimentology, structural geology, and geomorphology (Pipkin et al. 24).
Geologists work to comprehend the history of the earth so that they can ascertain how past events might influence the future. These events include; past flooding, landslides, which form a basis for mapping development projects. Moreover, they conduct studies to locate ores and oil wells. It is by studying historical geology that people understand the effects of climate change and how it can be contained. Geology is a rewarding profession, which requires four years of college training for a degree. Additionally, geologists plan and conduct field and lab studies, analyze rock samples and photographs and present their findings to clients and learners.
Students of geology get opportunities to work in natural resource firms, non-profit organizations, government agencies, and environmental consulting firms. However, more advanced geological degrees, such as master’s and doctorate degrees are taken with job opportunities in geology specialty fields, for instance volcanology, mineralogy, and paleontology as well as lecturer, research fellows in learning institutions. Moreover, they work in oil and gas extraction stations, they perform engineering, scientific and management services.
The starting salaries for entry level jobs ranges from $50,000 to $100,000 annually. In 2012, the median pay for mining and geological engineers was $84,320 per annum, while the job outlook up to 2022 estimated to be 12 percent (Bureau of Labor Statistics). The growth in employment opportunities for geologists is expected to be driven by demand for mining operations and explorations and the demand for engineering services.
The society today needs geological processes knowledge to understand the best places to dispose waste, where to find minerals and natural gas (Prosser et al. 339). People will also understand global warming deeply and the vest way to conserve the environment. Moreover, if people learn how to utilize natural resources, they will definitely come up with ways to protect the resources. Therefore, the planet will be habitable if people use geological knowledge to use resources wisely.
Geology helps science and people’s knowledge of the Earth to advance by providing theoretical and practical knowledge to better understand the planet and environment people live in. Moreover, it enables people and scientists to use critical and innovative spatial and temporal thinking (Prosser et al. 340). Geology assists science to analyze quantitative techniques, such as statistics and sample designs as well as use observations and analyses to interpret natural processes. Such knowledge is crucial for disaster preparedness, resource conservation and innovation. For example, if geologists expect a certain mountain to erupt or landslide to occur, the government is alerted to evacuate the people living near the danger.
One of the environmental problems Indiana faces is the ground water, where more than 300,000 water wells have been drilled for household, industrial and agricultural consumption (Van Stempvoort et al. 455). However, these water wells are susceptible to contamination from leaching of manures with bacterial and chemical nitrate. Other possible contaminants to the ground water include fertilizers and pesticides with the underlying problems relating to landfills, chemical spills, and salt-storage piles.
Geologists have initiated research projects on the environmental impacts of concentrated animal feeding operations in Indiana. The Indiana Geological Survey has been tasked with conducting the Source Water Assessment Program by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, as stipulated by the provisions of federal Clean Water Act (Van Stempvoort et al 460). The survey is being conducted in public water systems, such as institutions serving at least 25 same individuals semi-annually and entails watershed protection and problems as part of Water Quality Planning Program. Moreover, the experts are helping identify the public drinking water sources, finding out the likelihood of contamination to water-supply systems and thereby prepare a findings report to the public (Van Stempvoort et al. 461).
Therefore, it is important for geological students and the public to understand that the study of geology plays an integral role in shaping the planet as well as people’s preparedness to disasters. Moreover, it is a well-paying career though for one to reap the benefits they have to a passion for geology. Geology has solved so many problems, such as the Indiana ground water disaster and with more technological innovations more solutions will be reached at in future.