Why Geology Rocks!

St. Lucia Cliff

Geology is the science of the Earth--and focuses on the Earth's physical makeup, its history, and how it works. Geology students make use of the whole Earth as their field area, from the Arctic to Antarctic, from the Earth’s core to the edge of our atmosphere. Geologists also explore the solar system, as we use the knowledge of our own planet to understand those worlds we discover. Most importantly to those of us already in the field, Geology is a discipline not confined by the walls of a classroom and laboratory bench. This is why the geology student’s typical uniform is jeans and a good set of hiking boots. (One of the reasons most of us were drawn to geology in the first place!)

Geology is an integrated science that encompasses all of the other sciences within it. Geophysics, geochemistry, and paleontology are just three areas of geological specialization that require solid grounding in the allied disciplines of physics, chemistry and biology. Many graduate geology departments look for students with such diverse backgrounds for their programs.

Geology also encompasses most aspects of environmental science, including contentious topics such as climate change, pollution, and extinction. As political stakes are raised, a solid foundation in these areas will allow geology students to become better citizens of the planet.

Ecuador Volcano

Career Paths

Opportunities in the Geosciences abound, from environmental consulting work to academia, from oil companies to the United States Geological Survey. To learn more about how to approach a career in geology, please visit the AGI career website, or speak with any of the Amherst Geology faculty.

What most people don’t know about geology is that majors who don’t pursue a post-baccalaureate career in this field have excellent career options ahead of them. As science majors, they have developed critical thinking skills, the ability to collect and constrain complex data, and the proficiency to articulate their findings to an audience. Employers prize these skills, admissions officers at both graduate and professional schools seek such attributes, and as a result, senior Amherst geology majors have many doors open to them.

The outlook in our field is excellent, and the job satisfaction is even better!