Geologists study much more than rocks and minerals

Students and Beginners

Let's Go Rocking!
Rock Crafts for Fun
Crystal Growing
Make Your Own Fossils
Build an Erupting Volcano
Cub Scout Achievements
BSA Geology Merit Badge
Girl Scout Juniors
Girl Scout Seniors

AR Rock Clubs and Shows


What Geologists Do

Careers in Geology

Places To Go

Crater of Diamonds
Tourist Sites to See
Fee Pay Crystal Mines
Locations by County
Field Trips
Lake Ouachita Geofloat
Buffalo River

Famous and Historical Mineral Locations

Magnet Cove
Granite Mountain
Jeffrey Quarry


What Geologists Do, or
Careers in Geology

Geology has many sub-specialties. Universities offer degrees in general geology and master's degrees and doctoral degrees in the more specialized areas.

Engineering Geologists combine the study of geology with engineering, particularly civil engineering. They study specific sites relative to the types of structures to be built to help determine the best designs.

Environmental Geologists study the modern environment, particularly to determine what are natural changes and occurrences versus what is the result of man's activities.

Geochemists combine the study of chemistry and geology, applying the knowledge of chemical reactions in the laboratory to those that occur in nature. Geochemists study the reactions involved also in the formation of minerals and ore deposits.

Geochronologists study the isotopic ages of rocks and minerals, assisting geologists in dating of rocks and minerals as to when they formed.

Geological Surveys typically study a wide variety of subjects in geology, ranging from basic mapping, industrial minerals, hydrocarbons, hydrology, and paleontology. They furnish this information to the citizens of their country or state.

Geophysics involves the study of those parts of the earth hidden from direct view by measuring their physical properties with appropriate instruments, usually from the surface. It also includes an interpretation of the measurements to obtain useful information on the structure and composition of the concealed zones, like the mantle and core. The link has excellent drawings showing what geophysics is all about.

Geotechnical Engineering involved the study of the physical properties of earth materials, both rocks and soils. Much of this work is directed to understanding the strength of earth materials at specific construction sites.

Hydrogeology is the study of the movement and origins of water within rock units and regions.

Geohazard assessments involve the applications of the principals of geology relating to potential hazards to man. These include landslides, karst, earthquakes, tsunamis, and floods.

Geologic mapping is one of the main activities of a field geologist. Understanding the distribution and correlation of rock units across significant distances and placing that information on maps so the data is graphically displayed is a basic activity of much work by geologists.

Mineralogy is the study of the formation of minerals, how they form and under what conditions, their stabilities in various environments, and may involve the discovery of new minerals to science. Also, their physical properties and their chemical composition are studied by mineralogists.

Crystallography is the study of the crystal forms that minerals may form when filling open spaces. It involves both studying the crystal structure and the various geometric forms that occur for any given mineral.

Mining is the removal of natural resources from the earth, at a profit, for the benefit of society. Mining of both metals and non-metals are equally as important. Natural resources are any natural earth material that may be used as is or altered in its composition or form so that society may use them and benefit from them. Natural resources may be renewable (like trees or food products we can grow again and again) or non-renewable, like metals and industrial minerals that occur in concentrations in certain places.

Paleontology is the study of the remains of plants and animals that have been preserved in the rock record. Paleontologists describe fossils scientifically and are concerned with the ancient environments that these plants or animals once lived in, as well as using them to date rock units.

Petroleum Geologists study the occurrence and formation of hydrocarbon deposits throughout rock units, looking for deposits that are of economic value. By understanding geologic principals they seek to find natural traps where hydrocarbons are held in reservoirs, from which they can be economically extracted.

Economic Geology is the study of ore, mineral, and rock deposits from the aspect of determining how deposits of value to society may have formed, and may be extracted. Economic geologists often study models of formation to determine the suitability of particular deposits for commercial use.

Exploration Geologists use various theories of ore formation to discover economically valuable deposits of metals and industrial minerals. They are involved in the drilling and evaluation of deposits to the point of actual mining, after which a mining engineer and mine site geologist take over.

Petrologists study the processes by which rocks come into existence.

Remote sensing consists of the study of various natural features of the earth by indirect observation. Through a variety of methods, geologists can better understand both the earth and the active processes working on it.

Sedimentologists study the internal structures of sedimentary rock units to better understand the processes by which the rock was deposited and formed.

Seismologists study earthquakes and the internal structure of the earth, by analyzing both natural and artificially generated seismic waves.To be a seismologist you need an undergraduate degree in geology, geophysics, or mathematics with post graduate work in geophysics and seismology.

Speleology is the study of caves and cave formations.

Stratigraphy is the study of sedimentary rock units and their correlations and changes across vast distances.

Tectonics is the study of the physical forces that cause the variety of geologic structures visible on the earth's surface. These structures include mountain ranges, ocean basins, rift valleys, and many others.

Volcanology is the study of both active and extinct volcanoes, their types and distribution on the earth's surface, as well as their causes.