Geoscience 101

geo science earth knowledge

I know, the name of this article might sound like a course you took in college. And it a way, its meant to be. This article serves as an introduction to the geoscience field. More commonly known as Earth Science, this field is an all-encompassing catch-all for sciences relating to the study of the Earth.

At the very root of it, is the desire to explain how the various systems on the planet operate. Pulling from other sciences like physics, chemistry and mathematics, geoscience seeks to explain how everything from how the atmosphere works, how our planetary weather system works, to what makes volcanoes explode.

There are several fields that fall under the geoscience, or Earth Science, umbrella.

They are:
Geology
Physical Geography
Geophysics
Soil Science
Oceanography
Glaciology
Atmospheric Science

Students and practitioners of geoscience apply the scientific method to their study of the earth. By observing natural earth events and taking measurements of data, they formulate hypotheses on the functions of the various earth systems.

Predecessors to Earth Scientists recognized what now became know to Earth Science as the four spheres. These are:

The lithosphere
The hydrosphere
The atmosphere
The biosphere

Each of the above we will go into in later articles.

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Geoscience Jobs

Due to the broad nature of geoscience, or Earth Science, applications looking for geoscience jobs come from a variety of backgrounds and are commonly seeking a wide array of positions. The economic recession has been particulary hard on science and the arts. Federal funding of science programs has been slashed significantly as cut-backs in all sectors make science an unfortunate low priority for politicians and lawmakers. In addition, other institutions such as non-profit scientific institutions have had to scale back budgets as donations and revenue dwindle.

The most practical position for a geoscientist seems to be that of a university professor. This allows their study to have financial backing of an institution, while earning a salary teaching and providing value back to the university. Such positions are hard to come by, and are generally held onto forever.

There is some good news on the horizon, no pun intended. According to a study done by the BLS (Bureau of Labor Statistics), geoscience jobs are expected to increase by 22% between 2006 and 2016. Annual salaries are also expected to increase above the natural average.

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