11/22/2020  Brian Douglas




Earth Science can be defined as a branch of physical science that deals with the study of the earth, it physical and chemical properties. Earth science also studies atmospheric and planetary systems. The earth science field is interdisciplinary that employs the tools and techniques in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology to allow for a more wholistic understanding of how the earth and universe works.

The earth science disciplines are highly interactive, very rewarding and lucrative for students and professionals; there has been records of increasing demands of geoscientist which span across all sectors of the economy including Government, environmental sector, solid minerals sector, energy sector, Non-profit, engineering and construction sectors. Etc.



As a student or a prospective student seeking to major into the earth science discipline, the minimum duration required for a college degree in earth science is usually four years. However, prospective students or pre-college students who are interested in becoming geoscientist are required as a general consideration to take full curriculum in science core subjects: Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Computer.

A bachelor’s degree is the minimum requirement for entry-level position as a geoscientist. Masters or doctoral degree for specialization are an added advantage, because it provides a higher level of training and specialization in an aspect of earth science. Earth science graduates with strong academic background and good grades would have no trouble in finding suitable employment if they are willing to relocate.



  1. Geologist

  2. Geophysicist

  3. Seismologist

  4. Sedimentologist

  5. Petrophysics

  6. GIS analyst

  7. Cartographer

  8. Oceanographer/Marine geologist

  9. Mineralogist

  10. Reservoir engineering

  11. Environmental geologist

  12. Meteorologist

  13. Astronomers

  14. Hydrogeology

  15. Stratigrapher




This is derived from the word geology; a geologist is a person who studies the physical and chemical properties of the earth and other terrestrial planet. A background in physics, chemistry and biology is required.

The role of a geologist may differ across organizational objective, due to the diverse nature of the field. A general responsibility includes but not limited to:

  • Plan field exploration (applicable in oil and gas production, engineering construction, site suitability, environmental impact assessment)

  • Map production (this role is applicable in asset management, environmental monitoring, mineral mapping, 3D modelling, logistics management, land survey, remotely sensed image processing)

  • Collect and analyze geologic and field data (applicable for geologic map production, image processing, geophysical data interpretation, data modelling)

  • Carryout research program (applicable in the academic discipline, solid mineral prospecting, testing new field techniques and tools, formulating new hypothesis)

  • Solid mineral composition analysis (laboratory work, sieve analysis, soil test, petrology, chemical test)

  • Environmental health and safety (ensure best practices for field exploration, ensure environmental and other regulations are met, land reclamation and refill in an abandoned mine)


This is derived from the word geophysics; it is a branch of geoscience that specializes in the study and interpretation of the physical properties of the earth to understand more about the subsurface structures and geology. It involves the use of magnetic, seismic, gravity, thermal and electrical properties of the earth.

The role of a geophysicist is basically to model and interpret the earth subsurface structures for locating solid minerals, aquifer zone, oil and gas exploration, locating abandoned underground mines workings etc. a general responsibility include but not limited to:

  • Seismic data interpretation and modelling

  • Earthquake monitoring and prediction

  • Location of underground natural resources (ground water exploration, solid mineral mapping, oil and gas exploration)

  • Research and make studies on earth magnetic, gravity and electrical fields

  • Design and execute data acquisition plan

  • 2D and 3D map interpretation

  • Development of well logs


Derived from the word seismology, this is a branch of geoscience that specializes in seismic data acquisition, processing and interpretation. Seismologist as a specialization are involved in oil and gas exploration and production. They create artificial disturbance or a natural disturbance in the earth and records the time of return of seismic waves p and s wave.

Seismologist are scientist who study earthquakes and all forms of earth movement. They apply this principle to interpret depth with time of travel of subsurface structures, this would in turn enable understanding of the occurrence of hidden minerals.

  • Prediction of earthquake occurrence

  • Study of natural earth movement (plate tectonic movement, volcanic eruption, landslide movement)

  • Hazards evaluation using data

  • Use computers to models information, gain insight for possible hypotheses, and predict trends.

  • Develop methodologies to improve upon conventional interpretation approaches including programming and data science.

  • Write scientific reports and publish study findings

  • Inform on subsurface information during field investigation.


A Sedimentologist is a specialized field of geoscience that deals with the study of sedimentary rocks occurrence and its physical properties, its origin and structures. A sedimentologist can perform the role of a soil tester, geotechnical engineer for engineering and construction works, and also a reservoir engineer for sedimentary basins analysis in oil and gas exploration.

The primary role of a sedimentologist in any organization is to take sedimentary rock samples and analyze them using laboratory tests like sieve analysis, morphometry, sediment transport modelling, petrographic studies. The information from these tests are required to understand sediment origin, depositional settings, structural features, minerals present in sediments.

  • In engineering and construction sector: the sedimentologist is required for soil test and soil bearing capacity and also to determine the degree of compaction for road construction, potential landslide zones, flood plain detection.

  • In the energy sector: the sedimentologist helps to identify sedimentary properties of oil-bearing formation; the degree of porosity in oil reservoir rocks, the permeability and also the formation fluid pressure. In general, they are involved in core drilling and interpretation, and basin analysis.

  • In the environmental sectors: the seismologist enables the mapping of site suitability for locating dumpsites and landfills. the sedimentologist would determine whether there would be possible seep of leachate from landfills into nearby underground or surface water.


Petrophysicist also known as petrophysical engineer are part of the reservoir management team in oil exploration and exploitation. They analyze thickness, porosity, lithology, permeability and fluid saturation in;

  • Hydrocarbon reservoirs (Here they study sedimentary rocks containing hydrocarbon like sedimentary rock properties, fluid types)

  • Hydrocarbon source (The source rock from where organic matters are formed into hydrocarbons)

  • Seal mechanism (Structure that helps to trap the hydrocarbon from flowing in the reservoir rocks)

  • Aquifer (Sedimentary rock that contains high volume of water that can flow)

  • Proficiency in the use of petrophysical computer application.


This is an interdisciplinary field of physical science that span across all disciplines. A GIS Analyst is involved in geospatial data analysis and interpretation, GIS models and map interpretation. This is a branch of geoscience that in involves maps and map interpretation.

GIS analyst position in any organization can vary depending on current business needs and goals. On a general scale, a GIS Analyst job can be described as follows:

  • GIS Analyst uses digitization to capture data in layers and convert paper maps to a digitized copy

  • Develop reports and give presentations using maps and infographics as illustrations.

  • GIS analyst also develop internet and web application and tool to display GIS data for clients, users.

  • Provide after service support for GIS related issues and infrastructure.

  • organize training sessions on GIS.


GIS analyst and cartographer are somewhat similar in roles, except that for a cartographer, they are basically involved in all aspect of map making. They produce maps by hand drawing and the use of GIS computer software like ArcGIS, qgis, erdas.

  • They are actively involved in the research collecting, storing, retrieving, evaluating and manipulation of data for map making.

  • Liaising with information providers, clients and external contacts

  • Accessing and using aerial photographs and satellite images

  • They collect raw data from clients and users and process it into maps for visual interpretation.

  • check the content and accuracy of maps, charts and printing proofs.

  • Makes use of GIS remote sensing tools and techniques to capture spatial data and images.

There isn’t any undergraduate degree specifically in cartography, however, you would need a degree in spatial science or any relevant subject:

  • Earth science

  • Geography information technology

  • Geography information system

  • Geography and Geology

  • Geomatic and Geoinformatics

  • Land surveying


marine geology is a branch of specialization in geology, that deals with the study of the processes and nature of the ocean floor. Most marine geologist works for engineering and construction companies that are involved in construction of bridges and roads, also in the oil and gas sector, for off shore exploration and production. This discipline is relatively young but has proven to be vital to our understanding of how the world works.

The primary role of a marine geologist is to investigate and give reports on sea floor topography, features, processes and rock types to inform effective decision-making process in offshore construction and engineering activities.

In the oil and gas sector, a marine geologist is employed during the oil rig citing, design and construction stage for offshore oil exploration. Their knowledge of sea bed geology is vital in this stage.

A marine geologist may also be required to;

  • Perform field work in extreme temperature and environmental condition

  • Available to travel to work site through ships, submarines, aircrafts

  • Knowledge of local, state and federal environmental laws and regulations

  • Acquire permit to work offshore

  • Collect underwater rock samples and collect photographed images of seabed topography

  • Develop models and graphical representation of ocean floor observations and measurements


A mineralogist is a person that studies minerals. A mineralogist performs scientific tests on minerals to determine it chemical composition. They analyze mineral ores and rocks by performing physical and chemical tests.

A knowledge of a mineralogist is required in the mining industry for solid mineral exploration, also in construction and engineering firms for investigation of rock type required for construction materials, they are also employed for the calculation of volume of solid mineral reserves

  • A degree in chemistry, mineralogy, geology or relevant discipline

  • Thy make microscopic examinations of ore minerals to determine the mineral composition.

  • They perform physical and chemical and chemical test on rock samples

  • The produce reports and presentation on their findings

  • They perform petrographic analysis on rock samples for mineral exploration.


The reservoir engineering is also another specialization in the geoscience discipline, usually attained in masters and PhD levels. They employ the knowledge of geology and fluid mechanics to study reservoir rocks, source rocks, and trap mechanisms.

Quantitatively, they determine the volume of hydrocarbon in the reservoir, and helps to maximize production. Reservoir engineers make us of computer aided design and modelling software to produce visual representation of the oil reservoirs.

Reservoir engineers can also measure the amount of hydrocarbon that can be extracted from reservoir rocks and also the total drill depth of the oil-bearing rock and the duration of reserve viability for investment purposes. This information frequently involves combining several mitigating factors, such as extraction costs and profit comparisons, into these forecasts

The reservoir engineer works closely with Petrophysicist to give a wholistic description of the oil reservoir, by analyzing the formation water volume, gas volume, pore pressure, porosity and permeability determination.


They are basically involved in environmental protection and regulation, by ensuring standard practice in exploration and exploitation activities in any organization they work for.

They also plan and carryout geological field investigation to collect sample data. They may also employ GIS techniques to map contaminants, access degree of environmental degradation and perform geospatial based impact assessment on environment.

They make use of remotely sensed data from satellite imageries, aerial photographs, well logs, ground penetration Rader to understand the impact of naturally or man-made induced disasters of great extents, potential hazards may also be identified.

They use the information they've gathered from series of research and investigation to assess the safety of a location for a particular purpose, these may include citing landfills for waste disposal or siting a nuclear power plant. Environmental geologist also advises on risk reduction and contaminated site restoration. They may write reports detailing their findings for clients.

Environmental geologists are employed in government regulatory agencies, engineering firms and energy sector. They are basically needed in all aspect of project type.


Meteorologist is a person who specializes in weather studies and prediction. They employ scientific theoretical observation of the atmosphere to forecast weather. They work in meteorological stations where weather observations are recorded in seconds, minutes and hours. They could describe how the atmosphere interact with life on the planet, they can also work in the airport and governments agencies.


They apply the principle of physics and mathematics to understand celestial bodies and the universe. Astronomers usually specializes in an aspect of the celestial bodies or events. They are involved in developing and testing scientific theories, analyzing data and writing research proposals.

Astronomers make use of astronomical tools such as telescope, spectrographs, cameras, spacecrafts, computers. There are different fields of astronomy, some examples of these fields are solar astronomy, planetary astronomy, Steller astronomy, galactic astronomy, cosmology.


The hydrogeologist deals with the study of ground water occurrence, a hydrogeologist studies the general distribution, flow mechanism, volume of water, depth of aquifer for ground water exploration. It is a branch of geoscience that makes use of data from maps to locate well site and to build ground water models for recharge and discharge areas.

As a hydrogeologist you would be involved in

  • Oil and gas exploration for formation volume water analysis

  • Ground water exploration and production for domestic and industrial use.

  • Access the impact of an exploitation activity on the ground water quality.

  • Write detailed report for clients and your organization about an ongoing or new investigation

  • Able to use computer aided design to model ground water flow, analyze it chemical composition, and manmade influence.

  • Able to carry out exploration activities to identify new water prospects for remote areas and villages

  • Carryout physiochemical water testing and borehole rehabilitation.


Stratigraphy is a branch of geoscience, which specializes in the study of rock layers in-situ in its natural form. Rocks of volcanic and sedimentary origin are studied by stratigraphers based on geological principles that rocks were originally layered horizontally, until external processes acted on them. They study how rocks are layered to understand it history, age, depositions settings and the processes that has taken place over time.

The roles of a stratigrapher includes;

  • To plan and execute field work for in-situ rock study and sample collection

  • Write report on findings during your investigation

  • Use computer software and tools to analyze data.

  • Provide and interpret subsurface information during drilling process

  • Determine the relative age of rocks in a sedimentary basin.