What is Geology?
Never heard of the study of Geology before? Well, in layman’s terms, Geology is the study of the Earth, how it works along with it’s 4.5 billion-year history. Geology is the science which deals with the physical structure and substance of the Earth, their history and the processes which act on them. Geology also focuses on the evolution and dynamics of the Earth such as its natural minerals and energy resources. Geology also consists of the study of any terrestrial planets or natural satellites such as the Moon or Saturn. If you like science, have a deep love for the Earth, love the outdoors and have a strong fascination for the world, you should consider Geology.
What is the importance of studying Geology?
Geologists work to understand the history of our planet. Geologists study our most important natural resources such as water, energy, environment, climate change and natural disasters. The better they can understand Earth’s history, the easier they are able to foresee how events and processes of the past would influence the future. Now, let’s talk about 2 examples of why Geology is important :
1. Understanding earth materials and processes
Geology helps us study Earth materials that we use everyday such as oil, metals and water along with natural processes Earth creates such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions. Learning and understanding the root causes of these processes aid in the continuous development and evolution of communities. As an example, if the study of geology is able to study maps of areas that have experienced flood in the past, it can also predict the areas that might be affected by the flood again in the future. This helps in either avoiding building in that specific area or determining where flood protection or flood insurance is needed.
2. Study Earth’s history
Geology also helps us by studying climate change. Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place, varying from the change in how much rain a place gets to a change in usual temperature of a season. Climate change is also a change in Earth’s climate. Understanding these changes across time is valuable in understanding the causes of changes and its effects.
What does a Geologist do?
Geologists are able to work in a wide range of industries due to their specialization in studying the core foundation of many resources. Some geologists work in offices while some of them work in the field.
Here are some examples of the different fields you can find Geologists in :
1. Mapping & Fieldwork
A geologist plays an incredibly important role in mapping out the land prior to mining and exploration companies, construction companies or even some oil and gas companies. Geological field mapping is the process of selecting an area of interest and studying all geological aspects of it which undertakes the evaluation of particular types of rocks, geological structures of an area and how they function as a whole in a natural environment.
Another form of field-based work geologists do is logging. Logging ranges from a varying rock core logging : for mining and exploration companies, mud logging : undertaken for oil and gas exploration as well as geotechnical logging, which assesses how strong or weak rocks are beneath the surface. Logging plays its part by studying and assessing past environmental changes and accurately recording sampling locations.
3. Laboratory Work
Some geologists focus mainly on laboratory work where many times they conduct microscoping work – looking at the minor details of rocks and fossils. Microscoping work is known as the core roots of many discoveries that has been made about the geology of the world. Geochemical analyses use chemical methodology to reveal details about samples while geomechanical tests function as a test of how strong specific rocks are.
World's Top 2 Famous & Influential Geologist
1. Marie Tharp
Marie Tharp is a well-known American geologist who discovered the first scientific map of the Atlantic Ocean floor. Her outstanding work helped bring a sense of life and sense to the ocean world. Her discovery contributed important information about our earth’s development which is used till today. Tharp used only pens, ink and rulers and sketched out the underwater details of the ocean floor by referring to sonar readings, longitude degree by latitude degree. She focused on using light and texture for her diagrams with what is known as the physiographic mapping techniques.
2. Charles Francis Richter
Charles Francis Richter is another influential seismologist known for his creation of the Richter magnitude scale in 1935 used to quantify the size of the earthquakes, by its intensity. Ritcher’s scale was immediately declared the standard measure of earthquake intensity. The scale takes into account the distance from the point on the ground that is directly above the earthquake’s origin to the instrument. Richter’s prior interest in astronomy influenced his use of the term “magnitude” to describe the earthquake’s strength which was used to describe the brightness of the stars in the atmosphere.
What are the potential career options with a Geology degree?
Geology can be a very interesting and influential career. If you graduate with a Geology degree, you are able to potentially work in a number of different sectors that vary between different fields such as oil & gas, engineering, mining and extraction industries. Many geologists partake in field work at some point of their career.
Typical jobs offered for Geology at degree level :
However, skills and knowledge gained from a Geology degree can also help prepare you for careers in :
- Quarry manager
- Land engineer
- Environmental investigator
- Climate change and sustainability consultant
What are the core subjects in a Geology course?
Individuals studying Geology generally study the basics of the science that studies the Earth’s physical structure and substances, rocks as well as the processes and most sustainable ways of using the world’s resources. Like other degrees, the structure of a geology degree is likely to involve report writing, research projects, presentations and group work alongside independent study and fieldwork.
Here are some of the core subjects offered in a typical Geology course :
- Foundation of Chemistry
- Foundation of Physics
- Earth materials
Where to Study Geology Degree in Malaysia?
1. Curtin University, Malaysia
Bachelor in Science (Applied Geology) – BSc
February and July
3 years (Full time)
Indicative Annual Fees (2021)
Malaysian – RM 29,800 per year
Non-Malaysian – RM 44,344 per year
English Entry Requirements :
International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
SPM 1119 English
Min. C Grade
GCE ‘A’ Level
Min. E Grade
GCE ‘O’ Level
Min. C Grade
Academic Entry Requirements :
*Course prerequisites include : Mathematics (including Calculus), Physics and Chemistry
GCE – A Level/STPM (best out of 3 subjects)
UEC (best of 5 subjects)
International Baccalaureate (IB)
Examples of subjects offered for this course by Curtin University Malaysia :
- Foundations of Physics
- Fundamentals of Geology
- Mineralogy and Geochemistry
- Structural Geology
- Engineering Sustainable Development
- Environmental Geoscience
- Petroleum Geology
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