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Center for Earth and Environmental Sciences student employees and faculty

Why Earth Sciences

Earth sciences encompasses the study of earth material (rocks, sediment, soil, petroleum), water (oceans, groundwater, water quality), and the atmosphere (climate change, air quality), as well as the relationships between material, water, air, their interaction with biologic life, and their changes through time.

The Department of Earth Sciences at IUPUI teaches the importance, application, and relevance of earth sciences in modern society and has a strong research program. The faculty and staff of the department provide an environment where students at all levels can explore, discover, and learn earth sciences through coursework and research.

  • Undergraduates in the department benefit from a variety of on-campus resources that other disciplines cannot offer; we have many opportunities to integrate undergraduates into research through scholarships, internships, and other funding sources.
  • Our research faculty provide a wide range of diversity across the geosciences not available at many other state and private institutions.
  • Most importantly, our Center for Earth and Environmental Science brings together campus, industry, and government stakeholders to conduct research and outreach related to environmental issues in Indiana.

See Earth Sciences degrees

Why study earth sciences?

Earth science (which includes geology and environmental science among other sub-disciplines) is a great field to study because:

  • It combines the strengths of biology, geography, physics, chemistry, and biology and applies them to our knowledge of the Earth.
  • The career opportunities are very diverse. Some geologists spend most of their time outdoors, others spend their entire time in the laboratory, and many spend a mixture of time outside, in the lab, and at their desk.
  • As a smaller discipline of study, faculty and advisors can give one on one attention to each and every student.
  • Employment opportunities are spread evenly across the U.S., both in rural and urban areas, with the highest concentration in large metro areas like Indianapolis.
  • Students can easily advance to the graduate level and earn a Masters or PhD degree.

The faculty research in our department speaks of the diversity. Several faculty are researching climate change and global warming, which has involved trips on ocean research ships and Antarctica. Other faculty are researching water quality issues and behavior in Central Indiana, while another faculty member researches the geologic history of mountain building in southern California. Some faculty do their research entirely in the laboratory or by computer, but most require some field work to collect samples that are then processed in our laboratories.

Environmental Science program

Environmental Science is an interdisciplinary field of study that investigates the interrelationships in the modern environment of humans and natural phenomena and focuses on important modern concerns, like how our global climate is changing and how that change may affect human activities, how to maintain and improve vital natural resources like drinking water, and how to manage and balance the quality of the environment in the face of improving the quality of life in the United States and abroad.

Qualities and skills of an environmental scientist

* Ability to work with a team
* Communication and quantitative skills (PUL*)
* Critical thinking & problem solving (PUL*)
* Detail-oriented
* Inquisitive
* Interpersonal skills
* Integration and application of knowledge (PUL*)
* Observational and investigative skills
* Physical stamina for fieldwork
* Professional values & ethics (PUL*)
* Understanding of relationships, interactions and patterns

*PUL = Principles of Undergraduate Learning define a set of abilities and skills that undergraduate students are expected to master. They reflect the expertise that graduate and professional schools and the workforce are seeking.

What careers are available in Environmental Science?

 
* Aquatic ecology and toxicology
* Ecology
* Education
* Environmental compliance
* Environmental consulting
* GIS analyses
* Groundwater protection
* Hydrology and Hydrogeology
* Industrial hygiene
* Landfill operation & monitoring
* Land use planning
* Natural resource management
* Natural resource utilization
* Planning-land use, water, air quality
* Political action and lobbying
* Public and environmental health
* Quality control & risk assessment
* Reclamation of contaminated lands
* Research
* Recycling
* Safety and health management
* Soil and water conservation
* Surface water management
* Sustainability planning
* Technical writing
* Waste treatment and disposal
* Water resource protection & mgmt.
* Wetland protection

Education - Where will your degree take you?

Bachelor Degree  Masters Degree Doctoral Degree 
Entry level positions in local, state, federal government, consulting, land trusts, and industry and preparation for graduate programs in science and law Managerial positions in government, consulting, industry, non-government organizations, and research and teachers at high school and community colleges Positions in independent research at universities, university faculty, government agencies (USEPA, NASA, USDA etc), thinktanks, non-government organizations

Occupational outlook and average salary

Employment for environmental scientists is expected to grow much faster than the average compared to all other occupations for the 2008-2018 decade. Employment for environmental scientists is projected to increase by 28%. Job growth should be strongest in private sector consulting firms. Driving the growth is the increasing demand placed on the environment by population growth and increasing awareness of the problems caused by environmental degradation. Also spurring employment is the need for organizations to comply with an increasing number of environmental laws and regulations, particularly with groundwater contamination and clean air. (2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Salaries earned by environmental scientists are dependent on degree level. According to the most recent data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, median salaries for environmental scientists and specialists were $59,750.

According to the May 2012 State Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates for Indiana, average salaries for environmental scientists were as follows:

Pre-Professional & Career Preparation (PREPs)

Career Resources/Job Boards

Professional Organizations & Associations

Environmental Organizations

Journals & News

Candid Career Videos

Visit the Science career website

Geology program

A bachelor degree in geology gives a student a solid, interdisciplinary background in the sciences. B.A. students may take a larger number of electives than B.S. students to create an academic concentration in another field that uses geology as a basis a for a wide variety of careers.

Qualities and skills of a Geologist

  • Ability to work with a team
  • Communication and quantitative skills (PUL*)
  • Critical thinking & problem solving (PUL*)
  • Detail-oriented
  • Inquisitive
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Integration and application of knowledge (PUL*)
  • Observational and investigative skills
  • Physical stamina for fieldwork
  • Professional values & ethics (PUL*)
  • Understanding of relationships, interactions and patterns
  • *PUL = Principles of Undergraduate Learning define a set of abilities and skills that undergraduate students are expected to master. They reflect the expertise that graduate and professional schools and the workforce are seeking.

Why Study Geology?

Earth science (which includes geology and environmental science among other sub-disciplines) is a great field to study because:

  • It combines the strengths of biology, geography, physics, chemistry, and biology and applies them to our knowledge of the Earth.
  • The career opportunities are very diverse. Some geologists spend most of their time outdoors, others spend their entire time in the laboratory, and many spend a mixture of time outside, in the lab, and at their desk.
  • As a smaller discipline of study, faculty and advisors can give one on one attention to each and every student.
  • Employment opportunities are spread evenly across the U.S., both in rural and urban areas, with the highest concentration in large metro areas like Indianapolis.
  • Students can easily advance to the graduate level and earn a Masters or PhD degree.

The faculty research in our department speaks of the diversity. Several faculty are researching climate change and global warming, which has involved trips on ocean research ships and Antarctica. Other faculty are researching water quality issues and behavior in Central Indiana, while another faculty member researches the geologic history of mountain building in southern California. Some faculty do their research entirely in the laboratory or by computer, but most require some field work to collect samples that are then processed in our laboratories.

What can you do with a degree in Geology?

Coastal and marine geology
* Drilling companies
* Government agencies*

Fossil energy
* Consulting firms
* Drilling companies
* Equipment suppliers
* Government agencies*
* Petroleum industry**

Geochemistry
* Coal/Mining companies
* Construction firms
* Consulting Firms
* Drilling companies
* Environmental Agencies
* Government agencies*
* Petroleum industry**
* Quarries
* Railroad companies
* Well services
* University/College

Geomagnetism
* Government agencies*
* Private research firms

Geomorphology
* Consulting firms
* Drilling companies
* Equipment suppliers
* Government agencies*
* Petroleum industry**

Geophysics
* Consulting firms
* Drilling companies
* Equipment suppliers
* Government agencies*
* Petroleum industry**
* Private research firms
* Work with architects
* University/College

Hydrology
* Environmental agencies
* Government agencies*
* Private research firms
* University/College

Mining geology
* Coal/Mining companies
* Construction firms
* Consulting Firms
* Government agencies*
* Well services and drilling companies
* Quarries
* Railroad companies

Oceanography
* Drilling companies
* Museums
* Naval division of the armed services
* Private or government companies
* Private research firms
* University/College

Paleontology
* Coal/Mining companies
* Consulting firms
* Construction firms
* Drilling companies
* Equipment suppliers
* Government agencies*
* Museum
* Petroleum industry**
* Private labs
* Private research firms
* Quarries
* Railroad companies
* University/College

Sedimentology
* Construction firms
* Consulting firms
* Drilling companies
* Environmental agencies
* Equipment suppliers
* Government agencies*
* Geochemical companies
* Mining companies
* Museums
* Petroleum industry**
* Private research firms
* Quarries
* Railroad companies
* University/College
* Well services

 

Soil Science, Agriculture
* Environmental agencies
* Government agencies*
* Private research firms
* University/College

Stratigraphy
* Coal/Mining companies
* Construction firms
* Consulting firms
* Equipment suppliers
* Government agencies*
* Petroleum industry**
* Quarries
* Railroad companies
* Well services and drilling companies

Structural geology
* Consulting firms
* Drilling companies
* Equipment suppliers
* Government agencies*
* Petroleum industry**

Surveying
* Coal/Mining companies
* Drilling companies
* Environmental agencies
* Government agencies*

Teaching
* University/College
* K-12 school systems

Technical writing
* Any geology field

Education - Where will your degree take you?

Bachelor Degree  Masters Degree Doctoral Degree 
Entry level positions in local, state, federal government and industry and preparation for graduate programs Managerial consultants, and research positions in industry and government, and teachers at high school and community colleges Positions in university research and/or teaching, management in state and federal agencies, and geological surveys at state and federal level

*Government Agencies (federal, state, & local) includes Environmental Protection Agency, Forest Service, Army Corps of Engineers, US Geological Survey, Bureau of Land Management, Department of Defense, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Bureau of Mines, Office of Surface Mining 
**Petroleum industry includes oil and gas exploration, production, storage, waste disposal facilities

Occupational outlook and average salary

Employment for geologists is expected to grow as fast as the average compared to all other occupations for the 2008-2018. Employment for geologists is projected to increase by 12%, due to the need for organizations to comply with environmental laws and regulations. Salaries earned by geologists are dependent on degree level. According to the most recent data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average salary for geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers was $53,890. (2010-2011 Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Salaries earned by geologists are dependent on degree level. According to the most recent data from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average salary for geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers was $53,890.

Pre-Professional & Career Preparation (PREPs)

Career Resources/Job Boards

Professional Organizations & Associations

Environmental Organizations

Journals & News

Candid Career Videos

Visit the Science career website