Department of Geosciences - Careers in the Geosciences

Careers in Geology 

Because geology is important in both studies of science and technology, geologists are highly sought after in industry. As a geologist you may find employment not only in exploration and mining, but also in spheres as varied as finance, engineering and construction, analytical and research laboratories, and environmental planning.

Geologists locate and assist in the extraction of mineral deposits such as diamonds, gold, metallic ores, mica, coal and petroleum. Geologists also explore for common materials such as stone aggregate for making concrete and road building, limestone for the cement, fertilizer and chemical industries, and sand for building or glass manufacture. Civil engineers often work with geologists on major building constructions, tunnel development, highway construction and large excavations of all kinds. Environmental Geology emphases improved interaction with our environment using geological principles, and is involved with environmental planning, the safe disposal of waste, avoidance of water pollution, and urban development.

Major employers of geologists are the mining industry, municipal authorities, government bodies, the civil engineering industry, and the oil industry. Geologists are often involved in research work at various research institutes, museums and universities.

Careers in Geography

A degree in Geography or GIS studies will prepare you to work in a diversity of fields. Almost any issue can be looked at from a geographical, marketing, crime, health, conservation, education, politics, tourism, retailing, transport, social services perspective. The list could go on. And that's why a geography background can be relevant to employment in any of those fields, and many more. Spatial data systems, for example, have become a basic necessity for many organizations. Whether you're technology-minded, or more into social science, the reality is that geographical knowledge and skills - or a basic awareness of geographical ways of thinking - can be useful and relevant in any number of occupations.

FHSU Geosciences graduates - out in the world


Matthew Cartlidge (2008)
Graduate Student
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

I am working on a Master’s in Geography at Kansas State University. I work as a TA and as a GIS consultant for the Kansas Dept. of Transportation. After my graduation, my FHSU internship at KDOT evolved into a part-time job and it has continued to financially provide for me. I peruse legal descriptions of the towns and cities in Kansas and check for discrepancies with the maps KDOT issues. The FHSU Geography Department provided me a broad foundation in geography. The technical skills I acquired at FHSU are used daily as a GIS consultant for KDOT. The qualitative, writing and research skills that I acquired from FHSU are continually built upon as my work towards my Master’s degree with an emphasis in cultural geography progresses. The "real-world" experience is indispensable. The working world obstacles usually cannot be replicated in the classroom. For this very reason, internships provide great experience for any undergraduate and acts as a place to foster individual growth.

Keith Goentzel (2003)
GIS Consultant & Developer
MJ Harden a GeoEye Company
Gardner, KS

I work with clients to develop GIS, Lidar, and photogrammetry solutions. We are a subsidiary of the Satellite Imaging company GeoEye. We do GIS, Photogrametry, and Lidar. I work with our GIS and Lidar groups. I am currently working on GIS data integration projects. These integrate GIS and other CIS systems to provide better more accurate business intelligence. I also work on Lidar applications. These application assist in better visualization and classification of Lidar data. I use my GIS and Development skills learned at FHSU such as the basic principles of mapping and the fundimentals of GIS daily. These skills help me produce a more accurate as well as cartographic appeasing product.

John Groneck (1987)
SH&E Supervisor
ExxonMobil Corporation
Missouri City, TX

I supervise personnel that address employee and contractor safety, process safety, security measures, and emergency preparedness & response (i.e. hurricanes; natural diasters, oil spill cleanup), and loss prevention initiatives. As an undergraduate, I suggest additional / elective courses (business, marketing, computer; consider a minor?) outside of purely geosciences. Technical writing skills are extremely important for proposals, legal issues, presentations, etc. If offered in Hays, take a public speaking class; it may be old school, but lots of business is conducted / achieved by face to face communication. My internship provided an opportunity for developing time management; understanding liaison relationship between faculty/staff and students; public speaking skills; and interaction with numerous individuals.

More Geosciences Graduates

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