Geology is the science of how our earth is structured and how it came to be. It’s the quintessential earth science, utilising physical experiments, numerical modelling and more to evaluate hazards and natural resources. Postgraduate study tends to have several streams, each providing a great addition to any existing geology qualification across specialisations. Some of the most popular are mineral and petroleum geology.
The ancient Greeks were pioneers in many scientific disciplines, with geology being no exception. Fourth century BCE philosopher Aristotle observed the Earth’s slow rate of change, positing that no person could witness it in their short lifetime. A predecessor by the name of Theophrastus later wrote a book on the composition of various minerals and ores. He was likely the first to classify each by their properties, using rudimentary measures of ‘hardness.’
Modern geologists have a broader spectrum of classes, tools and knowledge to work with. They deepen human understanding of the earth’s formation and its composite materials every passing day.
Geology is for curious explorers. Professional geologists must be willing to seek out new information in the darkest places our planet has to offer. It’s a field requiring an abundance of passion and patience in equal measure, for like the changing of the earth, results do not come quickly. If you’re someone who possesses these attributes, geology could be for you.
Postgraduate geology is best taken at the master level. Institutions like Curtin University offer these courses to those with prior experience in geology, taking one and a half years of full time study to complete or four years part time. Units available are entirely dependent upon which stream is taken from a choice between mineral and petroleum geology.
Students of mineral geology can expect to learn about ore deposits, mining geology resource estimation, electromagnetics and radiometrics for exploration and more. Students in the petroleum stream can learn about applied sedimentology and stratigraphy, reservoir engineering, seismic interpretation, borehole geophysics and more.
These professionals investigate the chemical composition of rocks and minerals. It’s a field that can help identify oil deposits and fossil fuels while also aiding in the purification of waterways. Companies like ALS Global provide their services to the global mining industry, improving the quality of mining operations everywhere substantially.
This is a profession dedicated to analysing water that flows underground. They create models, analyse data, maps and documents to determine how it flows, what the quality is like and a variety of other functions. Hydrogeologists are invaluable to communities who currently lack water sources, working for NGOs or helping them through the likes of Urdhvam and similar companies.
Companies like Terrex Group and WGP Group hire field seismologists to collect and interpret data on seismic waves to determine what lies beneath the earth. These professionals achieve this in an expanse of ways, including modelling 2D and 3D seismic data, measuring reservoir volumes, rapidly adapting collection procedures and more.
There are a variety of other employment areas available to postgraduate students of geology, including: