Are you curious about the Earth, what you can see, can’t see, or how it got that way over the eons? Are you passionate about our environment and how it is changing and want to improve our stewardship of it? Do you want to be a part of finding energy and mineral resources; in managing our water? Do you like science, travel, adventure, and enjoy the mountains, deserts, and oceans? You can pursue all these interests and get paid while you do it – as an earth scientist. Earth scientists do all of the above to one degree or another but are often known by names such as geologist, geophysicist, oceanographer, paleontologist, and others. All share activities in looking at and into the Earth and its history.
Ryan Weidert scaling down
Death Valley's Upper Darwin Falls
(courtesy of Ryan Weidert, photo by Nicholas Barth)
Career choices include academia (public school teacher, community college instructor, university professor or researcher), industry (exploration geologist and geophysicist, engineering and environmental geologist) or government scientist (U.S. Geological Survey, NOAA, NASA). Earth scientists are well trained in observing the Earth and have a broad education in mathematics and the physical or biological sciences. A Bachelors or Masters degree is required for many industry jobs, while Ph.D. degrees are needed for research and university teaching positions. UCSB can provide you with the education and experience to open doors in any of the employment areas of earth sciences. Continue to browse our web site to find ideas on how you can succeed both here and in your career.
Employment prospects are good, with some fields growing very fast. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, "employment growth of 18 percent is expected for geoscientists and hydrologists between 2008 and 2018, which is faster than the average for all occupations."
Retirements over the next 15 years will open many university positions. For information about our degree programs, see our Undergraduate or Graduate Education web pages.