What is an Environmental Geologist?

A geologist who studies the interaction between humans and the natural environment, as well as the impact of various human activities on the environment, is known as an environmental geologist. Environmental geologists strive to maintain a safe and healthy environment that is also accessible and useful to people. They can work for government agencies, private consulting firms, oil companies, real estate developers, and a variety of other businesses, performing a variety of tasks.

An environmental geologist must have a bachelor’s degree in geology at the very least. Many working professionals, especially those who work as teachers or instructors, have master’s or doctoral degrees in the subject. Environmental geologists work in an office or lab, performing tests, writing up results, and making policy recommendations that will be considered public officials, as well as in the field, studying geological sites, taking samples, and talking with people involved in a project.

These geologists can prepare environmental impact statements for proposed developments, collaborate with resource extraction companies to ensure the safe use of natural resources, and collaborate with government agencies to develop water and land use policies. Environmental geologists are also involved in environmental remediation, which involves cleaning an area of natural or man-made contaminants to make it safe to use, as well as performing routine inspections of sites that may pollute the environment, such as landfills. Working as an environmental geologist can be very interesting and varied, especially in areas with a lot of different terrain and human needs.

Natural hazards such as earthquakes, mudslides, flooding, and volcanoes are also of interest to environmental geologists. This information may be useful to existing communities dealing with natural disasters, as well as developers looking to build new homes and planned communities. In many areas, an environmental geologist must inspect a site before it can be developed to determine whether it is safe to build on and to make recommendations for safe building sites, and environmental geologists may be part of the consulting team when dams, roadways, and other public works projects are being planned.

Environmental geologists, like many other environmental professionals, want to make it possible for humans to use the Earth in a safe, sustainable, and practical manner. An environmental geologist can advocate for the protection of vulnerable environments and make environmentally sound policy proposals for development and resource exploitation. Environmental geologists can also get involved in litigation for a variety of reasons, such as suing companies that build on unsound land or determining who is to blame for industrial pollution.