Explore Earth Sciences

Earth scientists, also known as geoscientists, are stewards or caretakers of the earth's resources and environment.

Investigating the earth, its soils, oceans, and atmosphere; forecasting the weather; developing land-use plans; exploring other planets and the solar system; determining environmental impacts; and finding new sources of useful earth materials are just a few of the ways geoscientists contribute to our understanding of the earth’s processes and history.

Geoscientists provide essential information for solving problems and establishing governmental policies for resource management, environmental protection; and public health, safety, and welfare. Other areas of earth sciences include geology, geophysics, hydrology, meteorology, and oceanography.

Geologists study the composition, structure, and history of the earth’s crust. They investigate the formation of rocks and landscapes and what has happened to them since their formation. They apply knowledge of chemistry, physics, biology, and math to problems such as finding oil, ores, and water. They may also decide which sites can safely support structures and advise on how to minimize environmental damage from natural hazards such as floods, landslides, or earthquakes.

Geophysicists use the principles of physics, mathematics, and chemistry to study not only the earth’s surface, but also its internal composition, ground and surface waters, atmosphere, oceans, and magnetic, electrical, and gravitational forces.

Hydrologists study the distribution, flow, and composition of underground and surface waters. Some hydrologists address problems of water supply, irrigation, erosion, and flood control.

Oceanographers study tides, winds, currents, fish, seaweed, and the sediments, valleys, and mountain ranges of the ocean floor. Their work aids weather prediction, fisheries, resource discovery and retrieval, and national defense. With the aid of data obtained from satellites, aircraft, and ground stations, meteorologists study winds, clouds, temperature patterns, and precipitation.

*Salary and Career Outcomes gathered from the 2018-2019 CSE Graduation Survey. Post-graduation outcomes reflect the percentage of students who were employed full-time in their field or were enrolled in a graduate program at 6 months post-graduation.


**Cohort size too small to report data due to privacy regulations.

ESci Career Prospects. Average Starting Salary: $**; Post-Graduation Outcomes: Employed 52.5%, Graduate School 42.5%, Other 6%