An earth scientist is a person who performs research and conducts experiments related to our planet, Earth. This field of study can encompass multiple areas, including geography, geology, oceanography and the Earth's atmosphere. These individuals are most commonly employed by either a university or a scientific laboratory. In general, a minimum of a bachelor's degree is required to land a position as an earth scientist. Some typical job duties include performing experiments, researching geological phenomena, studying rocks and minerals, publishing scientific findings and giving lectures.
Performing a variety of experiments is something that an earth scientist will do on a regular basis. For example, he might test soil samples from different regions of the world to understand how soil composition affects plant life and other organisms. He might also study the greenhouse effect to understand how the Sun's energy affects the Earth. Basically, his aim is to perform small scale experiments to better understand how things work on a larger scale.
Another big part of this profession revolves around researching geological phenomena. Some things an earth scientist might study could be the shifting of tectonic plates, glacial formations and volcanoes. His primary goal is to understand how the Earth has evolved into its present state and how it continues to change. While much of this research can be done by reading, an individual might be required to travel to certain locations for more hands-on research.
Along with this, an earth scientist might spend a considerable amount of time studying different rocks and minerals found in the Earth. This can include things like crystals, gems and volcanic materials from various regions of the world. He may also examine fossils and use radiocarbon dating to pinpoint their age. Studying these things can help an earth scientist gain a better understanding of the Earth's history and help him make future predictions.
Besides performing experiments and research, an earth scientist will sometimes publish his findings to share with the scientific community. For example, he might document the various steps of an experiment, his hypothesis and conclusion in a scientific journal. This practice is beneficial for increasing the knowledge of other scientists and the general public. In some cases, it can also help with environmental problems like global warming.
In addition, an earth scientist working at a university may sometimes give lectures to students. Since he is an expert in his field, it's common to instruct students on subjects like geology and geophysics. He may also discuss experiments he has performed and their outcomes.