GeoPoll # 1 – What does a geology education need?

I’d like to inaugurate a new series of posts, that will pop up on a semi-regular basis, namely, whenever I feel like it. Since day 1 of this blog, even way back in my pre-EGU days, I have tried to encourage participation from readers. To date, the only way for you to engage with me is to comment. However, in reality, not that many people are  so moved that they feel like responding directly. Certainly, the proportion of readers to commenters is easily around 100:1, if not more when you take comments from family members out (haha, kidding).

Picard Engage - IT's TIME TO ENGAGE!

Therefore, to try and encourage involvement and hopefully even spur some discussion from time to time I’ll be posting a poll every so often. The plan is that I’ll write the question. It could be serious or humorous or even a bit of both. Question and answer suggestions are very welcome. I’ll also post a variety of answers that ideally will cover a range of opinions. Hopefully, with these informal opinion polls we can generate some interesting discussions and see how people feel about issues that geologists care about. The first test of the poll system a few weeks ago in my post about vadose zone modelling generated over 30 responses, so I am going to call that a success and continue polling.

This weeks poll to kick things off concerns a topic that every geoscientist should have an opinion on. Namely, what key items are necessary for a good geology education? My personal undergrad geology experience included almost all of these things and certainly lots of number 3. However, that does not mean they are truly integral to producing a geologist. Indeed, what could be dropped from a geoscience education without compromising the quality of education and what could not?

Just a minor note, click the “view results” button on the poll to see how everyone is voting, and if you would like to add a response you can do so in the “other” box or in the comment section to start some more in depth discussion on the topic.

Happy opining!


Matt Herod is a Ph.D Candidate in the Department of Earth Sciences at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. His research focuses on the geochemistry of iodine and the radioactive isotope iodine-129. His work involves characterizing the cycle and sources of 129I in the Canadian Arctic and applying this to long term radioactive waste disposal and the effect of Fukushima fallout. His project includes field work and lab work at the André E. Lalonde 3MV AMS Laboratory. Matt blogs about any topic in geology that interests him, and attempts to make these topics understandable to everyone. Tweets as @GeoHerod.


  1. Ahh, I voted for all of them. One of the key aspects to geo-education is diversity! Even beer is great for networking, such an important skill these days.

    Nice idea for more interactive posts too :)

    • Thanks Jon. I completely agree. A wide perspective on the disciplines is key. Beer was my facetious addition, although it should not be underrated!

  2. Was supprised that a course on ethics ranked so low. I speak from the perspective of a Technical Manager, with several Geologists on my staff. One of the most unethical men in Ameria last year was a Geologist; the CEO of Chesapeake Energy

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