GeoSphere

GeoPoll #3 – What got you interested in geology?

After a bit of an opinion hiatus I am back with the third geopoll. Every day I go to work at a university department filled with geologists. All of us are tackling different questions, but in the beginning we all started at the same place. Namely, not knowing anything about geoscience. In my conversations with colleagues over the years it appears that there is no single way to get into geology. We all entered the field from different avenues. For example, some people found it through a first year course, others, like me, started out as mineral and fossil collectors when they were kids or teenagers and still others only started in geology for graduate school and have a degree in chemistry or physics. Furthermore, geoscientists and professional geologists do not have a monopoly on enjoying and studying the Earth. In fact, geology is one of the few sciences that it is easy for anyone to practice at home and there are many amateur geologists out there that this poll also applies to as well. As I say, there is no single access point, but the passion unites us all. So, I have to ask: what got you interested in geology?

A gratuitous photo of the mineral Stibnite (SbS) from China. It is currently for sale here…if you happen to have a spare $23,500.

The serious side of this poll is perhaps it will hopefully inform how we can be better at geoscience outreach. If we have a better idea of how the current group of geologists got hooked perhaps we can target our outreach to a particular audience in the hopes of attracting a new generation of geoscientists. Or, as I suspect is the case, many people got hooked in university. Is this too late? Should we be trying to get geology courses into high school and elementary school curricula like chemistry and physics in order to get young people interested or at least educated about the earth? Perhaps us geoscience communicators need to work on attracting a younger audience?

Finally it is tough to think of good poll questions so if you have a good idea for a question(s) please post in the comments! As usual, click the view results button on the bottom of the poll to see how things are shaking out.

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 Comment

  1. Here are the “other” responses so far.

    Museum researcher I met in the mineral collection of the AMNH.

    Met a REALLY pretty girl, that like geology.

    just observing the world around me

    Doing oil deals

    Tried Geophysics and failed
    Today, 8:38AM

    A primary school project at age 10 – when topics were still picked by teachers

    different college class

    living in New Zealand for a year and experiencing active tectonics

    Summer Camp Counselor

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