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Geology/Mineralogy and Oceanography


QUESTION: Hello Joe!

1) What is the importance of Mineralogy?
2) Is Oceanography a branch of Geology, and how are the job prospects in the US?

ANSWER: Mineralogy is arguably the most important base for all of geology.  Rocks are made up of minerals; therefore, if you can't identify the contained minerals in a rock you can not identify the rock.  Mineralogy is also used, by many institutions (since it is generally a 300 level course and is a prerequisite for many other courses), as a class to weed out those who are probably not going to make it through calculus, physical chemistry, structure and physics.

Oceanography is not a part of geology. Oceanography, in the schools that offer a major in it, is a field unto itself. Geology obviously plays a part in oceanography and some schools offer a course in it but those that really emphasize oceanography do not consider it a part of geology.

The job market for certain types of geology, particularly petroleum geology, is very good in the US; although the job market for most other types of geology are also good.    

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QUESTION: "most other types of geology"?..could you please name them

Basically if you look at offered courses in a good geology college you will name the types of geology.  I will try to name some of them but many have sub-areas within them:

Physical Geology
Historic Geology
Optical Mineralogy
Sedimentology and Stratgraphy (usually are considered together)
Structural Geology
Geo biology
Economic Geology
Petrology (Sedimentary, Igneous and Metamorphic)
Petroleum Geology
Coal Geology
Precious Metals Geology
Rare Earth Minerals Geology
Uranium Geology
Geologic Technical Writing

Above are some of the geology areas below is an offering from NC State Geology with available courses all or almost all will have people specializing in that area.  


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Joe Norris


I am an economic geologist. An economic geologist does mineral evaluations and appraisals of mineral or mining properties. I can tell you if your deposit has value - remember that a mineral deposit, no matter how good, only has value when mined. Any value assigned to a mineral deposit, in the ground, is only the speculative value that deposit.


I have been a economic geologist for most of my 35 year career. Although I have done work in perhaps 45 states and numerious countries much of my work has been in Appalachian coal, intermountain west gold and silver, and Arizona uranium.

Past President of the Virginia Section of the American Institute of Professional Geologists and a certified geologist in twelve states.

BS Degree from Eastern Kentucky University. Work on MS Degree @ Eastern Kentucky University, Colorad School of Mines & Marshall University Numerious short courses on the value of mineral deposits and how to value same. Also several short courses dealing with the different types of geologic processes; sedimentary, igneous, metamorphic along with the mineral associated with each.

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