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Geology/What to choose from?


QUESTION: I will be starting my senior year at college in less than a month. I have the option of selecting two electives, so I'm looking for some advice before I make up my mind.

The following are the courses which are 'compulsory' and I have studied or will study these:

GEOL-301 General Geology I (Structural and Physical)
GEOL-302 General Geology II (Stratigraphy and Palaeontology)
GEOL-401 Mineralogy
GEOL-402 Petrology
GEOL-403 Stratigraphy and Palaeontology
GEOL-404 Economic Geology
GEOL-501 Micropalaeontology and Biostratigraphy
GEOL-502 Sedimentology and Sequence Stratigraphy
GEOL-503 Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
GEOL-504 Structural Geology
GEOL-505 Petroleum Geology
GEOL-506 Plate Tectonics and Marine Geology
GEOL-507 Geochemistry
GEOL-508 Geophysics
GEOL-509 Field Geology
GEOL-510 Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology
GEOL-602 Geological Field Work and Report Writing
GEOL-603 Well Logging Techniques
GEOL-604 Reservoir and Development Geology
GEOL-605 Basin Analysis
GEOL-606 Environmental Geology
GEOL-607 Petroleum Exploration Techniques
GEOL-608 Remote Sensing and GIS

These are electives we have to choose from(we can select any one combination)
1) Soil Mechanics + Geo-technical Investigation
2)Geochemical Exploration + Petroleum Geochemistry
3) Well Logging Techniques + Electrical & Radiometric Methods
4) Hydrological Systems & Environments + Groundwater Investigation
5) Mining & Mineral Processing + Industrial Mineralogy & Extraction
6)Clastic Sedimentology + Carbonate Sedimentology

Our curriculum is petroleum-oriented in my opinion so I was thinking I should go for Option 1 or Option 4, to get a feel for the other disciplines of geology. Any advice? Thank You!

ANSWER: Hasan:

I would take #3 and # 6.  The main curricula is very good, but you could probably do with a bit more well logging and definitely more sedimentology.

I would not waste my time with environmental stuff, going into that would be a last ditch option, the pay is lower and industry is shrinking.

If you needed to learn it you could take a couple remedial classes later, I did, but focus on the petroleum side.

Do they offer any classes in the use of geology and geophysical software?  That is very important.  It drives the industry.  I work on developing both Kingdom and Petra for IHS.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Pity, I was hoping you'd say #1, I found Engineering Geology quite interesting though I like Sedimentology as well so #6 it is then.

They offer an introductory course for Petrel in my university, not for Kingdom/Petra. Is that going to be a problem?

ANSWER: Engineering Geology while interesting is the realm of the civil engineer.  A so called Geological Engineer is kind of a bastard, not belonging in either  I worked with one, he was not a certified engineer, so could not endorse plans or engineering drawings because legally he was not recognized.  Some states in the US now certify geologists so we have equal standing with the engineers.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: A Bastard of Science offer an introductory course for Petrel in my university, not for Kingdom/Petra. Is that going to be a problem?

No, Petrel is on the leaders.  Funny I worked for Schlumberger about the time they purchased Petrel and was leading a group that was working on the software we hoped would help us compete with Petrel, and then they bought them and made us redundant.  I stayed with the company a few more years, and recommended several of my direct reports be transferred to that team.  Then I left and found work with the competition.  Petrel is a good one to learn.  Take that class if you can.  Knowing one of the software packages is almost a prerequisite to getting a job.



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Keith Patton


I can answer questions concerning physical and historical geology, environmental geology/hydrology, environmental consulting, remote sensing/aerial photo interpretation, G&G computer applications, petroleum exploration, drilling, geochemistry, geochemical and microbiological prospecting, 3D reservoir modeling, computer mapping and drilling.I am not a geophysicist.


I have 24 years experience split between the petroleum and environmental industries. I have served as an expert witness in remote sensing, developmental geologist, exploration geologist, enviromental project manager, and subject matter expert in geology and geophysical software development.

American Association of Petroleum Geologists
American Association of Photogrammetrists and Remote Sensing

Bachelor and Master of Science
Registered Geologist in State of Texas

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