A geologist works in the field and in the laboratory. Depending on your specialization in geology, you may study and map rock formations, collect rock samples and fossils, or measure the physical properties of the earth. This will help you interpret the active geological processes during the past several million years of earth's history. Geology plays a vital role behind the success of many other different disciplines, such as climatology, civil engineering, and evolutionary biology.
A general geologist deals with mineralogy, petrology, geological mapping, economic geology, and petroleum geology. Geological mapping deals with documenting geological formations on a map, such as rock patterns and distribution. Economic and petroleum geology deal with materials that are of import to economic or industrial purposes, such as coal, ores, and minerals. These branches off of general geology can offer you a steady occupation if you can find a position or sponsorship.
Geohydrologists study properties and distribution of natural underground water reservoirs, their capacity to store water, and the movement of water through the reservoirs. More importantly, as a geohydrologist, you will investigate the cycles of drawing out water from the reservoirs for human consumption, as well as the replenishment by precipitation. This is a highly esteemed specialization for geologists, so a high level of knowledge and experience is required.
An engineering geologist investigates the physical and chemical properties of rocks and soil. You can carry this information over to building bridges, dams, roads, and tunnels in structurally sound areas and at minimal cost. Some knowledge of civil engineering is also recommended for the civil planning aspect.
Investigating the inner workings of the earth dealing with continental plate shift, breakup, collision, and amalgamation is the job of a geophysicist. They focus upon the physical and fluid properties of materials making up the earth, striving toward a greater understanding of continental formation and processes that happen because of it (earthquakes, etc). As a geophysicist, you will also focus on finding deposits of minerals created by the earth's movement and compression of materials.
Making deductions about ancestral climates and environmental conditions through the fossil record is the job of a paleontologist, a type of geologist. We can understand so much more about the past earth thanks to these researchers who analyze deposited layers of rock and soil for clues about pre-historic times. As a paleontologist, you will also work with evolutionary biology, determining the factors that made species go extinct and those that brought about the origin of species as well.
No matter the division of geology you wish to pursue, you still provide highly useful information towards understanding the earth's movements and makeup, climate, ourselves, and the animals that inhabit the earth.