Geologists perform some or all of the following duties:
Conduct theoretical and applied research to extend knowledge of surface and subsurface features of the earth, its history and the operation of physical, chemical and biological systems that control its evolution;
Plan, direct and participate in geological, geochemical and geophysical field studies, drilling and geological testing programs;
Plan, direct and participate in seismic, electromagnetic, magnetic, gravimetric, radiometric, radar and other remote sensing programs;
Plan, direct and participate in the analysis of geological, geochemical and geophysical survey data, well logs and other test results, maps, notes and cross sections;
Develop applied software for the analysis and interpretation of data;
Plan, direct and participate in the analysis of core samples, drill cuttings and rock samples to identify chemical, mineral, hydrocarbon and biological composition and to assess depositional environments and geological age;
Assess the size, orientation and composition of mineral ore bodies and hydrocarbon deposits;
Identify deposits of construction materials and determine their characteristics and suitability for use as concrete aggregates, road fill or for other applications;
Assess the movement of ground and surface waters and advise in areas such as waste management, route and site selection and the restoration of contaminated sites;
Recommend the acquisition of lands, exploration and mapping programs and mine development;
Conduct geological and geophysical studies for regional development, site selection and the development of public works projects;
Identify and anticipate natural risks such as slope erosion, landslides, soil instability, subsidence, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
May supervise and co-ordinate well drilling, completion and work-overs and mining activities.
Geologists may specialize in the following fields: coal geology, environmental geology, geochronology, geomorphology or surficial geology, geotechnics, hydrogeology, marine geology, mineral deposits or mining, mineralogy, paleontology, petroleum geology, petrology, sedimentology, stratigraphy or biostratigraphy, structural geology or tectonics, volcanology or in other fields.
Geochemists may specialize in analytical geochemistry, hydrogeochemistry, mineral or petroleum geochemistry or in other fields.
Geophysicists may specialize in earth physics, oceanography, petroleum or in other fields.