The Top 20 Things Your Advisor Didn’t Tell You

photo by WGodwin, 10.11.14

Your studies and experiences during college are invaluable in preparing you for a future in the geologic sciences. But academic training, however thorough, can never fully prepare you for life as a professional working in your field.

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Balancing Travel, Field Work and Family as a Geologist

The demands of working as an Applied Geologist can be difficult for those with family obligations, especially if your position involves a lot of field work and travel. It can be a bit of a balancing act to maintain a healthy, happy home life when you are frequently on the road.

Bringing home souvenirs is nice, but your kids and spouse would likely rather have your time and attention than a t-shirt or a paperweight. We have some tips for making this type of on-the-go position work for an Applied Geologist with a family.

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Recruiting Applied Geologists for a Small Organization


Applied Geology can be a lucrative profession. Professional, experienced geologists will have opportunities to hold well-compensated and prestigious positions at large petroleum companies, governmental agencies and large corporations. It can, therefore be challenging to recruit the best prospects for your small firm over these other potential options.

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Travels in Geology - Arizona

Blue Mesa in Petrified Forest [credit: NPS, public domain]

Continuing our series of articles on geology travel in the United States (see Travels in Geology -  California and Utah), this month we are featuring some of the fantastic opportunities to experience geological wonders throughout the state of Arizona. (Be sure to check on all locations for current visiting protocols during Covid.)

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How to Market Yourself as an Upcoming Geosciences Consultant

So you’ve just decided to set out and become your own boss as an Applied Geosciences consultant. Congratulations! Of course, now comes the hard part, attracting customers. We have some tips for marketing yourself and your new consultation services.

Create a compelling short summary of what you offer.

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Radon Investigation and Remediation

Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas found commonly in many buildings. It is known to cause lung cancer. Because it is colorless and odorless and can easily build up to dangerous levels in the enclosed spaces of our homes and workplaces, it poses a particularly sneaky hidden threat. Structures of any age can be susceptible to high radon levels, however there are certain areas of the country that are at an increased risk of elevated radon levels. Visit the EPA’s interactive radon map to see the risk level in your area.

Radon gas forms in the Earth’s crust during the uranium decaying process. It rises through the surface of bedrock and soil, where it seeps into buildings through foundations and subfloor levels. If the radon gas does not have the ability to dissipate, it can build up and expose the people within to significant health risks. 

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A Road Trip through Rocks and Petroglyphs: An Adventure of Pandemic Proportions

By Stefanie Voss, PE, PG, AEG St. Louis Chapter

My adventure took place in October 2020 and included a road trip to western Colorado and Eastern Utah. This trip came about to visit destinations that I and travel buddy Anna Saindon (also a St. Louis Chapter member) wanted to see for a number of years. This blog is based on a presentation I gave on April 22, 2021 to the AEG St. Louis Chapter on my travel experiences with the geology and its relation to the ancestral peoples, and highlights both Mesa Verde National Park and Dinosaur National Monument. Since I enjoyed this trip so much, I wanted to share it with you!

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Being Your Own Boss in the Geosciences:

Understanding Business Entities, Taxes, Liability and Insurance

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Understanding Emerging Contaminants

When most people think about the work of a geologist, they picture someone looking at and studying rocks and fossils. But hydrology, the study of groundwater, is a crucial area of concern for many applied geologists.

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Travels in Geology - Utah

Bryce Canyon Park (Soly Moses)

It is nearly summer, and that means vacations, travel and road trips. As a follow-up to our article Travels in Geology - California, this month we have decided to feature some of the fantastic opportunities to experience geological wonders throughout the state of Utah. (Be sure to check on all locations for current visiting protocols during Covid.)

The forces of erosion and climate have exposed an extraordinary diversity of rocks and geologic formations throughout Utah, making it a fascinating location to visit and explore. The commanding landscape documents the ongoing processes of wind and water erosion, the formation and disappearance of glaciers and lakes, and the land-altering impacts of powerful earthquakes and volcanoes.

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Celebrating Women’s History Month! Woman Presidents of AEG

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, AEG would like to highlight and celebrate some of our notable female leaders, specifically our Woman Presidents. 

Mavis Kent

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Applied Geologists and Geologic Hazard Assessment

 Damage from January 17, 1994 Northridge earthquake (USGS, public domain)

One of the most important functions that an Applied Geologist can undertake is to study and assess the risk of human injury and property damage posed by potential geologic hazards.  This allows the geologist to make recommendations to mitigate those hazards, thereby fulfilling a critically important societal need.

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Tanks are a Normal Part of Construction –The Basics Part 2 of 2

Anna Saindon, P.E., R.G., Ph.D., Member, AEG St. Louis Chapter
Environmental Senior Project Manager – Geotechnology, Inc.
Part 1 covered underground storage tank basics and closure by removal.  Part 2 covers complications to tank closures by removal and discusses the basics of in-place tank closures.  Some complicating issues when removing tanks include adjacent structures, utilities, poor subsurface conditions, and disruption to site activities.  In these instances, in-place closures may be the preferred option to keep operations going while staying safe and costing less than tank removal. 
Challenges to Tank Removals

Maintaining the structural integrity of adjacent building foundations becomes an expensive condition for tank removals due to the added cost and time to properly shore the excavation while performing the removal (Figure 1).  Similar issues occur if the tank is adjacent to a property boundary, roadway, or a retaining wall.  Utilities that cross over or near the tank would require protection and care before and during excavation activities.

If the tank removal is being conducted on an active site, or if the tank is in or near a roadway, other tanks in use, fuel pumps, or in an area of work, there could be a large disruption to the business or safety issues for multiple parties if removing the tank (Figure 2). 

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Tanks are a Normal Part of Construction – The Basics Part 1 of 2

Anna Saindon, P.E., R.G., Ph.D., AEG Member, St. Louis Chapter

Environmental Senior Project Manager – Geotechnology, Inc.

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Using Isotope Geochemistry to Investigate Migration Patterns and Diet of Past Civilizations

Author: Maren Pauly, Account Manager, Isobar Science

Shahr-e Soukhteh (The Burnt City) in SE Iran, initiated around 3200 BC and abandoned in 1800 BC. (Photo Credit: Arash Sharifi, VP of Lab Operations, Isobar Science).

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How to Start a Geology Consulting Business

Many AEG members have started their own businesses as Geology Consultants and have found the work to be personally and professionally rewarding, liberating and challenging.

The rewards include recognition amongst your peers, potentially lucrative fees and income, and the chance to “do your own thing.” Being a consultant is also liberating in that it allows you to be your own boss and not be tethered to a company that requires lengthy approval of pursuits or business direction.

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Travels in Geology - California

Death Valley National Park

If you’re planning a trip to California, or even if you are a longtime resident of the state, you may not be aware of how many opportunities there are to see and experience some fascinating geology. We have compiled here some tips and recommendations for making the most of your geologic exploration of the state of California.

California State Parks

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How Geology Affects Your Everyday Life

Unless you are a professional geologist or engineer, it’s unlikely that you give much thought to the science of geology and how it affects your day-to-day activities. However, the study of the Earth’s composition, processes, and mineral makeup is integral to many of the daily activities, products and tools that we take for granted.
Let’s take a look at the role geology plays in our everyday lives.


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Communicating Geoscience to Non-Scientists

As a professional Applied Geoscientist, there may be times when you need to convey the results of your research or share your expertise with a non-technical audience. As someone working in a science profession, it’s easy to forget that much of the scientific understanding you take for granted as common knowledge, is actually not shared by large portions of the American population.

Whether speaking in person or in the form of a written article or report, there are some recommended guidelines for communicating with those outside your own industry.

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Getting Involved with AEG

Whether you are a new or longstanding member of the Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists, we hope that you have found your membership valuable. We also hope that you will consider becoming more involved with our organization. There are many ways you can give back to AEG through our Operational Committees and Technical Working Groups, at least one of which is sure to fall into an area in which you have an interest and expertise.

Our committees and working groups are integral to advancing the mission of AEG. We could not exist without them! The members and chairs who volunteer to be part of these groups also find the experience to be very rewarding.

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