The figure below is a Sankey diagram, a flow diagram in which populations are shown proportionally along the flow paths. This visualization shows the educational paths of the current geoscience workforce, from high school location to their primary job industry, using the National Science Foundation’s Survey of College Graduates 2013 data. The nodes (darker vertical lines) display the relative number of geoscientists in each position in their educational path and primary job position. The ribbons show the flow of geoscientists through the nodes.
The importance of geology and geologists to our society is often poorly understood and seldom considered. Geology is the body of knowledge that deals with the materials and structure of the solid earth and how it changes, and has changed, through time. By utilizing the technological knowledge obtained through geology, we are able to locate mineral and energy resources which are critical to our economic success, as well as minimize and prevent financial losses associated with natural disasters. It is the role of the geologist to research and assess the quantity, quality, availability, and recoverability of natural resources, and in conjunction with geological engineers, locate, evaluate, and develop cost-effective methods of extracting them. In addition, geologists collect data for use in environmental and resource conservation, land use and management, and global ecosystem research and testing.