Do you want to explore career options in the geosciences, but don't know where to start? Are you stuck in the middle of a job search and need some guidance? Check out some of these tips from geoscientists! The following are some pieces of advice about starting, pursuing, building and transitioning into a geoscience career. The following provides some basic information of six professionals that we interviewed who wanted to share some of their experiences and advice with students, recent graduates and early-career geoscientists.
- Profile information
- Advice about Networking
- Advice about Learning and Applying Skills
- Advice about Career Options and Opportunities
- Do you have advice for us to share? Let us know!
Carrie Suffern, National Weather Service, Sterling, VA
Carrie is a meteorologist at the National Weather Service (NWS) in the Washington DC area, which forecasts for the Baltimore, Washington DC metro area, most of Maryland and Northern Virginia and the eastern West Virginia panhandle. In addition to looking at weather observations coming into the office, she conducts hydrologic forecasts as well as long term and short term forecasts.
Juan Herrera, Schlumberger, Houston, TX.
After having received his PhD in Geology from Purdue University in 2012, Juan went on for a full time position at Schlumberger. Juan's expertise lies in the areas of sequence stratigraphy of siliclastic rocks, fluvial sedimentology, field mapping and geocognition. Juan is part of a geology team at Schlumberger Petrotechnical Services in Houston. His main tasks involve the processing and interpretation of different well log data and borehole images, as well as conducting stratigraphic and structural analysis in single well and multi-well projects. He works in close collaboration with petrophyscists to inform client decisions on exploratory and development wells.
Mike Lawless, Draper Aden Associates, Blacksburg, VA.
As the Vice President of Draper Aden Associates, an Environmental Engineering Consulting Firm in Virginia, Mike works with clients from local, state and federal government organizations, private organizations and folks from industry as well. He specializes in hydrology, environmental assessment and remediation projects, to name a few.
Mike Loudin, ExxonMobil, Houston, TX.
Most recently, Mike was the Geoscience Project Manager for the ExxonMobil Houston Campus Project, which involved development of a brand new facility for most of the ExxonMobil employees in Houston. In 2012, Mike served as a Director for the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Foundation - which is the part of SEG that raises money for and oversees several charitable programs, including many for students.
Vicki McConnell, Geological Society of America, Executive Director, Boulder, CO.
Vicki recently accepted the position as GSA's Executive Director. Previously, Vicki was the State Geologist of Oregon and Director of the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) since 2004, Vicki was responsible for guiding the Geologic Survey and the Mineral Lands Regulation and Reclamation Program, as well as serving as the geoscience advisor to state agencies and the Governor's office.
John Copeland, Two Dogs and a Horse, Inc., Producer/Writer/Director, Santa Ynez, CA.
To gain a different perspective about careers in the geosciences, we interviewed John Copeland, a Television Producer who has worked with geoscientists on a variety of documentaries and dramatic television series and productions. John has created a "think tank" of scientists (several being geoscientists) from CalTech and NASA's JPL on the science fiction television series "Crusade." Additioanlly, he has relied on geoscientists for advice on how to most accurately represent paleo-environments and other planetary bodies for various productions. John also produced the popular geoscience documentary titled "Faces of Earth," which premiered in 2007 as a TV miniseries.
Advice about Networking
Is networking really that important? How do I build a network if I know few people in my field?
Advice about Learning and Applying Skills
What skills do I need to start a geoscience career? What if I have interests and skills outside of the geosciences - how can I incorporate them?
Advice about Career Options and Opportunities
Don't know what you want to do? Don't know what options are out there for geoscience careers? The opportunities are endless - literally.
Experts: Do you have any other advice you'd like to share with students, recent graduates or new hires?
Early Career Geoscientists: Do you have any experiences or advice to share with your peers? Let us know!
Email AGI's Workforce Development Specialist Heather Houlton at firstname.lastname@example.org.