are scientists who study both the present structure
of the earth and how it came to be that way.
Typically, students must receive at least an
undergraduate degree, with coursework in chemistry,
physics, mathematics, hydrology, rock and mineral
formations. Extension courses in mapping and global
information systems are also important. Most
companies advertising for a geologist can also
require a masters or doctorate in any Earth Science
or Petroleum Engineering. Many students also secure
work experience in co-op or summer internships
working in the field. The Association of
Professional Engineers, Geologists and Geophysicists
of Alberta (APEGGA) regulate the practice of these
professions in Alberta.
In any sort of petroleum
excavations, including oil sands, geologists are
brought in to provide a better picture of the earth
being excavated. As a geologist working for a
petroleum company, the objective is to locate rock
formations that may hold reservoirs of oil and gas.
They examine the fossils, chemistry, and structure of
surface and core samples from drilling. Central to
these studies is the understanding of how over
millions of years these rock formations developed.
The geologist studies many core samples and well
logs to determine the structure of the rock beds,
providing a cross section of the area. The geologist
will then use this information to create a map and
predict the best place to excavate in an area.
Another branch of geology is geophysics. The
geophysicist uses instruments to measure properties
such as density and radioactivity of rocks. They
interpret the seismic data that was collected in the
field, and locate possible reservoirs where the
companies can drill. These efforts cut down on the
amount of dry wells and increase the chances of
hitting an oil or a gas reservoir.