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Studying Earth Sciences

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The subject of Earth sciences encompasses all scientific studies related to the structure and development of our planet, whether looking at the composition of rocks or soil on the Earth's surface, investigating the movement of tectonic plates, or the properties of material far beneath our feet.

Gone are the days when a geologist could make a living by just wandering the hills with nothing more than a rock hammer. Although field work still plays an important role in many studies, today's geoscientist commonly uses ocean drilling vessels, satellite imagery, high-precision geochemical and geophysical instruments, and the latest in electron and laser microprobes in their research.

Newfoundland is currently the focus of both hydrocarbon and mineral exploration. In addition to the world-famous nickel deposits at Voisey's Bay in Labrador, mineral exploration and production elsewhere in the province continue at a level unseen in recent years. With the Hibernia, Terra Nova and White Rose fields offshore eastern Newfoundland in production, Newfoundland and St. John's in particular are becoming important centres of petroleum and mineral exploration and development.

None of these resources would have been discovered or developed without the involvement of qualified geoscientists, many of whom obtained their training in the Department of Earth Sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland.

In order to become a successful geoscientist, it is necessary to possess a broad-based scientific education. The Department of Earth Sciences at Memorial University offers undergraduates a strong foundation in the field of Earth sciences; the first two years of the undergraduate program also include a variety of courses from other sciences. During their fourth year, students may, if they so wish, develop more specialized interests through the wide selection of courses available, whether they be in oil or mineral resources, environmental concerns, marine geology, geophysics, geochemistry or a host of other areas.

Whatever your specific interests, we can guarantee you a varied and valuable education that will provide a solid background on which to build a future career in Earth sciences.

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