Why is the study of geology important? There are many answers to this question. A geologist does many things, and is on the front lines of energy conservation and climate change. Geologists are involved in finding new sources of fuel, making the most of the Earth's resources and educating the public about conservation. Oil geology is an important field that powers travel and manufacturing throughout the world. Geologists even help to protect people from natural disasters by predicting when and where volcanoes and tsunamis may strike.
Geology involves studying the history and workings of the Earth. By looking at layers of rock and ice, geologists uncover clues about the climate, plant life and animal life of the distant past.
Geologists study the way the planet has grown, changed and developed. They predict future trends so that people can understand potential problems and find ways to reverse, avoid or prepare for them.
Geologists are at the cutting edge of research in learning to predict natural disasters, such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes and shifts in the Earth's crust that could cause sinkholes. Warning the public about imminent natural disasters can save lives. Geologists are hard at work to help people and communities understand the risks of their areas and be ready when the massive forces that shape the Earth are unleashed.
Materials and Water
Geologists study mining and ways to extract resources from the Earth to use for fuel and manufacturing. They also work to find sources of renewable energy. Every mining company employs geologists to find ways to extract precious resources and to improve the safety of miners. If you've ever held a diamond, a piece of gold or a chunk of coal, you've seen the fruits of a geologist's work.
Geology now studies ways to locate fresh water, in case drought or changes to our climate cause water to become scarce. Geologists also help to design dams that provide fresh water and a renewable source of electricity. In the coldest places on Earth, you'll find geologists studying glaciers to understand the process of erosion and the long-term effects of changes in our planet's climate.
Without geology, we wouldn't have the materials needed to make cars, toys or televisions. We'd be at the mercy of volcanoes and earthquakes, which can kill thousands with their destructive force. We wouldn't understand how weather patterns and certain types of soil provide ideal conditions to grow the food we eat. The benefits of geology study surround us every day, once we know where to look for them.
This simple project, using modeling clay, will show kids how to make a topographic map that reads exactly like a professional map.
Learning how to read topographic maps is a simple matter of decoding the symbols and numbers that mapmakers use. Once you know what those numbers and symbols represent, you can unlock the information the map contains.
These simple and fun geology activities will expose kids to the different forces and materials that make up our amazing world.