Geologist, Mark Davis
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Mark Davis works hard at his job, but he enjoys his work.

Name and position

Mark Davis, geologist, Utah Geological Survey

Mark Davis
Mark Davis, Geologist, digs through the ice in a pothole near Moab to reach water for chemical analysis.

What do you do?

I WORK IN THE Geologic and Information Outreach Program, which involves interacting with and educating the public, teachers, industry and decision makers. I get to travel throughout Utah, spend time outdoors, and can be found leading field trips or writing interpretive articles, booklets and signs. Utah's geology provides a wide diversity of subjects, from earthquakes to awesome scenery to dinosaur bones, which keeps me exploring and learning.

What kind of education is required for a job like yours?

A bachelor's degree in geology or a closely related field is required to work as a geologist at the UGS. Classes in the earth sciences, math, chemistry and physics are typical courses for a geology undergraduate. Many of our newer employees often have master's degrees and some even have Ph.D.s. Strong verbal and written communication skills are also a big plus.

The UGS also hires GIS (geographic information systems) specialists, librarians, graphic artists and bookstore employees.

The greater your interest, the more rewarding school and work will be.

What would you suggest to people considering a career in geology?

Have a strong interest in the Earth and how it operates. The greater your interest, the more rewarding school and work will be. Take every opportunity to become more knowledgeable about the planet, and travel and explore as much as possible. Always try to decipher the landscape, the materials beneath your feet, and question how the Earth affects the way we live, and what it provides for people. My mother always told me that when I grew up I would spend a third of my waking hours at work and so I had better find work I enjoyed. Work hard but enjoy your work.

Why did you become a geologist?

Throughout my school years, I enjoyed my science classes the best. I've also always loved being outdoors and I grew up taking trips with my family. While hiking and exploring, I would be curious about the ground I was walking on and the vistas I was looking at. I even started a rock collection from the places I had been. I have been adding to my collection ever since. Today, I keep my collection in my office, and often show people particular specimens of rocks and minerals.


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