October 16, 2012 - Day 3 of Earth Science Week

This is a good week to explore the natural world and to learn about the geosciences. It's also a good week to learn about careers in the Earth sciences.

Check out the official Earth Science Week website for activities and resources and events.

What are the Earth sciences?

Geology is the study of rocks and minerals, Earth structures (such as the mantle and core), tectonic plates (huge chunks of the Earth's crust that slowly move about, creating continents and oceans), and processes such as volcanic activity and erosion. 

Oceanography is the study of the Earth's oceans, including its salinity, sea floor structures and fissures, tides, waves, and organisms. 

Meteorology is the study of the Earth's atmosphere, climates, and weather. 

Astronomy is the study of the universe. It would seem that this is unrelated to the other Earth sciences, which revolve around the study of, you know, the Earth—but remember that the Earth and everything on it (including us!) is built of materials created inside stars; also, the study of other planets and bodies in the solar system help us to understand our own planet. 

I know that there are other names for particular sciences. My brother, for example, is a geophysicist—someone who uses physical principles to study the Earth. There are also geochemists, astrophysicists, astrochemists, physical oceanographer, chemical oceanographer, and many other specialists.

NASA provides information on various Earth Science careers. 

Also on this date:

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