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Evaluate the chemical makeup of soil, rocks, and water.

What does a Geochemist do?

A Geochemist studies the chemical makeup of liquids, gases, minerals, and rocks. That makes you part Chemist, part Geologist, and all ’round earth expert.

Employed by governments, museums, and universities, as well as oil companies, mining companies, and environmental research organizations, you’re typically paid to find ways to minimize and repair damage to the earth, or to locate natural resources such as oil and minerals.

In pursuit of your goal, you travel the world collecting samples of rocks, soil, and water, then analyzing them in labs in order to determine their gas and chemical composition, which offers clues about environmental health, mineral deposits, and water and soil quality. Because you spend a large amount of time in the field, it helps if you’re an outdoorsy person who like hiking, camping, and climbing.

Based on the findings you collect, you then help develop plans for mining and extracting substances, restoring topography and terrain, or mitigating the impacts of ecological disasters. For example, you might help steer a mining company toward using natural resources with the least amount of environmental impact as possible.

Although you can’t turn lead into gold, you’re nonetheless a scientific puzzler, using your combined knowledge of chemistry and geology to answer questions about the earth-and to protect it in the process.

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