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Measure geological changes, like melting glaciers and moving plates.

What does a Geodesist do?

Just like a small child, the earth is growing and changing all the time. And just as a growing toddler needs a measuring chart, the earth needs someone to keep track of its changes, too. Geodesists are the Scientists who do just that. As a Geodesist, you use a combination of satellite images and on-the-ground surveys to form a complete picture of the world’s measurements.

This field differs from other mapping fields, like cartography or geography, because it is concerned with how things that are not visible to the human eye alter the earth’s appearance. As a Geodesist, you study things like gravitational pull, tectonic plates, and the rotation of the earth, all of which change topographical aspects (for example, they form new volcanoes or mountains). The information you gather is used to determine things like how fast a glacier is melting, and whether or not continents are spreading apart. This type of information lets other Scientists make guesses about the way the world will look in a few years, and how the landscape will change.

You make your measurements by forming a three dimensional triangle over the area you’re studying, with the points located above, below, and on the earth. Today, GPS positioning has made this job much easier and more exact than it was in the past. The ability to exactly pinpoint an area of the earth’s surface makes this a valuable field for Navigators and Surveyors of all levels.