If you are genuinely interested in the environment, enjoy travelling, physical activity, have sharp reasoning and analytical abilities, a ba...

If you are genuinely interested in the environment, enjoy travelling, physical activity, have sharp reasoning and analytical abilities, a basic knowledge of computers and are ready to try to tackle society's most challenging problems then this is definitely an option for you. The Earth sciences, which are interdisciplinary, include a study of the ithosphere (land), hydrosphere (water), atmosphere (air) and biosphere (life).


“As far as the scope is concerned, geology is really moving ahead, especially as the hunt for natural resources intensifies. Economic geology, which is concerned with research in ore, mineral resource, coal and petroleum reserves, offers an extremely challenging career,” expounds Dr Praveen Henriques, St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.The
lithosphere or the solid outermost covering of the earth’s surface can be oceanic or continental. A thorough knowledge of the genesis of soil — the primary resource for food production, its evolution, practical applications with respect to agriculture, and the impact of climatic conditions on its productivity is what pedology or the study of soil is all about. Edaphology, however, deals with the influence of the soil on the biosphere and living organisms.” Soil science is definitely diversifying and job opportunities exist in many areas such as agrology, civil engineering, bio-security and funded research,” adds Henriques. With the discovery of ice caps on other planets, glaciology, the study of glaciers and ice (the cryosphere) has emerged as a subject of interest.


At the undergraduate level, applied geology, biogeography, marine-geology and remote sensing is offered as one of the combinations. Mumbai University offers geology with chemistry and life science. Osmania University has introduced a three-year BSc (vocational) degree course in geo-exploration. The Union Public Service Commission conducts a geologist’s examination for the recruitment of (1) geologists in the Geological Survey of India and the other agencies under the Ministry of Steel and Mines; and (2) hydro-geologists in the Central Ground Water Board in the Ministry of Water Resources. Indian School of Mines, established in 1926, an institution in the field of geology and mining, enjoys the deemed university status. Besides B.Tech courses in Mineral Engineering, Mining
Machinery, and Petroleum Engineering, it offers an MSc (Tech) in Applied Geology, and an MBA course. Admissions are based on IIT-JEE results.


“Only two per cent of the ‘hydrosphere’, which comprises of more than 70 per cent of the earth, has been thoroughly understood. Careers in oceanography, limnology, marine biology, marine bio-technology, marine pharmacology and remote sensing are relatively new with much scope for discovery,” explains Prachi Sawant, who has an MSc in Zoology, with specialisation in oceanography.
The largest employers of oceanographers are government and academic institutions. Physical oceanographers deal with ocean properties such as temperature, wave motion, tides and currents while biological oceanographers and
marine biologists research
marine animal and plant life. Another interesting branch is marine archaeology where
recovery of articles from shipwrecks and preservation of sites is studied.The techniques used in the study of satellite and
remote sensing of the sea are included under remote sensing oceanography. “Though the subject is very interesting, it
requires extreme dedication, perseverance and a very high level of interest,” expounds Sandhya Hariharan, an aspiring oceanographer from Ruia College, Mumbai. In fact, considering the importance of the ocean in the national economy, a separate Department of Ocean Development was created in July 1981 by the government of India in order to promote ocean development activities.


Central Institute of Fisheries Education, Mumbai. National Institute of Ocean Technology at Chennai, for developing technology relevant to the ocean sector. Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services at Hyderabad, for generating ocean data products and their dissemination. National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research at Vasco (Goa). Most science colleges in Mumbai offer marine science as an applied component with zoology.


Climatology and meteorology are upcoming careers related to the atmospheric sciences.The difference between them is that while the former records available data on world temperatures and develops technology that helps predict changing weather patterns, the latter deals with current climatic conditions and making short term forecasts. Climatologists also lend their services to industries, private consulting firms and organisations concerned with construction projects like airports and
factories and study the effects of temperature on energy usage, food production, survival of endangered species, and even human health and life expectancy. All the courses are at the master’s degree level (MSc or M.Tech), but for some topics, postgraduate diploma courses are available.


The first institution for training in the use of aerial photographs was the Indian Photo Interpretation Institute, established in Dehra Dun by the Survey of India. It has since been renamed the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) and comes under the administrative control of the National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) in the Department of Space. IIT - Kharagpur offers course in physics and meteorology. The center for Atmospheric and Oceanic Science (CAOS), Indian Institute of Science,Bangalore. Andhra University, Vishakapatnam, MSc in Oceanography or Meteorology. Cochin University of Science and Technology, one-year Diploma in Meteorology. As the world becomes increasingly eco-conscious, deciding to capitalise on this would certainly be a wise move. The demand for specialists in the above fields is much more than the supply. So, go ahead and try to get a grip on the globe!



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