Geophysics involves the application of physics and mathematics to the study of the earth, earth materials, earth resources and/or earth processes. The objective is to apply this knowledge to human needs. Geophysicists work outdoors collecting basic data and indoors processing the data.
General Interest Area:
Applications of geophysics are widespread, including the monitoring of earthquake and volcano hazards; oil, gas, coal, and mineral exploration; toxic waste disposal; hydrology; and just about anything that requires the knowledge of what is below the earth’s surface.
High School Background:
Physics, mathematics, and earth science.
Plan of Study:
Although there is not an undergraduate degree in geophysics at UAF, geophysics is a major emphasis at UAF, especially at the graduate level. Students interested in pursuing a program in geophysics are encouraged to pursue a major in geology along with a minor in physics or mathematics. Students are encouraged to become involved in the geophysics research groups on campus and to explore gradate school opportunities.
How to get Involved:
Contact the Geology and Geophysics department.
Career and Graduate Possibilites:
Students with a B.S. degree in geology, but with an interest (and course background) in geophysics or physics, can get direct employment in a variety of fields. Most geophysicists either work for petroleum or mining companies, or work in academia or an academic setting for the U.S. Government. Some work for engineering companies. Self-employed geophysical consultants are also common. In general, an undergraduate degree in geophysics is rarely sufficient for career employment; an M.S. or Ph.D. is basically required. UAF’s geophysics “track” prepares students for graduate school in geophysics. Students with a geophysics background can specialize in geology, marine science, atmospheric sciences, and extraterrestrial science.