Careers that rock: UQ students learn geology in the field
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Careers that rock: UQ students learn geology in the field

Do you want the chance to mix classroom study with hands-on experience in the field, giving you a head-start on a future career as a geologist?

Queensland offers unique opportunities for geological field training. The state displays a diverse range of natural landscapes: barrier reefs to volcanic and sandy islands just offshore; mangroves to volcanic mountains draped by rainforests along the coast; and rugged mountains and sandy deserts inland.

Queensland also offers a safe, secure environment – even in remote areas – where students and scientists can conduct their activities. Fieldwork in Queensland is also aided by favourable weather conditions, with 70% of sunny days in the Sunshine State.

Taking advantage of our unique landscapes, geological features, weather, and social conditions, the School of Earth Sciences at The University of Queensland has developed an innovative geology teaching program with a focus on discovery in the field.

The ultimate objective of this program is to equip students with a solid, comprehensive and quantitative understanding of natural environments and the skills necessary to find and responsibly exploit natural resources.

Head of School Professor Paulo Vasconcelos said: “Through the years we realised that most students learn much more in a field situation than they do in a classroom.”

Professor Vasconcelos said the School was working very hard to do things in an innovative and engaging way to give students a career path to be very successful in the future.

“Our students are very well trained. When they go into industry, they are recognised for their competence in the field.”

The School recently received a UQ commendation for its Field Geology Program, an integrated set of courses designed to train undergraduate students in reading and interpreting the rock record. Courses on offer include 5-17 day field trips to the central Queensland sedimentary basins and coal fields, the Mt Isa ore deposits, and Heron Island on the Great Barrier Reef.

The program is popular with students at all levels.

PhD student Derek Hoy said it was one thing to see theoretical experimental data and to look at scientific papers.

“But when you go to the field and actually see it, all those little pieces of information actually unlock the story,” he said.

“That’s what’s really cool about field geology.”

Bachelor of Science student Zacharie Turschwell said: “You’re actually seeing the rocks, getting this hands-on experience with taking the physical measurements and getting a good image of what’s happened here, geologically.”

Watch a video about the School’s field program here:


Jump online and discover the diverse range of undergraduate and postgraduate science programs available at UQ.

If you’re a prospective international student, and want to study at UQ, you should apply directly to the International Admissions Section of The University of Queensland.

Or you can download the International UQ Study Guide 2016 as an app to instantly access UQ information – plus additional photos and videos not available elsewhere. Tap the App Store/Google Play Store icon on your smartphone or tablet to access.

 (Bachelor of Science – CRICOS Code 001961J) / (Bachelor of Science (Honours) – CRICOS Code 082958M) / (Master of Science – CRICOS Code 038548F)