On 30 th October 2019 a geologist named Ulrich Schreiber came to visit us to talk about what he does a geologist.Ulrich Schreiber worked as a Professor at Duisburg-Essen University. He specializes in the areas of volcanoes, plate tectonics, and earthquakes.
What does a geologist do?
When we think of a geologist, we consider that he has something to do with rocks. Schreiber showed us some photographs of his work. In one photograph, we could see a rock that looked like a wall. At the bottom we could see that it was a little bit round, this was because the sea waves smash against the rock wall and every time this happens a small piece of rock falls off, over the process of 100 years a so-called hole is created. At some point, the weight of the rock resting above the hole is too great so it falls off. This is also how waterfalls are formed by nature.
What tools does a geologist use?
Schreiber continued by explaining the tools a geologist uses when he is out in the field. A geologist’s hammer is a special hammer he uses to chip down pieces of rock. It is different from other hammers because it is very solid. A normal hammer would break after a few uses. The geologist’s hammer, on the other hand, can be used for several years.
Another tool that is useful when working outside is the geologist’s compass. Unlike a normal compass it measures angles and directions. On this compass, east and west are swapped. This is because geologists “are lazy and don’t want to do so much maths” Schreiber said.
Another geological tool is a pocketknife . When taking a picture of a piece of rock or another object, geologists usually put their pocketknife next to it so that the viewer has an idea of how big or small the object is. The pocketknife also helps geologists define how hard or soft a rock is.With a magnifying glass, a geologist can observe rocks closely and notice certain details the naked eye can’t see.
A further tool geologist use is a GPS device. The GPS is used to record findings and to pinpoint where something or someone is found. Schreiber pursued by teaching us about the maps that geologists use . There are certain Maps that geologists make or buy that define what type of rocks are located in which areas. These maps are called geological aps. They help geologists find what they are looking for.
What jobs are there in the field of Geology?
Geology is one science, but it can be split up into many different working fields. One of them is the search for raw materials. Some raw materials are petroleum, gas, coal, ore, sand, gravel and ballast water. There are some spectacular drilling sites. A further type of work is examining building grounds. Geologist work with architects to check that the ground and the area that they are building on is safe. They also help verify that the structure of a certain building stays safe. This is needed for the construction of tunnels, for example.
The third working field is science.
The subject of Geology divides into a lot of sub-categories and so does the science. Some sub-categories are earthquakes, plate tectonics, volcanoes, fracture zones, and research. The community of Geologists Every year a group of geologists from around the world come together in global meetings to discuss different topics. Ulrich Schreiber explained that he always goes to these meetings.
“Science is interesting because it connects, enriches and builds creativity “· one of Ulrich Schreiber”s colleagues once said. He extended this statement by mentioning that” it didn’t matter where someone came from, it was the topic that connected them”.
Travelling around the World as a Geologist
As a geologist you visit a variety of different places. One time, when he was traveling he observed a company that drilled a hole into the crater of a volcano. When drilling with a machine you start off with a big hole as you drill deeper into the crater the hole gets smaller and at the end of the process when the hole is around 1,000 km deep you have a hole that is about 6 to·7 cm big. When he travelled to Belgium, he observed the same thing only that this company’s drills had the capacity to drill 3,000 ·4,000 km into the ground. The only problem was that when they reached 4,000 km in depth the heat within the earth melted the drill. The reason that These companies drill into the craters is to gain energy and heat.
At the end of his presentation, we asked him some questions:
Why did you choose to become a geologist?
I was fascinated by geology ever since I was a child. When I was 16 a famous geologist came to talk about geology. Everyone that was interested was invited to come. I came and at the end of his presentation, I knew that that was what I wanted to do.
How long have you worked as a geologist?
I have worked as a geologist since the age of 16. I have travelled to a lot of places and seen a lot of volcanoes.
Which volcano was your favorite?
It’s hard to say but I think that some of the nicest volcanoes I visited were in Argentina.
Report by Sienna Olk Soruco (7c)