Today, our featured career is ‘Senior Geologist’. Geology, traditionally, is the study of the earth – its core, its crust, and the materials on our planet (rocks and minerals). Traditional Geology courses might include ‘Minerology’ (study of minerals), ‘Geomorphology’ (study of landforms), petrology (study of rocks – which are made of more than one mineral) and ‘Stratigraphy’ (study of layers of rock, or ‘strata’).
As our understanding of the interdisciplinary nature of our Earth has increased, terms such as ‘Earth Scientist’ or ‘Geoscientist’ have become more popular. These newer terms describe the study of the Earth, including all of its dynamic processes (this might include ecosystems, habitats, climate change, movements of the ocean and tectonic plates) and the state of these factors in our Earth’s history. In this broader definition, all geologists are earth scientists or geoscientists, whereas not all earth scientists/geoscientists are geologists. However, the words are also often used interchangeably.
As a geologist, you may have opportunities to travel abroad or within the UK to investigate rocks and mineral deposits in their natural setting, advise and research on suitable sties for engineering projects, energy resources, landfill or storage of resources. Working within other geoscience specialisms, you might be based in a laboratory, studying rocks and minerals using a microscope, testing materials for their strength and properties, or using computers to model particular outcomes or analysing data.
Current Role: Senior Geologist, Cornish Lithium Ltd
Undergraduate Degree: Earth Sciences, 4-year MEarthSci, University of Oxford
Brief Biography: Having studied her undergraduate degree at the University of Oxford, Lucy Crane went on to study a Masters in Mining Geology at the University of Exeter. With a passion for sustainable mining, Lucy Crane went on to work as a Geologist and Associate Geologist with Altus Strategies, during which time she travelled in Morocco and Ethiopia in pursuit of suitable locations to mine. Whilst at Altus, Lucy Crane also held an Executive Partner role at Helion Strategies LLP, which connects innovation gaps in the mining research with technical research, and was a Trustee of Oxford Development Abroad, a student-led charity which focusses on sustainable international development projects.
Lucy Crane has campaigned to encourage women to join the mining industry, and was Head of Women In Mining (WIM) for 5 years, during which time she developed internship schemes and scholarships for MSc programmes. She currently works at Cornish Lithium, a company who are exploring lithium-enriched geothermal waters and other battery metals in Cornwall. As an advocate for sustainability in all aspects of life, Lucy Crane founded Retrospecced in 2017, a social enterprise which recycles and refurbishes vintage and designer frames, partnering with Vision Aid Overseas.
One of the roles of a geologist is to identify sites where minerals, such as copper, can be found. Copper is an important mineral for creating sustainable energy solutions, as it is used in wind turbines and solar panels. For today’s activities, you will learn about how we can mine for copper, and how mining engineers use geological clues to identify the best sources for copper, without wasting time and money mining in multiple locations.
Want to know more?
To find out more about working in the energy and mining industry, or as a geologist or a geoscientist, take a look at the following explore-a-career pages:
- Oxford University Careers Service: Energy
- National Careers Service: Geoscientist
- PROSPECTS: Geoscientist
To explore other career options that might interest you, there are lots of tool available! We recommend starting by exploring job sectors and occupations on the following websites:
Talking to people who are currently doing a role you are interested in, organising some work experience where you can shadow someone doing this role, or reading first-hand accounts from people working in the area you are interested in can all help you find out more about a particular job!
To find out more about studying a subject at University, you can also talk to St John’s Undergraduates on The Ambassador Platform (TAP) by clicking here!
Share with us!
We would love to see any examples of work that you do during your Inspire Summer School. This can be a photo of something you have made, a picture you have drawn, some written work (e.g. the start of a speech, or the answer to a question we asked), or some thoughts you have about what you have learnt! Submit your work to us through this form.
All pupils who share their work with us by August 31 2021 will receive a certificate of participation in the summer school and will be entered into a prize draw! A £10 Amazon voucher will be awarded to each winning entry, selected randomly from all submissions. If you give us permission, your entry may be shared on Inspire Digital and our social media alongside your first name.