Putting 4-H earth science projects to work

4-H members with experience related to gems, rocks and minerals may find job and career opportunities through their interest.

While attending a local gem and mineral show, I was recently encouraged to see how many families and young people were exploring the world of gems, rocks, minerals and fossils together. Earth science and collecting are 4-H projects related to gems and minerals that 4-H members may explore. Michigan State University Extension reminds those who are involved in such projects that a future careers may be on the horizon.

How many jobs and careers can you name related to working with gems, rocks and minerals? Here are just a few:

  • Jeweler
  • Entrepreneur or business owner
  • Artist or crafter
  • Geologist
  • Teacher or instructor
  • Mineralogist
  • Petrologist
  • Mining industry worker
  • Museum curator

Wondering what mineralogist? It is a person who studies minerals and is usually employed by a college or university to teach and do research. A petrologist, one that studies rocks, could have a similar future and may also be employed with the state or federal government doing geological surveys. Want to learn more?

The Department of Geological Sciences in the College of Natural Science at Michigan State University offers undergraduate degrees in geological sciences, environmental geosciences, earth science and an earth science teaching minor. For students working towards a Bachelor of Science degree, book and classroom knowledge is enhanced with a variety of day and weekend fieldtrips to provide hands-on learning – just like 4-H offers! Michigan State University students take classes such as Geology of Michigan, Mineralogy and Geochemistry, Planetary Geology, and Reservoirs and Aquifers.

For those that aspire to work towards an advanced degree, a Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Geological Sciences and Environmental Geosciences are available.

Your experience through Michigan 4-H is invaluable to your future. Michigan 4-H projects are filled with ideas and opportunities to link to future jobs and careers. Think about the possibilities!

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