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Field science - are there any jobs there?

  1. Dec 18, 2012 #1
    Recently, I've realized that I am not cut out for pure math/physics. I do not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. Perhaps I had too romanticized a view. Perhaps I did not consider my own limitations. Pure math leaves me somewhat distressed. Don't get me wrong, I think I would enjoy studying some topics in my own free time (very slowly), but I would not be able to handle the stress of an academic career.

    Field work is why I got interested in science in the first place.

    I am interested in oceanography/marine science, renewable energy, and agriculture. I am more interested in the physics, geology/geophysics, and engineering aspects of these fields, than the biology. And very hands-on work.

    I don't mind travelling at all, and in fact, I would actually be happier going elsewhere. Does anyone know anything about those types of jobs in places like Scandinavia, the USA, Australia, and New Zealand?

    If you know of other forums where I could ask, do let me know. I'm not sure PF is the best place to be asking these questions, but it is the best place I do know of.

    Thank you.

    Also: https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=526116

    I remember reading this thread last year. Do you guys know of other colleges similar to College of the Atlantic, and Unity College?
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 19, 2012 #2
    many areas of earth sciences you can choose to do field work, office work, and most of the time both. Also, very good job prospects in the mining and oil industry for mineral exploration etc. My girlfriend's grandpa is a geologist and her mom got to live in south africa for a few years when she was young and they got to travel a lot around the world.

    just out of curiosity, what made you change your mind about physics? I'm deciding between geology or physics for university next September so i'm trying to gather as much information as i can
  4. Dec 19, 2012 #3
    I still like physics, I just don't want to do a degree in it. At least, not right now. I'm not really cut out for this. I'm not masochistic enough. I think too much, it makes me very tired.

    I realized that hands-on work is more calming for me. I can learn physics on my own, at my own pace, and without the constraints of a degree.

    Could you elaborate more on specific jobs, and what kind of training is required for them?
  5. Dec 19, 2012 #4
    geophysics is pretty good.

    oceanography is heavily computational. A few weeks of boat time - and a few months in front of a computer. There's ALOT of nontrivial math.

    renewable energy is not outside at all. Its the opposite of outside. Its all in a lab and on a computer.
  6. Dec 19, 2012 #5
    I'm in a somewhat similar position. I originally became interested in science after a summer field biology class in high school. It was very hands on and I liked that. I later found an interest in physics but it was the field experience that really sparked me. The next summer I did conservation work, again very hands on. It was a life-changing experience living in a tent in the wilderness for a month doing conservation work, and I really connected with nature for the first time. I'm now a physics major in my second year and loving the curriculum but I've found that something is missing... The outdoors! I thought that I could give up being outdoors in the name of physics but after working in a neurobiology lab doing nothing but sitting behind a computer making models last summer I realized that I need something more hands on.

    After reading about geophysics and talking with a seismologist at my university I think I've finally found the perfect blend of fieldwork and physics. I would highly suggest looking deeper into geophysics. Also this geophysics forum is great and will probably answer many of your questions about the field.
    Hope this helps and good luck!
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