Mention geoscience and people often imagine trekking to far-flung regions to hammer rocks. But the discipline offers a wide range of opportunities beyond this. Some geoscientists — a term encompassing geologists and geophysicists — study the composition, structure and other physical aspects of Earth, and its geological past and present, to search for and extract natural resources such as oil, gas and minerals.

Others help to preserve and clean up the environment. Yet others are expert in fields such as atmospheric chemistry, oceanography and deep-earth mineralogy. Geoscientists find jobs in environmental services, scientific and technical consulting, government and academia — and even in high finance, where insurance companies rely on them to help assess long-term risk due to climate change, earthquakes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.