Career Resources

Career Prep Webinar Series: Fall 2020

1. Career Prep Webinar with Ann Youberg - "Geologic Impacts of Wildfires"

 Friday, September 25, 2020 @ 10-11 a.m



Ann Youberg is a Senior Research Scientist at the Arizona Geological Survey in the University of Arizona. Ann has over 30 years of experience in geological, geotechnical and geomorphic investigations and has been with the Environmental Division of the AZGS for over 20 years. Ann’s work at the AZGS includes surficial geologic, geomorphic and geologic hazards mapping, but her main focus is on post-wildfire hazard assessments and research.

Faulting and earthquakes, subsidence and earth fissures, extreme precipitation and landslides, wildfires and post-fire debris flows. Geomorphologists have so many opportunities to study processes that actively shape the earth, and to conduct applied research that contributes to understanding and mitigating the hazards. In this seminar I’ll discuss my circuitous route to studying post-wildfire debris flows, and provide some tips for developing your own career path.

2. Career Prep Webinar with Doug Silver - "Geologist Leap-Frogging Through Life: The World of Mineral Resources"

Friday, October 16, 2020 @ 10-11 a.m. 


Doug Silver is currently a portfolio manager at Orion Resource Partners. He has more than 40 years of experience as an active professional in the metal mining industry. He has a variety of experiences, ranging from exploration geologist to Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Observational science is the foundation for strong decision-making skills.  Doug Silver’s career as a field geologist, management consultant, appraiser, investors relations expert, company builder and private-equity portfolio manager reflect the adaptation of his geology training into a series of career moves.  Each step was grounded with an understanding of rocks. This presentation will review how he made these career changes and the role that geology played in advancing his life's adventures.

3. Career Prep Webinar with Leslie Katz - "Water Resource Consulting: Why Geology Matters"

Friday, November 6, 2020 @ 10-11 a.m.


Leslie Katz is a hydrogeologist with more than 30 years of experience designing, participating in, and managing water resources and environmental projects. After brief stints with the City of Tucson Water Department and the Pima County Wastewater and Solid Waste Division, Leslie joined Montgomery & Associates to pursue a career in water resource consulting, where she is an owner and director. While Leslie has led a range of projects, she specializes in subsurface contaminant assessment and remediation, surface water/groundwater interactions, and groundwater quantity/quality evaluations.  Leslie has an undergraduate degree in Geology and a master’s degree in Hydrology, both from the University of Arizona. She currently serves on the Geosciences Department External Advisory Board. Her focus on the Board has been to support outreach to students interested in pursuing rewarding geology-related careers outside of academia.

An understanding of geologic conditions at a site has always been seen as essential “background” information for a groundwater study. However, as water resources diminish and become increasingly impacted by anthropogenic and naturally-occurring contaminants, there is a growing need to apply geologic principals to groundwater investigations. Solving the water resources challenges of today and the future requires a deeper and more comprehensive knowledge of the geologic conditions, relationships, and potential hazards. Interested geosciences graduates will find that their robust education provides a powerful launching point for a career in water resource consulting. Whether there is a need to remediate industrial contamination, evaluate surface water impacts from groundwater pumping, or site recharge and recovery facilities, geologic insights can be leveraged to improve outcomes. 

4. Career Prep Webinar with Phil Pearthree - "Diverse Careers in State Geological Surveys"

Friday, November 20, 2020 @ 10-11 a.m. 

Zoom Link    Password: 126920

Phil Pearthree is currently Director of the Arizona Geological Survey. He grew up in the Midwest and graduated from Oberlin College in 1977. He came west to the University of Arizona for graduate school and has never regretted that decision. He gained incredibly valuable geologic expertise and research experience during a fairly long career as a graduate student in Geosciences, obtaining his M.S. in 1982 and Ph.D. in 1990. His research focused primarily on geomorphology and Quaternary geology, but due to the broad scope of the department was able to dabble in tectonics and geophysics as well. He joined the AZGS as a Research Geologist in 1988. There he developed a vigorous program of research, mapping, and investigations in surficial geology, geologic hazards, environmental geology, and late Cenozoic landscape development and river evolution in Arizona and adjacent areas, assisted by of many excellent UA graduate students and graduates. He assumed the position of Director in 2016, very soon after the AZGS was reunited with the UA without dedicated state funding. He helped reestablish base state funding for the AZGS, guided the integration of the AZGS into the UA, and fostered renewed growth in research funding working with existing staff and strategic hires while continuing to be involved in geologic mapping and research efforts.

State geological surveys provide employment opportunities for earth scientists ranging from the B.S. to Ph.D. level. Activities of individual state surveys vary depending on their size, organizational location in state government / universities, and statutory directives and requirements. A common objective is to provide unbiased scientific information to government agencies and the public that can be used to better understand the geologic framework, geologic hazards, and mineral, energy, and water resources of their state. State surveys cumulatively have ~1850 FTE employees and receive ~$240M total funding, ó of which comes from direct state appropriations and the remainder from federal, other state, and local funding sources. Employment opportunities range from establishing and managing research groups, participating in geologic mapping teams, conducting resource assessments, collecting geologic and hydrologic data, creating and analyzing GIS data, and public outreach. This talk will explore the areas in which state geological surveys conduct applied research and provide geologic information to stakeholders and the general public.

For more information on past career preparation seminars, and to view past recordings, please visit our archive!


Career Prep Archive

What do Geoscientists do?

Although a great amount has been learned about the Earth, much more is yet to be discovered. Geoscience is everywhere. Geoscientists:

  • Study and help mitigate volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, and landslides 
  • Discover and help develop groundwater supplies, construction materials, mineral ores, and fossil fuels
  • Explore new ideas about the natural world from the core of the Earth, to the the depths of the oceans, to the outer reaches of space
  • Study physical and chemical processes in order to understand the origin and distribution of resources
  • Provide scientific counsel and advice on preserving the environment, improving ecologically damaged areas, and determining the environmental impact of land development
  • Work with people, data, information, ideas, and technology in the field and in the laboratory

Future Changes for the Geosciences Workforce


New Geoscience Currents page from the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) on projected employment growth in the geoscience workforce over the next decade.


General Information About the Geosciences Field and Careers

Geoscience Organizations

General Information About Geosciences Careers