I wanted to take a brief moment to call your attention to a situation brewing at Michigan State University - the powers-that-be are on the verge of closing down their Geological Sciences program.
Geoscientists impact our lives in more ways than most of us realize. Did you drink a glass of clean water this morning? Geologists and hydrologists help to keep our water supply clean and safe. Did you fill your car with gas this week? A petroleum geologist helped locate the oil deposits and coordinate their extraction. Do you use a cell phone or laptop? The cobalt in the batteries (and nearly all of the other raw materials) was mined from deposits located by geologists. Did your local roads not wash away during the last major rainstorm? A geologist likely had a role in that too. Not to mention all of the paleontologists, planetary geologists, sedimentologists, mining engineers, and the like who have significant training in geology departments around the world.
Surveys find that we are facing a severe shortage of trained geoscientists in the coming decades, as the older generations retire. Our need for geoscientists is not going away, and closing geology departments is not a way to rectify this.
What can you do? Check out these two posts by Chris Noto (guesting at ReBecca's Hunt's Dinochick Blogs) for more information. Don't let the MSU geology department go extinct!