Sand desert


Sand desert
Image: IGW

"Dass ich erkenne, was die Welt Im Innersten zusammenhält…" (Goethe, Faust I)

This is exactly what drives us geoscientists, every day anew. Whether in the field, in the lab or in the office, whether student, employee, lecturer or professor. This is exactly what we want to explore and understand: What holds the Earth together at its core? What are the processes that make the Earth this unique planet ? What drives these processes ? Did they already take place four billion years ago as they do today? How can we use these findings for us? What causes natural disasters ? How can we protect ourselves from them? And above all: How can we preserve the beauty and diversity of our planet and repair the damage we have caused?

To get answers to all these questions, geoscientists take the role of creative experimenters, conscientious detectives and analysts, and concerned therapists. Why?

Rock Structure Rock Structure Image: IGW

Geoscientists try to gain their knowledge from what they observe in nature or in the field. In detective work, even the smallest structures or fossils in the rock are documented and the composition of the rock is examined on site, under the microscope or in the laboratory. All these small fragments of information are part of a line of evidence that ultimately leads to a result that describes the properties, formation and possibly depositional and rearrangement history of the rock. From this, for example, findings about the economic use can be derived: Is it a deposit? Is the rock worth mining? Is this subsoil suitable for building?

But for some questions it is not possible to carry out direct investigations on site, e.g. for the questions: How does mantle convection work? What did the earth look like in former times? Where were continents and where was an ocean? Or: Can volcanic eruptions be predicted by variations in seismic signals? To find answers, the right measurement methods must be chosen. Measurement data do not always come only from measurements on the solid surface of the earth. Ships, aircraft and satellites are also used.

From the recorded data, insights are gained and sometimes simulations are carried out that bring the answer to these questions a little closer. Geoscientists are the ones who remediate contaminated sites, deal with the protection of groundwater and the conscientious use of resources and energy sources (including geothermal energy), and study climate and environmental changes.

The diverse employment opportunities characterize the geosciences. If you are interested in the natural sciences and are looking for a varied field of study in which teaching can take place not only in the lecture hall but also outdoors, if you enjoy the wonderful things to be discovered in nature, are amazed by them and are driven by the question of "what holds the world together at its core", the geosciences are the right choice for you. And where better to pursue this question, inspired by Goethe's Faust, than in Jena?

If you are also interested in biology and chemistry, the Biogeosciences program in Jena is recommended.

Excursion Regional Geology Excursion Regional Geology Image: IGW
Excursion Sedimentology Excursion Sedimentology Image: IGW