These geologists are exploring granite rocks on a mountain ridge.

Scientists Who Study Rocks

Geology is the study of rocks and geologists are the people who study them! There are many different types of geologists. Some of the common types are listed below.

What is a geologist like? Well, they are all very different. Click on the links below to get to know some famous geologists.

  • Florence Bascom, a mineralogist and petrologist, led the way for American women geologists over 100 years ago.
  • Charles Darwin was the first scientist to publish a comprehensive theory of evolution in the19th century.
  • Stephen Jay Gould expanded Darwin's theory with his own concept of punctuated equilibrium in the 20th century.
  • Friedrich Mohs, a mineralogist, developed a way to identify minerals by their hardness.
  • Leonardo da Vinci did a little bit of everything! When he was not painting the Mona Lisa, he was a scientist and discovered how sedimentary rocks and fossils are formed.

Last modified March 30, 2009 by Lisa Gardiner.

You might also be interested in:

Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

Check out our online store - minerals, fossils, books, activities, jewelry, and household items!...more

What Is a Mineral?

Minerals are the building blocks of rocks. They are non-living, solid, and, like all matter, are made of atoms of elements. There are many different types of minerals and each type is made of particular...more

Plate Tectonics

The main force that shapes our planet's surface over long amounts of time is the movement of Earth's outer layer by the process of plate tectonics. This picture shows how the rigid outer layer of the Earth,...more

Paleozoic "Sediment Curve" Provides New Tool for Tracking Sea-floor Sediment Movements

Geologists have developed a new sediment curve which shows where sediment-on-the-move is deposited during the development of sedimentary rocks. The sediment curve covers the entire Paleozoic Era. Bilal...more

Earth's Crust Melts Easier Than Thought

Melting rocks doesn’t sound like an easy job. It usually takes the scorching heat found in the Earth’s interior to make it happen. But now scientists have discovered that Earth's crust melts more easily...more

Scientists Return to Haiti to Assess Possibility of Another Major Quake

A team of scientists from the United States was invited to visit Haiti in late January 2010 to look into the cause of the magnitude 7 earthquake that happened there. While there, the geologists will collect...more

Scientists Study "Glaciovolcanoes," Mountains of Fire and Ice

In the spring of 2010, the eruption of a volcano called Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland cancelled many flights in Europe. Eyjafjallajökull is a glaciovolcano, which means it's a volcano that is covered by...more

East Africa's Lake Tanganyika is Warming More Than Ever Before

Geologists think that the waters of Lake Tanganyika, a long lake located in East Africa, has experienced a huge amount of warming in the last 100 years. Currently, the surface water of this lake is the...more

Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA