By Santiago Magny
Uruguay has 159 male and female geologists, 60% of whom are men. The Bachelor’s degree was established in 1978 and in recent years, on average, 4 geologists graduate per year. Half of them completed their postgraduate studies.
May 28 is Geologists’ Day, a profession in which half of the professionals are employed in the public sphere (dynamism, dinagua, and dynamism), 20% in private activity and 26% as independent professionals. Eight out of 10 work in fields related to mining, the environment, hydrogeology, teaching and research, according to a 2018 survey.
In dialogue with Montevideo portalElena Bell, who was trained in geology by the Faculty of Science at the University of the Republic and a PhD in zonal geochemical and geotactic sciences, explained the importance of this science and what researchers have graduated from this profession.
“The geology profession is a degree taught in the College of Sciences and appeared in 1978. The primary objective of the profession is to train researchers who are able to solve some geological problems according to what geology is, which is to study the composition, structure, dynamics and history of our planet. This includes what is related to natural resources, minerals or energy. Or search for water. “
He added, “The training provided by the profession tries to cover the disciplines that allow the professional to confront, solve, or confront situations that have a relationship to some of these aspects of geology.”
Bell explained that in the degree to which they study “aspects of environmental conservation, in a responsible manner, because our society demands resources and the idea is to meet the demand in an orderly and orderly manner, and anticipate their use and abandonment in mining and other areas.”
The researcher said, “The profession is currently in the process of self-evaluation, because it is participating in the invitation from Mercosur Educational to accredit the professions.” Within the framework of this, the first census of students and graduates was conducted in 2018, and the second half of 2021 will be held approximately. According to the 2018 survey, nearly 80% of geologists work at something related to their studies, 10% work without connection, and 12% are inactive (retired, etc.).
“There are currently 150 geosciences graduates,” said Bell, an active researcher at the Basic Science Development Program (Pedeciba) Level 3 and a full member of the Geosciences Graduate Committee at Pedeciba.
Bell commented that Pedeciba’s graduate degrees in geosciences mean “before and after”. “The field of geosciences has not been integrated since the beginning of the program in the 1980s. At the beginning of the year 2000 a step was taken to integrate this field.
The researcher explained that postgraduate studies in the field of earth sciences and geology are one of the main pillars in addition to oceanography and atmospheric sciences.
In this sense, he considers that this was “a very important leap.” “I graduated before and had to travel abroad to obtain a postgraduate degree, as the country did not have a postgraduate degree in this discipline. Since 2009, those wishing to continue their studies can do so here in Uruguay,” he said.
“Currently in postgraduate studies there are about 30 master’s students who are geologists doing their postgraduate studies at Pedeciba and there are five who are studying for PhD. This is very important to us, because it enables specific training with greater dedication and depth in our country,” he emphasized.
Bell said that Pedeciba is “an essential conduit”, because “previously, students had to be very determined to pursue an academic career and then consider pursuing a graduate degree, as it was necessary to travel abroad.” The researcher concluded, “Now those who wish to pursue an academic career, or those who are interested in a specific subject or improve their career prospects, can obtain a postgraduate degree in Pedeciba Geosciences, this has been very important in training.”
About Elena Bell
Elena Bell was trained in Geology by UdelaR College of Science, Dra in Science (Geochemical – Geotechnical Area).
She is an Assistant Professor of Geology in the College of Science, and was the Director of the Bachelor’s Degree in Geology at the College of Science for 5 years.
Additionally, she is an active researcher at Pedeciba Level 3 and a full member of the Graduate Committee of Pedeciba Geosciences.
Photos courtesy of Elena Bell
By Santiago Magny