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Geologists are geoscientists who study all aspects of the earth, including its origin, history, composition, and structure. Along more practical lines, geologists may, through the use of theoretical knowledge and research data, locate groundwater, oil, minerals, and other natural resources. They play an increasingly important role in studying, preserving, and cleaning up the environment. They advise construction companies and government agencies on the suitability of locations being considered for buildings, highways, and other structures. They also prepare geological reports, maps, and diagrams. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are approximately 34,690 geoscientists (including geologists, geophysicists, and oceanographers) employed in the United States.
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