I though that geologists and geographers are specialists in one of the branches of Earth science, but they aren't. Geology is a branch of Earth science, but geologists and geographers are in this category:

A geologist is a scientist who studies the solid and liquid matter that constitutes the Earth as well as the processes and history that have shaped it. Geologists usually engage in studying geology

A geographer is a scholar whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society. Although geographers are historically known as people who make maps, map making is actually the field of study of cartography, a subset of geography

Why aren't geologists and geographers specialists in Earth science if they are in the geology category?

  • $\begingroup$ Nothing in your quoted material suggests that a geographer or geologist can't be an Earth Science specialist. Typically a specialist focuses on a narrow subset of a scientific branch (e.g. a GIS specialist, or a hydrogeology specialist). $\endgroup$
    – f.thorpe
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ So a specialist can only do one part of a branch of Earth science? $\endgroup$ Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 17:03
  • $\begingroup$ Earth science is a huge field. By definition, a specialist has expertise in a specific subset or multiple subsets. Noone is an expert in everything! $\endgroup$
    – f.thorpe
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 17:19
  • $\begingroup$ I don't understand, "Geologists usually engage in studying geology." What part of being a geologist isn't geology? $\endgroup$
    – haresfur
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 23:39
  • $\begingroup$ @haresfur the beer and the port maybe? $\endgroup$
    – user2821
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 23:56

3 Answers 3


Geographers may or may not be Earth Scientists. It is a broad field and includes human geography, cultural geography, economic geography, transportation geography, and other sub-disciplines that are not studies of the physical nature of the earth.


Actually, Geographers do study human that affect on the local area on Earth. So, Geography is just a general and there are branches that they work with Geology, Climatology, Weather, Soils, and so on etc. So for an example, a Geographer would have to write down a description about that specific area. Like for example, why would the Syrians migrate to Europe ?

Here is an example of Geography branches : http://image.slidesharecdn.com/1-introductiontoworldgeography-150819014233-lva1-app6892/95/1-introduction-to-world-geography-11-638.jpg?cb=1439948742

Geologist is a person who does study under the Earth from the surface all the way to the mantle. I am sure there are branches for Geology as well.

A lot of people believe Geography is a science and it is not a science but it is a Humanities and Social Science. There are some universities that put Geography and Geology together, while some of them put Geography in Natural Resources and it depends on where you go to college. So,it depends on the person who has their own opinion about Geography and Geology.


Perhaps you are being misled by a rather narrow set of definitions. Many geologists are indeed specialists in a geological or related field. It is said that modern professional people have to learn one major new skill every 5 years or so, and one minor skill every year. That is certainly true in my experience. Talk to geologists and you will find that a large proportion have specialist skills such as hydrogeology, hydrology, climate change, climatology, oceanography, geomorphology, petrology, sedimentology, volcanology, and a host of other specialities.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.