Studies & Degrees in Geodesy

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Geodesy and Geophysics is "that branch of applied mathematics which determines by observation and measurement the exact positions of points and the figures and areas of large portions of the earth's surface, the shape and size of the earth, and the variations of terrestrial gravity" as Webster dictionary defines. In short, geodesy and geophysics is about the complex and elaborate study of our planet earth’s figure and scope as a whole.

Since the beginning, hundred of years ago, we all have been curious and interested in studying the “real” size and shape of earth. There was a time when we thought the earth was flat with an end and there was the time when we started traveling by ship, making maps, constructing globes and then finally discovering the truth. Early Greek mathematicians and scholars had an idea what the earth really looked like, some just by studying the movements of the body of stars at night and others calculated it. Most suspected that it was “spherical” in form, and they was right.

But knowing that the earth is round in shape is not enough; we should also get the exact size of it. That was what Eratosthenes (pronounced as era-tos-da-nees) thought, who was a Greek mathematician, and so he needed to prove that the earth was round first. He stuck two sticks in the sand and believed that if the second one casted a shadow too, that will prove that the earth is spherical in form. So he stuck a stick in the sand in one place and moved to Alexandria and stuck another stick, then studied and compared it. He got his computation of the earth and he only missed 99 miles of the exact actual size.

Geodesy and Geophysics has helped us a lot in terms of traveling, locating and even in scientific studies of earth.

It helped a lot of ship captains and pilots in traveling, advancements like GPS has been very powerful in moving huge ships and airplanes from place to place. In terms of locating, it gave people the power to go to different places without being confused. It has been highly beneficial to shipping companies that send packages, letters and more to faraway places and other countries.

There are non-governmental organizations like the IUGG (International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics) that uses the technique of geodesy and geophysics in studying earth. Their goal is to research about the earth endlessly and inform people of what geodesy and geophysics is and involve them.

The Institute of Geodesy in Helsinki in Finland, National School of Geographical Sciences in France, The University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB in Canada, The University of Nottingham which are located in three different countries: United Kingdom, China and Malaysia, are some of the colleges and universities offering courses in Geodesy and Geophysics.

The average salary companies pays to geodesy/geophysicist is $92,508 in the USA. Salary depends on where you work for. U.S. Dept. of Navy pays the highest, they pay up to $108k. The U.S. Dept. of Navy pays $104k, the U.S. Dept. of Interior and U.S. Dept. of Air Force pay $88k and U.S. Dept. of Army pays $82k.