The study of the planet Earth--the materials of which it is made, the processes that act on these materials, the products formed, and the history of the planet and its life forms since its origin. Geology considers the physical forces that act on the Earth, the chemistry of its constituent materials, and the biology of its past inhabitants as revealed by fossils. Clues on the origin of the planet are sought in a study of the Moon and other extraterrestrial bodies. The knowledge thus obtained is placed in the service of man--to aid in discovery of minerals and fuels of value in the Earth's crust, to identify geologically stable sites for major structures, and to provide foreknowledge of some of the dangers associated with the mobile forces of a dynamic Earth.

* Geology is a profession, with licensure required to practice in over half of the states.