Marine Geologist, Rachel Bobich @4TheCraterGood: A Day in the GeoLife Series

marine geologist
Marine Geologist, Rachel Bobich

NAME: Rachel Bobich

CURRENT TITLE: Geologist | Hydrographer


Marine Geology and Geophysics 
Mapping and Data Processing



Florida State University, Environmental Science
Florida Atlantic University, Geology and GIS, B.S.
University of Washington, Marine Geology, M.S. 


TWITTER NAME: @4TheCraterGood

What’s your job like?


If you have a desire to travel frequently, be in the field, and process and analyze your own data on the computer, this niche may be for you. 

I’m grateful that I get to pursue a career that holds my passion for the ocean and unearthing information that we have yet to discover. It’s a great feeling when you realize you’re sitting in uncharted waters mapping this unique piece of earth that no one has had the opportunity to yet. As well as knowing that information can be used for good. 

What’s a typical day like?

Project nearby: 

Gathering necessary equipment (boat that has server, computer, and swath processing capabilities on board) and heading out on the water for the day. On board, navigating the vessel to have a consistent swath path, monitoring equipment, and mapping the full extent of the project scope. Gathering samples of sediment or classifying submarine bottom will come into play at times. Some multi-beam swath sonar equipment can classify the sediment and grain matrices as well. After, you will need to post-process the data and possibly stitch together the swaths depending on what software is required for the contract given (Ex: Fledermaus, Qimera, Qinsy, Sonar Wiz, etc). 

swath sounding
Sebastian inlet multi beam swath sounding. ©2019 Rachel Bobich

Project in international waters:

Verifying that you have the correct certifications. On most jobs, BOSIET and OGUK certifications at minimum are required, as well as being a certified geologist or hydrographer. Vaccinations may be needed as well. Before leaving, I always have an understanding for the needs of the contract, as well as what software is required to capture and process the data being acquired. 

In some contracts, I will fulfill the role of the geologist or geophysicist, and in others, I am fully on the back-end processing data. 

What’s fun?

For me: The ability to be in the environment I favor the most (the ocean) and being challenged mentally and physically. 

This area of work will definitely keep you on your toes and take you on adventures. It will also reward you with a robust skill set applicable to so many fields of work. 

turbidity sequences
Core samples off the coast of Washington from drilling in the Pacific looking for turbidity sequences (earthquakes). ©2019 Rachel Bobich

What’s challenging?

Remaining dynamic, to touch on that word again.

Between keeping up with the required certifications, to training and having competency with various equipment and programs, as well as remaining knowledgeable in both fields of geology and marine geology- it keeps you busy. 

Finding this balance can be difficult, but also gives you a wide array of skills!

What’s your advice to students?

Do what you love. Hard work is always required. Find a way to make it work. 

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