Employee Profiles - Geologist
Missouri Department of Natural Resources
Missouri Geological Survey
Geological Survey Program
Working Title: Wellhead Investigation & Remediation Unit Chief
Justin has been a Geologist IV with the Missouri Geological Survey, Geological Survey Program, Wellhead Protection Section, for the past 2 years. He serves as the unit chief for the Investigation and Remediation Unit. Prior to his current appointment, Justin was a Geologist II for 3 years in the Industrial Minerals Unit in the Geologic Resources Section. The Missouri Geological Survey (a division of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources) is centrally located in Rolla, Mo.
Justin’s primary job duties include:
- Supervising field staff in the Investigation and Remediation Unit
- Overseeing geologic and hydrologic projects as they pertain to groundwater protection
- Implementing and enforcing Missouri well construction rules
- Assisting the public and industry with well-related problems
- Researching and addressing requests related to Missouri well construction rules
Justin currently holds two degrees in geology. When he began his employment with the Missouri Geological Survey (formerly the Division of Geology and Land Survey), he had 4 years of professional experience and his bachelor’s degree, allowing him to be hired directly into a Geologist II position. He worked as a full-time geologist for 3 years while obtaining his master’s degree. Choosing to further his education proved to be a wise choice when the Geologist IV position within the Investigation and Remediation Unit opened up in 2013.
Justin has many skills related to his work, but one of the most beneficial aspects of his job classification is the requirement that he obtain and maintain professional licensure as a Registered Geologist in the state of Missouri. Many of his projects have a direct impact on public health and safety and therefore require the “stamp of approval” of a registered geologist. Although Geologist I and II positions do not have this special requirement, staff working at the Missouri Geological Survey are encouraged to pursue professional registration so they may advance into higher level positions in the future.
Justin enjoys most aspects of his position as unit chief for the Investigation and Remediation Unit. However, he is particularly fond of new and engaging projects, challenging situations and the fairly equal balance of office and field work. Of course, every employee has at least one or two aspects of their job they dislike. For Justin, routine paperwork and dealing with monotonous violations are at the top of his short list. However, he realizes both of these activities are part of the job and must be accomplished in order to keep the unit running smoothly.
What advice does Justin have for an aspiring Geologist?
“ Be willing to learn new skills, even if they are outside your current experience. Build professional contacts and relationships; they will pay off later.”
To learn more about the Geologist classification, visit oa.mo.gov/personnel/classification-specifications/4762.
Check out the Human Resources webpage for more information on employment with the department.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is an equal opportunity employer.