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Meet a Geology ‘Rock’ Star: Career Spotlight with Mr. Blazier

By: Josiah Cook

It’s always a pleasure to meet someone in the Wheaton North community with a non-traditional career that provides a break from the monotony of a typical 9-5 position. A prime example is the husband of the wonderful Mrs. Blazier, who works as a geologist. I recently had the opportunity to interview him about the position that he holds, which he says is neither purely environmental rescue nor rock collection. He states that he “help[s] clients with their environmental issues… [such as] contamination that they caused that needs to be cleaned up or….[ensuring that] their facilities have all the permits and inspections they need to be compliant with regulations,” and it’s clear that his career is infinitely more complex than it sounds. Another one of his responsibilities is “drill[ing] or dig[ging] holes into the earth to evaluate soil and rock.” A far cry from the image of someone in a lab coat scrutinizing some rare metal, this career path offers various opportunities to explore passions for the natural world.

Mr. Blazier attended the University of Illinois and worked for an environmental consulting company before obtaining his current position. He really enjoys the variety of his job, as he gets to be outside some days and in a physical office the other times. Additionally, the work he does sometimes requires him to travel all over the 50 states. He has done work in states from Connecticut to California and appreciates the flexibility, stating, “it’s nice to not be doing the exact same thing in the same location every day.”

Although he wants people to know that “it’s not as exciting as it sounds,” there is the possibility of learning more about all aspects of environmental work every day on the job. There are more varieties and specialties in this seemingly niche field than one would think. Some people who he works with “do aquatic surveys or go out in the forest at night to listen for and count owls,” while others “wear hard hats and construction gear every day and work around heavy machinery because they’re helping clean up contamination.” It’s clear from his attitude towards his work that a passion for helping the environment is a prerequisite to find this work fulfilling. His advice to people interested in pursuing a career in geology is to keep an open mind, because there’s lots of different ways you can go about it. Some geologists “are involved in the environmental industry. But every time a building is built or a structure like a windmill or communications tower is put up, other geologists and geological engineers are involved in testing the soil and rock it will be built on to make sure the foundations are correct and it won’t fall over. Other geologists specialize in mineral or petroleum exploration. Others do research …[but] there’s a good chance…[the work will involve] going outside getting dirty for at least some of the time.”

Interested in pursuing a career in this field? Consider taking Geology class at Wheaton North. The elective is like “a 100 level course in any geoscience program,” according to Mr. Hultgren, who teaches the class. He explains that the class “covers the basics of any profession related [to the geosciences],” and would prepare students for the college classes that they could possibly take.

Thank you, Mr. Blazier, for taking the time out of your day to be interviewed by the Falcon Flyer; we appreciate it very much! You are a true ‘rock’ star!

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