Merit Badge Requirements Merit Badge History
Geology Merit Badge Workbook
This Scoutmaster Bucky Merit Badge Workbook is based off the 2020 Scouts BSA Requirements.
Type your work on this page or download the Geology Workbook PDF.

Consider also using the Geology merit badge class preparation page for clarification and expections when participating in a Scoutmaster Bucky merit badge opportunity (online or in-person).

https://scoutmasterbucky.com/merit-badges/geology/

Scout's Name:
Requirement 1: Define geology. Discuss how geologists learn about rock formations. In geology, explain why the study of the present is important to understanding the past.
Requirement 2: Pick three resources that can be extracted or mined from Earth for commercial use. Discuss with your counselor how each product is discovered and processed.
Requirement 3: Review a geologic map of your area or an area selected by your counselor, and discuss the different rock types and estimated ages of rocks represented. Determine whether the rocks are horizontal, folded, or faulted, and explain how you arrived at your conclusion.
Requirement 4: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 4a: With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit with a geologist, land use planner, or civil engineer. Discuss this professional's work and the tools required in this line of work. Learn about a project that this person is now working on, and ask to see reports and maps created for this project. Discuss with your counselor what you have learned.
Requirement 4b: Find out about three career opportunities available in geology. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with your counselor, and explain why this profession might interest you.
Requirement 5: Do ONE of the following (a OR b OR c OR d):
Requirement 5a: **Surface and Sedimentary Processes Option**
Requirement 5a1: Conduct an experiment approved by your counselor that demonstrates how sediments settle from suspension in water. Explain to your counselor what the exercise shows and why it is important.
Requirement 5a2: Using topographical maps provided by your counselor, plot the stream gradients (different elevations divided by distance) for four different stream types (straight, meandering, dendritic, trellis). Explain which ones flow fastest and why, and which ones will carry larger grains of sediment and why.
Requirement 5a3: On a stream diagram, show areas where you will ,find the following features: cut bank, fill bank, point bar, medial channel bars, lake delta. Describe the relative sediment grain size found in each feature.
Requirement 5a4: Conduct an experiment approved by your counselor that shows how some sedimentary material carried by water may be too small for you to see without a magnifier.
Requirement 5a5: Visit a nearby stream. Find clues that show the direction of water flow, even if the water is missing. Record your observations in a notebook, and sketch those clues you observe. Discuss your observations with your counselor.
Requirement 5b: **Energy Resources Option**
Requirement 5b1: List the top five Earth resources used to generate electricity in the United States.
Requirement 5b2: Discuss source rock, trap, and reservoir rock – the three components necessary for the occurrence of oil and gas underground.
Requirement 5b3: Explain how each of the following items is used in subsurface exploration to locate oil or gas: reflection seismic, electric well logs, stratigraphic correlation, offshore platform, geologic map, subsurface structure map, subsurface isopach map, and core samples and cutting samples.
Requirement 5b4: Using at least 20 data points provided by your counselor, create a subsurface structure map and use it to explain how subsurface geology maps are used to find oil, gas, or coal resources.
Requirement 5b5: Do ONE of the following activities:
Requirement 5b5a: Make a display or presentation showing how oil and gas or coal is found, extracted, and processed. You may use maps, books, articles from periodicals, and research found on the Internet (with your parent's permission). Share the display with your counselor or a small group (such as your class at school) in a five-minute presentation.
Requirement 5b5b: With your parent's and counselor's permission and assistance, arrange for a visit to an operating drilling rig. While there, talk with a geologist and ask to see what the geologist does onsite. Ask to see cutting samples taken at the site.
Requirement 5c: **Mineral Resources Option**
Requirement 5c1: Define rock. Discuss the three classes of rocks including their origin and characteristics.
Requirement 5c2: Define mineral. Discuss the origin of minerals and their chemical composition and identification properties, including hardness, specific gravity, color, streak, cleavage, luster, and crystal form.
Requirement 5c3: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 5c3a: Collect 10 different rocks or minerals. Record in a notebook where you obtained (found, bought, traded) each one. Label each specimen, identify its class and origin, determine its chemical composition, and list its physical properties. Share your collection with your counselor.
Requirement 5c3b: With your counselor's assistance, identify 15 different rocks and minerals. List the name of each specimen, tell whether it is a rock or mineral, and give the name of its class (if it is a rock) or list its identifying physical properties (if it is a mineral).
Requirement 5c4: List three of the most common road building materials used in your area. Explain how each material is produced and how each is used in road building.
Requirement 5c5: Do ONE of the following activities:
Requirement 5c5a: With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit an active mining site, quarry, or sand and gravel pit. Tell your counselor what you learned about the resources extracted from this location and how these resources are used by society.
Requirement 5c5b: With your counselor, choose two examples of rocks and two examples of minerals. Discuss the mining of these materials and describe how each is used by society.
Requirement 5c5c: With your parent's and counselor's approval, visit the office of a civil engineer and learn how geology is used in construction. Discuss what you learned with your counselor.
Requirement 5d: **Earth History Option**
Requirement 5d1: Create a chart showing suggested geological eras and periods. Determine which period the rocks in your region might have been formed.
Requirement 5d2: Explain the theory of plate tectonics.
Requirement 5d3: Explain to your counselor the processes of burial and fossilization, and discuss the concept of extinction.
Requirement 5d4: Explain to your counselor how fossils provide information about ancient life, environment, climate, and geography. Discuss the following terms and explain how animals from each habitat obtain food: benthonic, pelagic, littoral, lacustrine, open marine, brackish, fluvial, eolian, protected reef.
Requirement 5d5: Collect 10 different fossil plants or animals OR (with your counselor's assistance) identify 15 different fossil plants or animals. Record in a notebook where you obtained (found, bought, traded) each one. Classify each specimen to the best of your ability, and explain how each one might have survived and obtained food. Tell what else you can learn from these fossils.
Requirement 5d6: Do ONE of the following:
Requirement 5d6a: Visit a science museum or the geology department of a local university that has fossils on display. With your parent's and counselor's approval, before you go, make an appointment with a curator or guide who can show you how the fossils are preserved and prepared for display.
Requirement 5d6b: Visit a structure in your area that was built using fossiliferous rocks. Determine what kind of rock was used and tell your counselor the kinds of fossil evidence you found there.
Requirement 5d6c: Visit a rock outcrop that contains fossils. Determine what kind of rock contains the fossils, and tell your counselor the kinds of fossil evidence you found at the outcrop.
Requirement 5d6d: Prepare a display or presentation on your state fossil. Include an image of the fossil, the age of the fossil, and its classification. You may use maps, books, articles from periodicals, and research found on the Internet (with your parent's permission). Share the display with your counselor or a small group (such as your class at school). If your state does not have a state fossil, you may select a state fossil from a neighboring state.