"I hope my question was not inappropriate. I really enjoyed your search for a Sierra trip thread and was impressed with your wife's hike to the summit of Whitney based on what you told us about here previous hiking experience. You sound like a wonderful couple. I suspected that you were up there without her."
No it was not inappropriate at all. The three weeks on/ three weeks off situation is a little more extreme of a relationship situation than most people have. The time apart sucks, but the times together are amazing because you missed the person and because you've got so much time to do whatever you want together. I think you appreciate being together more, although I don't think I'd do the 3 on/3 off lifestyle for too long. Definitely not if I had small kids.
"Interesting. What kind of geology work are you doing? What was your undergrad major? Environmental science? Geology? How did you end up in the job you are in now?"
My story isn't too glamorous. I went to university for Environmental Studies (B.E.S.) and my specific program focused on 'Environment and Business' (ie. working for a company to manage the environmental side of their operations). I really should have been studying outdoor rec or resource management, but I was having too much fun with the university life to really worry about where I was actually headed. I graduated about 3.5 years ago and wasn't super stoked about the job prospects because I really wanted to be in outdoor rec or wildlife biology. Upon graduation I moved out to Whistler, BC (from Ontario) to ski bum for a year.
In Whistler, I got a job at a bar (working support for the bartenders) which was a fun gig and it let me ski every day. One season turned into 3 seasons and I was still at the bar, but getting sick of washing glasses and changing kegs. One of the door guys was working up at mining camps and he suggested I apply. The position was a 'geotechnican' which is basically the job you get if you go to college for geology instead of university. They were really hurting for people, so I got the job despite having basically a non-related education background and no experience. I guess it helped I came recommended by another employee.
I'm pretty happy here working for Newmont Gold up at their 'Hope Bay' site. I'm here right now.....5 days in with 16 days to go. Being a geologist (need a university degree in geology) would be a significantly better job because it's more interesting and you make more money. Geotechnicians basically do the mindless geology work like measuring rocks, cleaning them etc, while the geologists do the more interesting stuff like figuring out where the gold is.
I'm currently accepted back into university at a different school and I've got a lot of credits for my previous degree, so I'm going to crank out another bachelors in wildlife biology starting in 1 year. Over the next year I'm taking a few distance ed courses and saving up money. This B.Sc. degree will take ~2 years and then I'm hoping to get a lot of funding so I can stay in school and maybe do a masters/phd without going broke. I have good grades, so I think with a lot of work I can pull off the funding. Ultimately I'd like to wind up somewhere in parks management/wildlife biology or a prof.
To actually answer your more specific questions about geology....it seems the vast majority of geology jobs are away from home in camps, so you need to decide if that lifestyle is for you or not. Some jobs are in cities, but a lot of the jobs are seasonal and far from home. I'm lucky to work at a place that works basically year round. A lot of jobs are like Apr - Oct. until you can land a more permanent job. If you get a good geology job that lets you do mostly field work, then it can be really neat, although I still think animals are way cooler than rocks.
Geology is a good field if you want to be outside and make good money (the geologists here make $80-$110g) and don't mind living in camps. Biology has the best jobs IMO, but there aren't nearly as many jobs, and you still might sorta wind up in camps but there's many non-camp jobs too. In Canada there is a ton of jobs in Geology. I really want to do wildlife biology, but it might not be the smartest choice, because of the lack of jobs in this field. Environmental science might be a nice choice that is a bit more interesting (IMO) than geology, while having more jobs than biology. The situation might be different where you are though.