These were the REQUIREMENTS before the changes made with
the release of a new merit badge pamphlet during 2005.

To see the current requirements Click Here

  1. Explain what geology means.


  2. Make a collection of at least 10 different earth materials or geological specimens from your locality or an area of special interest to you. Label, to the best of your ability, classify, and explain the origin, and use of the materials collected.*
  3. Define rock. Discuss and define three classes of rocks. List the characteristics of each class, how they are formed, and how they are named.
  4. Define mineral. Tell how to identify minerals. Tell how rocks and minerals differ. List five of the most common rock-forming minerals. Tell how they are identified. Tell how hardness, specific gravity, color, streak, cleavage, luster, and crystal form are useful in identifying minerals.


  5. Secure a topographic map of your how locality or an area of special interest to you. Explain the origin of the landscape, including any unusual features. Account for any influences of the landscape on the location of towns, parks, highways, railroads, airports, industries, or similar structures.
  6. Draw a diagram of the hydrologic cycle and discuss it and its effects with your counselor.
  7. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Tell about the occurrence of volcanoes on land and in the ocean. Describe the difference between intrusive igneous rocks and extrusive igneous rocks.
    2. Describe the major steps in the geologic history of a mountain rage. Describe the anticline, syncline, fault, strike, dip and an unconformity. Discuss the relationship between mountain building and erosion in forming the present landscape.
    3. Describe the major features of an ocean floor between the shorelines on either side.


  8. Make a chart showing the geological eras and periods and show in what geologic time the rocks in your region were formed.
  9. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Tell what fossils are and how they aid in understanding the story of the earth's history.
    2. Make a collection of 10 different fossils and identify them to the best of your ability.
    3. Discuss with your counselor the theory of continental drift.


  10. Discuss two environmental problems related to geology. Tell how land-use planning relates to geology. Tell why faulting, landslides, waste disposal, pollution, water supply, and subsidence are important in land-use planning. Give an example of poor use of land in your area or an environmental hazard in your area related to geologic features or processes.
  11. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Describe five energy sources, how they occur, and how they are used today. Describe the source of the products supplied by your local utilities. Tell which of these products are related to geologic processes.
    2. Visit a mine, oil or gas field, gravel pit, stone quarry, or similar area of special interest to you. Make a collection of geologic specimens found at the site visited. Tell about the geology of the place.


  12. Do ONE of the following:
    1. Read a pamphlet about careers in geology. Tell what you learned.
    2. Visit with a geologist, other than your counselor. Tell what he does. Find out how he prepared for the job.
  13. Discuss with your counselor what you have learned about careers in geology and how to prepare for them.

    *Alternatives: In place of requirement 2, you may present a collection of 10 different rocks, with specimens of sedimentary, igneous, and metamorphic rocks properly marked, cataloged and displayed.

    Or you may present a collection of 10 different minerals (or ores) properly marked, cataloged, and displayed. Also identify each of the 10 minerals and give their sources and possible uses.

BSA Advancement ID#: 58
Pamphlet Revision Date: 1985
Requirements last updated in 1985

Page updated on: November 28, 2017

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