As the study of space and place, Geography offers the ability to weave your interests across almost any area of study. After all, everything happens somewhere and we love to take advantage of that! Geography is a way of thinking as much as it is an area of study. We focus on the connections between places and ideas so you aren’t bounded by discipline. Once you learn to think like a Geographer, you will have a unique perspective on the world that will set you apart and above your peers who have focused on one topic area. And besides, it’s a lot more fun to think about the way the world works in all its beautiful interconnectedness.
While Geography enables you to connect the dots, it is helpful to focus your interest a bit. We have created some suggested concentrations in Geography that allow you to have enough focus to get a job, while appreciating the variety and connections that Geography makes possible. These are just suggestions – you are welcome to come up with a plan that suits you and draws from all of the areas of Geography.
The Geography program also prepares you well for graduate studies in Geography and other disciplines. We encourage students to participate in research within the department and/or pursue internships in their area of interest.
Geographic Information Science:
There are few degrees on campus where you can truly say you have a set of practical, marketable skills that are in high demand in the work place. A concentration in Geographic Information Science gives you the technical tools that are in high demand in many industries from insurance to urban planning to supply chain management to environmental consulting. As the geo-spatial revolution in technology moves forward, these skills are necessary in industry, government, academia, and the non-profit sector. Do you have an aptitude for computers? Do you enjoy exploring how things are related in space and making effective maps or analyses of those relationships? Tools like Geographic Information Systems (GIS ) open doors whether you are interested in refugee resettlement, climate risk, or transportation infrastructure.
Careers in GIScience are many and focus on using the tools of Geography, including GIS, spatial statistics and modeling, cartography, and remote sensing. Using the power of the Geographer’s toolbox, you can work in just about any area. Some job ideas include:
- Geospatial Information Scientist and Technologist
- Geospatial Analyst
- GIS Developer
- Logistics Analyst
- Insurance Analyst
- Urban Planner
- Transportation Planner
- Environmental Consultant
- Remote Sensing Analyst
- Geointelligence Specialist
Humans in a Globalizing World:
The problems of the 21st. Century world don’t fall into clean divisions. Broad and interdisciplinary thinking that integrates many ideas from the social sciences, humanities, and physical sciences is important to solve the problems of today and the future. Whether you are concerned about food insecurity, how global change affects people, LGBTQ and gender issues, environmental attitudes, international economic disparities, transportation infrastructure, human rights, human health, insurance, or attitudes toward sacred spaces, Geography provides the interdisciplinary context to tackle these problems in a way that thinking in a silo can’t. We can help you contextualize the world’s very human problems and pursue a career that gives you the power to bring about change for the better.
Careers in Human Geography focus on how we can use geographic ideas and tools to improve the society whether from an economic, human rights, environmental, or infrastructural perspective. Some job ideas include:
- Community Organizer/Advocate
- Community Food Access Worker
- Americorps/VISTA/Food Corps/Peace Corps Worker
- Transportation Manager
- Community Resource Specialist
- Market Researcher/Analyst
- Business Development
- Real Estate Appraiser
- Environmental Economist
- Urban and Regional Planner
- Public Health Officer
- Sustainability Manager
- International Development Specialist
- Foreign Service Officer
- Human Rights Advocate
Climate, Environment, and Society:
Some of the most pressing issues of our time relate to how humanity influences our environment and how the environment affects us. Geographers are special in their ability to take scientific ideas and tie them to human causes and effects. To understand the widespread effects of climate change, human land use, and the erosion of landscapes, we need to first see the ways in which human activities and the processes of the natural world are all tied together. Geography gives us the ability to cross back and forth between ideas in the physical sciences and studies of human actions to create a clearer picture of why the Earth responds the way it does and what might happen in the future if we continue to change the Earth’s systems.
Careers in Climate, Environment, and Society focus on how humans affect the environment and how it affects us. Through a solid knowledge of landscapes, climate, water, and biology, we can use the tools of Geography to better inform decisions about the environment. Some job ideas include:
- Soil and Plant Specialist
- Water Resources Specialist
- Environmental Scientist/Consultant
- Water Resources Specialist
- Climate Change Analyst
- Atmospheric and Space Scientist
- Emergency Management Specialist
- Forest Fire Inspector
- Ecological Risk Assessor
- Geotechnical Engineer
- Hazards Analyst
last update: 12-30-2017