Geography is the study of the environmental, cultural, political and economic processes that produce distinctive local, regional and global patterns across the Earth’s surface. It is one of the few academic disciplines that bridge the gap between the natural and social sciences. Geographers analyze how complex interactions among these spatial processes create constantly changing human and natural landscapes across the world.
Students can choose from one of three emphasis areas: Geographic Information Sciences (GIS), Global and Area Studies, and Secondary Teaching . Our programs are student-centered, with abundant opportunities for interacting with faculty and pursuing personal and professional interests.
Careers in Geography & GIS
Majoring in Geography & GIS opens a variety of career options. Our alumni work in analyzing and managing both natural and human environments, including city and regional planning, resource management, geospatial data analysis, cartography, secondary teaching, tourism and recreation, market analysis and economic development.
Opportunities in Geography & GIS
Beyond the classroom, we offer field experiences, individual (directed) research, and internships with local, state and national agencies. The Geography & GIS student organization, the Geography & GIS Club, is very active in a range of social, community service and academic events. The club is named after Major John Wesley Powell, a noted 19th-century explorer of the Western U.S.
About the GIS Lab
The Department’s Laboratory for Geographic Information Science is used by both faculty and students within and outside of Geography & GIS. This lab contains 25 PCs with advanced graphics cards, an HP Designjet 4500 large-format plotter, 15 entry-level GPS units and 10 high-end Trimble Juno GPS units with associated Trimble Pathfinder software. The PCs have specialized software for cartography and geographic Information systems (GIS), including CorelDraw and ESRI’s flagship software ArcGIS. The GIS Lab also maintains a depository of paper map and air photo sets, and a large digital GIS database for campus use. The Department’s Paleoenvironmental Research Laboratory has equipment for sediment and tree-ring analysis.