Offered by the Department of Geography and Geology
Professor Dodson (chairperson)
Assistant Professor Demchak, Kopf
Geography is a broad academic discipline that integrates the physical and social sciences. It studies the nature of, and relationships between, the natural and cultural aspects of our world. Topics such as current environmental issues, cultural differences, computer cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), and planning are all studied by geographers.
Where things are located has always been of interest to geographers. But the more important and interesting question is, “Why are they where they are?” Pursuing the answer leads to new insights, both academic and applied. An especially pertinent example is the increasing use of geographic information systems (GIS) to help understand our world.
Majors in geography earn a Bachelor of Science degree with optional concentrations in Environmental Science, Mapping Technology, Outdoor Recreation Leadership, Regional Planning, and Watershed Management. Thus one can tailor a program to individual needs and interests. Graduates from these programs pursue careers in government and industry, or continue their education by entering graduate school. In addition, we offer a two-year Associate of Science degree in Mapping Technology for those interested in developing new skills or in refining existing ones. Minors in geography, geology, watershed management, outdoor recreation leadership and regional planning are also available and can provide important knowledge and skills to students majoring in related fields.
Want to become a teacher? Our department also houses the content-area portion of the Earth and Space Science program. (See Earth and Space Science Education Degree Program in this catalog.)
The concentration in Outdoor Recreation Leadership is designed to provide a blend of classroom and experiential learning for students wishing to pursue a career in some aspect of outdoor recreation. A focus on leadership as well as practical geographic skills such as GIS / GPS and map / air photo interpretation are also stressed. The program includes supporting coursework in business, geology, watershed management, wilderness first aid, travel and tourism, and leadership studies. Possible career paths include: outdoor adventure guide, park ranger, environmental interpreter, director of youth camps, ecotourism, working with at-risk youth, outdoor-oriented resorts, civic recreation departments, opening your own recreation business.