Why Choose Geography
Geography? Is it all about knowing place names? Or memorizing map locations? Not exactly. Geography involves so much more (though knowing something about where to find places is still very important!)
Geography provides a way of looking at how the elements of a place relate to each other. Why do we build houses where we do? Why do stores locate where they do? Why do climate patterns occur where they do? How do they change over time and across Earth? Why do some areas experience more natural, medical, or societal hazards than others? And how do people at those locations cope? How are our coasts changing? What tourism and environmental plans can we develop to deal with those changes? Why are some streams more polluted than others? How can such environmental degradation be prevented? Why are some places, locally and elsewhere in the world, struggling with resources, infrastructure, and social development? How do economic and political factors affect those struggles? These are just some of the questions geographers address.
In geography, you can develop maps of hazardous areas and come up with suitability analyses for development. Or you can evaluate how new roads might affect people, land uses, and the natural environment. You can learn how to decide where to locate a new store or tourist attraction or recreational facility. You can analyze water pollution and soil erosion and relate their conditions to land use, both past and present. In geography, through the application of Geographic Information Systems and remote sensing tools, you will develop the analytical and computer skills to evaluate patterns of social, economic, political, and environmental characteristics to answer the questions above. And, yes, there are jobs for geographers!
In the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment we offer degree programs and are active in research in these areas: