Geographers examine human interaction with patterns and processes of the earth. It emphasizes the importance of relative location of places and events, the character of regions, and relations between culture and environment. Geography addresses physical, human, cultural and technologic issues.
With training in the natural, social sciences, and technologic fields geographers have a wide range of careers in business, government, planning, and teaching. Private companies need geographers for efficient site selection of stores and factories. Geographers work for federal and state agencies, county and city planning departments, and private planning firms.
What do Geographers study?There are five thematic areas within geography.
- Physical Geography. Physical geographers study earth systems and environmental processes, as well as the locational arrangements of each phenomenon and their interactions as physical systems.
- Human-Environment Interaction. Human-Environment geographers study the interactions between humans and their use of the environment. More specifically, they study the human use, perception, and modification of environments. Many of these issues are covered in our Regional Geography courses.
- Human Geography. Human geographers study the location and organization of human settlements and activities over earth space. Human geography explores spatial, economic, political/geopolitical, historic, environmental, population, social, cultural, and urban topics and their connections.
- Area Studies and Global Systems. Area studies geographers examine the ways in which regions, places, and global systems have acquired distinctive characteristics and problems as a result of their locations, settlement, use by particular peoples and cultures. Other study global cities and the effects of globalization.
- Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Cartography is the science and techniques of using geospatial data and computer systems to make maps. New maps can be both interactive and online with a deep wealth of detail. GIS is a field devoted to the acquisition, management, analysis, visualization, and representation of geospatial data. It is relatively new discipline that incorporates GIS, Cartography, and other related geospatial fields. As an academic discipline, GIS is concerned with both theoretical and applied issues in the creation and use of maps and geospatial databases.