Geography provides a holistic view of the interaction between human actvities and the physical world. It explores the interactions among various physical, ecological, political and social systems and how those interactions create the world we see today at both local and global levels. Geographers synthesize knowledge from a broad range of academic disciplines to build a comprehensive, interdisciplinary understanding of natural and human processes and to address the many environmental and social challenges we face today. Geography also provides the framework for the integration of emerging technologies such as GIS and Remote Sensing into environmental and social problems.
The Geography Program offers three options within the Bachelor of Science degree.
Option I: Environmental Studies - Interdisciplinary coursework in geography, environmental sciences, policy, resource management, and geospatial analysis.
Option II: Landscape Analysis and Climate Change Studies - Interdisciplinary coureses in earth science, ecosystem science, climate, and geospatial sciences are inegrated via capstone experiences in hazard prediction/mitigation and senior field practicum. Emphasis on interdisciplinary field science and applications.
Option III: Geographic Inforamtion Science and Technology (GIS&T) - Courses in statistics, computer programming, GIS and GPS, and Remote Sensing are integrated with the geography core curriculum and courses in natural sciences. This option emphasizes skills and practice in geographic information science, systems, technology, and analytical aspects of geography.
General Interest Area:
Do you want to travel? Do you enjoy natural sciences or working outdoors? Are you interested in the causes and impacts of climage and environmental change? are you concerend about our environment and want to work towards a more sustainable future? Have you considered working overseas or in different countries? Do you have an interest in natural hazards or disaster planning? Do you have an interest in computer sciences, remote sensing, Google Earth, or GIS? Are you interested in fishereies, wilderness management, or natural resources? Do you like maps or landscape imagery?
If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, Geography may be the major for you.
High School Background:
Prior courses in earth or environmental science, biology, chemistry, foreign language, computer skills are good preparation for geography. Strong writing and speaking skills are highly recommended.
Plan of Study:
Majors in the B.S. in Geography take a set of foundation core courses that give them solid grounding in the essentials of geography including global geographic perspectives , physical geography of the earth, regional geography, geospatial sciences and technology, human geography and a senior capstone experience. Students pursuing a Bachelor of Science then chose an emphasis in 1) Environmental Studies, 2) Landscape Analysis and Climate Change Studies, or 3) Geographic Information Science and Technology and follow different tracks of study within those options. There is room for students to pursue specialized course work or minors in fields like geology, biology, fishereis, or international/global studies. Interneship opportunities include positions at Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Department of Forestry, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Weather Service, and U.S. Geological Survey. Many students also pursue internships wihin the university, working on various aspects of research across campus. National and international exchanges are encouraged and many students travel abroad or within the U.S. as party of their degree program.
How to get Involved:
Contact the Geography department or any of its faculty for more information about our programs, Geography Student Club activities, field trips, sponsored events, and career possibilities..
Career and Graduate Possibilites:
Geography graduates pursue successful careers in state and federal resource management agencies, hazard assessment and mitigation, mapping technology (Geographic Information Systems/remote sensing/cartography) urban and regional land planning, environmental impact assessment and planning, science outreach or K-12 education. Many of our students continue in graduate school in various disciplines.