Overview

Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers survey where things are located on the surface of the Earth, study how places differ, and investigate human interactions with the environment. The discipline is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence – how people and their activities are distributed and how people use and perceive space. Physical geographers study patterns in land forms, vegetation, water and soils, and climate.

Geographers study the linkages between human activity and natural systems. The Earth is our home and exploring and studying the places that we depend on for life is more relevant today than ever before. Geographers were among the first scientists to see patterns of change and sound the alarm that anthropogenic, or man-made, changes to the environment are beginning to threaten the balance of life on Earth. Geographers study global warming and biodiversity loss, water quality and groundwater pollution, the distribution of crime within communities, deforestation and desertification, urban sprawl and tourism, and natural hazards. Geographers think critically and try to see the ‘big picture’ of how global trends affect local communities and vice versa.

Course Information

Geography enhances nearly every career pursuit because the discipline trains you to observe carefully, think analytically, look for patterns, and anticipate future trends.

Geographers work in many areas including:

  • Environmental management
  • Urban planning
  • Transportation
  • Community development
  • Demographics and marketing
  • Emergency planning

To learn about geography as a profession, visit the Association of American Geographers and the Southeastern Association of American Geographers.