Geography is a diverse discipline which is fundamentally concerned with how people interact with the physical environment. Environmental geography explores how humans impact, manage, and conserve that environment, including its land forms, water and soil resources, climate, and plant and animal communities. This concentration will introduce you to this geographic tradition through a combination of physical geography, management, and techniques courses.
Physical geography, as it is often called, involves the study of the major land form types of the earth, as well as the fundamental tectonic, volcanic, fluvial, eolian, and glacial processes that produce them. Also included, however, is the study of the living organisms that cover these landforms, the weather and climate that affects them, and the soils that derive from them. The subfields of geomorphology, biogeography, soil science, and climatology, then, comprise physical geography.
Environmental management involves the protection and conservation of the earth's natural resources, including water, air, soil, energy, and wetlands and other ecosystems. Environmental managers are particularly adept at assessing potential environmental impacts of various activities and at dealing with environmental emergency and disaster planning. Work of this nature requires training in the fields of biology and chemistry.
Environmental geographers make abundant use of geographic tools like GIS and remote sensing, using them to assess the health of endangered ecosystems, track wildlife populations, and site hazardous waste facilities. Training in field techniques and statistics further prepare those in environmental geography for future professional opportunities and challenges.
Both of the following:
Both of the Following:
Four of the following:
Recommended Complementary Courses
*See course catalog for prerequisites.
Minors and/or second majors that complement this concentration include: biology, chemistry, computer science, geology, and meteorology. Of particular interest may be the interdisciplinary environmental studies minor.
This concentration is intended for students interested in graduate work or employment in conservation, environmental impact assessment, land use planning, physical geography, and resource management or with the National Park Service, National Forest Service, or the Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information on careers in geography and on internships, visit the home page of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and follow the Careers link.