Geography opens doors to a wide variety of careers, such as an environmental specialist, business location/allocation expert, market researcher, community development and planning specialist, cartographer, satellite image analyst, weather forecaster, or teacher. In fact, almost any career would benefit from a better understanding of geography. Since Geography is the study of the relationship between the planet earth and its inhabitants, it can be considered both a natural and a social science. Geographers look at all interactions and distributions in both the natural and human realms. They also examine how these interactions vary spatially. Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another, and how people interact with the environment.
The Department of Geography at UGA has been a leading center of scholarship about earth's landscapes and human relationships to the environment. Our inquiries encompass a wide range of topics, from the economies of cities and cultures of built landscapes, to tropical climates and the flow of polar ice sheets. We combine rigorous empirical work with deeply conceptual theoretical analyses, always recognizing the importance of both spatial processes and accumulated histories. We use geographic analyses to illuminate the abiding problems of the modern world.
The Earth and its environment represent a complex and dynamic system that has undergone change for millions of years. For most of this time, changes to Earth's physical environment could be attributed to natural processes, but in the era of human activity, anthropogenic processes have become more important. Current direction for earth and environmental research is to study past, current, and future interactions among the continents, oceans, and atmosphere.
Work in GIScience seeks to redefine geographic concepts and their use in the context of geographic information systems (GIS). GIScience draws from and overlaps with more specialized research fields such as computer science, statistics, mathematics, and psychology, while it also contributes to further developments in those fields. The GIScience area is open to both B.S. and A.B. students.
Beyond the Classroom
Common employers of Geography graduates include various federal agencies, such as the U.S. Geological Survey, National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Local and state governments employ many geography graduates in emergency management, environmental impact specialists, waste management, naturalists/interpreters, urban/regional planning, housing specialists, convention/tourism planning, and community development specialists. Private employers include broadcast media, real estate development firms, industrial location consultants, environmental consulting firms, electric utilities, transportation companies, Geographic Information Systems software firms, among others.