Why Major in Geography
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What does it mean to major in geography?

Why is Austin Peay State University a good place to major in geography?

What can APSU geography majors do after graduation?

Whom should I contact to learn more about majoring in geography?



What does it mean to major in geography?

Geography is the science of place and space. As geography major, you will learn to uniquely link social science theories and methods with natural science ideas and methods and incorporate the use of cutting edge technology to help us understand the world in which we live. A degree in geography trains students how to think critically about all aspects of their environment and prepares students for graduate education in a number of different fields or for immediate entry into the work force.

Geosciences students majoring in geography at APSU can choose from several fields of study:


Why is Austin Peay State University a good place to major in geography?

Geography at Austin Peay is uniquely staffed with faculty expertise in physical, human, and environmental geography. This research and instructional expertise allows our students a curriculum as varied as the physical aspects and processes of the earth, the spatial aspects of human existence and activities, and the evolving man-land relationships of environmental science. The APSU Department of Geosciences affords its students both the facilities for and the opportunity to conduct applied geographic research. Whatever geographic concentration a student chooses; they gain critical specialization in scientific methods and methodologies, GIS, remote sensing, and GPS tools and techniques that monitor changes in our human, economic, and physical environment. Geosciences majors concentrating in geography can choose from several fields of study.

The Global Environment and Development concentration focuses on an understanding of foreign cultures, language, and history in relation to urbanization, industrialization, environmental impact, commerce, and international relations. Special attention is paid to the relationship between population growth and finite resources. Both developed and developing countries are the subject of study.

The Environmental Hazards concentration examines the causes and impacts of both natural and anthropogenic hazards. Prevention or avoidance, mitigation, public policy, and legislation are studied in detail. Graduates of this concentration are well prepared to work for local, state, and federal governmental agencies, as well as private environmental engineering firms.

The Geographic Information Analysis concentration develops expertise with geographic information technology, geographic information systems (GIS), the global positioning system (GPS), and remote sensing (imaging of the earth from aircraft and satellites). Students in this concentration develop skills in spatial analysis, environmental modeling, and computer programming.

The Water Management minor prepares students for the efficient utilization and conservation of this precious resource. The hydrological cycle is examined in the atmosphere, surface, and groundwater systems. Geographic information technology and software for computer simulation are used to model the flow and quality of water and the erosion of soil.


What can APSU geography majors do after graduation?

Geography is an interdisciplinary field that offers diverse career opportunities.  Alumni have gone on to various graduate programs around the country and into a variety of positions, including such governmental agencies as the Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Geological Survey, and local and state planning agencies.  In the private sector graduates are employed with private geologic and environmental consulting firms.  Geographers work in many different areas, such as environmental management, education, disaster response, city and county planning, community development, and more. 

Physical geographers work in fields where they monitor climate patterns, study land forms, and monitor changes in vegetation, soils, and water. Physical geographers forecast the weather, study land and water resources, and help in managing forests, rangelands, and wetlands.

Human geographers are increasingly being called upon to assist in challenges arising from globalization.  They work in fields that are concerned with the distribution of human activities in space such as urban and regional planning, transportation, marketing, real estate, tourism and international relations and business.

Environmental geographers were among the first scientists to sound the alarm that human-induced changes to the environment threaten the balance of life itself. They are active in the study of climate change, the evolving threat of technical hazards, deforestation and desertification, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution, and flooding.

Geographers use many tools and techniques in their work, and geographic technologies are increasingly among the most important emerging fields for understanding our complex world. They include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and online mapping such as Google Earth.


Whom should I contact to learn more about majoring in geography?


Environmental Hazards and Department of Geosciences Chairman:

          Dr. Robert Sirk, 931-221-7473,  sirkr@apsu.edu

  Global Environment and Development:

          Dr. Christine Mathenge, 931-221-6434, mathengec@apsu.edu

Geographic Information Analysis:                                                 

          Dr. Chris Gentry, 931-221-7478, gentryc@apsu.edu  

Water Resources:

          Dr. Greg Ridenour, 931-221-7942,  ridenourg@apsu.edu


For more information about studying geography at APSU, follow this link to the Geosciences Department website.

Follow this link for a listing of possible careers for geosciences majors.