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Geography Information and FAQs

What do Geography students study?

What do Geography students study?
Geographers look at the world through a spatial perspective. We ask questions like, what is where, and why is that there? There are a variety of areas within the discipline and many tools are used to examine the world in which we live.  Major tools that geographers use in answering such questions are various types of maps which illustrate a variety of spatial phenomena at different scales. This process allows us to focus in on a small area, and show it in great detail, or to see how that small area is part of a bigger picture.

What's important about geography, and what can I learn by studying the subject?

What’s important about geography, and what can I learn by studying the subject?
Students of geography can better appreciate how the world works by learning to develop an eye for spatial connections, and cause and effect relationships. By learning how to see and study phenomena spatially we can begin to comprehend how a multitude of Earth’s systems work. For example, students may study how a certain vegetation association is related to the climate and soils of an area, and how this pattern is reflected in the way people use the land and support themselves in the region. In some places it is apparent that these systems are in balance, in others it is obvious that there are problems which are also a focus of geographic inquiry.

What can I do with a geography degree? What kind of Jobs besides teaching are there for geographers?

What can I do with a geography degree? What kind of Jobs besides teaching are there for geographers?
Geographers specialize in a variety of jobs in a number of job sectors.  Geographers work for various governmental agencies that range from local municipalities and water resource management agencies to the United Nations and CA Fish and Game. Geographers also work for private companies that examine a variety of locational, economic, and environmental questions.  Geographers are a potential hire for any organization that utilizes spatial data or is involved in various planning activities.  Today, the biggest demand for geographers is in GIS and other areas that utilize technological advancements to learn more about the world we inhabit.  The opportunities in this sector promise to increase as Geospatial Technologies become more and more prevalent.  For more information please consult the following links.

Geography at About.com

Geography at About.com

A exhaustive resource on the discipline of geography. Learn all about geography, its branches, and how to study geography and excel in becoming a geographer.

Physical Geography

Physical Geography

Physical Geography

Physical geography is one of the two major sub-fields of geography. Physical geography is that branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

Earth Processes

Earth Processes

Erosion, landform development, geological processes, and geomorphology are all part of the process of developing the surface of the earth – all of interest to physical geographers.

Physical geography covers the topics relating to the surface of the earth – the landforms, glaciers, rivers, climate, oceans, earth-sun interaction, hazards, and more.

Water and Ice

Climate, Weather and Climate Change

Hazards and Disaster

Hazards and Disaster

Catastrophic or significant earth events have major impacts on human settlements and generate intense public interest in the physical geography of the planet.

Cultural Geography

Cultural Geography

Cultural Geography

Cultural geography, also known as human geography, covers a wide swath of human interaction with the land. Cultural geography includes language, religion, medicine, cities, economics, entertainment, and much more.

Urban, Economic, and Transportation Geography

Urban, Economic, and Transportation Geography

Most of the world’s population is concentrated in urban areas, where economic activity is concentrated. The world’s urban areas are growing at an astonishing rate. The world’s economy is a fascinating topic. Learn about urban, economic, and transportation geography from these resources.

Political Geography

Calendars and Seasons

Calendars and Seasons

The calendar and seasons are representations of earth’s interaction with the sun. Discover a great collection of links to help you learn about seasons and calendars around the world.

Geographic Technology

Geographic Information System (GIS)

Geographic Information Systems- All About GIS

The acronym GIS refers to Geographic Information Systems – a tool that allows geographers and analysts to visualize data in several different ways in order to see patterns and relationships in a given area or subject. These patterns generally appear on maps but they can also be found on globes or in reports and charts.

GIS has many applications in various fields today. Some of which include traditional geographically related fields like urban planning and cartography, but also environmental impact assessment reports and natural resource management.

In addition, GIS is now finding its place in business and related fields. Business GIS as it has come to be known is usually the most effective in advertising and marketing, sales, and the logistics of where to locate a business.

Whichever way it’s used though, GIS has had a profound influence on geography and will continue to be used in the future as it allows people to efficiently answer questions and solve problems by looking at easily understood and shared data in the form of tables, charts, and most importantly, maps.

Global Positioning System (GPS)

Global Positioning System

Global Positioning System (GPS) devices can be found everywhere – they’re used in cars, boats, airplanes, and even in cellular phones. Handheld GPS receivers are carried by hikers, surveyors, map makers, and others who need to know where they are. Here are the eight most important things you need to know about the GPS.

  • The Global Positioning System is composed of 31 satellites 20,200 km (12,500 miles or 10,900 nautical miles) above the earth. The satellites are spaced in orbit so that at any time a minimum of six satellites will be in view to users anywhere in the world. The satellites continuously broadcast position and time data to users throughout the world.
  • Using a portable or handheld receiver unit that receives data from the closest satellites, the GPS unit triangulates the data to determine the unit’s exact location (typically in latitude and longitude), elevation, speed, and time. This information is available around-the-clock anywhere in the world and is not dependent on weather.
  • Selective Availability, which made the public Global Positioning System less accurate than the military GPS, was turned off on May 1, 2000. Thus, the GPS unit you can buy over the counter at many retailers is as accurate as those used by the military today.
  • Many over-the-counter handheld Global Positioning System units contain base maps of a region of the earth but most can be hooked up to a computer to download additional data for specific locales.
  • GPS was developed in the 1970s by the U.S. Department of Defense so that military units can always know their exact location and the location of other units. The Global Positioning System (GPS) helped the United States win the war in the Persian Gulf in 1991. During Operation Desert Storm, military vehicles relied on the system to navigate across the barren desert at night.
  • Global Positioning System is free to the world, developed and paid for by U.S. taxpayers through the U.S. Department of Defense.
  • Nonetheless, the U.S. military maintains the capability to prevent enemy use of GPS.
  • In 1997, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Federico Pena stated, “Most people don’t know what GPS is. Five years from now, Americans won’t know how we lived without it.” Today, Global Positioning System in included as part of in-vehicle navigation systems and cellular phones. It’s taken a few more than five years but I know the rate of Global Positioning System use will continue to explode.

Geography Organizations

American Geographical Society

American Geographical Society

The American Geographical Society (AGS) advances and promotes geography in business, government, science, and education. Our goal is to enhance the nation’s geographic literacy so as to engender sound public policy, national security, and human well-being worldwide.

Since 1851, AGS has been a leading advocate for geography in the United States and around the world.  We continue unabated in our efforts to advance geographical understanding.  The need has never been greater than it is today.

AGS stands for better analysis and decision-making in business and government based on better understanding of how real world geography affects society, economics, infrastructure, and politics.

AGS stands for better science and education based on explicit recognition of the spatial and temporal contexts that shape the real world and influence how it works.

Association of American Geographers (AAG)

Association of American Geographers (AAG)

What is the AAG?

The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is a nonprofit scientific and educational society founded in 1904. For more than 100 years the AAG has contributed to the advancement of geography. Its members from more than 60 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG’s Annual Meeting, scholarly journals (Annals of the Association of American GeographersThe Professional Geographer and AAG Review of Books), and the online AAG Newsletter.

Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (APCG)

Association of Pacific Coast Geographers (APCG)

Founded in 1935 by a gathering of geographers including graduate students and faculty from universities, normal schools, and junior colleges, the Association of Pacific Coast Geographers has a long and rich history promoting geographical education, research, and knowledge. Members gather at the APCG’s annual meetings for social and intellectual interaction. They receive the annual Yearbook, first printed in 1935, that includes full-length peer-reviewed articles and abstracts of papers from the meetings. Members also receive the bi-annual newsletter Pacifica. Since 1952 the APCG has also been the Pacific Coast Regional Division of the Association of American Geographers, serving Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, the Canadian Province of British Columbia, and the Yukon Territory.

California Geographical Society

California Geographical Society

Founded in 1946, the CGS is the oldest statewide organization dedicated to enhancing the understanding of geography as well as promoting interaction amongst academic and applied geographers, as well as members of the general public who share an interest in geography.

National Geographic

Royal Geographical Society

Royal Geographical Society

The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the UK’s learned society and professional body for geography, founded in 1830. We are a world leader in advancing geography and supporting its practitioners in the UK and across the world.

Geography Departments

Geography Departments Worldwide

Geography Departments Worldwide

Welcome to the searchable database of Geography Departments around the world! As of April 23rd, 2014 there are links to 1201 Departments in 97 Countries of which 951 have already signed the “Add Department Form” and thus can be searched by Country, Keyword and Research fields. Database is maintained by Klaus Förster, reproduction and distribution are permissible for non-profit purposes only, but no changes are to be made to these documents without the author’s written consent. Please drop me a note if you know of any Departments not included here and don’t forget to sign up if you haven’t posted your data already.

 

Geography Links