Geography provides a holistic view of the interaction between human activities and the physical world. It explores the interactions among various physical, political, cultural, and economic systems, and how those interactions create the world we see today, both at local and global levels. Geographers synthesize knowledge from a braod range of academic disciplines to build a comprehensive, interdisciplinary understanding of natural and human processes, and to address the many environmental, social, and political challenges we now face. Geography also provides the framework for the integration of emerging technologies, such as GIS and Remote Sensing, with all the areas of study mentioned above.
Some of our faculty's regional and topical expertise: Alaska, Circumpolar North, Pacific Rim, North America, climage change analysis, weather and climate, natural resource distribution & management, environmental studies, biogeography, mountain geography, perceptual geography, geographic information systems (GIS), North American regional cultures, cultural geography, sense of place, landscape evolution, wilderness issues, energy & sustainability issues, and more.
General Interest Area:
If you answer yest to one or more of these questions, Geography may be fore you: Do you love to travel? Are you curious about why people and places are different in different parts of the world? Do you like to study maps? Do you like to read about different places, or read novels set in exotic places? Do you like to work outdoors? Do you enjoy international news, or following specific international developments? Are you interested in issues such as climate change, globalization, resource development & sustainability, world energy issues, third-world development, foreign policy, global security, or geopolitics? Do you dream about living and working in a foreign country, such as at a foreign embassay or for a goverment or non-governmenal foreign aid agency?
High School Background:
Courses in the following areas are good preparation: Social studies, earth science, history, foreign language & culture, economics, and government. Strong writing and speaking skills are highly recommended.
Plan of Study:
B.A. majors take a set of "foundation" courses that give them a strong grounding in the essentials of geography, including global geographic perspectives, physical geography of the earth, regional geography, geographic information sciences and technology, human geography, and the synthesis of these core tenets through a "capstone" experience. Students also select courses that reflect a regional emphasis in the Circumpolar North or the Pacific Rim, or may choose to combine courses from both areas to gain a broader geographic perspective. Students are encouraged to coordinate minors, electives, and internships to develop further expertise within a chosen region or topic. Internship opportunites include placement with the Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Park Service, National Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, National Weather Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.
How to get Involved:
Career and Graduate Possibilites:
Our students find work in such fields as mapping technology (GIS/Cartography), regional planning, international relations, state and federal resource management, transportation planning, environmental impact assessment, tourism, and K-12 teaching. Many of our students go on to graduate study in geography, natural resources, enviromental science, or planning.