Department of Geology & Geophysics

Geography

Geography involves the broad holistic study of the interactions among various natural, political, cultural and economic systems, and how those interactions create the world we see today at both local and global scales. Geography sets itself apart from other disciplines by synthesizing and integrating knowledge from multiple disciplines to develop a comprehensive understanding of how and why humans interact with the E earth in particular ways in particular places. This integrative approach is an especially effective way to address the many challenges humanity faces today, such as climate change, resource development, energy use and conservation, geopolitics, sustainable development, assessment of environmental hazards, land-use change, regional conflicts, and economic and political developments all over the world. Geography also provides the framework for the integration of geospatial technologies such as GIS, Remote Sensing and Geovisualization into a broad range of academic and professional fields.

Our faculty have regional and topical expertise in: Alaska, Circumpolar North, Pacific Rim, United States, Canada, climate change analysis, weather and climate, natural resource distribution & management, environmental studies, biogeography, perceptual geography, geographic information systems (GIS), North American regional cultures, cultural geography, sense of place, landscape evolution, wilderness issues, energy and sustainability issues and more.

You can earn a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science in geography. We can help you decide which route is best for your skills and interests.

Careers in geography

Geography students enjoy the great outdoors while learning mapping skills. (Photo by David Broome)

Geography graduates find work in 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, environmental science or urban/regional planning.

Student jobs and internships

While you’re working on your degree, opportunities for geography-related part-time and summer employment abound, and can build experience and working relationships that lead directly to full-time employment after graduation. Internships (paid and unpaid) are available with state and federal government agencies in Alaska, as well as with local private businesses and non-profits. Internships provide on-the-job training, and can also be set up for academic credit. Agencies where our students have found employment and internships include the National Park Service, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, National Weather Service, Alaska Satellite Facility, Alaska Division of Forestry, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, National Forest Service, U.S. Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Geological Survey.