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Graduate Study in Geography (GEOG) Department of Environment and Society (ENVS) College of Natural Resources

The Master’s Degree program in Geography is offered in the Department of Environment & Society, College of Natural Resources. Geography is the study of the relationships between human society and the biophysical environment. Geographers have long studied the broadest dimensions of environmental studies, including human impacts on the environment, the availability and location of the earth’s resources, the physical processes that occur at the earth’s surface, and the spatial interaction among the components of human society and the environment. Geographers are concerned with the study of observable patterns—resulting from the human occupation of the earth, political decisions, and economic activities—and the processes underlying those patterns. The M.S program in Geography allows for broad training in human-environment interaction, as well as technical training in geographic information systems (GIS) and remote sensing.

Geographic training prepares students for many types of careers with a variety of employers in the private, public, nonprofit, and academic sectors. In the private sector, geographers may be hired to undertake locational analyses or environmental impact statements for business. There is a high demand for people trained in GIS and cartography with a socioeconomic background in planning. In the public sector, at all levels of government (local, state, and federal), geographers are hired to undertake a variety of tasks. Geographers may work for local and state economic development or planning offices, and conduct research or map (and use) information from remotely sensed data. At the federal level, geographers can work for the Bureau of Land Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Forest Service, U.S. Geological Survey, Defense Mapping Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Department of State, and U.S. Census Bureau.

Similar skills are needed by non-government organizations such as the Nature Conservancy, American Farmland Trust, and many others. A focus on conservation and/or social development can also prepare students for international work, whether federal, multinational, NGO or private business. The graduate program in Geography allows maximum opportunity for students to design a program of study to fit their professional needs. Both thesis (Plan A) and non-thesis (Plan B) options are available. Students pursuing the Plan A or Plan B options must complete a minimum of 30 credits with 12 credits in geography and 18 credits in related fields. The program of study must be designed in consultation with the major professor. For the Plan B option, students complete a project in lieu of a thesis. Additional departmental graduate study requirements also apply. All department graduate students must: complete a writing/publishing requirement, enroll in the departmental introductory graduate seminar, and attend college and departmental seminar series each year in residence. See the department for additional details. 

For more information about graduate courses currently offered and potentially eligible for inclusion in a program of study for the Geography masters degree, please consult with a faculty member.

Core Geography Faculty in ENVS:

Dr. Peter Howe, Assistant Professor; Office NR 219; (435-797-9457);
Dr. Claudia Radel, Assistant Professor; Office NR 232; (435-797-0516);


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