Geography is the study of the relationships between human society and the physical environment.  Geography involves everything from environmental studies and human impact on the environment to the availability and location of the earth's resources to the physical processes that occur at the earth's surface and the spatial interactions among society and the physical environment.  

Geography Teaching students also take classes and gain experience that lead to a certificate in secondary education, allowing them to teach in public Jr. High and High schools.

Faculty Advisor:   Mark Brunson
                              NR 201B
                              435.797.2458
                              mark.brunson@usu.edu

The Human-Environment Geography emphasis provides a broad overview of the relationships between humans and their environments across different cultures, economies, and geographic locations around the globe. Special attention is given to human-environment relations and environmental issues in the Global South, within the context of world systems. This emphasis draws upon the social science offerings within the Environment and Society Department, as well as from course offerings within related departments.

Faculty AdvisorClaudia Radel
                             NR 232
                             435.797.0516
                             claudia.radel@usu.edu

The Geographical Analysis and Bioregional Planning emphasis assists students in gaining a solid foundation of geographic information analysis skills. Students learn to apply planning tools and approaches to large-scale issues extending beyond city, county, or other jurisdictional boundaries.

Faculty Advisor:   Claudia Radel
                              NR 232
                              435.797.0516
                              claudia.radel@usu.edu

The Physical Geography emphasis focuses on physical processes on a landscape scale.  Students gain proficiency in geographic information sciences and are exposed to processes of landscape geomorphology and hydrology.  Students completing this emphasis will have strong quantitative skills, will be versed in spatial analysis, and will gain an understanding of the interactions of the physics, chemistry, and biology inherent in earth ecosystems.  This emphasis draws upon the disciplinary strengths of the Watershed Sciences Department.

Faculty Advisor:  Sarah Null
                               NR 354
                               435.797.1338
                               sarah.null@usu.edu

Club memberships are not specific to any major in the College of Natural Resources and all students are encouraged to get involved.  Visit the Student Organizations website to see how to get involved in what interests you.

What is Geography?

Geography is the science of place:  where things are located on the Earth and why, how places differ, and how humans shape and are affected by the Earth.  Geographers use tools such as computer mapping and modeling to better understand these relationships in a rapidly changing world.  These skills can be applied to almost all fields, including social sciences, natural resources disciplines such as range, forestry, fisheries, watershed protection and restoration and urban planning.

What type of students study Geography?

Students who ….

  • Want to use computer technology to help solve natural resource problems.
  • Are curious about the world and its cultures.
  • Want to teach.
  • Are concerned about worldwide problems, ranging from hunger and poverty to global warming.
  • Want to prepare for graduate study, law school or an MBA.

What do Geography majors study?

Students study both physical and human geography at different scales.  They learn the important skills and tools of geography such as mapping, remote sensing, geographic information systems, but also explore the cultural and human elements of societies.

The Geography Teaching major certifies a graduate for teaching geography in Utah at a secondary school level. These students develop geography teaching methods in addition to secondary education practicum and theory courses.

What kind of jobs do graduates get?

  • Working for federal agencies such as the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the US Geological Survey, the CIA, or the Department of State, and careers in the military.
  • Working in the private sector (transportation, utility, real estate, or marketing companies)
  • Working for state agencies including those dealing with agriculture and natural resources, the Department of Environmental Quality, planning, the Governor’s office,
  • Working in city and county planning 
  • Teaching in high schools

Where are our graduates now?

  • Doctoral student, soil science (Class of 2007) 
  • Graduate student, bioregional planning (Class of 2011)
  • Junior high school teacher, Granite School District (Class of 2008)
  • Medical student (Class of 2010)
  • Research scientist, Michigan Tech University (Class of 2007)