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The Department of Geography-Earth Science offers undergraduate programs leading to the Bachelor of Science degree. The undergraduate programs in the geography-earth science department are designed to give students an appreciation of the physical and cultural environment of the earth as well as the principles of sustainability. Students will develop skills in collecting, recording, and interpreting geoenvironmental data. They will become involved in laboratory work, field investigations, and environmental management that will sharpen student skills to arrive at solutions based on an inductive application of all available sources and materials. Students will be able to identify, distinguish trends, and analyze and interpret physical, socioeconomic, and geo-political patterns in an urban/rural or regional setting. The fundamental geographic themes of location, place, sustainability, interrelationships between the physical and cultural environment, movement, and regions are emphasized.
Geography-Earth Science Features
The geography-earth science department has a strong interdisciplinary nature. With diverse backgrounds, departmental faculty integrate findings from a variety of areas enabling members to develop insights on real problems in various areas such as studying environmental hazards in the Cumberland Valley or urban growth issues in China. In departmental courses and programs, faculty explain why location is important, and why areas and places are different physically and culturally. The unique quality of the geography-earth science department is its focus on how people have affected the landscapes of the earth using a spatial science perspective.
Geography-Earth Science Career Opportunities
Geography is both a natural science (because it deals with the land, sea and air of our planet) and a social science (because it is concerned with the distribution of cultural phenomena including people and industries). As the earth’s population grows, it becomes increasingly imperative for people to understand sustainability and the global patterns that shape our lives. The world we live in requires an understanding of international issues and geographic relationships. For that reason, the field of geography-earth science will continue to expand and grow.
Most geographers/earth scientists work in one of five basic career fields: business, government, teaching, planning, and consulting. Within these five fields geographers/earth scientists are called upon for their expertise in such areas as selecting favorable locations for capital investments, developing effective strategies for corporate or governmental planning, environmental planning and land use analysis, geology and atmospheric studies, cartography, computer applications and geographic information systems, and educating all age groups regarding proper use of the environment. Career opportunities are growing rapidly in fields such as the environmental sciences, planning, sustainability, local and state government, remote sensing, geographic information systems, environmental impact analysis, water resources and hydrology. Our graduates are very successful obtaining jobs in their major field of study. The department has a strong internship program where students can obtain practical experience. An alumni network has been developed to assist majors in the job selection process.
Early/Dual Admission to the MS Program in Geoenvironmental Science and Sustainability
Well-qualified Geography-Earth Science undergraduate students have the opportunity to enroll early in the Master’s Degree program in Geoenvironmental Science and Sustainability. Qualified students may double count some credits toward both BS and MS degrees in their junior and senior years and can complete the MS degree on an accelerated pace. Interested undergraduate students maintaining a Shippensburg University grade point average of at least 3.0 overall and in their major may apply to the program in their junior or senior year.
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