Broadly, GES seeks to
- broaden students' understanding of the world in which they live
- produce graduates with an appreciation for the discipline of geography
- prepare students for careers and productive citizenship through lifelong learning
- highlight the importance of inclusivity
Specifically, GES seeks to
- educate students about human and physical processes that shape the natural and cultural landscape
- foster understanding of human-environment interactions and sustainability
- provide technological skills needed to study spatial relationships
Geography develops a distinct method of observation and analysis aimed at understanding culture and the natural landscape. Geographers use the spatial or place concept to look at the myriad of human and physical phenomena on the earth and they study the variations and interactions of these phenomena from place to place. The central question of geography is "Why is it like this here?" Its value as an academic discipline rests on its ability to make connections and explain how the world works in terms of both physical and human spatial patterns and associations and the broad, interdisciplinary education it offers students.
Students at UCCS get a background in the analysis of human interaction through the study of introductory world, regional and human geography and a sound natural science background with two introductory courses in environmental systems. Advanced courses in cartography, remote sensing, statistical analysis, resource conservation, natural hazards and others develop the students expertise in geographic thought and methodologies. Geography prepares them to look at complex issues with a critical eye and give them the analytical tools to study complicated and crucial world problems.
GES offers four tracks, which are suggested sets of related courses, in i) Human & Cultural Dynamics; ii) Physical Systems; iii) Environmental & Sustainability Studies; and iv) Geospatial/GIScience.
Also, GES offers minors in Geology and Sustainable Development.
A degree in Geography and Environmental Studies can lead to employment opportunities ranging from entry-level positions in government or business to a variety of professions requiring advanced study and training. With their combination of social and natural science knowledge and their ability to use the tools of geographic research, geographers are invaluable to many segments of federal, regional, state and local governments. A geography degree is especially useful in planning or environmental organizations. It is also an excellent degree as preparation for an educational or business career.
Geography relates the study of Earth to social, political, and economic development. It is a broad major that requires that students take courses in economics, history and politics, as well as in geography. A field in and of itself, geography has many subdivisions as well such as cultural geography, geomorphology, and many others. Math and science are critical to all geographers as essential tools to learning and practicing this profession. Environmental scientists study the effects of humans, industry, production, and other sources of pollution on nature and the environment. Many of these professionals also do advocacy work, trying to curb as much environmental damage to nature, wildlife, and people as possible.
- College / university faculty
- Conservation manager
- Cultural resource specialist
- Economic developer
- Environmental analyst
- Foreign service officer
- Geographic information system (GIS) manager
- Global positioning system (GPS) specialist
- Historic preservation consultant
- Image analyst
- Land use planner
- Location analyst
- Map librarian
- Market researcher
- Park ranger
- Real estate appraiser
- Terrain and land use planner
- Urban planner
- Water and natural resource planner
- 2013 annual median salary of Urban and Regional Planners is $69,300; employment is expected to grow 20% by 2020.
- 2013 annual median salary of Cartographers is $70,300; employment is expected to grow 22% by 2020.
- 2013 annual median salary for Emergency Management Directors is $70,100; employment is expected to remain flat in Colorado.