Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another, how places change over time, and how people interact with the environment.
There are two main branches of geography: physical geography and human geography.
Physical geographers study patterns of weather and climates, land forms, vegetation, soils, and water. They forecast the weather, manage land and water resources, and analyze and plans for forests, rangelands, wetlands, and rural and urban developments.
Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence -- how people and culture are distributed in space, how they use and perceive space, and how they create and sustain the places, and how over time they change places that make up the human environment. Human geographers work in the fields of urban and regional planning, demographics, transportation, marketing, real estate, tourism, and international business, international affairs, intelligence, and homeland security. Many human and physical geographers have skills in cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and remote sensing.
Both Physical and Human Geographers also study the linkages between human activity and natural systems. Geographers were among the first scientists to sound the alarm that human-induced changes to the environment were beginning to threaten the balance of life itself. They are active in the study of global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of bio diversity, groundwater pollution, and flooding. Many human and physical geographers have skills in cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and remote sensing.
Earth Science focuses on all aspects of our planet, including the solid earth (soil and rock), water (fresh water and marine), atmosphere, and their interactions with living systems. Each aspect of earth interacts with the others in many important ways and the study of these interactions is increasingly vital to society.
The need for Earth Scientists is as broad as the discipline. For example, those with a breadth of knowledge are needed in education to teach about the world we live, and to motivate students in all of science by using the most exciting and accessible of all laboratories -- the great outdoors. Scientists are needed as interpreters in national parks, museums, and other places where the public learns about the earth. Furthermore, the Earth Science degree may be applied to a range of other career choices requiring a general knowledge of science.
Contact UsJoseph Garcia, PhD
Professor of Earth Science and Geography Earth Science and Geography Area Coordinator
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences
201 High St.
Farmville, VA 23909