College of Natural Science and Mathematics
Department of Geosciences
B.A., B.S. Degrees
Minimum Requirements for Degrees: 120 credits
Geography is a broad, holistic study of the interactions among various natural/environmental, political, cultural and economic systems, and how those interactions create the world we see today at both local and global scales. Geography takes a synthesizing and inherently interdisciplinary approach to develop an integrated understanding of climate change, resource development, energy use and conservation, geopolitics, sustainable development, assessment of natural and human-caused environmental hazards, land-use change, regional conflicts, and economic and political developments all over the world. Geography also provides the framework for the integration of existing and emerging technologies such as GIS, remote sensing and geo-visualization into a broad range of academic and professional fields.
The geography B.A. and B.S. degrees are built upon a group of required courses that gives students a firm grounding in the fundamental components of the discipline, including global geographic perspectives, geography of the earth’s natural systems, geography of human systems, geospatial sciences (GIS, remote sensing, geo-visualization), and the synthesis of these core perspectives through an integrating capstone experience.
Our students find work in such fields as geospatial sciences (GIS/remote sensing/cartography), regional planning, international relations, state and federal resource management, transportation planning, environmental impact assessment, tourism, and teaching. Many of our students go on to graduate study in geography, natural resources, environmental science or planning. The geography B.A. degree gives students a broad understanding of the interactions among the physical environments, economics, political events, and cultures of various regions of the world, and equips students with the ability to interpret contemporary geopolitical and environmental issues. The B.A. prepares students for careers in management, policy, teaching, field-based research, regional planning, and a variety of private sector careers. The B.A. also provides an excellent foundation for graduate studies in a wide range of academic disciplines.
B.A. students are encouraged to coordinate minors, electives and internships to develop further expertise within a chosen region or topic, to take advantage of the considerable topical and regional expertise found throughout the UAF community, and also to underscore the important role other disciplines play within the field of geography.
Three specialized concentrations are available to students pursuing the B.S. degree:
- environmental studies
- landscape analysis and climate change studies
- geospatial sciences
The environmental studies concentration provides the foundation for understanding interactions between natural and human systems, analysis of environmental issues from an interdisciplinary geographic perspective, a diverse technical and scientific approach to environmental issues, and the ability to design balanced solutions to environmental problems.
The landscape analysis and climate change studies concentration integrates and synthesizes courses in geography, climate, geologic and biological sciences, as well as geospatial sciences. Students gain a sound and interdisciplinary understanding of how environmental change influences landscape patterns and human activity and welfare on both spatial and temporal scales. Senior capstone and internship courses offer integrating capstone experiences, enabling students to apply what they have learned in real-world settings.
The geospatial sciences concentration emphasizes skills and practices in geographic information systems, remote sensing, geovisualization and analysis of spatial patterns. Courses in GIS, remote sensing, GPS, map design, spatial statistics and computer programming are integrated with the geography foundation curriculum and courses in the natural sciences.