THE TOP 10 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BECOME A GEOGRAPHY MAJOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND Dr. Ronald Luna, Undergraduate Director Rachel Berndtson, Senior Undergraduate Advisor Department of Geography University of Maryland Fall 2011 What is Geography? Geography concerns the relations between people and the natural world, the effects of ecosystems on human beings and vice versa, the choices people make, the effects of past actions on people today, and the effects of today’s choices on future generations. Geography Academic Options GEOGRAPHY Major GEOGRAPHY Geographic Information Systems Concentration Concentration *Upcoming* Society, Sustainability and Environmental Justice Concentration humanenvironmental interactions Specialized subfields: urban, biogeographic, demographic ENSP-Land Use ENSP-Global ENSP-Coastal Concentration Concentration Concentration technical skills digital processing spatial analysis Geographic Information Systems *Upcoming* Geospatial Intelligence and Analysis Minor Minor Minor environmental resources location and use scientific underpinnings Cultural dimensions societal impacts Regional dimensions *Upcoming* Global Environmental Justice environmental justice Ecological dimensions remote sensing observations cartographic vector data spatial analysis Remote sensing military analysis and intelligence environmental monitoring counter-narcotics disaster assessments, law enforcement policy responses climate change, International sea level rise dimensions greenhouse gas emissions stratospheric ozone oceanography and littoral processes meteorological conditions environmental policy as it relates to marine and coastal management #1: Rapidly expanding field of study Geographic Information Systems Over the past 15 years there has been… A “rapid pace of advancements and increasing accessibility” to GIS tools and programming languages Increasingly more accessible computer memory for GIS programs Diffusion and adoption of GIS across academic and professional disciplines A flux of massive governmental and commercial spatial databases A significant increase in the public availability to high-resolution satellite imagery The creation of specialized software suites for unique industries The development of Internet tools for GIS data dissemination and visualization (Sampson and Delgiudice 2006, 1446; Florance 2006, 222-223) #1: Rapidly expanding field of study Geography Why Geography Matters… “Geography is fundamental to the process of true education in that it serves as a springboard to virtually every other subject in the sciences and humanities” (McDougall 2001) “Geography is vital to the examination of economic competition, poverty, environmental degradation, ethnic conflict, health care, global warming, literature and culture, and, of course, international relations.” (McDougall 2001) Geography is essential to understanding and changing society (Massey 1984, 1) Geographic knowledge is necessary to understanding industrial processes, economic mechanisms, poverty distribution, natural resource management, natural disaster response and mitigation (Massey 1984, 3, 6, 7) #2: All-Star Faculty Leaders of the field Recently ranked THIRD BEST Geography department in the United States by the National Research Council Great connections …why does this matter? “Graduate school and career letters of recommendation need to be different from those required for undergraduate admission” in that they must come from a professor “who can say something good about your potential for graduate or career research, experience with undergraduate research, or performance as a student.” THEREFORE…. “Develop good relationships with your professors now.” Dr. Kim Nickerson, Assistant Dean at the University of Maryland’s College of Behavioral and Social Sciences #3: Ease of enrollment and degree completion Not a Limited Enrollment Program No entrance exams or minimum GPAs No specific CORE requirements Manageable credit requirements: 50 Departmental Credits Easy to transfer in as a junior or senior Easy addition of minors or double majors Several summer, winter and online course options #4: Career Opportunities Cross disciplinary Government: federal and state (DoD, EPA, BLM, USGS, NASA, NGA, USAID) Corporate (Google, Lockheed Martin, ESRI) Non Profit (World Wildlife Fund, Natural Resources Defense Council, Amnesty International, The Holocaust Museum) Academic: Universities (teaching, researching), High School, Middle School Physical: land use/land cover change, wildlife habitats, climate change, earth systems science Human: political analysis, cultural analysis, census tracking, transportation systems, corporate strategizing, ethnic disputes, educational change, health access #5: Internship Opportunities Expanding number of new internship opportunities (private, nonprofit and government sectors) Fall/Winter/Spring/Summer internships Bi-annual Geography Career Fair specifically designed for and open to Geography/GIS students Up to 6 credits for internships (GEOG384, GEOG385) Internship opportunities easily accessible proximity to DC/MD/VA offices Why is this important? #6: Undergraduate Research Opportunities Honors Program (GEOG396, GEOG397) Independent Studies Program (GEOG 398, GEOG498) Opportunities to submit research for cash rewards (Funded) Opportunities to present at national academic meetings Why is this important? Research at the undergraduate level is no longer seen as giving students an “edge” at graduate schools and job opportunities, but rather “many graduate schools and employers have come to expect it” (Webb 2007) Dr. Michael Doyle, former president of the Council on Undergraduate Research and chemistry professor at the University of Maryland: “undergraduate research experience can help recent science grads land interviews (and even jobs) in the industry and compensate for the ‘years of experience’ listed in a job advertisement” (Webb 2007) #7: State of the art technological facilities and skills training Student computer labs Access to latest GIS, Remote Sensing and Programming software ArcGIS, ENVI, ERDAS, Visual Studio, S-Plus #7: Skills Training through GIS Courses GEOG373 GEOG473 GEOG475 Geographic Information Systems and Spatial Geographic ComputerInformation Cartography Systems Analysis Characteristics Prerequisite: and GEOG306, organization GEOG373 of Credit or Prerequisite: GEOG306 and GEOG373. geographic equivalent data; The creation of use of will be granted for principles only one ofand the designing following: GEOG473 GEOG482. Formerly GEOG482. digital mapsgeospatial fororpublication databases; in printmetadata; media, Analytical of geographic information spatial including datauses books models and foratlases. thematic The mapping systems; data forof building geographic and selection map analysis; ofmodels symbols, use colors, geographic letterdata bases; types of geographic data and information ing, map system projections, in society, and map government, spatial problems; practical experience using and content. business. Constraints Practical and training problems with use in ofas advanced software for thematic domains such terrain analysis, land and suitability modeling, advanced the classification software geographic representation demographic analysis, and transportation databases. of map data. studies. #7: Skills Training through Remote Sensing Courses GEOG372 GEOG472 Remote Sensing Remote Sensing: Digital Processing and Principles Analysis; of remote sensing in relation to photographic, thermal infrared Prerequisite: GEOG306, GEOG372 or and equivalent. Credit will be granted for only one radar imaging. Methods of obtaining of the following: GEOG472 or GEOG480. quantitative information from Formerly GEOG480.images. Digital image remotely-sensed processing and analysis applied to satellite Interpretation remotely-sensed and aircraft landofremote sensing data. images emphasizing study of steps Consideration is given tothe preprocessing includingand calibration and geo registration. spatial environmental Analysis methods include digital image relationships. exploration, feature extraction thematic classification, change detection, and biophysical characterization. One or more application examples may be reviewed. #7: Skills Training through Programming and Modeling Courses GEOG376 GEOG476 GEOG498N Introduction to Topical Investigations: Advanced Computer Computer Programming Conceptualizing and Programming in GIS in GIS Modeling HumanPrerequisite: GEOG306, Prerequisite: GEOG306, Environmental Interactions GEOG373, GEOG376 GEOG373 or equivalent.or equivalent. An advanced An introductory programming programming course course for for geography Implementation geography. .Introduces language is Visual Basic the concepts of computer programming as applied to Geography #8 Study Abroad Opportunities Italy: GEOG328G Croatia: GEOG 498A Puerto Rico: GEOG 328 Southern Caribbean: GEOG328 …and more on the way! #9: Diversity of Coursework Physical course examples: Human course examples: GEOG373, GEOG473, GEOG475 Remote Sensing course examples: GEOG328B, GEOG410, GEOG435 GIS course examples: GEOG340, GEOG342, GEOG415 GEOG372, GEOG472 Programming and Modeling course examples: GEOG376, GEOG476, GEOG498N # 10: A Multi-Disciplinary Subject Cultural Geography • Anthropology, History, Sociology Population Geography • Demography Political Geography Urban Geography • Political Science, International Development, Planning • Geology Economic Geography • Economics Physical • Geology, Meteorology, Oceanography Check the following website for additional specialty groups http://www.aag.org/sg/sg_display.cfm Come See Us! For more information on the Geography and GIS majors at the University of Maryland, please come to the Department of Geography’s Advising Office: 2108 LeFrak Hall 301-405-4073 [email protected] Sources Florance, P. 2006. GIS collection development within an academic library. Library Trends 55(2): 222-235. Massey, D. 1984. Introduction: Geography matters. In Geography matters! A reader eds. D. Massey and J. Allen, 1-12. New York: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge. McDougall, W. A. 2001. Why geography matters. American Educator 25(1): 10. Nickerson, K. “Towards a Career in Research: The Value of Undergraduate Research,” Geography 212 Lecture, University of Maryland. College Park. 21 September 2010. Sampson, B. A. and G. D. Delgiudice. 2006. Tracking the rapid pace of GISrelated capabilities and their accessibility. Wildlife Society Bulletin 34(5): 1446-1454 Webb, Sarah, “The Importance of Undergraduate Research,” Science Careers, July 06, 2007, accessed September 17, 2010, http://sciencecareers.sciencemag.org/career_development/previous_issues/ articles/2007_07_06/caredit_a0700095.