Geography and Planning
The geographer and planner study people, the environment, and the ways
they affect one another. They analyze human activities on the land and
how they influence the natural environment. Geography forms an interdisciplinary
bridge between the physical and human worlds. Thus, these professionals
are concerned with relating the natural and human-made environment to changing
patterns of land use. To do this effectively, they must understand and
integrate multidisciplinary concepts to solve real-world problems.
The Department of Geography and Planning has designed programs to meet
the needs of students who are seeking: 1) to develop a broad liberal arts
education focusing on global literacy of humans and their environments;
2) to become professionals in the field of rural and community planning,
environmental restoration, and geographic information systems; 3) to prepare
for a career in business, government, or teaching.
The minor in geography is of value to students majoring in the sciences,
recreation, economics, business, geology, social sciences, and to those
seeking teaching credentials. The minor in planning is of value to majors
in public administration, political science, business, engineering, economics,
Faculty and Facilities
The faculty and staff are strongly committed to involving students in the
rapidly evolving technical innovations in computer applications in geography,
geographic information systems, computer cartography and production techniques,
and remote sensing. The computer graphics laboratory has several microcomputer
work stations, and timesharing connections to the university computers.
Excellence in writing and communication is emphasized, and students are
given ample guidance to sharpen these skills. The faculty is especially
interested and skilled in preparing students in the practical and applied
areas of geography and planning: resource management, environmental assessment,
location analysis, remote sensing, general plan preparation, regional development,
landscape ecology, cartography, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Lecture courses are often supplemented with field trips and community research
experiences; internships, work experience, community service programs,
and public service programs supplement the experiences on campus. The diverse
geography of the Northern California region provides a valuable laboratory
in which to learn geographic concepts and processes, and to practice field
Geographers and planners may choose from several skill subjects and many
general themes to prepare themselves for employment after graduation in
both the public and private sector. One of the growth areas for employment
in the country and Northern California is that of rural, environmental,
and community planning. Many graduates in geography accept employment in
planning and resource management positions. Opportunities also exist with
private industry, and state and federal governments in such areas as geographic
information systems, water resources, computer cartography, global studies,
transportation studies, land management, recreation, parks, and tourism.
Geographers and planners are especially equipped to apply their skills
to the analysis of land use and economic activities, and their environmental
impacts. They understand the broad and synthesizing point of view and are
able to formulate solutions to comprehensive problems in business and
government. The growth industries of ecological restoration, recreation,
and economic development are finding geographers have the knowledge and
skills to contribute at local, national, and international levels.
Geographers and planners are also finding positions in teaching. Training
at the masters level has prepared a number of our graduates to teach at
different levels ranging from elementary schools to universities.