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This year the Department of Geography & Planning is celebrating its 50th anniversary. As the leader in the north state producing applied geographers, community planners, geospatial technology specialists and sustainability champions we would like to support increased student travel to conferences. Student presentation of papers, posters, maps & research projects at conferences is an important aspect of our program. In addition, students are involved in community and regionally based problems-solving with our faculty, focused on water resources, agriculture, fire management, biodiversity preservation, climate change adaptation, sustainable urban planning, and understanding of historical landscapes. This allows our students to prepare for business and government employment. We are also looking for support for high-tech equipment for students in our geospatial technology computer lab. Past support has helped us acquire webGIS technology, Google glasses, weather stations, and a UAV remote mapping system. Such hands-on tools and activities prepare our students for exciting 21st century careers in applied geography, planning, climate change adaptation, building sustainable communities, graduate school and supporting K-14 education.
What Can You Do with a Geography Degree?
The Department of Geography and Planning is using the power of GIS to illustrate answers to the questions, where do our alumni go, and what do they do? GIS is a multidisciplinary field that brings together geography, cartography, statistical analysis, and computer science to bring relevance to data sets that may well seem to be unrelated and to represent that data in an easily understood, visual manner. It is a dynamic area that has broad appeal in fields where people might never have considered working with visualizing data. Dr. Jacquelyn Chase, professor of geography and planning, is working with the department’s advisory board to develop projects that will illustrate the professional trajectory of geography majors. The department has teamed up with members of its advisory board outreach subcommittee as well as the campus’s Geographical Information Center and the Office of Institutional Research to create a dynamic map of geography and planning alumni who reside in the United States. The alumni data extend back to the founding of the department in 1964 and when mapped using GIS, geographical patterns by occupational field are revealed. These patterns reinforce the notion that there is a broad distribution of Chico State geographers in every state and county, from metropolitan areas to rural locations.