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Salisbury University
A Maryland University of National Distinction

Department of Geography & Geosciences

Welcome to Geography and Geosciences!

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WELCOME from Dr. Brent R. Skeeter Chair, Geography and Geosciences

Discover Geography and Geosciences at Salisbury University

I invite you to discover Geography and Geosciences at Salisbury University. Our department offers majors in both geography and earth science. Prospective geography majors and earth science majors usually have three questions. What are geography and earth science? What is the course of study for geography/earth science majors? Finally, what can you do with a Bachelor of Science in geography and/or earth science?

What is Geography?

Geography traditionally emphasizes the "where". Geographers study the nature and character of places to further an understanding of the world by examining the interactions between the economic, cultural, and the physical environment of a place. Because geography stresses the "where", all geographers take courses in map making and spatial analysis. Modern mapping or Geographic Information Science is computer-based so most majors also develop a computer competency.

What is Earth Science?

Earth science seeks to understand the complex processes operating within the earth-atmosphere system and to apply knowledge of these processes to improve the quality of human life. Earth scientists complete coursework in a variety of geoscience disciplines including geology, hydrology, oceanography and environmental science as well as classes focusing on analytic techniques including statistics and Geographic Information Science (GIS).

What is the course of study in the geography major?

Geography programs vary greatly from university to university. Our major is divided into six tracks. All majors complete a set of core courses that provide a foundation for choosing a track. The atmospheric science track involves taking advanced courses in atmospheric science such as meteorology or climatology. The environmental/land use planning track focuses on a combination of geosciences, public policy and land use planning techniques. Our geographic information sciences track is designed for students whose emphasis is on mapping sciences. The human geography track examines the interactions of social systems including economics, politics, planning and development. The physical geography track examines a range of geosciences including climate, soils and geomorphology. The sixth track is a general track in which the student selects advanced geography and geosciences coursework based on their particular interests. Many geography majors are able to complete more than one track in support of their career objectives. 

What can you do with a B.S. in Geography?

The diversity of geography-related professions is stunning. Our graduates work for the CIA, EPA, National Park Service, US Geological Survey and more. They are Department of Natural Resources Police, who patrol the Chesapeake Bay; county environmental planners throughout Maryland and the U.S., computer mappers for the U.S. Census Bureau, private consultants, NYC real estate developers and several can be seen forecasting the weather on television.

What is the course of study in the earth science major?

Our earth science program focuses on providing students with a broad background in the geosciences and its application to solving environmental problems and mitigating natural hazards. Thus, students complete courses in geology, weather and climate, map interpretation, geographic information science, statistics, chemistry and physics. One key feature of our coursework in the Earth Science degree is our commitment to field work and experiential studies. Many of the core and elective courses in the Earth Science program include class field trips and intensive, hands-on lab activities. The coursework required for this degree provides a solid undergraduate knowledge base which serves as a strong foundation for students continuing on to graduate studies or onto a career in the geosciences. We also support an earth science secondary education track for those interested in teaching at the middle or high school level. Download the checklists here. 

What can you do with a B.S. in Earth Science?

There are a number of different career paths available to earth science majors. Earth science majors work in natural resources (oil, gas, coal, minerals, construction aggregate, water, soil) exploration and development, preservation of the natural environment, restoration from environmental damage, and the mitigation of geohazards such as earthquakes and landslides. Our graduates continue their education in graduate school, work for environmental consulting and engineering firms, and teach in the Maryland public education system.

Dual Major in Geography and Earth Science

Some students are able to complete dual majors in geography and earth science. Students can discuss the possibility with their advisor.

Visit Salisbury University's Career Services Web Site for employment support in geography. 

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