Geography and Planning
The geographer and the planner study how people create, interact with, change, and understand their physical and social environments. The Department of Geography and Planning meets the needs of students who wish:
- to receive a broad liberal arts education focusing on global literacy;
- to become professionals in the field of planning (environmental, rural, urban, and community), environmental conservation and restoration, and GIS; or
- to prepare for teaching, business, or government careers.
The Certificate in Geographic Information Systems Technologies provides students with a foundation in geographical technology and information science with hands-on use of the latest software.
The Certificate in Rural and Town Planning is valuable to our majors and other students who wish to prepare for careers in urban or environmental planning and related fields such as resource management and rural economic development.
The Environmental Studies Minor provides interdisciplinary investigation into critical environmental issues. The Minor is appropriate for all majors seeking to increase environmental literacy in their chosen fields.
The Geography Minor 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 and Development is attractive to students in public administration, political science, business, engineering, recreation, and economics who wish to pursue a career in planning.
Faculty and Facilities
The faculty conduct courses in multimedia classrooms and supplement their classes with field trips, community research, internships, and public service. The faculty and staff are committed to involving students in technical innovations in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), cartography, and remote sensing. Excellence in writing and communication is emphasized as well. The diverse geography and resources of Northern California provide a valuable laboratory in which to learn geographic and planning concepts and processes, and to provide service learning opportunities for students.
Given its emphasis on global literacy, environment, and technology, geography is a widely recognized growth field. Geography and planning students may choose from several subjects and skills to prepare for careers in public and private sectors. Geographers and planners bring valuable expertise to the fields of water resources, fire ecology, cartography, transportation, land management, recreation, environmental restoration, and sustainable community development. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) have many applications in fire research, environmental management, planning, agriculture, the social sciences, and business. Many graduates of our program have found teaching positions in elementary schools, community colleges, and universities.