Geography provides students with skills and conceptual frameworks needed to understand the processes that shape the world around us. Particular attention is given to understanding the spatial and temporal scales of landscapes, their history and their biota. Because Geography is a field-based discipline, the major enables students to gain hands-on research experience. Practical laboratory classes, field trips, and group project work are found at all levels of study in the major. In their third year students complete a ‘capstone’ subject dealing with the history and philosophy of Geography and may also take field based subjects involving significant, original, field-based research under the guidance of teaching staff. The major provides opportunities for students to develop critical intellectual skills, transferable professional skills, a sense of public responsibility and higher research degree capacities. Completion of the major will allow student s to enter careers or research in the following areas: research, teaching, environmental sciences, resource management, environmental consultancies, industry and government.
Intended learning outcomes
Geography Major Graduates should demonstrate:
- a sound understanding of the major disciplinary areas that comprise Physical Geography and a deep practical and theoretical understanding of at least one specialist area;
- familiarity with the natural processes that control the formation and maintenance of the earth’s natural systems. These understandings will be enhanced by a deep appreciation of the impacts of humans on landforms and associated biotas;
- analytical skills appropriate to a range of field and laboratory techniques that enable graduates to address significant ecological and environmental problems at a range of scales from the cellular to the global;
- skills in the planning, safety and budget-setting for field-work as well as more disciplinary specific techniques such as sampling, mapping, remote sensing, classifications and field identifications;
- capacity to work and study in small groups and to communicate their results verbally and by written assignments including field diaries, laboratory reports and other modes;
- understanding that while scientific techniques and knowledge are fundamental to understanding the natural world, the implementation of solutions to environmental problems requires an understanding of science within the context of current politics, planning and societall diversity.