Welcome to Geography
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The Geographer's Approach
Geography students at Sacramento State explore Earth's natural and cultural landscapes. Students study climate, weather, landforms, water resources, plants and animals, and at the same time, peoples, societies, economies, and cities. Geography emphasizes the human-environment interface, such as climate change, resource degradation, urban growth and design, globalization, immigration, and ethnic and territorial conflict. Geography's approach to these phenomena emphasizes their interrelationships and spatial patterns, which overlap in intricate ways and give rise to distinctive places and regions. Students work with a variety of data and they use a variety of tools, including traditional paper maps, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and other computer applications to collect, display, and analyze spatial data.
The Geography Department offers a B.A. in Geography that features balanced preparation in physical and human geography, geographic skills and techniques, and regional study. Four concentrations within the major allow for specializations in human geography, physical geography, GIS, and planning. The Department has two computer labs to support training in GIS, GPS, computer cartography, and remote sensing, and to allow students to pursue independent research projects. Available software includes ESRI’s ARC/INFO, ARCVIEW (with 3-D, Network Analyst and Spatial Analyst extensions) and ERDAS remote sensing programs. The department is home to the campus’s Paleoecology Lab. The University Library houses an extensive collection of books, atlases, journals, and databases in support of geography. In the department’s capstone course, majors display their geographic knowledge and skills via senior research projects.
Lower division offerings in physical geography, cultural geography, and geographical techniques introduce students to the discipline. At the upper division level, students can choose among regional classes, topical classes ranging from meteorology to transportation, and technique classes that include GIS, map making, spatial analysis, remote sensing, and field work. Geography majors select a concentration in a geographic subfield of their choosing.
Find Yourself Here
Our location in Sacramento provides our field courses access to a wide range of landscapes and environments relating to urban, rural, and physical geography. Our location in the state capital also provides students with a wide range of government resources (federal, state, and local) on which to draw, as well as the opportunity for internships with diverse public agencies; these provide excellent “real world” training opportunities and possible subsequent permanent employment. Some geography courses include opportunities for community engagement via service learning.
Clubs and Organizations
The Sacramento State Geography Department has a chapter of Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international honor society in geography, as well as a club for its majors. The Sacramento State Geography Club schedules regular social events at which students, faculty, and staff have a chance to relax and socialize. An information board is located on the third floor of Amador Hall. You can also find activities and information on the club's website.