A woman was sitting on the train reading the newspaper. A headline read, "12 Brazilian Soldiers Killed." The woman shook her head at the sad news, turned to the stranger sitting next to her, and asked, "How many is a Brazilian?"

If you laughed, you might be a geographer in the making so keep reading.

Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the Earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another and how people interact with the environment.

There are two main branches of geography:

Human Geography

Human geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence – how people and their activities are distributed in space, how they use and perceive space, and how they create and sustain the places that make up the Earth's surface. Human geographers work in the fields of urban and regional planning, transportation, marketing, real estate, tourism and international business.

Physical Geography

Physical geographers study patterns of climates, landforms, vegetation, soils and water. They forecast the weather, manage land and water resources, and analyze and plan for forests, rangelands, and wetlands. Many human and physical geographers have skills in cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Geographers also study the linkages between human activity and natural systems. Geographers were, in fact, among the first scientists to sound the alarm that human-induced changes to the environment were beginning to threaten the balance of life itself. They are active in the study of global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding.

Careers in Geography

General Areas

Jobs and Careers

See the Association of American Geographers website to learn more.

More Information About Geography

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