||"As a young man, my
fondest dream was to become a geographer. However, while working in the customs office I
thought deeply about the matter and concluded it was too difficult a subject. With some
reluctance, I then turned to physics as a substitute."
- Albert Einstein
A ttributed to Albert Einstein, this quote was actually
written by a Professor of Geography at an American State University.A tongue-in-cheek
response to a group of disgruntled colleagues in the physics faculty.
Geography can be an exciting subject. It has been
described as the study of earth as the home of people. While the word
geography is derived from Greek and literally means "to write about the earth,"
the subject of geography is much more than describing "foreign" places or
memorising the names of capitals and countries.
|How is Geography different
Many people know what a geologist does but
don't have any idea of what a geographer does. Geography is commonly divided into human
geography and physical geography. But the difference between physical geography and
geology is often confusing. Geographers tend to study the surface of earth and its
landscapes. They try to understand how the surface features were created. Geologists look
deeper into the earth than geographers do. They study its rocks, the internal processes of
earth (such as plate tectonics and volcanoes), and study periods of earth history many
millions or even billions of years ago.
Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks to
understand the world its human and physical features through an
under-standing of place and location. Geographers study where things are and how they got
there. A popular definition of geography is "the bridge between the human and
physical sciences." Geography looks at the spatial connection between people, places,
and the earth.
A strong relationship exists between cultural geography,
anthropology and archaeology. Nowadays as people begin to appreciate and understand these
complex linkages between humans and their surroundings new areas of study have emerged.
Take cultural ecology, for example, that explores ways in which humans have interacted
with their cultural and natural environment at various times.
Cultural geographers often try to reconstruct past
environments, and to do so they must be equally skilled in library research, field
observation and the interpretation of cultural artifacts.
Historical geographers are interested in recreating the
geography of past times. In doing this, they work closely with historians and archivists,
contributing much to the understanding of present day geography.
Courses in this area include historical geography,
cultural geography, cultural ecology, human How is Geography different from geology?
geography, human use of the earth, and humanity and nature. Many cultural and human
geographers are area specialists as well. This means that they focus their attention on a
specific region, like Latin America, Europe or Asia. Because they often carry out field
observation in other countries, they will usually need good foreign-language back-grounds.
Human Geography combines economic and cultural geography
to explore the relationships between humans and their natural environment.
It also tracks the broad social patterns that shape human
societies. When students study communities around the world that are grappling with major
socioeconomic change, it helps them understand present-day events within the scope of
clearly recognisable trends.
In other words Human Geography helps these students to
realise the impact government, corporate and individual decisions may have on people and
places near and far.
Are you ready then, to explore, study and map your world
and make it a rewarding career?
Become a Geographer
G R E E N
C A R E E R S
|G E O G R A P H E R
It may not be a very lucrative career but be ready for the
adventures and excitement of a lifetime
An undergraduate (college
or university) education in geography is important if you want to become a geographer.
With a bachelor's degree, a geography student can
begin working in a variety of fields. While many begin
their career after achieving an undergraduate education, others pursue higher studies.
A masters degree is very helpful for students who desire to teach at the high school or
college level. They can also be cartographers or GIS specialist, or work in corporate or
A doctorate (Ph.D.) in geography is necessary if one wishes to become a full professor.
Many doctorates, however, go on to form consulting firms, become
administrators in government agencies, or attain high-level research positions in
corporations or think-tanks.
PEOPLE & GEOGRAPHY
You will assume the role of government geographers and engineers and search for a dam
site in a river course near you. For this you have to compare actual dam sites in your
state or region to find what they have in common. You will need to become experts in the
following areas and learn to answer some important questions:
Geography: What kinds of land are the
dams located on? What natural resources are found upstream and downstream of the dam site?
People: Which ommunities lived near the area? What was their occupation and lifestyle?
Economics: How did the making of the dam
affect their lives? Who benifitted and who didnt? Natural Resources: What plants and
animals could be found in and
around the site? How did the people use and share these resources? How did they harvest
Once you have discovered the common traits that actual dam sites have, search for
another location to create YOUR DAM SITE. Try to convince others that your site is the
best. Use facts and reasons while making your choice.
What charts, pictures, and words will effectively prove your point? How do you present
your findings in a way that others will understand and agree with?