The Department of Earth Science and Geography hosts two distinct programs, a natural science (Earth Science) and a social science (Geography), that provide students with an integrative place to learn about the Earth system and human interactions with our environment.
In Earth Science, students learn how development affects water resources and pollution, how soils form and what makes them support the food we eat, about our changing oceans and climate, about environmental justice and geohazards in the Anthropocene, and about the history of our Earth, its climates, and the creatures that evolved here.
In Geography, students learn how political, economic, cultural, and environmental forces shape spatial patterns and flows of activities, resources, people, and ideas in our world. We explore themes such as sustainable landscapes and communities, global political economic systems, cities and planetary urbanization, and the spatial underpinnings of social justice and human rights.
Students in both programs learn analytical skills such as GIS (computer mapping and analysis), modeling, and field techniques. Both disciplines also share an interest in climate, environmental quality, and their impacts on communities around us.
Students can choose to major in Earth Science, in Geography, in the combined Earth Science and Society major, or in a joint Geography-Anthropology major, which integrates cultural anthropology with the study of human geography.