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Department of Geography

Geography is the study of any phenomenon as it varies across the earth and relates to human activity. Geographers ask where things are located, why they are located where they are, how one place differs from another, and how people interact with the environment. There are two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography.

Human geographers ask how and why human activities vary across the earth. How do people and their activities vary across space? How do people use and perceive the spaces in which they live? How do people create and sustain the places that make up the earth's surface? Human geographers work in the fields of health, migration, history, politics, national security, urban and regional planning, transportation, marketing, finance, tourism, and international business.

Physical geographers ask how and why the physical structures of the earth, atmosphere, and oceans vary over space. Why are some parts of the earth’s surface flat and others mountainous? Why are some areas dominated by forests and others by deserts? How do soil and water quality vary over space? What are the likely regional impacts of global climate change? And, how do all of these examples impact human activity across the earth?

Many human and physical geographers have skills in computer cartography, remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and Global Positioning Systems (GPS). They use these, and many other tools, to study the connections between human activity and natural systems. Geographers were, in fact, among the first scientists to use sophisticated technology to sound the alarm that human-induced changes to the environment were beginning to impact the balance of life within the earth’s ecological systems.

BGSU Geography faculty and students have received several awards and important recognitions recently, including Dr. Xinyue Ye, who received the Emerging Scholar Award from the Association of American Geographers, and a BGSU Geography major who received a prestigious internship at National Geographic.