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About Geography

Geography is the study of location and temporal and spatial relationships – providing a unique perspective not typically available in other disciplines. The geography B.A. provides students with a foundation of the discipline: including spatial thinking, an interdisciplinary perspective, visualization skills, experience in field methods, a sense of complex interactions, and a global perspective, while at the same time having a sensitivity to the distinctiveness of places. The department is committed to provide a rigorous, multidisciplinary education for our students, with a focus on skills and applied experience that will enable them to contribute successfully to the local and global community after graduation or go on to graduate school.

The B.A. degree in Geography presents a general program to prepare students for a wide variety of professional positions in business, industry, government, and non-profits.  Many of our majors are interested in either encountering a broad range of geography-related fields, including globalization, cultural diversity, development studies, geospatial technologies, climate change, and the environment, or focusing on a subfield of their choosing. 

Environmental Geography, B.S.

Geography, B.A.

Urban and Regional Planning, B.S.

Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.A.

Great Lakes Environmental Science, M.S.

Geography, Minor

Geographic Information Systems, Certificate

Geographic Information Systems, Minor

Meteorology and Climatology, Minor

Degree Information

Geographers are classified by the U.S. Department of Labor as a “Bright Outlook” occupation – an occupation growing at a rate faster than an average of occupations.

Graduates are well prepared to meet rapidly evolving demands in career fields given their big picture perspective, eye for detail, and ability to integrate information on a variety of scales. A geography degree prepares students for a variety of career fields – most not identified as “Geography”. Geography B.A. majors are prepared for professional positions in: 

  • Environmental consulting and engineering firms
  • Resource management
  • Market/demographic consultant
  • Retail firms
  • Geospatial companies
  • Insurance
  • Health
  • Non-profits
  • Local, state, and federal government agencies 

Our graduates have been hired by organizations such as: 

  • U.S. Forest Service
  • Bureau of Land Management
  • HSBC Bank
  • CSX Railway
  • Texas Department of Transportation
  • Buffalo Niagara Water Keeper
  • Ecology & Environment
  • Pictometry
  • Geomedia
  • Gomez & Sullivan Engineers
  • IT Services
  • Joy Kuebler Landscape Architects
  • Westminister Economic Development Initiative
  • NCO Financial Systems
  • Cityworks

Graduate Students: Students who attend graduate school typically pursue studies in, but not limited to: 

  • Physical geography 
  • Environmental science 
  • Human geography 
  • Planning 
  • Development studies
  • GIS

There are numerous opportunities for applied learning experiences for geography B.A. majors. Internships are encouraged and facilitated: 
National Weather Service
New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Erie County Department of Environment and Planning
Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper
Buffalo State Environmental Health and Safety. 

Faculty Research Grants: Undergraduate field and research opportunities exist supported by faculty research grants. Students have completed research projects in areas ranging from climate change to water quality to municipal tree mapping.  

Student Research and Creativity Conference: Students routinely present their research results at the annual Student Research and Creativity Celebration and at regional conferences. 

Student Research and Creativity Conference Information

Field Courses: The department offers placed-based field courses and experiences, including courses such as the Bahamas Field Course and Cavern Studies, and field sampling in Colorado and Baja Mexico. 

Study Away: Majors are encouraged to take advantage of the College’s study abroad and national exchange programs.

Learn about Study Away

Outstanding Reputation 

Our department has been:

  • Presented with The Governor’s Quality Community Award for Excellence. 
  • Selected from geography departments within the Middle States Division of the American Association of Geographers to represent the division in a nationwide undergraduate awards competition. 

Small Class Size

Introductory-level courses are purposely capped at approximately 45 students to foster meaningful student-teacher interactions, which fosters a positive climate, a regard for student perspectives, and expands participation. Upper-division courses have between ten and fifteen students. 

Internship Opportunities

Our department enjoys a strong relationship with internship providers and local employers, many of whom have repeatedly selected from or hired students from our department.

Award-winning Faculty

Faculty are committed to student success and are involved in a variety of activities that, in addition to teaching, include research and community work. Areas of faculty expertise and interest purposely mimic course offerings as part of the Geography B.A. Our faculty have received several community, pedagogical, and professional awards. 

Dr. Stephen Vermette has received the college's President's Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dr. Kelly Frothingham has received the college's President's Award for Excellence in Service.

James R. Bensley Lecturer
Elisa T. Bergslien Associate Professor
Jennifer L. Connelly Associate Director, Planetarium
Camille A. Holmgren Professor
Wende A. Mix Associate Professor
Mary F. Perrelli GIS Lab Supervisor
Gary S. Solar Chair and Professor
Nicholas B. Sullivan Lecturer
Tao Tang Professor
Joshua M. Unghire Lecturer
Vida Vanchan Professor
Stephen J. Vermette Professor
Kevin K. Williams Associate Professor
Cynthia A. Wong Administrative Assistant 1