2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog

Geography and Meteorology

P. Zimmermann, Chairperson


Geography as an area of study is distinguished by the spatial approach to understanding the mechanisms of the world's physical and human environments and the linkages between them. 

Tourism professionals and human geographers navigate the rapidly changing world of travel. Geographic information science specialists use cutting edge spatial technologies to analyze data and solve complex contemporary problems. Emergency management, environmental analysis, and homeland security organizations seek students with skills in meteorological studies.

Meteorology and Climatology centers on the investigation of the atmosphere to forecast future conditions at various spatial and temporal scales. Graduates of the program have landed positions at organizations, including the National Weather Service and various television stations.

To meet society's needs for greater geographic and geospatial understanding in the twenty-first century, the Department of Geography and Meteorology offers bachelor's degrees (BA/BS) in Geography (with specializations in Tourism and Human Geography; Geographic Information Science; and Meteorological Studies) as well as a Bachelor of Science in Meteorology and Climatology.  All programs prepare students for employment as well as graduate study.

  • Concentration 1. Tourism and Human Geography.  Students gain the geographical knowledge, the analytical skills, and the practical experience for successful careers in the travel/tourism and other industries. Specialized courses address spatial, organizational, social, and economic aspects of sustainable tourism development, as well as the interaction between tourists and destinations. The program's graduates are in demand in varied travel industry fields including retail travel, tour operations, meetings and conventions, transportation and hospitality companies, along with governmental, corporate, and community organizations involved in travel/tourism promotion and development.
  • Concentration 2. Geographic Information Science.  This concentration is a technical specialization for students interested in solving social and environmental problems through advanced geospatial information technology. Students learn how to visualize information in ways that reveal relationships, patterns, and trends by using computer software for cartography, remote sensing, and GIS. Cartography is the art and science of making maps; remote sensing provides a means to capture visual and digital information about the earth through airborne cameras and advanced electronic spaceborne sensors; a geographic information system is a set of computer tools for analyzing spatial data. Geographic information processing and mapping systems are used by many public and private organizations worldwide, and students graduating with these technical skills are in great demand.
  • Concentration 3. Meteorological Studies.  This concentration is intended for students with interests in weather and climate who seek positions in which knowledge of meteorology and climatology is ancillary to satisfying primary task objectives.  Students completing degrees in this concentration find employment in a variety of enterprises, including emergency management, homeland security, environmental analysis, and transportation planning.

Degree in Meteorology and Climatology

The major in Meteorology and Climatology appeals to students with primary interests in weather forecasting and/or atmospheric research. This major meets American Meteorological Society (AMS) qualifications for the title "meteorologist," and Federal Civil Service requirements (GS 1340) for employment by the National Weather Service (NWS). Both students with broadcast meteorology aspirations and those pursuing public or private sector meteorology careers benefit from the systematic investigations of earth-atmosphere system and subsystem dynamics and training in the use of technology (satellites, radar, automated weather observations, and numerical weather prediction) to analyze these systems on a variety of spatial and temporal scales. The department offers a number of opportunities for students, including cross-training in Geographic Information Science, participation in the Cardinal Weather Service, and optional coursework in Broadcast Meteorology.

The department also offers minors in human geography, GIScience, meteorology and climatology, and travel and tourism.