The inter-regional shift of people and jobs in the United States and elsewhere over the past decades coupled with the movement away from large central cities has increased the need for formal urban and regional planning. Planners are needed in the private sector as well as in state and local governments to provide the appropriate kinds of economic and community development that will ensure a high quality of life in both developed and developing countries. In a growth region like the Southeastern United States, geographers with a planning background are in increasing demand.
A central theme in geography is human interaction with the earth’s physical environment. This concentration permits students to apply the basic scientific principles of physical geography, cartography and natural resource analysis to the problem of ensuring a high quality of life through maintenance of the natural processes that support human existence. This concentration also provides training to enhance the employment opportunities of students with a strong interest in environmental assesement and resource evaluation.
Students with this concentration will develop skills in using maps, geospatial computer programs, and remotely sensed images to answer geographic questions relevant to land use planning, urban development, geomorphic or biogeographic processes, or environmental impact assessment. A capstone course (GES 421), including a faculty directed major project is completed in the final semester.