Skip to: Main Content Search Navigation Secondary Navigation

Future Students

Geography

 

 

 

Geographers are interested in the relationship between humans and their environment. Do you want to learn more about the problem of global poverty and food insecurity? Do you want to learn more about challenges and solutions to climate change? If you are eager to better understand these kinds of issues, Geography is the program for you! Geographers study how people impact the environment and in turn how the environment impacts people. Geography’s perspective is inherently spatial, meaning that geographers are interested in how people’s relationships with each other and the environment occur at a variety of scales from the local to the global.
 

Geographers use a variety of cutting-edge techniques to study topics like agriculture, cities, wealth, poverty, culture, population, landforms, politics, economics, climate, weather, and ecology to name just a few examples. Techniques include but are not limited to computerized geographic information systems, cartography (map-making), remote sensing, storm chasing, and interviews with research subjects. The Honors Tutorial (HTC) program in Geography offers you an unparalleled opportunity to explore the breadth of this dynamic interaction between people and their environment, while at the same time, gaining depth and proficiency in a subfield of your interest. Are you interested in researching climate change adaptation in the developing world? Are you interested in researching innovative ways to create green space in densely settled cities? You can pursue these specific interests and so many more in the tutorial program in Geography. Our HTC Geography program prepares talented and highly motivated students like you for employment in the public sector (government work), private sector (both nonprofit and for-profit organizations), and for graduate studies.
 

As a student in our program, you have a great deal of flexibility in choosing your concentration of study. The Honors Tutorial Program in Geography offers several tracks that can be tailored to suit your interests:

 

Urban and Regional Planning for Sustainability

The Urban and Regional Planning for Sustainability Major is designed to provide students interested in sustainable urban futures with the conceptual and analytical tools for understanding and creating solutions for a complex and increasingly urbanized world. Courses emphasize ecological, social, political, and historical aspects of planning just, equitable, and therefore sustainable cities. Students will learn about energy, green space, urban forests, urban agriculture, and hydrological systems, among many other topics. Graduates will be prepared for work in public planning agencies, private sector firms (including urban related non-profits), and advanced study in top planning graduate programs.
Urban green spaces, forests, and waterways make cities more livable and sustainable. However, green and blue infrastructures are not equally distributed because of racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic factors. Progressive urban planners must therefore figure out how to make these resources available to all urban residents while promoting the sustainable city. 

 

urban_green_spaces

Urban green spaces make cities more livable and sustainable

 

Coal Power Plant

Coal-fired power plants fuel cities but contribute to climate change.

 

Globalization and Development 


The Globalization and Development Major provides students with a sophisticated understanding of contemporary global issues and a geographical framework for analyzing key issues involved in national and international development, especially as it relates to the Global South. Reflecting the discipline of Geography as a whole, this major emphasizes an integrated approach to studying the relationship of global change to individual and community well-being by combining the benefits of area studies with theoretical and topical investigations in the curriculum. This major prepares students not only for graduate school or law school, but also for employment in a variety of fields, including non-profit and government work, particularly in the areas of community and international development, as well as for work in the private sector in an international context.


Globalization enhances prosperity in some places but creates many challenges in others. Sustainable, equitable development is therefore about working directly with communities to help them anticipate and solve challenges related to changes brought about by capitalism and climate change, among others. There is a need for development practitioners who understand complex communities and are will work directly with them to help people living in the Global South successfully manage major changes to their homelands. Photos by Dr. Smucker.

 

Meteorology

The Meteorology Major provides HTC students the opportunity to study weather from meso-scale processes like thunderstorms to much larger synoptic-scale systems like mid-latitude and tropical cyclones. Students also have the opportunity to study forces impacting climate from local to global scales. The Meteorology Major creates an opportunity for majors to pursue certification requirements of the National Weather Service and the American Meteorological Society. Students will also be well prepared for graduate training in meteorology, climatology, or atmospheric physics. Our Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis maintains two weather stations, and through practicum courses students learn to make weather observations and issue public-oriented forecasts.


Climate change and severe weather events pose significant hazards for people. Students in the meteorology major can learn to forecast and track weather in real time using sophisticated equipment in Scalia Weather Lab and also in the field during actual storm chases. Skills gained in the major advance knowledge of forces causing climate change, severe weather, and help create advanced warnings that save lives. Photos courtesy of Dr. Jana Houser.

 

General Geography

 

Students enrolled in the HTC Geography Program do not have to pursue their studies in the above mentioned concentrations. Students are also encouraged to tailor and pursue their own concentration in consultation with the HTC Geography Director of Study. The Geography Department at Ohio University has 15 full-time faculty working in the natural and social sciences. This means that the Geography Department has significant breadth and depth of expertise to assist you in crafting a course of study that will challenge and reward your academic curiosity and dedication. For example, students may choose to tailor a focus in environmental geography that explores topics such as environmental assessment and monitoring, resource management, natural areas preservation, and outdoor and environmental education. Students may also choose a focus in geographic information science that provides them with a rigorous and intensive set of analytical and computational skills. GIScience students gain a background in the fields of geographic information systems, cartography, remote sensing, and quantitative methods which makes them highly adept at identifying, analyzing, and creating solutions to real-world problems. Students who pursue this concentration frequently work with businesses, government agencies, non-profits, and planning agencies around the world upon completion of their degree.
 

Dr. Dyer helps his student perform a tree core for analysis.

Dr. Dyer helps his student perform a tree core for analysis.

 

Geography student studies local livelihood strategies in Tanzania.

Geography student studies local livelihood strategies in Tanzania.

Geography Faculty

Geography Department Faculty from left to right: Dr Dorothy Sack, Dr Harold Perkins, Dr Geoff Buckley, Dr Gaurav Sinha, Dr Tom Smucker, Dr. Ryan Fogt, Dr. Edna Wangui, Dr. Amy Rock, Dr. Jim Lein, Dr. Tim Anderson, Dr. Jim Dyer, Dr. Risa Whitson, Dr. Brad Jokisch, Dr Yeong Kim. Not Pictured Dr. Jana Hourser.
 

An Educational Experience Centered on Tutorials

Over the course of the four-year program, students enroll in one tutorial per semester, including one fixed-content introductory seminar – Geography 5000: Research and Writing – taken in their first semester.1 In their fourth year, students use their final two tutorials to conduct original research and write a thesis. All other tutorials are “electives” that are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor and the program Director of Studies (DOS). One of these may be taken from a department or college outside of Geography. In addition, students also take upper-level courses in Geography and cognate fields in accordance with an academic plan specified in the Ohio University Undergraduate Catalog, Honors Tutorial College, and agreed upon by the student, his or her academic advisor, and the DOS. With regard to tutorial electives, the options available to students reflect the diverse teaching and research interests of the Geography Program’s faculty. These interests span a broad range of systematic and technical specializations, including nature and society studies; cultural and political ecology; geographic information science and remote sensing; environment and development; international migration;gender and development; environmental planning; rural livelihoods and urban environments; landscape ecology; biogeography and landforms; and meteorology and climatology, among others. Geographers at Ohio University explore these fields in a variety of regional contexts around the world, including Latin America, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, North America, and Antarctica. Students may elect to build tutorials around these broad themes or construct more narrowly-focused inquiries depending on their individual needs and interests. Students, in consultation with their academic advisers and DOS, are offered the opportunity to choose between Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees for their Geography HTC major.

 

With regard to tutorial electives, the options available to students reflect the diverse teaching and research interests of the program's faculty. These interests span a broad range of systematic and technical specializations, including nature and society studies; cultural and political ecology; geographic information science and remote sensing; environment and development; international migration; gender and development; environmental planning; rural livelihoods and urban environments; landscape ecology; biogeography and landforms; and meteorology and climate among others. Geographers at Ohio University explore these fields in a variety of regional contexts around the world, including Latin America, Southeast Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, Western Europe, North America, and Antarctica. Students may elect to build tutorials around these broad themes or construct more narrowly-focused inquiries depending on their individual needs and interest.
 

Eligibility

Applicants are selected by the program DOS in consultation with the Dean of the Honors Tutorial College. Applicants generally possess a superior academic record (a 3.5 or better GPA, a score of 30 or better on the ACT or 1300 on the SAT, and a class rank somewhere near the top 10%). Admissions committee members look for students who are highly motivated, possess a high academic aptitude, and exhibit the potential to conduct independent research. An essay and a personal interview with the DOS are required for entry as a freshman. Letters of recommendation are also required. Although this is a four-year program, consideration will be given to applications of outstanding, first-semester Ohio University freshmen.

 

Requirements

Eight tutorials, seven of which must be in Geography, are required. A Senior Thesis also must be completed under the direction of a faculty advisor and approved by the DOS and the Dean of the Honors Tutorial College. HTC majors must take courses required by the Honors Tutorial College. In addition, students are expected to take various Geography courses as specified in the undergraduate catalog for their program of study. For more on specific program requirements, see: http://www.catalogs.ohio.edu/preview_program.php?catoid=45&poid=11650&returnto=3068 Additional courses in cognate fields are recommended in consultation with the faculty advisor and/or DOS.

 

Applications

The deadline for applications is December 1. Interviews are held in January.

 

Additional Information

Dr. Harold Perkins

Department of Geography 

Ohio University

Clippinger Labs 111

Athens, OH 45701

perkinsh@ohio.edu

 

There are no events to list... Check back later!