Emory & Henry is the only private college in the Commonwealth of Virginia to offer a geography program. We teach geography in a way that is uniquely active, giving students a healthy mix of textbook studies and hands-on learning. The beauty and the challenges of studying geography have become real to our students as they investigate issues such as an increase in coyotes in Southwest Virginia, problems faced by regional farmers in coping with a non-native plant known as multiflora rose, and the dynamic growth of the town of Wytheville due to construction of an interstate highway. Problem-solving, off-campus field studies, and original research are at the heart of our Geography Department.
Course offerings in the E&H Geography Department include studies in physical and environmental geography, cultural, economic and political geography, land use planning, conservation, computer mapping, field methods, and geography of North America. Because geography connects with many other fields, you are asked to take courses in complementary disciplines such as economics, political science, biology, and history.
Our professors are unusually active and energetic and expect you to be equally energetic as you learn how to gather and analyze data, form opinions, and present your findings either on paper or orally.
The Geography Department offers two tracks leading to the B.A. degree. If you plan to teach, you may pursue programs designed to provide certification.
Geography: The geography track provides a broad-based background for you if you are planning a career in public service or advanced study in geography. You may select a minor in another discipline or the contextual and support area for Geography. The contextual and support areas are designed to provide a broader understanding of the natural environment and to broaden social, cultural, political, and economic perspectives.
Social Sciences: The B.A. concentration in Social Sciences is interdisciplinary, integrating courses from the departments of history, political science, economics, geography, and sociology, with a focus on American and Comparative-International Studies and Regional Studies.
The three options within the social sciences concentration present the study of either history, political science and government, or geography as the primary substantive area of emphasis. The program has been designed to prepare you for graduate school, law school, teacher licensure, and other areas of employment.
Land Use Analysis and Planning: The Land Use Analysis and Planning track teaches you about existing land use patterns and how to plan for the most appropriate use of land. You become acquainted with the planning process from the perspective of both regional and local planning. You will also be familiarized with socio-political and scientific-technological issues and how they relate to the environment.
The department offers computers and programs such as the Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which combines computer graphics, artificial intelligence, and high speed communication to store, retrieve, manipulate, analyze, and map geographic data. GIS is used in weather forecasting, emergency management, resource analysis, and management in business, government, and non-profit organizations.
Internships are strongly encouraged and are available to you in fields including planning, historic preservation, environmental regulation, parks and recreation, and forest resources. Emory & Henry interns have the opportunity to work with a variety of agencies, including Overseas Development Network, Rocky Top Wood Preservers, Virginia Division of Gas & Oil, Virginia Division of Mined Land Reclamation, the U.S. Geological Survey, and the Mt. Rogers Planning District Commission.