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Bachelors Degree in Geography

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  • Course description
        * Augustana's geography department offers a major and minor. Geography is a "bridge" discipline combining the natural and social sciences. Thus, some courses have a natural science orientation while others have a social science orientation. Augustana's program introduces students to the natural systems in which we live; urban and rural environments within the U.S.; other cultures and international issues; and the economic systems of the U.S. and other countries-all linked through the global economy.
          Geography professor Reuben Heine, shown here working with students on Augustana College's research boat, has been taking his classroom onto the Mississippi River for the past three years.
        * The college's liberal arts curriculum encourages active, working relationships with fields related to different branches of geography -- particularly biology, business administration, geology, history, political science, public administration, Asian studies and Latin American studies.
        * The geography and the geology departments both are housed in the Swenson Hall of Geosciences, a proximity that encourages cross-disciplinary work and interests in the earth sciences. Swenson Hall of Geosciences also houses the excellent Fryxell Geology Museum and the bulk of the David M. Loring map library which holds more than 100,000 climatic, geologic, hydrologic, topographic and transportation maps and 6,000 aerial photographs.
        * Four full-time faculty members, each with a Ph.D., teach a variety of physical geography, human geography and methodological courses, including Geographic Information Systems, complemented by field experience. Geography faculty also are leaders within the college's multi-disciplinary environmental studies major and minor.

    Research

        * Students in disciplines across campus undertake a Senior Inquiry research or creative capstone project. Geography majors complete an independent research project on a topic of interest chosen in the spring of their junior year. In the senior year, students complete the research and present their findings in a written paper and orally to geography majors and faculty. Several students each year present their research at Augustana's Celebration of Learning or the annual meeting of the Illinois Geographical Society.
        * Some students assist faculty on research projects for area agencies. Examples include: flood plain and land use inventories for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; housing surveys for the Neighborhood Housing Survey, Davenport, Iowa; architectural surveys for Rock Island and Moline; and watershed land use studies for U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.
        * The geography department's research boat ("The Scholarship") takes faculty and student research groups onto the Mississippi and Rock Rivers for research on water resources, urban planning, transportation and biogeography.

    Internships, field experience and trips

        * Geography students regularly embark on field trips with class groups or the entire department. Recent destinations include the Pacific Northwest, the Mid-Atlantic East Coast, Colorado and New Mexico, the Great Plains, the Upper Mississippi Valley, Wisconsin and the Lake Superior regions.
        * The geography department encourages all geography majors to have an internship or field experience either locally, near their home, nationally or internationally. Augustana's location offers many opportunities for work experience and on-the-spot investigations into urban and rural problems. The Quad Cities is a large metropolitan area on the Mississippi River -- composed of two states, three counties and 14 municipalities -- and is the location for the offices of not only these local government units and private consulting firms, but also branch offices of several national environmental agencies.
        * Geography faculty have initiated and continue to lead programs and teach on the college's international study terms, especially the fall terms in East Asia and Latin America.

Other programs related to Geography

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