Geography is the science of place and space. Geographers ask where things are located on the surface of the Earth, why they are located where they are, how places differ from one another, and how people interact with the environment. Geography links the social sciences and natural sciences together, studying the relationships between human activity and natural systems.

Students studying Geography at Western choose courses from both the environmental science and environmental studies departments to fulfill major requirements. Prospective Geography majors are strongly advised to take additional preparatory course work that provides a strong background in chemistry, biology, geology, physics, mathematics, statistics, political science, anthropology, and/or history. 

Western’s Environmental Studies Department is part of Huxley College of the Environment.

Beyond the Classroom

Student work is received and recognized from national and statewide organizations for exceptional problem-solving solutions that use geographic information systems and computer-aided design. Some students are published in The Planet, a student-run publication that combines the environmental focus of Huxley College with the writing and reporting skills of journalism to produce an environmental magazine. 

Huxley hosts the Huxley College Speaker Series, which brings guest lecturers to Western’s campus to address topics of contemporary environmental concern in the region and beyond. The speaker series is intended to bring together environmentally-minded members of the Western and Bellingham communities. Students and Bellingham community members also volunteer for LEAD (Learning Environment Action Discovery), a program designed to help restore native environments and increase biodiversity. 

Bringing together even broader communities, Huxley College students have the opportunity to take environmental studies classes in Europe and other parts of the world through a number of faculty-led study abroad summer programs.

Careers and Graduate Studies

Graduates of this major have assumed positions in State and National Parks, the Forest Service, college and universities, non-profit organizations, and the private sector.

Employers of Recent Western Graduates: 

  • Aerotek: Visual Data Specialist 
  • Google Maps: Visual Data Specialist 
  • ICI Services: Plant Propagation Manager

Sample Careers

  • Cartographer 
  • Resource Manager 
  • GIS Database Manager 
  • Water Resource Manager 
  • Park Ranger 
  • Forest Service Employee

Department of Environmental Studies

Geography, BA

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