Professor Keith A. Ratner, Chairperson
Professors: William L. Hamilton, Noel P. Healy, Lorri K. Krebs, Marcos J. Luna, Steven E. Silvern, Stephen S. Young
Associate Professor: John T. Hayes
Professors: Laurence E. Goss, Jr., Steven Matchak
Bachelor of Science - Cartography and Geographic Information Systems
Bachelor of Arts - Geography
Bachelor of Science - Geography
Cartography and Geographic Information Systems, BS-MS
Geographic Information Science
Department of Geography Description
The Digital Geography Lab (DGL) is known as one of the best geography university-level computer labs in the Northeast U.S.. This unique facility is dedicated to undergraduate and graduate geo-spatial computing, education, and research. The DGL supports the department’s extensive and diverse curriculum with specialized software and hardware. The DGL facilitates collaboration within the department, and is a local focal point for faculty, undergraduate and graduate research.
The Geography and Sustainability Department’s offerings combine a strong background in the academic tradition of Geography with applied fields such as travel and tourism, environmental sustainability, remote sensing and geographic information systems.
Experiencing geography out of the classroom is also an important goal of the department. Many classes have field trips as part of their curriculums. In addition, the department organizes annual study-travel courses to Europe, and to regions of the United States. Over the past few years, the department has visited many countries in Western Europe such as France, Italy, Germany, Spain, and the United Kingdom. Trips have also included destinations in Central and Eastern Europe. With the History Department, geographers have promoted thematic study/travel seminars on World Wars I and II, the First World War, and topics such as the Central European salt trade and Anglo-Irish relations. There have also been study/travel and research related trips to Canada and Barbados. Domestically, the department has supported trips to Disney World Florida and the National Parks of the Southwest and Northwest United States.
The department supports a strong internship program which provides opportunities for career counseling and professional experience for academic credits. Department internship contacts with many businesses and agencies are valuable resources for student employment upon graduation. Geography students also participate in community service projects that touch on a wide variety of important concerns ranging from the environment to social inequalities.
Most undergraduate and master’s students join the Massachusetts work force upon graduation. Our programs provide a quality education with marketable skills. The majority of our alumni work in eastern Massachusetts, but some venture farther to other parts of the US such as Washington, DC, Texas and California as well as overseas in such places as Sweden, China, Japan and Saudi Arabia. In addition, a number of students continue their education in graduate schools at a number of universities across the nation.
Bachelor of Arts - Geography
This is a general geography concentration which provides geography majors as well as dual geography/education majors a broad understanding of field of geography and the ability to craft their degree in many different ways. It is also designed to provide a broad liberal arts curriculum with an emphasis on problem-solving techniques and a spatial perspective for majors who desire a liberal arts education.
Bachelor of Science - Geography
A bachelor of science in geography teaches students to understand and engage in the world around them. Geography is a problem-solving discipline whose programs and resources provide students with both technical skills and a liberal arts perspective to prepare them for life-long careers. Many elementary education students pair their major with bachelor of science in geography believing that understanding the world is the most important thing an elementary school teacher can know.
Bachelor of Science - Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
The Bachelor of Science in cartography and geographic information systems (GIS) is a technology-focused program designed to provide students with the theoretical, practical and technical skills that are essential for the visualization and analysis of spatial data in a wide variety of applications. Students with a range of interests will benefit from this program by becoming proficient in the use and application of GIS technologies through a flexible set of courses and hands-on experiences. The program offers the training and experience necessary to prepare for the rapidly expanding professional opportunities available in the diverse set of fields that depend on geographic information. GIS and related geospatial technologies, such as remote sensing from satellites, aircraft, and drones are integral to mapping and surveying, environmental analysis and natural resource management, transportation and urban planning, business planning, crime analysis, and disaster management, to name only a few areas.
Combined Bachelor of Science Cartography and Geographic Information Systems, MS in Geo-Information Science
This is a new program for the Geography Department that allows students who have completed three years in the BS Cartography and GIS program at the top of their class to enter a program that will allow them complete both a BS and MS in Cartography and GIS in five years. Starting in the senior year, the students begin taking graduate courses, so that after five years they will have completed all of the requirements for both programs.
The Environmental Sustainability concentration provides a foundation for understanding and creating solutions for local to global environmental problems in a manner which does not compromise future generations. The inter-disciplinary curriculum integrates perspectives from human and physical geography, biology, geology, political science as well as philosophy and economics to form the basis of sustainable science. The curriculum focuses on not only learning about environmental sustainability issues, but provides problem-solving skills and technical geographic computer skills as well. Course work is supplemented by experiential learning for those who wish to explore internships, directed studies and study-abroad opportunities during their studies. Students completing this concentration will be prepared for graduate school or employment with environmental non-profits, corporations, and various levels of government. In addition, students will be prepared for careers in climate action planning, climate change resiliency adaptation and sustainable energy policy
This program will open students’ eyes to new ideas and open the employment door to new career path opportunities. Students will examine current trends in the tourism industry, and will delve into exploring the social, cultural and environmental issues surrounding tourism. Courses will cover topical areas such as: Sustainability; Using tourism for economic development; Marketing tourism; International perspectives on tourism; Impacts of travel; Understanding local tourism initiatives; Special events; Ecotourism; and Recreation. Tourism is one of the largest industries in the world and employment opportunities are endless. For example, students who want to work in education, but not in a classroom, might use this to obtain work in a museum or historic site providing education and programming; for those in the performing or visual arts, understanding tourism and recreation choices of consumers is paramount to their success; urban planners, economic developers, and entrepreneurs would all benefit from an understanding of how the tourism industry contributes significant dollars and supports substantial numbers of jobs.
Geography students may minor in Secondary Education or Educational Studies. Most educators in the social studies curriculum believe that training in both history and geography produces the best practitioners of social studies teaching. Physical and environmental geography can provide an important component of environmental science teaching in secondary education. Please consult the listings in the Education Department for requirements.
This is a broad minor for those who want to design a set of geography courses to complement their major course of study. It is an excellent minor for those who want a geographic perspective to deepen their major course of study such as International Business students learning more deeply about Africa, Asia and Europe, or History majors learning about maps and our physical environment. For additional information, go to Geography Minor.
The tourism education program at Salem State University has been certified by the United Nations - World Tourism Organization, an award granted to only 8 other colleges in North America. This program will open students’ eyes to new ideas and open the employment door to new career path opportunities. Students will examine current trends in travel and tourism, and will delve into exploring the social, cultural and environmental issues surrounding tourism. Courses will cover topical areas such as: Sustainability; Using tourism for economic development; Marketing tourism; International perspectives on tourism; Impacts of travel; Understanding local tourism initiatives; Special events; Ecotourism; and Recreation. For additional information go to Travel and Tourism Minor .
Travel and Tourism
The tourism education program at Salem State University has been certified by the United Nations - World Tourism Organization, an award granted to only eight other colleges in North America. This program will open your eyes to new ideas and open the employment door to new career path opportunities. Students examine current trends in travel and tourism, and delve into exploring the social, cultural and environmental issues surrounding tourism. Courses cover topical areas such as: Using tourism for economic development; Marketing tourism; International perspectives on tourism; Impacts of travel; Understanding local tourism initiatives; Special events; Ecotourism; and Recreation. For more information go to: Travel and Tourism Minor
The minor in environmental sustainability provides students with a sustainability background focused on global environmental issues including energy, food, economics, natural resource management and socio-cultural impacts and implications. Successful completion of this minor tremendously benefits students seeking careers with environmental organizations or government agencies or who are planning to attend graduate school in physical geography, meteorology, international relations, planning or environmental science. The minor in environmental sustainability pairs well with many majors such as geology, biology, political science, and many others. For more information go to: Environmental Sustainability Minor
This minor is a hands-on minor using state-of-the-art geospatial technologies to gain an understanding of geographic information science as a field of study and to get experience with a wide range of GeoScience software and applications. Experiential learning utilizes real-world projects and case studies from environmental and planning issues to a wide range of applications. The minor requires a total of 15 credits, of which 9 credits come from required courses and 6 credits come from a choice of courses. For more information go to: GIS Minor
This program will provide certification for students who demonstrate proficiency in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It is made up of five classes. In these classes, students gain knowledge about GIS and the diverse workplace applications for these systems. They examine the range of information sources that combine to build a GIS database, including raw data, scanned maps, GPS positions, satellite imagery, and aerial photography (including drones). They learn how GIS today supports research and decision-making in a wide variety of fields, including land use planning, environmental science, environmental justice, business intelligence, disaster planning and many others. For more information go to: GIS Certificate