Department of Geography

••Why Study Geography?

According to the National Geography Standards, set forth by the National Geographic Society, "The geographically informed individual is a person who sees meaning in the arrangement of things in spaced and applies a spatial perspective to life situations." The geographically informed person knows and understands:

The World in Spatial Terms

  • How to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from spatial perspective
  • How to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in spatial context
  • How to analyze the spatial organization of people, places and environments on earth's surface

Places and Regions

  • The physical and human characteristics of place
  • That people create regions to interpret earth's complexity
  • How culture and experience influence people's perceptions of places and regions

Physical Systems

  • The physical processes that shape the patterns of earth's surface
  • The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on earth's surface

Human Systems

  • The characteristics, distribution, and migration of human populations on earth's surface
  • The characteristics, distribution, and complexity of earth's cultural mosaics
  • The patterns and networks of economic interdependence on earth's surface
  • How the forces of cooperation and conflict among people influence the division and control of earth's surface

Environment and Society

  • How human actions modify the physical environment
  • How physical systems affect human systems
  • The changes that occur in the meaning, use, distribution, and importance of resources

The Uses of Geography

  • How to apply geography to interpret the past
  • How to apply geography to interpret the present and plan for the future

If you want to use a variety of skills and techniques to understand and analyze economic, social and political events and problems, and work to shape your community, state and nation; if you are concerned about the environment; if you like to travel; if you like maps; if you would like an organizing theme to direct your wide-ranging interests, then geography is the discipline for you!

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Framingham, MA 01701-9101

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Phone: 508-620-1220


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