Geography focuses on the distributions, divisions, and connections of phenomena across global space. Just as history deals with changes, differences, and patterns over time, geography deals with such matters over space. As such, geography proposes ways to understand the spatial relations of society, world regional dynamics, and human-environmental interactions and impacts. Geographical methods include cartography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, landscape interpretation, and various spatial research techniques.
At Vassar, geographers emphasize the study of distinctive places and cultural landscapes; disparities of power, poverty, violence, and human rights; uneven economic development; and various analytical skills, which can be applied from local to global scales. We offer courses on such diverse topics as global geography, mapping, area studies, urbanization, economic development, political violence, international relations, natural resource conservation, urban problems, and land-use planning.
Geography’s skill set and broad theoretical concerns with global change prove widely applicable after graduation. Recent geography majors have pursued careers in community organizing, social justice activism, mapping and GIS, environmental law, urban planning and sustainable development, social work, journalism, farmland conservation, historical preservation, marketing analysis, political administration, public health, and teaching at various levels.