Move People

Isaac Cave wanted an SFU degree that could help him tackle environmental issues. But he wasn’t sure where to start—until he discovered geography a field that blends physical, social and scientific issues.

Next year, Isaac will graduate with a bachelor of arts in geography and a certificate in geographic information science (GIS) that will help him realize his career goal. But, as for most students, getting there didn’t happen in a straight line. 

“I talked to a lot of people to get an idea of what’s out there, and then I started to see some of the interesting and unconventional things you can do with geography.”  

He thought geography meant studying physical spaces, but his degree program opened a door beyond conventional expectations. He discovered human geography, immersed himself in geographic information science (GIS), and even used remote sensing to virtually explore the Earth.

Isaac also spent three semesters gaining hand-on experience with co-operative education placements at the RCMP and Translink. As a member of the Infrastructure Project Management team at TransLink, Isaac created digital maps to highlight how cities can improve existing roads, or build pathways for bicycles, walking and transit to reduce emissions.

“It’s really special to see the impact and reach of GIS,” says Isaac. “I’m working with real-world data like maps of road networks, municipal infrastructure waterlines, hydrology or agricultural land reserves to make informed decisions that will affect us all.”

In addition to developing and improving transportation infrastructure, Isaac can also use his skills for fun: Last winter, I used slope analysis to find the best place to go tobogganing.”

Geography: more than you think.


Original story prepared by Faculty of Environment