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This concentration combines physical and life sciences to examine how interacting earth systems such as the atmosphere and biosphere affect natural and human-modified environments.
Students receive an advanced understanding of Earth’s spheres and their interactions in the form of carbon, nutrient and water cycles, glacial environments and landforms, biodiversity, and weather and climate. Impacts of human activities on these spheres such as carbon emissions and climate change, mining and logging, threats to biodiversity and ways of addressing those concerns such as rehabilitation of degraded ecosystems are explored in depth.
Student will conduct quantitative analyses of changes in one or more of Earth's systems using mathematical or statistical modeling, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and field/lab methods.
This concentration facilitates hands-on experience in data collection using field techniques such as surveying and sample processing, as well analysis of collected data to identify interactions among the Earth’s spheres using lab methods such as geographic information systems to visualize data through digital maps or examining remote sensing studies.
Graduates would be well suited for employment in fields such as environmental impact analyses, land use planning, and habitat restoration. Graduates would also have an excellent basis for going on to undertake graduate studies in physical geography and related pure and applied sciences, such as planning and resource management.