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geography class

Are you curious about other places and spaces around the world? Geography is a scientific discipline that engages a spatial perspective to explore questions and issues associated with the human condition, natural world and the interconnections between humans and the environment. Geographers look for and analyze cultural and environmental spatial patterns and relationships to better understand the human experience. This spatial perspective and understanding of space and place is critical in the areas of business, resource management, law, education, planning, tourism, international relations, demography, government/public affairs and health sciences.

Well equipped

UW-Eau Claire students use sophisticated geospatial tools. Where most universities reserve this high-end equipment for graduate level students, UW-Eau Claire students learn to use this technology at the introductory course level. Field research requires students, some even as freshman, to use cutting-edge approaches and technologies, including state-of-the-art geographic information system (GIS) and remote sensing software, ground penetrating radar and balloon mapping.

Applied knowledge

The Geography department receives funding from the Simpson family estate gift to the UW-Eau Claire Foundation. The funding helps build high-impact experiences for students, providing valuable experience solving real-world problems, gathering and analyzing data, interpreting earth surface processes, 

functioning as part of interdisciplinary research teams, and producing professional presentations and reports. Students use a wide variety of field, laboratory and geographic research methods, tools and techniques. Extended field trips are important components of many classes, providing opportunities for students to develop and apply their geographic knowledge and skills. Field courses are even offered in places such as the desert Southwest, Louisiana, New York city, New Zealand, Vietnam and, of course the Great Lakes region.

Internships and resources

Geography majors may earn credit while gaining on-the-job experience through internships with city, county and regional governments or private businesses. The university library is a Federal Map Depository with a collection of more than 92,000 maps in its Simpson Map Library, which can be used for research and study. In addition, the department has two computer labs dedicated to geospatial science (cartography, GIS, remote sensing) and is well regarded for its interdisciplinary work with departments across campus.

Job outlook

As an integrative discipline, geography connects the local with the global and helps students take full advantage of a UW-Eau Claire liberal arts education, providing the tools to allow graduates to be flexible and adapt to a dynamic job market. According to predictions by the Department of Labor, geospatial technologies will be among the fastest growing career areas over the next two decades.

geography student Corin


Comprehensive majors

• Environmental Geography
* International Geography

Standard Majors

Geography, Liberal Arts


Geography, Liberal Arts
Geography, teaching
Geography courses also are an important component of the interdisciplinary environmental science minor and liberal studies major.


Geospatial Certificate in Geographic Information Systems

Suggested freshman curriculum

• Human Geography

• The Physical Environment
• University writing
  on placement exam.
  For test out options, see
• Math competency for
  BS/BA degree
• Liberal education core

More advising information

Our graduates

Geographers are everywhere in both the public and private sectors. There are careers for geographers in education; environmental engineering and consulting; land-use planning and resource management, at the municipal through the Federal levels; emergency management and NGO relief organizations; in industry, supervising shipping routes and identifying industrial locations; public utilities, managing infrastructure; travel and international business, helping


Special admission notes

Students with a spatial curiosity and imagination are encouraged to meet with geography faculty as early as possible as they explore courses and possible minors in related disciplines. They should also meet with faculty to discuss career opportunities.

companies understand the people and places where they do commerce; and in the retail sector, siting store locations and analyzing markets and customers.
More career information

Places you’ll find recent graduates:

• Edit Cartographer,
  National Geographic,
  Silver Spring, MD
• Central Irrigation Specialist,
  Spot Water Management,
  San Jose, CA
• Hydrogeologist and
  Storm Water Specialist,
  Wisconsin DNR,
  Eau Claire, WI
• Coastal Hazards
  Outreach Specialist,
  Oregon State Extension,
  Astoria, OR
• Cartographic Specialist,
  Burns and McDonnell,
  Kansas City, MO
• GIS Specialist, East
  View Geospatial,
  Minneapolis, MN
• Grad schools, Penn
  State, Arizona State,
  Missouri State, UConn,
  S. Illinois

Department contact information

Yvonne Plomedahl

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.