Main Topic: Physical Geography
Secondary Topic: Environment and Society
Overview: The U.S. government agencies are growing users of geospatial information. Within the government, many geographers are employed as scientists, researchers, administrators, resource planners, policy analysts, project managers, technical specialists, and a host of other positions across a wide variety of agencies. The government has a growing need for geographic expertise and analysis as it plays an increasingly central role in informing efforts by different government agencies at all levels. The following are just a few examples of government agencies job titles:
Research Geographer: Geographers are employed widely throughout public sector including the U.S. Geological Survey, State Department, Department of Defense, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the National Security Agency (NSA), intelligence branches within each of the armed services, and intelligence units within other executive departments such as the Departments of Energy and Homeland Security. Within these agencies geographers play critical roles that help shape public policy considerations, from providing maps that reflect the public policy standards and agreements of the federal government, to presenting information on the social and humanitarian context of maps and satellite images, to overseas deployments related to the diplomatic priorities of the State Department, to the surveillance and imagery expertise needed for critical military decision making, to providing cultural knowledge such as foreign language and foreign area expertise. The work of human geographers can involve the most sensitive and critical aspects of national security and provide exciting and unique challenges.
Resource Manager: Federal agencies such as the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employ significant numbers of geographers, where they help lay the groundwork for significant policy and regulatory actions. USGS geographers have, for example, provided critical research on the earth’s climate and the related topics of global change and species migrations that have directly contributed to decisions related to U.S. climate change policy. The research of geographers has advanced the use of ecosystem services and related science in conservation, restoration, resource management, and development decisions.
Geographers at work: Physical geographers, Environmental geographers, GIS and remote sensing specialists, human geographers, social geographers, environmental geographers.
Recommended College Courses: Fundamentals of Geographic Information Systems, Advanced GIS, Remote Sensing, Introduction to Physical Geography, Environmental Management, Introduction in Environmental Geography, Natural Resource Use and Management, Regional Field Studies, Landscape Biogeography, Parks and Protected Places, Remote Sensing and Earth Observation, Economic Geography
Skills: Mapping and modeling, geographic information systems, computer and database systems, spatial analysis, map reading and interpretation, Critical Geographic Analysis, Social Theoretical Analysis.
Occupation Group: Government and Politics
Learn more about Governmental Agencies from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and U.S. Department of Labor: https://www.bls.gov/careeroutlook/2014/article/federal-work-part-1.htm
Written by Binay Thapa