Central Washington University - Department of Geography

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An understanding of geography is integral to an educated person's ability to live and act effectively in today's changing world. A broad range of factors (cultural and physical, natural and technological) are at work shaping the future of our planet, and it is the mission of the Department of Geography and Land Studies at Central Washington University to prepare its students to become active participants in that rapidly developing future. To fulfill its mission, the department emphasizes human diversity and student-centered instruction in research, analysis and presentation of both cultural and physical data. We offer a range of course work featuring techniques and tools for understanding the processes and results of the earth-human relationship, and for empowering students to deal with the rapid changes they will face.

The department is committed to a liberal education as well as to professional training related to planning and natural resource management. In meeting those commitments, we offer the geographer's way of "seeing" the interrelationships between human life and our habitat. Our students learn to see a holistic earth and its components--physical and human--along with the processes which shape them. We seek to instill in our students the joy of discovery and the satisfaction gained from the knowledge of how to learn. The department encourages imagination and creativity, while providing our graduates with the skills necessary to deal with issues--at scales ranging from local to global--relating to the planet, its diverse regions and its peoples.

We stress the importance of place as a path of research and understanding, and as an arena for positive action ... we expect geographers to speak for the land and for the spirit of places. As an intrinsic characteristic of our discipline, we encourage interdisciplinary teaching, research and public service among our faculty, and a similar orientation in our students--regardless of their ultimate career choices. Our students graduate with real-life experience, gained in contact with other cultures, through field work and internships, and by acquiring skills necessary for coping with our highly dynamic world. Toward these ends, the department maintains a strong commitment to general education and makes major contributions to the Energy Studies program, Environmental Studies program, International Studies Programs, GIS Certificate Program, and the Resource Management Graduate Program.

We prepare our students for life as active participants in the creation of tomorrow. It is our intention that those who study with us be prepared to evaluate for themselves the consequences of public and private choices which will shape the future of our global society, and the lands and natural resources that sustain us.

Source: Department Website June 2010

Additional Info

  • Department Name: Department of Geography
  • Disciplines and Research Areas: Geography, Geographic Information Systems, Geomatics, Physical Geography, Political Geography, Regional Geography
  • Degrees: Certificate, BA, BS, MS
  • State: Washington
  • City: Ellensburg
  • Phone: 509-963-1111