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Whether you are just beginning as a major, taking classes toward a GIS certificate, working on an advanced degree, or considering a career change at a different point in your life, geography can lead to exceptional career opportunities. Practicing Geography: Careers for Enhancing Society and the Environmentis a comprehensive new resource from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and Pearson, designed to prepare students for careers in business, government, and non-profit organizations. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this project brings together members of the geography community to author different chapters that discuss workforce needs, expectations, and core competencies in professional geography, profiling the professional applications of and opportunities in geography today.
Michael Solem joined the staff of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in 2003 as Educational Affairs Director. At the AA G, he directs many federally funded initiatives including the Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education in Geography (EDGE) and Center for Global Geography Education (CGGE) projects, both funded by the National Science Foundation (NS F). Dr. Solem serves as the North American coordinator of the International Network for Learning and Teaching Geography in Higher Education (IN LT), is associate director of the Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education at Texas State University—San Marcos, and is Treasurer for the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Geographical Education. He twice received the Journal of Geography in Higher Education’s award for promoting excellence in teaching and learning for his Research on faculty development and graduate education in geography.
Kenneth Foote is Professor of Geography and former Department Chair at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Much of his research focuses on landscape history, GIS cience, cartography, and geography education, but over the past decade his work has focused especially on improving support for early career geographers and strengthening leadership training in geography. He has led the NSF-funded Geography Faculty Development Alliance since 2002 and is co-PI of the Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education in Geography project with Michael Solem and Janice Monk. Dr. Foote has served as president of the National Council for Geographic Education (2006) and president of the Association of American Geographers (2010—2011). He received the Association of American Geographers’ 1998 J. B. Jackson Prize for his book Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy and the association’s 2005 Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education.
Janice Monk is Research Professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona where she coordinates a graduate course in professional development. She previously served for twenty-five years as Executive Director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, leading research, educational, and community outreach projects in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Dr. Monk is also Adjunct Professor of Human Geography at Macquarie University (Australia). She has long been involved with research and projects in higher education and in gender studies and has served on various editorial boards and advisory panels. Dr. Monk is active in the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Gender and Geography and is the long-standing editor of its newsletter. A former President of the Association of American Geographers, she has received several awards, including Lifetime Achievement Honors of the AAG and the Australia-International Medal, Institute of Australian Geographers. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the AA G’s Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education in Geography project.
Table of Contents
Profiles of Professional Geographers
About the Editors
About the Authors
Preparing for a Career in Business, Government, and Nonprofit Organizations
Part Strategy and Serendipity: A Candid Guide to Career Planning for Geographers
The Work-Life Fit: Knowing Yourself
Geography and Career Prospects: Knowing the Market
Valerie Moye, Green Infrastructure Coordinator, City of Chattanooga (Chattanooga, Tennessee)
Carmen Tedesco, Senior Spatial Planning and Development Specialist, Development Alternatives, Inc. (Bethesda, Maryland)
Understanding Your Skills Relative to Job Descriptions
Putting Yourself "Out There": Managing Your Visibility
Geography Education and Career Readiness
If Geography Is Everywhere, Aren't We All Geographers?
Careers for Professional Geographers
Skills Used in Professional Geography
Steve Fearn, Director, Real Estate Market Research, Ross Stores (Pleasanton, California)
Learning by Doing: Developing Professional Skills Outside the Classroom
Educational Strategies for Enhancing Your Employability
Locating Geography-Related Jobs
Geography is Everywhere…Including the Workplace!
Switching Sectors: Transitioning into and among Business, Government, and Nonprofit Careers
Is the Grass Greener? Things to Consider Before Hopping the Fence
Anne Hale Miglarese, Principal Director, Booz Allen Hamilton (Washington, DC)
Sonia Arbona, Ph.D., Medical Geographer, Texas Department of State Health Services (Austin, Texas)
Strategies for Switching Sectors
The Value of an Internship Experience for Early Career Geographers
The Value of an Internship
The Importance of Internships for Early Career Professional Development in Geography
You Majored in What?
The Benefit of Developing Professional Networks
Types of Internships for the Major Subfields of Geography
Community and Regional Planning, Land Use Management, and Regulation
Business Geography, Real Estate Development, and Location Analysis
Considerations for Choosing an Internship
The "Right" Internship
Paid or Unpaid?
What Kind of Work is Offered?
When is the Best Time to Pursue an Internship?
For Course Credit or Not? Advantages of an Internship for Academic Credit
How to Locate an Internship-Search Widely
The Search Process
Duties and Expectations: Laying the Ground Rules
Maximizing the Value of Your Internship During and After the Program
Evaluating and Reflecting on Your Internship Experience
Mark Barnes, Eagleton Governor's Executive Fellow, 2010 and Ph.D. Candidate, Rutgers University (Piscataway, NJ)
Professional Networking, Tina Cary
Invest Your Time
Make Your Networking Plan
How to Begin
Benefits of Professional Networking
Ken Turnbull, Accredited Land Consultant (Denver, Colorado)
Benefits to You
Value to Your Organization
Benefits to Your Organization
Save Time and Money
Benefits to the Larger Community
Tools for Networking
Other Traditional Tools
Glenn Letham, Co-founder, Spatial Media LLC, and Managing Editor, GISuser.com (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Understanding Career Opportunities
Geography Careers in State and Local Government
The Need for Geographers in State and Local Government
Opportunities for Geographers in State and Local Government
Dan Haug, IT Director, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Pendleton, Oregon)
Strategies for Getting a Job in the Public Sector
Education and Training Suggestions for Public Sector Geographers
Dmitry Messen, Program Manager, Socio-Economic Modeling Group, Houston-Galveston Area Council (Houston, Texas)
Emerging and Expanding Career Opportunities in the Federal Government
Considering a Career in the Federal Government
The Government Perspective: Why Hire Geographers?
Geography In Federal Government: A Long and Varied Record of Contributions
Dave Selkowitz, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center (Anchorage, Alaska)
Mike Ratcliffe, Assistant Division Chief, U.S. Census Bureau (Washington, DC)
A Focus on Geospatial Careers in the Federal Sector
Thinking and Planning Ahead
Sarah Brinegar, Ph.D., Social Science Analyst, U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, DC)
Geography Careers in Large Businesses and Corporations
Logisticians and Supply Chain Analysts: Connecting and Optimizing Operations
Sustainability Managers: Quality of Life for Future Generations
Karl Finkbeiner, Operations Analyst, Ingram Micro (Buffalo, New York)
Andrew Telfer, Sustainability Manager, Walmart Canada (Toronto, Ontario)
Geodemographers and Market Research Analysts: It's All about the Customer
"Spatial" Statisticians and Data Analysts: More than Just Number-Crunchers
Esther Ofori, Marketing Analyst, Macy's Inc. (New York City)
Applying for Corporate Positions and Performing Successfully on the Job
Armando Boniche, Circulation Director, The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald (Miami, Florida)
Geography and the Nonprofit Sector
Geographers Outside the "Ivory Tower"
Nonprofits: A Geographic Overview
Bridging Geography and the Nonprofit Sector
Jane Daniels, Director of Preservation Programs, Colorado Preservation, Inc. (Denver, Colorado)
Finding "The Door"
Getting Your "Foot in the Door"
Kate Pearson, Strategic Partnerships Director, Habitat for Humanity International (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)
Serge Dedina, Ph.D., Executive Director, WiLDCOAST/COSTASALVAjE and Emily Young, Ph.D., Senior Director, Environment Analysis & Strategy, The San Diego Foundation (Imperial Beach, California)
Starting a Small Geography Business
Geographers as Business Owners
A Spatial Perspective of Economic Activity
Value of Place
"Ecopreneurship" and Interdisciplinary Thinking
Preparing to Start a Small Geography Business
Acquiring Business Expertise and Skills
Thinking Creatively about Problems and Opportunities
Developing a Professional Network
Starting the Business
Ashok and Ishu Wadwani, Owners, Applied Field Data Systems (Houston, Texas)
Writing the Business Plan
Resources for Writing a Business Plan
Acquiring Funding and Intellectual Property Rights