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Focus Areas

Geography is the science of place, space, and environment. Each place on earth is distinguished by a unique mix of natural resources, cultural practices, and socioeconomic and political systems. Geographers study what makes each place unique, as well as the connections and interactions between places.

Geography offers exciting undergraduate degrees at UF. Students learn from world-renowned faculty and award-winning mentors, and contribute to groundbreaking research, all while studying topics that have great environmental and social significance. Geography is an integrated and highly interdisciplinary field of study spanning the physical world and society. It is also a hands-on discipline, with a strong emphasis on computer-based tools and field studies.

Geographers can choose to study an enormous range of subjects in the geospatial sciences, essentially anything that has a spatial component. Students who major in geography use the lens of space to examine issues as diverse as climate variability and change on the African continent, malaria outbreaks in Africa and South America, deforestation and land conflict in the Amazon, and the origin and spread of blues music in the Southeastern United States. Across the globe, geographers study tropical cyclones, river restoration, disease outbreaks, the role of parks and other protected areas, changes in land cover, forest management and fragmentation, community conservation, emerging infectious diseases, environmental influences on the elderly, and economic development.

Geography explores the relationship between human and biophysical systems and deals with some of the most critical issues of our time such as environmental hazards, conservation, sustainability of resource management systems, international development, and community and urban planning. Understanding the concept of place, including how and why places differ from each other, is a central concern. Students who have social and economic interests can enter into careers in international development, urban and regional planning, geographic information systems, and environmental consultancy. Students who combine the study of socioeconomic factors and the biophysical world can work in resource management, conservation, environmental assessment, and watershed and coastal planning.

The four focus areas of the Geography Department are:

  1. Geospatial Analysis & Techniques
  2. Medical Geography in Global Health (MGGH)
  3. Earth System Science
  4. Global Environmental and Social Change