Geospatial Science (Minor)

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Geospatial Science study why things are where they are at different times. Geospatial scientists nowadays are focusing much more on studying the interaction between people and the environment in the context of places and regions to better understand their changing mechanisms, which in turn helps to resolve global, regional, and local problems adequately in a timely manner. Geospatial scientists used to use maps to record, analyze, and convey geographic information. Those tasks, nowadays, are done extensively through geospatial technologies including remote sensing, geographic information systems (GISs), and geospatial intelligence because they are able to effectively deal with geographic information often multidimensional, voluminous, and uncertain. Therefore, learning geospatial sciences nowadays is not only about where and why things happen (e.g. where and why there are crimes?) but also about how to use geospatial technologies to locate them and to forecast their future.

The undergraduate minor in Geospatial Science complements many other programs in the university including Biology, Business Administration, Criminal Justice, Fire and Emergency Services Administration, History, Intelligence Studies, Political Science, Professional Studies, and Sociology. Geospatial Sciences provides students with knowledge and skills needed to understand the spatial organization of society to answer crucial questions including why some places are different than others, how places are related, and in which ways they can be improved.


What Will You Learn?

  • Understand fundamental geographic concepts as well as explain geographic processes;
  • Think spatially and identify spatial patterns and relationships of geographic phenomena, such as weather, natural and anthropogenic hazards, population, diseases, crime events, pedestrian crashes, land uses, and urbanization;
  • Conduct spatial analyses with geospatial technologies including GIS and remote sensing for decision making and geographic problem solving.

What Will You Do?

With geospatial sciences knowledge and skills, your career will be broad. You will be hired by either government, academic, or private sector for a variety of jobs, such as environmental scientist, environmental consultant, geotechnical engineer, transportation manager, market researcher, business development, real estate appraiser, environmental economist, tour guide, manager of sustainability, urban and regional planner, logistics analyst, geointelligence specialist, and more. Please see the list below for more details.

Collyn Strother

Geography major

Geography was always an interest of mine coming out of high school, I was able to see the landscapes and how we as people used them to our advantage. When I arrived at FSU, the Geography program introduced me to a new way of seeing how important Geography is to the growth of populations and spatial relations of location. Being able to understand the correlations while gathering information on who, what, where, when and creating a why is what drives the interest in this field. Your able to apply these concepts to answer so many spatial questions, the field is full of future opportunities.
  • Dr. Ademiluyi Adegoke
    • PhD, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    • Interests: urban spatial analysis, urban planning
  • Professor Thomas E. Cox
    • Oklahoma State University
    • Interests: GIS, geo-archeology, UASs, structure from motion (3D imaging), Paleo-American research
  • Dr. Trung V. Tran, GISP, Program Coordinator
    • PhD, University of Oklahoma
    • Interests: GIScience and geovisualization, remote sensing, UAV/UAS, spatio-temporal analytics, land change, coupled human-environment systems

You will need to complete 18 credit hours, that include:

  • GEOG 210 – Principles of Geography
  • GEOG 220 – World Regional Geography
  • and 12 credits of GEOG 200-499 electives

Course descriptions can be found from our catalog.

Job Outlook

Occupation as Geographers (*)

  • Median Wage (2016): $74,260/year
  • Number of Jobs (2016): 1,500
  • Projected Growth (2016-2026): +7%

Geospatial Information Scientists & Technologists (*)

  • Median Wage (2016): $86,510
  • Employment (2016): 287,000 employees
  • Projected Growth (2016-2026): 5 – 9%

Remote Sensing Scientists & Technologists (*)

  • Median Wage (2016): $96,070
  • Employment (2016): 24,000 employees
  • Projected Growth (2016-2026): 5 – 9%

(*) The data was derived provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Association of American Geographers, Jobs & Careers Website, Salary Data and Trends, and O*NET Online as of 3/23/2018.

Job Titles and Industries

Learning geography @ FSU means that you will learn about not only geographic phenomena but also spatial thinking and spatial-analysis skills. As a result you qualify for a variety of positions.

Landforms: Knowing and applying geographic information about the processes that shape physical landscapes

  • Possible jobs: Soil and Plant Specialist, Water Resources Specialist, Environmental Scientist, Geophysicist

Weather and Climate: Knowing and applying geographic information about weather, climate, and atmospheric processes

  • Possible jobs: Climate Change Analyst, Weatherization Installers and Technician, Atmospheric and Space Scientist, Climatologist

Biography: Knowing and applying geographic information about ecosystems and ecological processes (e.g., vegetation, wildlife, natural habitats)

  • Possible jobs: Soil and Plant Scientist, Natural Sciences Manager, Zoologist and Wildlife Biologist, Forester, Biological Science Technician

Natural Hazards: Knowing and applying geographic information about processes of natural hazards (e.g., hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, fire)

  • Possible jobs: Emergency Management Specialist, Forest Fire Inspector, Environmental Consultant,Ecological Risk Assessor, Geotechnical Engineer, Hazards Analyst

Human Environmental Interaction: Knowing and applying geographic information about relationships between nature and society (e.g., pollution from industrial development, economic effects of drought)

  • Possible jobs: Tour Guide, Accredited Land Consultant, Manager of Sustainability, Environmental Affairs Specialist

Cartography: Designing paper or digital map

  • Possible jobs: Cartographer and Photogrammetrist, Surveying and Mapping Technician, Civil Drafter, Graphics Editor, Digital Cartographer

GIS (Geographic Information System): Using GIS to acquire, manage, display, and analyze spatial data in digital form

  • Possible jobs: Geospatial Information Scientist and Technologist, Geospatial Analyst, GIS Developer, Logistics Analyst, Transportation Planner, Environmental Consultant

Remote Sensing: Understanding the underlying theories and methods related to acquiring an object without contacting it physically (e.g., aerial photography, radar and satellite imaging)

  • Possible jobs: Remote Sensing Scientist and Technologist, Geointelligence Specialist, Remote Sensing Analyst, Sensor Specialist, Radar and Sonar Technician

Regional Geography: Possessing and applying knowledge of the physical and human geography of a specific country or world region

  • Possible jobs: Urban and Regional Planner, Geointelligence Specialist, Tour Guide & Escort, Interpreter & Translator, Historic Preservationist, Community Developer

Spatial Thinking: Identifying, explaining, and ļ¬nding meaning in spatial patterns and relationships (e.g., site conditions, how places are similar and different, the influence of a land feature on its neighbors, the nature of transitions between places, how places are linked at local, regional, and/or global scales

  • Possible jobs: Urban and Regional Planner, Surveyor, Geophysical Data Technician, Spatial Analysis Consultant, Environmental Specialist

Global Perspective: Possessing and applying knowledge of how people, places, and regions are linked by global networks and processes (e.g., globalization, international trade, immigration, Internet technology, global climate system)

  • Possible jobs: Logistics Manager, Mapping Technician, Geodetic Surveyor, International Development Specialist, Journalist, Foreign Services Officer

Interdisciplinary Perspective: Drawing on and synthesizing the information, concepts, and methods of the natural and social sciences for geographic research and application

  • Possible jobs: International Development Specialist, Urban and Regional Planner, Humanitarian Affairs Analyst, International Development Specialist, Program Manager

Diversity Perspective: Using knowledge about population diversity (e.g., gender, ehtnicity, race, sexuality, disability) to interpret social, economic, and political issues in different place

  • Possible jobs: Human Resources Manager, Academic Advisor, Market Researcher, Public Diplomacy Officer, Travel Guide

Source: The American Association of Geographers