What is Geography?
“So many of the world’s current issues – at a global scale and locally – boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them. Global warming as it affects countries and regions, food and energy security, the degradation of land and soils from over-use and misuse, the spread of disease, the causes and consequences of migration, and the impacts of economic change on places and communities.” Michael Palin (Former RGS-IBG President)
Geography is the study of Earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments. It is, quite simply, about the world in which we live.
Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences (human geography) with the natural sciences (physical geography). Human geography concerns the understanding of the dynamics of cultures, societies and economies, and physical geography concerns the understanding of the dynamics of physical landscapes and the environment.
Geography puts this understanding of social and physical processes within the context of places and regions – recognising the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and the links between them. Understanding the causes of differences and inequalities between places and social groups underlie much of the newer developments in human geography.
Geography is, in the broadest sense, an education for life and for living. Learning through geography – whether gained through formal learning or experientially through travel, fieldwork and expeditions – helps us all to be more socially and environmentally sensitive, informed and responsible citizens and employees.
Geography informs us about
- The places and communities in which we live and work
- Our natural environments and the pressures they face
- The interconnectedness of the world and our communities within it
- How and why the world is changing, globally and locally
- How our individual and societal
actions contribute to those changes
- The choices that exist in managing our world for the future
- The importance of location in business and decision-making
Economics, Government and Politics, Psychology, History, Sociology, Biology and Mathematics
Geography provides an ideal framework for relating other fields of knowledge. It is not surprising that those trained as geographers often contribute substantially to the applied management of resources and environments. The Royal Geographical Society has a lot of information about careers and geography at university level.