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Academics > College of Fine Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences > Department of Social Sciences > Geography and Geospatial Science

Geography and Geospatial Science

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Geography, at its heart, is a field-based discipline in which observational and critical thinking skills are used to understand and solve complex social and environmental problems, including, for example, those related to water resources, biodiversity and conservation, urban planning, disease, and regional conflicts. The primary objective of the Geography and Geospatial Science program, therefore, is to bridge the social and natural sciences by providing students with an understanding of the interrelationships between humans and their cultural and physical environments.  

Geospatial Science refers to the methods and technologies used in the collection, analysis, and visualization of geospatial data. These include geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), remote sensing (e.g., satellite and drone technologies), and spatial statistics. Geography and Geospatial Science majors develop a foundational understanding of these methods as applied to human and environmental systems.

Why Geography and Geospatial Science?
Careers - Geography and Geospatial Science graduates are prepared to embark on promising careers in a variety of fields including, but not limited to, conservation and natural resource managementurban and regional planningeconomic developmentenvironmental law and policy, and education. Graduates of the degree program also receive the educational foundation necessary to pursue advanced graduate study in Geography and related disciplines. 


Relevant and Interdisciplinary - Geography and Geospatial Science are dynamic disciplines that provide students with an understanding of the interrelationships between people and their cultural and physical environments. Students with varied interests in the social and natural sciences can find a home in our Program.

For more information about the academic discipline of Geography, graduate school, or career opportunities, contact our faculty or visit the American Association of Geographers (AAG) or the Southeastern Division of AAG (SEDAAG).

What can you do with a degree in Geography and Geospatial Science?

Graduates of our program have taken a variety of career paths, including:

Environmental Scientist III, Tetra Tech, Inc. (Charleston, WV)

Head Foreign Teacher, Avalon Language Institute (Gimpo, South Korea)

GIS Specialist and Mapping Supervisor, Raleigh County Assessor's Office (Beckley, WV)

Transmission Line Siting Specialist, American Electric Power (AEP) (Roanoke, VA)

Design Engineer, Dominion Energy (Marietta, OH)

GIS Technician/Mapper, Pocahontas County Assessor's Office (Marlinton, WV)

Deputy Clerk, Greenbrier County Courthouse (Lewisburg, WV)

Researcher, OMNI Institute (Denver, CO)

GIS Analyst and Commercial Drone Pilot, City of Bluefield (Bluefield, WV)

GIS Analyst and IT Manager, Allegheny Surveys, Inc. (Birch River, WV)

Simulation Database Engineer, Department of Defense Contractor (Orlando, FL)

Geography Professor, Owens Community College (Toledo, OH)

Digital Marketing Director, Appomattox River Company (Farmville, VA)

Manager of Analytics and Intelligence, City of Covington (Covington, KY)

Equipment Operator, CSX Railroad (Hinton, WV)

GIS Specialist, Emerus (The Woodlands, TX)

Supervisor, Air Traffic Control Team, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) (Silver Spring, MD)

Project Manager/GIS Specialist, Region 1 Planning & Development Council (Princeton, WV)

Park Ranger, Carnifex Ferry Battlefield State Park (Summersville, WV)

Geography, U.S. History, World History, and Academic Writing Teacher (Shanghai, China)

Director, Division of Rehabilitation Services, WV Department of Education and the Arts (Charleston, WV)

Operations Manager, Property Catalyst Group (Roanoke, VA)

Right-Of-Way Agent and Land Services Consultant (Athens, WV)

Faculty
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Dr. Joe Manzo

Professor of Geography

Office: 125A Administration Bldg.
Email: manzoj@concord.edu
Phone: 304.384.5208


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Dr. Tom Saladyga

Associate Professor of Geography

Research Interests: Environmental Geography / Forests and Climate / Dendrochronology
 

Ph.D. Geography, West Virginia University (2011)
M.A. Geography, West Chester University (2006)
B.S. Geography, The Pennsylvania State University (2002)

Office: 125B Administration Bldg.
Email: saladygat@concord.edu
Phone: 304.384.6040


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Dr. Shimantini Shome

Associate Professor of Geography

Research Interests: Cultural and Urban Geography / Migration Studies


Ph.D. Geography, University of Kansas (2011)
M.A. Geography, University of Pune, India (2004)
B.A. Geography, University of Pune, India (2002)

Office: 122 Administration Bldg.
Email: sshome@concord.edu
Phone: 304.384.6025

Environmental Geography Lab (EGL)
The EGL, located in the Administration Building (room 102), provides undergraduate learning and research opportunities in Biogeography, Climatology, Soils, and Geographic Information Science (GIS). Contact Dr. Saladyga or click the link above or logo below to learn more about the lab, including student research opportunities and associated course offerings.

Note: The pine silhouette in the EGL logo is in reference to rows of white pine that were planted on campus in 1915. The Pines (1963) is also the title of a brief history of Concord.

R.T. Hill Spatial Analysis Lab

The lab, located in the Administration Building (room 124), includes 15 fully equipped and networked digital workstations for computer cartography and GIS. ESRI's ArcGIS is used to teach and perform research in these areas. Supplementary lab software includes the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), Adobe Photoshop, and the Microsoft suite of office software. Through coursework in the Spatial Analysis lab, students gain the computer skills that help launch successful careers in Geography and related fields.

Student Research
We encourage our students to conduct and present independent/guided research that supplements coursework. Students have presented original research at a variety of venues, including the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG), the annual meeting of the Southeastern Division of the Association of American Geographers (SEDAAG), Undergraduate Research Day at the Capitol (Charleston, WV), and Undergraduate Research Day at Concord University.

Recent student research presentations:

John Cline (class of 2019)

Climate-Growth Analysis of Pin Oak and Red Maple in a Central Appalachian Bottomland Oak Forest. Annual Meeting, Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, 18-19 November 2018, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Maggie-Jean Cook (class of 2020)

From Worker's Safe Haven to a Hipster's Paradise: A Study of Gentrification in Historic South End. Annual Meeting, Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, 18-19 November 2018, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Alysan Miller (class of 2019)

Fire History of a Dry Oak-Pine Forest in Southern West Virginia. Annual Meeting, Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, 18-19 November 2018, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Cody Perkins (class of 2020)

Shadowed Ground: Sacred Space in Mercer County. Annual Meeting, Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, 18-19 November 2018, Johnson City, Tennessee.

Polina Prokof'yeva (class of 2021)

The Land of Opportunity or Adversity? A Case Study of Migrants from Former Soviet Socialist Republics in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area. Annual Meeting, Southeastern Division of the American Association of Geographers, 18-19 November 2018, Johnson City, Tennessee. 

Internships

Geography and Geospatial Science majors are encouraged to complete professional internships prior to graduation. Internships provide Concord Geography students with extremely valuable work and/or research experience, help them to build professional networks, and give them a tremendous advantage in landing a good job upon graduation. Current and recent students have interned with the following firms and agencies:

  • National Geographic Society, Washington, DC
  • Environmental Systems Research Institute (ESRI), Vienna, VA
  • Pocahontas Land Corporation, Bluefield, WV
  • West Virginia Office of Miners' Health, Safety, and Training, Oak Hill, WV
  • US Department of Agriculture's Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center, Beaver, WV
  • Canaan Valley Institute, Thomas, WV
  • Region One Planning and Development Council, Princeton, WV
  • McKenzie Engineering, Summersville, WV
  • United States Soil Conservation Service, Lewisburg, WV
  • Marshall Miller and Associates, Bluefield, VA

Contact Us

Geography and Geospatial Science
Department of Social Sciences
Concord University
P.O. Box 1000
Athens, WV 24712
Office: 125 Administration Bldg.

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