Department of Geography and Geology

About | Academic Programs | Highlights | Career Opportunities | Student Organizations and Activities | Internships | Scholarships | Courses 


Brian Cooper

Don Albert
, Chris Baldwin, John Degenhardt, Brian Cooper, Marcus Gillespie, Gang Gong, Joe Hill, Mark Leipnik, Velvet Nelson, Dennis Netoff, John Strait, Jim Tiller, C. Allen Williams (Emeritus)

The primary mission of the Department of Geography and Geology is to provide students of the two complementary programs a comprehensive understanding of the range and depth of these scientific disciplines which encompass, respectively, the human and physical domains of geography, and the physical and historical domains of geology. This understanding is intended to enable our students to achieve their full potential as skilled professionals and well-qualified technical employees in a diverse range of companies and governmental organizations, and to become effective teachers and community leaders. Our programs enable students to become informed users of a range of technologies and prudent stewards of our natural resources. This understanding of the world will promote successful careers, active life-long learning, and an ability and desire to contribute positively to society.

Contact Information


Academic Programs

Geographic Information Systems, MS
Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems


Located on the third floor of the Lee Drain Building, the department maintains both a Geographic Information System (GIS) lab and a combination GIS and remote sensing lab. These labs contain state-of-the-art computers, software and scanners. We also have a van for fieldtrips, a Zodiac watercraft used for field research, a coring device capable of taking up to 6m core samples, high-quality GPS receivers, a large-scale flume to demonstrate sedimentation processes, and a Ground Penetrating Radar System. In order to enhance learning, all of our rooms are outfitted with video-projection systems, and our lecture rooms have sound systems and dedicated computers with Internet access that are used by the instructors for teaching purposes. Many of our students obtain internships and work with faculty members on research projects.

Career Opportunities

Because of the breadth of geography, there are a wide variety of career opportunities for geography graduates. These opportunities include careers in the following:

  • urban planning
  • computer mapping and geospatial technologies
  • environmental companies and state environmental agencies
  • state transportation departments
  • city, county, state, and federal government
  • education
  • historical preservation
  • marketing agencies
  • energy companies
  • emergency management
  • tourism
  • military

Geography’s focus on spatial relationships, in conjunction with new advances in technology, have led to the development of new geographical tools—principally Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS)—that are now used by many geographers in a wide variety of fields. Because these technologies can be applied within virtually any field (government, business, military, etc.) it is one of the fastest growing job fields and the demand for people with experience using them exceeds the supply. Aside from offering a tract with our program that emphasizes these technologies, we also offer students and an Interdisciplinary Minor in GSS that emphasizes GIS, remote sensing and computer cartography. The combination of geography major and a GSS minor is highly marketable. With their broad background, geography graduates have an ability to see connections where others do not, and this enables geographers to work in many different fields. Geography literally offers a world of opportunities.

Student Organizations and Activities

  • Geographers of Sam Houston (GOSH) - GOSH is intended to enhance appreciation for geography through club-sponsored field trips, guest lectures, and other activities, and to promote camaraderie among geography students.
  • Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) - GTU is the National Geography Honor Society and was established to promote geographic awareness and the pursuit of geographic knowledge. To be eligible for membership in this honor society, students must have at least 12 hours of geography coursework, a minimum GPA of 3.25 in their geography coursework, and an overall GPA of at least 3.0.


Educational and research opportunities using GIS are available through a variety of internship opportunities that will increase students’ skills and employment opportunities.


  • GERALD L. HOLDER AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500 -- $700 one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status, 3.0 GPA Geography overall.
  • JAMES ELLISON KIRKLEY AWARD: Two awards (amounts vary) to majors in history, political science, geography, or sociology.
    Recipients are selected on basis of high academic achievement.
  • THE ELTON M. SCOTT AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500 -- $700 one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status. 3.0 GPA Geography overall.
  • JOHN H. BOUNDS AWARD FOR GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS: $500-$700 for one semester.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status.
    Geography majors or minors, senior status.


Geography (GEOG)
Geology (GEOL)

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