Practicing Geography

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  • Edition: 1st
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  • Copyright: 2012-01-26
  • Publisher: Pearson
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Whether you are just beginning as a major, taking classes toward a GIS certificate, working on an advanced degree, or considering a career change at a different point in your life, geography can lead to exceptional career opportunities. Practicing Geography: Careers for Enhancing Society and the Environmentis a comprehensive new resource from the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and Pearson, designed to prepare students for careers in business, government, and non-profit organizations. Funded by the National Science Foundation, this project brings together members of the geography community to author different chapters that discuss workforce needs, expectations, and core competencies in professional geography, profiling the professional applications of and opportunities in geography today.

Author Biography

Michael Solem joined the staff of the Association of American Geographers (AAG) in 2003 as Educational Affairs Director. At the AA G, he directs many federally funded initiatives including the Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education in Geography (EDGE) and Center for Global Geography Education (CGGE) projects, both funded by the National Science Foundation (NS F). Dr. Solem serves as the North American coordinator of the International Network for Learning and Teaching Geography in Higher Education (IN LT), is associate director of the Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education at Texas State University—San Marcos, and is Treasurer for the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Geographical Education. He twice received the Journal of Geography in Higher Education’s award for promoting excellence in teaching and learning for his Research on faculty development and graduate education in geography.

Kenneth Foote is Professor of Geography and former Department Chair at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Much of his research focuses on landscape history, GIS cience, cartography, and geography education, but over the past decade his work has focused especially on improving support for early career geographers and strengthening leadership training in geography. He has led the NSF-funded Geography Faculty Development Alliance since 2002 and is co-PI of the Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education in Geography project with Michael Solem and Janice Monk. Dr. Foote has served as president of the National Council for Geographic Education (2006) and president of the Association of American Geographers (2010—2011). He received the Association of American Geographers’ 1998 J. B. Jackson Prize for his book Shadowed Ground: America’s Landscapes of Violence and Tragedy and the association’s 2005 Gilbert Grosvenor Honors in Geographic Education.

Janice Monk is Research Professor in the School of Geography and Development at the University of Arizona where she coordinates a graduate course in professional development. She previously served for twenty-five years as Executive Director of the Southwest Institute for Research on Women, leading research, educational, and community outreach projects in the southwestern United States and northwestern Mexico. Dr. Monk is also Adjunct Professor of Human Geography at Macquarie University (Australia). She has long been involved with research and projects in higher education and in gender studies and has served on various editorial boards and advisory panels. Dr. Monk is active in the International Geographical Union’s Commission on Gender and Geography and is the long-standing editor of its newsletter. A former President of the Association of American Geographers, she has received several awards, including Lifetime Achievement Honors of the AAG and the Australia-International Medal, Institute of Australian Geographers. She is Co-Principal Investigator of the AA G’s Enhancing Departments and Graduate Education in Geography project.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xvii
Profiles of Professional Geographersp. xxvii
About the Editorsp. xxix
About the Authorsp. xxxi
Preparing for a Career in Business, Government, and Nonprofit Organizations
Part Strategy and Serendipity: A Candid Guide to Career Planning for Geographersp. 1
Careers Todayp. 2
The Work-Life Fit: Knowing Yourselfp. 2
Geography and Career Prospects: Knowing the Marketp. 3
Valerie Moye, Green Infrastructure Coordinator, City of Chattanooga (Chattanooga, Tennessee)p. 4
Carmen Tedesco, Senior Spatial Planning and Development Specialist, Development Alternatives, Inc. (Bethesda, Maryland)p. 7
Understanding Your Skills Relative to Job Descriptionsp. 9
Putting Yourself "Out There": Managing Your Visibilityp. 10
Conclusionp. 13
Acknowledgmentsp. 13
Referencesp. 13
Geography Education and Career Readinessp. 15
If Geography Is Everywhere, Aren't We All Geographers?p. 15
Careers for Professional Geographersp. 16
Skills Used in Professional Geographyp. 17
Steve Fearn, Director, Real Estate Market Research, Ross Stores (Pleasanton, California)p. 18
Profile 2.2p. 20
Learning by Doing: Developing Professional Skills Outside the Classroomp. 22
Educational Strategies for Enhancing Your Employabilityp. 24
Locating Geography-Related Jobsp. 24
Geography is Everywhere…Including the Workplace!p. 25
Acknowledgmentsp. 25
Referencesp. 26
Switching Sectors: Transitioning into and among Business, Government, and Nonprofit Careersp. 27
Is the Grass Greener? Things to Consider Before Hopping the Fencep. 28
Business Employmentp. 28
Anne Hale Miglarese, Principal Director, Booz Allen Hamilton (Washington, DC)p. 29
Government Employmentp. 30
Nonprofit Employmentp. 31
Academic Employmentp. 32
Sonia Arbona, Ph.D., Medical Geographer, Texas Department of State Health Services (Austin, Texas)p. 33
Strategies for Switching Sectorsp. 34
Acknowledgmentsp. 40
Referencesp. 40
The Value of an Internship Experience for Early Career Geographersp. 41
The Value of an Internshipp. 41
The Importance of Internships for Early Career Professional Development in Geographyp. 42
You Majored in What?p. 42
The Benefit of Developing Professional Networksp. 43
Profile 4.1p. 44
Types of Internships for the Major Subfields of Geographyp. 45
Environmental Geographyp. 45
Community and Regional Planning, Land Use Management, and Regulationp. 47
Geospatial Technologiesp. 47
Geography Educationp. 48
Business Geography, Real Estate Development, and Location Analysisp. 49
Considerations for Choosing an Internshipp. 49
The "Right" Internshipp. 49
Paid or Unpaid?p. 50
What Kind of Work is Offered?p. 50
When is the Best Time to Pursue an Internship?p. 51
For Course Credit or Not? Advantages of an Internship for Academic Creditp. 51
How to Locate an Internship-Search Widelyp. 52
The Search Processp. 52
Be Proactivep. 53
Duties and Expectations: Laying the Ground Rulesp. 54
Maximizing the Value of Your Internship During and After the Programp. 54
Evaluating and Reflecting on Your Internship Experiencep. 55
Mark Barnes, Eagleton Governor's Executive Fellow, 2010 and Ph.D. Candidate, Rutgers University (Piscataway, NJ)p. 56
Final Thoughtsp. 57
Referencesp. 58
Professional Networking, Tina Caryp. 59
Invest Your Timep. 60
Make Your Networking Planp. 60
How to Beginp. 61
Benefits of Professional Networkingp. 62
Ken Turnbull, Accredited Land Consultant (Denver, Colorado)p. 63
Benefits to Youp. 64
Job Performancep. 64
Value to Your Organizationp. 64
Enhanced Reputationp. 64
Career Opportunitiesp. 64
Benefits to Your Organizationp. 64
Save Time and Moneyp. 65
Reduce Riskp. 65
Benefits to the Larger Communityp. 65
Tools for Networkingp. 66
Professional Meetingsp. 66
Other Traditional Toolsp. 67
Social Mediap. 67
Glenn Letham, Co-founder, Spatial Media LLC, and Managing Editor, GISuser.com (Vancouver, British Columbia)p. 68
In Conclusionp. 72
Referencesp. 72
Understanding Career Opportunities
Geography Careers in State and Local Governmentp. 73
The Need for Geographers in State and Local Governmentp. 74
Opportunities for Geographers in State and Local Governmentp. 75
Dan Haug, IT Director, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (Pendleton, Oregon)p. 77
Strategies for Getting a Job in the Public Sectorp. 78
Education and Training Suggestions for Public Sector Geographersp. 79
"Soft Skills"p. 80
Dmitry Messen, Program Manager, Socio-Economic Modeling Group, Houston-Galveston Area Council (Houston, Texas)p. 81
Concluding Thoughtsp. 82
Referencesp. 83
Emerging and Expanding Career Opportunities in the Federal Governmentp. 84
Considering a Career in the Federal Governmentp. 84
The Government Perspective: Why Hire Geographers?p. 86
Geography In Federal Government: A Long and Varied Record of Contributionsp. 87
Dave Selkowitz, Research Geographer, U.S. Geological Survey, Alaska Science Center (Anchorage, Alaska)p. 88
Mike Ratcliffe, Assistant Division Chief, U.S. Census Bureau (Washington, DC)p. 90
A Focus on Geospatial Careers in the Federal Sectorp. 92
Thinking and Planning Aheadp. 93
Sarah Brinegar, Ph.D., Social Science Analyst, U.S. Department of Justice (Washington, DC)p. 94
Referencesp. 95
Geography Careers in Large Businesses and Corporationsp. 97
Logisticians and Supply Chain Analysts: Connecting and Optimizing Operationsp. 98
Sustainability Managers: Quality of Life for Future Generationsp. 99
Karl Finkbeiner, Operations Analyst, Ingram Micro (Buffalo, New York)p. 100
Andrew Telfer, Sustainability Manager, Walmart Canada (Toronto, Ontario)p. 101
Geodemographers and Market Research Analysts: It's All about the Customerp. 102
"Spatial" Statisticians and Data Analysts: More than Just Number-Crunchersp. 102
Esther Ofori, Marketing Analyst, Macy's Inc. (New York City)p. 103
Applying for Corporate Positions and Performing Successfully on the Jobp. 104
Armando Boniche, Circulation Director, The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald (Miami, Florida)p. 105
Referencesp. 107
Geography and the Nonprofit Sectorp. 108
Geographers Outside the "Ivory Tower"p. 108
Nonprofits: A Geographic Overviewp. 109
Bridging Geography and the Nonprofit Sectorp. 111
Jane Daniels, Director of Preservation Programs, Colorado Preservation, Inc. (Denver, Colorado)p. 113
Finding "The Door"p. 114
Getting Your "Foot in the Door"p. 115
Kate Pearson, Strategic Partnerships Director, Habitat for Humanity International (Port-au-Prince, Haiti)p. 116
Concluding Thoughtsp. 119
Serge Dedina, Ph.D., Executive Director, WiLDCOAST/COSTASALVAjE and Emily Young, Ph.D., Senior Director, Environment Analysis & Strategy, The San Diego Foundation (Imperial Beach, California)p. 120
Referencesp. 121
Starting a Small Geography Businessp. 122
Geographers as Business Ownersp. 123
A Spatial Perspective of Economic Activityp. 123
Kristen Carneyp. 124
Value of Placep. 125
"Ecopreneurship" and Interdisciplinary Thinkingp. 125
Preparing to Start a Small Geography Businessp. 126
Acquiring Business Expertise and Skillsp. 126
Thinking Creatively about Problems and Opportunitiesp. 127
Developing a Professional Networkp. 127
Starting the Businessp. 127
Ashok and Ishu Wadwani, Owners, Applied Field Data Systems (Houston, Texas)p. 128
Pre-Start-Up Researchp. 129
Writing the Business Planp. 131
Resources for Writing a Business Planp. 132
Acquiring Funding and Intellectual Property Rightsp. 132
Resources for Starting a Businessp. 133
Conclusionp. 134
Referencesp. 134
Going Global: Practicing Geography Internationallyp. 135
Geographers Working Internationally-A World of Opportunitiesp. 135
Geographers in International Developmentp. 136
Michelle Kooy, Research Fellow, Water Policy Group, Overseas Development Institute (London, UK)p. 137
Geographers in the Private Sectorp. 138
Geographers in the Foreign Servicep. 138
Preparing for International Workp. 139
Education and Expertisep. 139
Experiencep. 139
Study-Abroad Programsp. 139
Reena Patel, Foreign Service Officer, U.S. Department of State (Madrid, Spain)p. 140
Work-Abroad Programs and Short-Term Overseas Contractsp. 141
Internshipsp. 141
Volunteeringp. 141
Research Assistantshipsp. 143
International Travelp. 143
Language Skillsp. 144
The Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Working Internationallyp. 144
Referencesp. 146
Teaching Geography Inside and Outside the Classroomp. 147
Teaching Geography as Inquiry: Engaging Students in Active Learning and Investigationsp. 147
Paula Ann Trevino, Grade-Level Principal, Helix Charter High School (La Mesa, California)p. 149
Teaching Geography in Different Educational Settingsp. 150
Teaching in K-12 Educationp. 151
K-12 Teacher Preparation Programsp. 151
Certification Optionsp. 152
2 + 2 Programsp. 152
Teaching at the University Levelp. 153
Teaching in Professional Development Settingsp. 153
Teaching Geography Onlinep. 153
Informal Educational Settingsp. 154
Professional Organizations Supporting Geography Educationp. 155
Tara Gettig, Environmental Education Specialist, Pine Grove Furnace State Park (Gardners, Pennsylvania)p. 156
Summaryp. 157
Referencesp. 157
Geography Careers in Consultingp. 159
Our Journey into Consulting: An Introductionp. 159
A Peek into the World of Consultingp. 161
Who Wants, Needs, and Uses Consultants?p. 161
Why Hire a Consultant?p. 162
What Roles Do Consultants Play for Their Clients?p. 162
What is It Like to Be a Consultant?p. 163
What are Some of the Challenges that Consultants Face?p. 163
What Does a Consultant Do on a Daily Basis?p. 165
Geographic Consulting: A World of Skills and Perspectivesp. 167
The Value of Geography in Consulting for the Corporate Sector, Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs), and Governmentp. 168
The Skills Geographers Bring to Consultingp. 169
Examples of Settings Where Geography Has Opportunities for Growth in Consultingp. 170
Living as Strange Hybrids: Possibilities for Collaboration and Career-Makingp. 170
Challenges and Benefits for the Self-Employed Consultant: A Conclusionp. 171
Referencesp. 172
Achieving Career Satisfaction Now and Into the Future
"Work" and "Life": Crossing Boundaries of Time, Space, and Placep. 174
Valuing Time, Considering Spacep. 175
Work Policies, Choices, and Practicesp. 177
Carmen Masó, GIS Analyst, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Chicago, IL)p. 178
Jeff Young, Business Development Manager, LizardTech (Seattle, Washington)p. 181
Moving Up, Moving On, Going Further Afieldp. 182
Concluding Thoughtsp. 183
Mei and Junp. 184
Referencesp. 185
Practical Ethics for Professional Geographersp. 187
Engagement with Ethicsp. 187
Applied Ethics and Professional Pedagogyp. 188
Tom Dwyer, Principal, Dutch Hill Consulting (Poughkeepsie, New York)p. 189
Ethical Analysisp. 190
Examplesp. 190
Case Study: To Map Wetlands or Not to Map Wetlands?p. 191
Analysis Following the Seven-Step Approachp. 192
Case Study: Release of Datap. 194
Analysis Following the Seven-Step Approachp. 194
Reflections and Outlookp. 195
Acknowledgmentsp. 196
Referencesp. 196
Creating the Life You Want: Lifelong Professional Development for Geographersp. 198
What is Lifelong Professional Development?p. 199
Think Holisticallyp. 199
Organizations and Opportunitiesp. 200
Advanced Degreesp. 203
Life Evolvesp. 204
Planning In A Changing Worldp. 204
Nancy Davis Lewis, Ph.D., Research Program Director, The East-West Center (Honolulu, Hawaii)p. 205
Tools for Professional Developmentp. 207
Summaryp. 208
Referencesp. 209
Indexp. 211
Photo Creditsp. 223
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