Research

As a first year student I have a different view of my future and what my career will be once I graduate and that is because at the moment I am undecided on what I want to major in and minor in. Even though I am undecided and don’t really have an idea of what I want to do with the rest of my life I was thinking of either majoring in something like geography itself, geology, or geosciences related and maybe minoring in something that is related to the business world like accounting or dales and marketing. If I ever end up in geography, geology, or geosciences then there will be many careers to choose from that would be highly interesting to me. I could become a community and regional planner, I could work with the GIS systems and geospatial technologies, or even end up with my dream job when I was a child and become a paleontologist just like Indiana Jones was.

            Now more than ever, geographic tools, techniques, and technologies contribute to making choices about the best locations for factories, retail outlets, social services providers, government offices, and various other economic activities. Many geographers work in fields that support location based decision making, such as real estate appraisal, market research, business operations, statistical analysis, and GIS software development. Choosing the best site for an enterprise can lower operating costs, improve access to products and services, increase efficiency, and provide many competitive advantages in the world of business. Deciding on and obtaining the right plots of land and real estate for a manufacturing plant may reduce the costs of obtaining raw materials. A paper company would have a better chance of succeeding if you knew the right climate and biome to locate it in. A paper company located in the spodosol of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where the climate is favorable to support needleleaf and montane forests and where there are numerous logging companies that could be the main source of economic growth in a region and provide many people with jobs such as in Munising. When planning where a building will be placed it is also important to keep in mind the geography of the region and what types of natural disasters can occur there. If you built in the earthquake abundant San Francisco then you would want to make the foundations more sturdy to withstand the shaking, if you were in an area close to a river and there is a heavy rain season then the building would have to be protected against flooding, and if you built in the northern permafrost then you wouldn’t want to put any part of the building underground so it would not break when the ground swells up.

A wealth of geographically oriented information is being retrieved from aerial photography, satellite remote sensing, image processing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). With the growth in population using smartphones and other new technologies the use for geographic maps are limitless. People like to know what the weather is like where ever they are or are going to be so mapping the different fronts that arm formed by differing pressure systems and what the climate is usually like in that region will be used on a daily basis. You could also map out something like resources and their use based on global positioning. Usable water is getting to be a resource that a lot of people are running out of in particular regions of the world and I few can map out all of the still accessible areas to obtain it from I can find the best ways of transporting it if not by vehicle or by pipes. If it comes down to it I might have to create man-made rivers to transport large amounts of fresh water and man-made lakes to store it in. To do this I would need to know the soil composition and whether or not it would be able to support the new water system running through it by itself so I could change the direction or location to a more adequate area.

If I ever found myself in my childhood dream job of being a paleontologist I would think back on all of the information that I learned in this physical geography class quite a bit. Knowing the soil taxonomy of a region would be very important because I would need different tools to dig in the arid regions like Egypt than I would in the northern permafrost where the ground is frozen. Also knowing the climate of a region would allow me to prepare better by bringing the clothing to work in. because I would travel so much I would want to be knowledgeable on the natural disasters that can occur in the area too so precautions can be made so everyone is safe.