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Geography is the study of the earth as an environment of humankind and the human activities on earth. The physical geography and human geography are branches of geography. Human geography is the study of human activities on the earth surface like fishing, forestry, tourism among others. It may also include the study of population its growth and distribution. Physical Geography is the study of natural environment of humankind. Major areas covered under Physical geography may include soil and rocks; internal structure of earth; weather and climate; vegetation and solar system.
Geology is the scientific study of study of Earth’s structure and the processes that take place in the earth or on earth’s surface like volcanic eruptions, weathering, and erosion among others. It may include the study of the rocks and minerals in the earth. During fieldwork, students may collect various rocks, minerals and fossils to study them and identify their type.
Environmental science is the scientific study of the environment that enables the identifying some of environmental problems and coming up with the solution those environmental problems. (William, Cunningham, and Woodworth, 2003)Environmental science uses physical and biological sciences like biology, chemistry like find out the chemical properties of soil, and ecology. It may also include social sciences like sociology to understand human relationships with one another or with the animal and organisms around them, and to study the human policies towards the environment.
Environmental science involves a lot of research and laboratory work which results to interesting discoveries. This can be very interesting to students who like making discoveries and coming up with news theories. The students especially for geological sciences engage in field work to collect samples of soil and rocks to study and identify their chemical and physical properties. Geography especially those students who study human geography and environmental scientist may engage in field work to study the human activities and their effect on the environment.
All this courses are offered at various universities in the world. These courses are closely related as it deals with the earth, human activities and the environment. One of the importance’s of these courses is the career development for the students. There are various career opportunities for the students who study these courses. (Eldon and Bradley, 2004)
Graduates in Geography and Environmental Science have been employed by various private and public sector agencies mostly as consultants and researchers. Geographical research is essential in policies making relating to environment and predicting the possibility of an occurrence from repeating itself in the future.
Researchers may be consulted in times of hazards like earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, hailstones to carry out geographical research. They study earth processes such as landslides, earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions, tremors that can be hazardous to people and may lead to destruction of property. Researchers study the situation in a given area and predict the possibility of such processes taking place again and in which area. The areas that have flooded in the past might be flooded in the future.
The government may need the researchers to research and come up with ways of addressing environmental problems like pollution. They help the government in the formulation of policies required to handle such disasters. For example, the government may require researcher to study the causes of pollution in a water body like a lake to come up measures to stop the pollution.
Researchers may also be needed by the construction companies since they understand earth’s processes that occur on the surfaces and inside the earth well enough. The geographical research is required by the construction companies to identify suitable locations for building houses, bridges and flats. This help construction companies from building important structures where they might be damaged or affected by the hazards like earthquakes and tremors. This allows buildings to be built without collapsing by being on strong foundations and on areas free from hazards like landslide. (Bernard and Wright, 2002)
Researchers that have studied geography may be consulted to come with ways to stop crisis. Global warming is a global crisis that researchers can study to identify its causes and come up with measures to curb it. Causes of global warming may be as a result of human behavior. The environmental scientist may be able to determine the causes of global warming and come up with measures that government should put in place to stop global warming. In Return the government can set policies like encourage people to use non-petrol fuels to help minimize the causes of global warming.
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Researchers are consulted in times of crisis like tsunami, hailstones, earthquake to explain to the public the cause of such an occurrence. Besides explaining they are able to explain if the situation is likely to repeat itself. To enable know if such areas are dangerous to settle or if the place is safe for them to settle and live on.
Geography researchers can be employed by the universities and colleges to give lectures to students taking courses on geography and geology. They also carry out geographical researches to come up with new ideas and to form theories related to the subject of geography.
The geographical research is required by farmers to determine the properties of the soil on their land. Farmers need to determine the soil properties of their land so as to make critical decisions like if the land is suitable for farming crops and if so which crops. They can also study weather patterns of a region to determine whether the place is suitable for farming. They can study weather and climate to give the farmers a report on the times suitable for planting.
Geographical researches are also required by natural resource companies. Researchers study earth materials like rocks and minerals and they can be used to determine the valuable ones that can be useful to people. People use earth rocks and minerals every day in one way or the other. Oil that is produced from wells, metals and that are produced from mines, and water that has been drawn from underground can be acquired through the help of the environment scientists. Geologists conduct studies to locate rocks that contain important metals and minerals then in conjunction with miners they plan the mines to produce them and the methods to use to remove the metals from the rocks. (Raven and Linda, 2004)
Other Experiences as a Geography Researcher
Human geography researchers interact with people of different cultures and values. Some human geography researchers may be researching on community development, population growth and distribution. A researcher learns to appreciate and respect other people cultures as they interact with the community.
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A geography researcher also engages in a lot of fieldwork like going to the field to study the earth’s surface and to collect samples for study. Researchers also use the laboratory to carry out some tests like testing the soil acidity.
A geography researcher is one of career area for graduates of geography, environmental science and geological science. The graduate will be opened to many employment opportunities in government agencies, consultation companies and even non-profit organizations. The nature of the career may also expose one to fieldwork which is very interesting as one interacts with environment you learn to appreciate nature and other people’s culture. There is also laboratory work that leads to discoveries and gaining of more knowledge.