Geographer Job Description
A geographer is a person who studies the physical features of the earth’s surface and how they influence climate and the distribution of plant, animal, and human populations. A geographer studies the physical features of the earth’s surface to understand and explain how they developed and why they developed where they developed.
A geographer should be curious, logical, methodical, adaptable, and good at map reading and problem-solving. They should understand how the processes that affect natural and cultural environments change over time, and vary in scale and from place to place.
What does a Geographer do?
Geographers may do some or all of the following:
- study the land, physical features and inhabitants of the earth
- design and conduct research, surveys and interviews
- use maps, photographs, satellite imagery, and censuses to gather geographic data
- create and modify maps and charts
- analyze the geographic distribution of physical and cultural characteristics and occurrences
- use technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS) to compile and analyze large amounts of data for environmental planning and natural resource
- write research articles and reports
- apply geographical data to solve problems in areas such as urban and regional planning, business and agriculture
- advice and help others in using geographic data
- teach geography at schools
Where does a Geographer work?
Places of work for geographers include:
- Agricultural organizations
- Disaster management agencies
- Urban and regional planning organizations
- Community development corporations
- Market research companies
- Environment management agencies
- Construction companies
- Government agencies
Geographers usually work normal office hours, but may sometimes work evenings and weekends during fieldworks. They work both indoors in offices and outdoors in fields. They may travel to attend seminars or to gather information for research, and be away from home a period of time.
What is Required to Become a Geographer?
To become a geographer, you will need a bachelor’s or master’s degree in geography or a related discipline.
A geographer may specialize to become any of the following:
- Demographer – a person who studies human populations
- Hydrologist – a scientist who studies the earth’s water
- Meteorologist – a scientist who studies the earth’s atmosphere
- Economic geographer – a geographer that specializes in the field of economic geography
- Climatologist - a scientist who studies climates
- Cartographer - a person who makes maps
- Political geographer – a geographer who specializes in the field of political geography
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes
Geographers need to have:
- inquisitiveness and perceptiveness
- honesty and integrity
- spatial reasoning
- good attention to detail
- good listening and communication skills
- good judgment and decision making skills
- good analytical and problem solving skills
- time management and organizational skills
- computer and math skills
- leadership skills
- research skills
- the ability to work well under pressure
- the ability to work well independently and in a team
- the ability to tolerate people who think differently from them
- the ability to learn new skills and stay up-to-date with new developments in the field
- knowledge of history and archeology
- knowledge of sociology and anthropology
- knowledge of human behavior and performance
- knowledge of the principles and methods of geography
Should I be a Geographer?
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