About Geography

Geography may claim to have a number of objectives, including an understanding of the unique characteristics of a landscape: the interrelationships that exist between peoples as well as between mankind and its immediate environment; and to attempt an explanation of the patterns of location and subsequent spatial interaction.

To unravel the myriad of activities that are generated from mankind’s existence on planet Earth is no easy task. In order to pursue this objective, geographers have traditionally sought to create a number of different academic vantage points. Geographic modes of inquiry focus on an appreciation of the natural environment by looking into the intricacies of climate and weather; and physical geography takes a close look at the physical components of landscape processes and landscape formation. Such inquiry not only demands a description of physical features, but, also an explanation of the dynamic nature of the environment. The beauty and majesty of the natural environment may well allow geography the privilege of descriptive sonnets of the power and of the dignity of place and yet the subject matter has a firm foothold in objective reasoning.

Picture of a lady surrounded by lots of colorsOver the last thirty years, geography has developed a sound quantitative approach to analysis that enables the discipline to view the landscape from an objective platform. Statistical methodology is today an integral part of the subject as the complexities in the study of humankind and the landscape need both subjective and objective modes of inquiry. This is generally referred to as Geographic Information Systems and this often represents the largest component share of contemporary university departments. A geographic information system (GIS) allows us to visualize, question, analyze, interpret, and understand data to reveal relationships, patterns, and trends. Geography is the science of our world and coupled with GIS, geography is now better served to help us to better understand the earth and apply geographic knowledge to a host of human activities. The outcome is the emergence of what ESRI refers to as ‘The Geographic Approach’ which is a way of thinking and problem solving that integrates geographic information into how we understand and manage our planet. This approach allows us to create geographic knowledge by measuring the earth, organizing this data, and analyzing and modeling various processes and their relationships. ‘The Geographic Approach’ also allows us to apply this knowledge to the way we design, plan, and change our world. If you are interested in learning more about GIS visit http://www.esri.com

Geography, as a spatial science, is constantly trying to analyze patterns of location and distribution and the many elements that are intertwined to produce a dynamic observed landscape. It is, therefore, hardly surprising that the map should be such a vital tool within the study of geography. In all classes, map work plays an important role and helps the student to more fully comprehend the spatial organization of both human and physical landscapes.

The poster below outlines some of the classes that we regularly offer here at Bellevue College.

Our courses in Geography will

  • provide you with an understanding of the human world and the natural environment and interactions between them
  • equip you with the practical and map skills that are valued by many employers and provide a firm foundation for GIS
  • develop your essential transferable skills, such as team working, communication, presentation, problem solving, and analytical skills
  • prepare you for a transfer to a four year institution and a rewarding career in a wide range of areas, including business, retail management, marketing, geographical information systems, environmental management, conservation, aid and development agencies, local authorities, education, financial planning, computing, regional and resource planning, and hazard management, and insurance risk assessment
  • prepare a foundation for you to ultimately consider postgraduate study in Geography
  • all our online courses share a common navigation system; are packed full of wonderful and exciting images to enhance the text; and run to a common theme in terms of their overall structure. In short once you have taken one of the classes you will be in friendly territory with any of the others you decide to study, as they all follow closely to the successful pattern that we have evolved over the years.