2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Jul 31, 2021  
2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived]

Geography, Geology, and Anthropology

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Chairperson: Dr. Susan M. Berta
Department Office: Science Building, room 159-O
Web Site: http://www.indstate.edu/gga/
E-mail: sberta@indstate.edu

The Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology provides students with the opportunity to explore a wide range of physical and social geo-systems. Geographers, geologists, and anthropologists investigate fundamental questions that relate directly to the mechanics of the earth’s physical processes, the spatial organization of societies, the study of human diversity, and the interaction between people and their environment.

The department’s three dynamic disciplines offer traditional programs in geography, geology, and anthropology, as well as innovative minor programs that draw on the department’s interdisciplinary nature including climatology, and conservation. In addition to these programs, the department contributes to the secondary education programs in earth space science and social studies education. The department also collaborates with and/or offers courses in African and African American studies, international studies, Latin American studies, women’s studies, and General Education.


Degrees Offered

As a unit within the College of Arts and Sciences, the Department of Geography, Geology, and Anthropology offers a curriculum that leads to a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science degree in several disciplines. Candidates for these degrees must complete the University requirement of a minimum of 124 semester hours of credit, including General Education course work, as well as the requirements for the departmental major. Candidates for a bachelor of arts degree must also complete two years, or the equivalent, of a foreign language.

Geography majors may specialize in physical geography, human geography, and geographic  techniques. The specialization in physical geography prepares students for careers in environmental consulting, emergency management planning, and climatology. The specialization in human geography prepares students for careers in economic development, data management, and land use planning. The specialization in geographic techniques prepares students for careers in remote sensing, cartography, and geographic information systems.

Geology majors may choose Track A: geology, Track B: environmental geology, or Track C: surface processes. All tracks will prepare students for graduate study. Track B is designed for students who wish to work as environmental geologists or hydrogeologists in industry or in government agencies. Track C is designed for students who wish to pursue careers in the areas of land reclamation, surface water/soil contamination, and conservation of natural resources.

Anthropology majors will study physical and cultural anthropology, linguistics, and archaeology, including Midwest archaeology. As a scientific study of humankind and human culture, anthropology provides an excellent background for graduate study in many fields, as well as prepares students for museum and foundation work and positions with cultural resource management firms.

Departmental Opportunities

Students majoring or minoring in programs offered by the department are encouraged to maintain close contact with their assigned undergraduate advisor and department faculty. All students must meet with their advisor prior to registration each semester. Students who work closely with their advisors and teachers are more likely to meet their personal, academic, and professional goals. Students can find their assigned advisor by consulting the college, the department, or their DARS.

In addition to offering advising opportunities, the department houses over 20 laboratories that provide students with access to state-of-the-art equipment and important opportunities to gain the skills necessary to succeed in the workplace, complete a professional degree, or pursue graduate studies. The department also offers many opportunities to go to field camps in geography and geology, as well as perform fieldwork as part of ongoing faculty research projects around the nation in geography, geology, or anthropology.

Finally, students are encouraged to participate in the department’s many co-curricular and extra-curricular events and organizations. To supplement the classroom experience, the department regularly hosts research colloquial and other special events. Students majoring in departmental programs are active in Gamma Theta Upsilon, the Anthropology Club, and Earth Science Club. These organizations are engaged in a range of service, social, and professional activities.


Students should be thoroughly familiar with the requirements of the teaching curriculum and admission to the Teacher Education Program. Refer to the College of Education and the Department of Curriculum, Instruction, and Media Technology sections in this Catalog.

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