Geographers in Business/Private Sector Careers

Type: Virtual Panel
Theme: Expanding the Community of Geography
Sponsor Groups: Careers and Professional Development
Poster #:
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 1
Organizers: Mark Revell
Chairs: Michael Solem


The private sector contains many dynamic and exciting employment opportunities for geographers. This panel will feature geographers and other professionals with experience in the private sector who will discuss key issues affecting career opportunities for geographers and improving their preparation for employment.

The session chair will lead the panelists in a structured discussion of the following questions:

1)What kinds of career opportunities are currently available for geographers within your company? What are some of the important trends in labor markets and private industry that are likely to create new opportunities for geographers in the future?

2) What substantive geographic knowledge is important and useful to know in your position? For example, knowledge and understanding of geographic terminology and substantive concepts (e.g., alluvial plain, metropolitan area, ethnic group, tertiary economy, coniferous forest, geologic fault, etc.).

3) What conceptual geographic knowledge is important and useful to know in your position? For example, “big ideas” in geography such as location, place, region, interconnection, spatial relationships, etc., to think about people, places, and environments, from the local to the global.

4) What procedural geographic knowledge is important and use to know in your position? For example, GIS or other geospatial technology, designing a geographic inquiry and research study, collecting spatial data in the field, etc.

5) What other types of education and training experiences would you recommend for a successful career in the private sector?

6) In what ways are private sector employers not fully tapping the potential of geography in their work and operations? What can be done to improve awareness and appreciation among employers of what geography offers and, in turn, why they should hire graduates from geography programs?

This panel will also explore cross-sector professional development issues and ideas for strengthening links between employers and academic geography programs. Time will be reserved to address questions and comments from members of the audience.


Type Details Minutes Start Time
Panelist Tracy Whelen Travelers 15 11:10 AM
Panelist Sophia Garcia Redistricting Partners 15 11:25 AM
Panelist Joel McCune Esri 15 11:40 AM
Panelist Benjamin Tuttle Arturo, Inc 15 11:55 AM
Panelist Brent Sams Winegrowing Research - E&J Gallo Winery 15 12:10 PM

To access contact information login