Geographers in Government/Public Sector Careers

Type: Virtual Panel
Theme: Expanding the Community of Geography
Sponsor Groups: Careers and Professional Development
Poster #:
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM (PDT)
Room: Virtual 1
Organizers: Mark Revell
Chairs: Michael Solem


Geography is an interdisciplinary field that provides a solid foundation for careers in all levels of government. This panel will feature geographers and other professionals with experience in the public 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 organization/department/agency? What are some of the important trends within the public sector that are likely to create new opportunities 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 useful 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 government?

6) In what ways are government employers not fully tapping the potential of geography for enhancing the work they perform? 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 Stephanie Deitrick City of Tempe/Arizona State University 10 11:10 AM
Panelist Christy Swann Naval Research Laboratory 11 11:20 AM
Panelist Kyle Titlow Bureau of Transportation Statistics 11 11:31 AM
Panelist Noemi Mendez U.S. Census Bureau 11 11:42 AM
Panelist Rob Edsall Idaho National Laboratory 10 11:53 AM
Panelist Arvind Bhuta USDA Forest Service 11 12:03 PM
Discussant Lucy Stanfield US Environmental Protection Agency 11 12:14 PM

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