I am Geography
I entered Bloomsburg University in Pennsylvania as a freshman without a declared major. I had cultivated a love of outdoor adventure and exploration growing up but yet still undecided about my future career path options. Prior to moving into my dorm before that initial semester, I went on a two-week trip with other incoming freshman via the University’s QUEST Program and during that first year, I started leading various trips across the New England area. This reinforced my love of adventure but by the time I was entering my senior year, my assigned academic advisor asked to speak to me. He happened to be the Chair of the Geography Department, and the conversation went something like this;
“You’re about to graduate but you have not declared a major. From a review of your course work, it appears you have more than enough for a minor in Philosophy, and you’ve take all the courses within the Geography Department that we offer. It would appear you have an interest in Geography.”
…after what seemed like several minutes of silence, my response was,
“That sound perfect, what do I need to do?”
And the rest, as they say, is history. My passion for exploration and adventure of the physical world, including travel to other countries and understanding their cultures, was not apparent to me as an unrealized love of geography. Geography wasn’t taught during my primary and secondary school classes, and we only touched on it occasionally in social studies, civics or history classes. Once I realized that this was an actual career path, it was an immediate and total epiphany; I was all-in. From that point forward I’ve been a committed, unapologetic geographer. I’m fond of saying “geography is the science of everything” because, in the end, nothing that matters is void of location. When I speak at public events or give a presentation, I often challenge the audience to present an instance in the human experience where geography is not involved, and if I can be stumped, I’ll buy dinner. I have yet to have to buy anyone dinner.
Become a member of the AGS, and let us feature you as part of our “I AM GEOGRAPHY” campaign which will light the path for all of you closet geographers to get involved in making our world a better place through Geography.