UMKC Catalog


Career for Geography, Geology and Environmental Studies Graduates


Students of geography at UMKC are offered a well-rounded education leading to promising career prospects; the market for geographers is global. Geography is centrally concerned with the whole range of interrelations between human beings and the natural and built environments. Geography graduates find work in commerce; government and public administration; city and regional planning; natural resource management and environmental conservation; historic preservation; landscape design; pollution control; weather-forecasting; climatological and agricultural analysis; statistical analysis; government and commercial map-making; transportation; the travel and tourism industry; market analysis and development; diplomacy; and national and international economic development programs. Experience with geographic information science (GIS) and remote sensing technologies is a great advantage in all these fields. Well-educated geographers are often involved in the crafting of policy and legislation, in the practice of law, in consulting, in publishing and in education.


Geology graduates have numerous employment opportunities, especially in areas relating to the environment, to engineering and to applied geology. Training in urban and environmental geology will prepare graduates to develop and evaluate environmental impacts, deal with waste management issues; model groundwater flow; handle laboratory and field instrumentation; and assess natural hazards. Geologic studies of soils, energy, mineral and water resources, and the environment are essential for private industry, as well as for governmental agencies. Graduates may also join state and federal geological surveys. The petroleum industry was for many years the principal employer of geologists. However, currently the best employment opportunities are in the area of the environment.

Environmental Studies

Environmental issues such as climate variation, atmospheric pollutants and non-point-source water pollution are complex issues. The general public is ill-equipped to evaluate these issues and must rely on experts. The need for environmental education and professionals in the field of the environment has never been greater. Given these needs, employment opportunities are unlimited and are likely to remain so for decades. Specific careers available to those who hold an environmental studies degree lie with companies and agencies that deal with engineering, environmental geology, environmental law, environmental health and safety, emergency response, environmental training, environmental chemistry, politics and social issues.

Teacher Certification in Earth Science or Social Science

Certification as a middle school (grades 5-9) or secondary (grades 9-12) Earth Science teacher in either Kansas or Missouri requires that a student complete specific requirements in Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Studies, Geology, Physics and in the School of Education. Certification as a middle school (grades 5-9) or secondary (grades 9-12) Social Science teacher in either Kansas or Missouri requires that a student complete specific requirements in History, Political Science, Economics, Geography, Behavioral Sciences and in the School of Education. A separate application for teacher education is required. For further information about the program, consult the School of Education section of this catalog or contact the Education Student Services Office at (816) 235-2234.