Careers in Geography

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What do geographers do?

Meteorology, climatology, atmospheric science focus

Career advice

Meet some Geography alumni

Chandler Schoch

“My GIS and physical geography coursework equipped me with knowledge and skills that were unique and valuable to federal land management agencies. GIS applications are increasingly used for fieldwork, and GIS data and analysis is the foundation of many evaluations and decisions.”

Chandler Schoch, Range Technician, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), US Department of the Interior
BS Geography, 2019

As a Range Technician, Chandler Schoch’s work focuses on livestock grazing on the Bureau’s Arizona lands. She conducts monitoring and inspections in the field, and then analyzes and applies this data and information to be included in documents that help inform management decisions on public lands.  Chandler began her work in this area during her last semester at ASU, when she started a year-long GIS internship with the BLM. During her GIS internship, she worked closely with the rangeland management program and discovered her underlying passion for that realm. Hired on full-time as a Range Technician after her completing her internship, Chandler also is now working towards a masters’ degree in Rangeland Ecology and Management.

Wendy Nessl at work station

“My advice to women pursuing STEM careers is to not limit yourself to just classwork. Find extracurricular programs that will help you in your career. And don’t limit yourself to other people’s opinions of what they think you can accomplish.”

Wendy Nessl, Meteorologist, RGNext
BS Geography (Meteorology/Climatology), 2017

In her job of providing weather support for companies that launch from Cape Canaveral, Florida, Wendy Nessl has played a role in seeing that several rockets successfully launched their payloads into orbit -- including SpaceX’s Tesla sport car launch in Spring 2018.  While studying meteorology at ASU, as part of a team of undergraduates, Wendy designed the science objective for a NASA CubeSat mission to study urban heat islands using infrared satellite imagery and GIS.  She also conducted NASA-funded research in which she identified temperature variations between local climate zones.

photo of Paige and Claire Girardi

“Geography is such a vast subject that finding a focus is helpful. Interning is a great way to do this as it allows you to experience the reality of what a particular job is like.”

Claire and Paige Girardi, GIS Technicians, contractors for Apple
BS Geography, 2018

 Hired as contractors for Apple soon after completing their bachelors’ degrees, sisters Claire and Paige Girardi are helping build and grow Apple’s navigation app.  Their coursework as ASU Online students, along with an internship they set up near their small community in California’s Central Valley, provided a foundation to begin professional employment in GIS. Read more