Geography Learning: Building a Research Agenda for Meeting Societal Needs




Gibson, Lay James
Brand, Osa
Hollier, Susan
Rutherford, David J.

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


Education and training in geography can equip college graduates to contribute to a wide range of societal needs. Geography as part of a broad liberal arts education fulfills the societal need for citizens who can contextualize their lives, jobs, and actions within broader social and philosophical frameworks. Training in applied geography meets the societal needs of ( 1) ensuring that students obtain employment after graduation, and (2) staffing positions in both public and private sectors with capable geographers who bring important geographic understanding to corporate and public decision-making processes. This paper focuses on training in applied geography for meeting societal needs, and it suggests two research paths, the first related to marketing applied geography and the second to product development of an applied geography curriculum.



geography, applied geography, education, training, liberal arts, competency model


Gibson, L.J., Brand, O., Hollier, S., & Rutherford, D.J. (2005). Geography learning: Building a research agenda for meeting societal needs. Research in Geographic Education, 7, pp. 87-99.


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