Become a leader in a field experiencing explosive growth with applications across industries using advanced technology to assemble, integrate, analyze and present spatial information in a digital format.
The Department of Geography will customize your education with high-impact experiential learning and extracurricular activities to develop the skills that employers demand. We will introduce you to new professional networks in the industries and organizations that interest you the most.
Employers often cite the skills profile of applicants as the most important factor in their recruitment and job offer decisions.
Review data in detail, observe patterns, perform advanced calculations and draw logical conclusions; compile, analyze, and report data. Graduate students have the opportunity to participate in independent projects, or work with interdisciplinary scholars on projects, for example:
Understand how data collection and analysis skills are critical for success through networking opportunities with alumni. For example:
Use logic and reasoning to solve complex problems by identifying the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems. Showcase your ability to design, manage, operate and report on topics typically required for professional employment, highlighting your competence across several areas for your Competency Portfolio/Research Project .
Examples of recent competency portfolios and research projects include:
GIS students have access to the Geographic Information and Analysis Laboratory (GIAL), a multipurpose computing facility shared by the Department of Geography and the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA). This laboratory supports the teaching and research needs of student and faculty with site licenses of various GIS, remote sensing and modeling software packages. There are also a limited number of computers with environmental software for natural resources management and conservation, assessment of processes in earth systems, landscape ecology, soils, geomorphology, and hydrology.
Below are a few examples of UB GIS alumni who regularly apply technology and database management skills in their work:
Work independently or with faculty members on major research projects, helping them identify issues and produce groundbreaking and publication worthy scholarly and applied research. Below are a few examples of faculty research projects and engagement opportunities:
Rise to the challenge by gaining experience and leadership skills in some of the hundreds of University at Buffalo extracurricular and governance organizations, civic groups and volunteer activities.
Prove your abilities and make powerful industry connections through leadership positions in regional and national professional organizations. GIS graduate students are active in the following university and professional organizations:
Participate in UB's REALM Program (Real Experience and Leadership Mentoring), a full-day career shadowing experience for students who are interested in learning about leadership in the context of a professional setting. Students shadow a professional in their chosen field for a day and learn what skills have made them successful, followed by a networking reception.
Gain insight into the demands and expectations of employers through credit-bearing and, in some cases, paid internships. Students displaying knowledge, professionalism and a solid work ethic are oftentimes offered full-time positions.
Below are just a few of the organizations that have sought GIS student interns and graduates:
Enhance your ability to author effective critical communication pieces through required class projects, research papers, poster presentations and articles submitted for review and publication by professional organizations. Practice professional presentation skills in seminar classes before you take the stage at regional and national conferences. Learn to communicate project objectives or outcomes and the results of spatial or statistical analyses to executives, non-technical staff and the public.
Connect with peers, faculty members, alumni and potential employers through the Department of Geography’s active Facebook page.
Showcase your research, fieldwork, projects and internships at department-sponsored activities such as:
Attend professional conferences like the NYS Geospatial Summit at low student rates ($35) and engage with regional and national professionals and scholars.
The department provides partial financial support for graduate students to attend national conferences in which they present papers. Typically, about 20 students per year are supported to attend the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Geographers. Moreover, graduate students in GIS are encouraged to publish their research results in peer-reviewed journals. Some recent examples include the following (all first-authored by GIS graduate students):
Acquire the knowledge and skills to initiate, plan, execute, control and close the work of a team to achieve specific goals and meet specific success criteria at the specified time. Negotiate reasonable and achievable deadlines and milestones across teams and stakeholders. In short, deliver projects that meet the organization’s goals on time and on budget.
Below are examples of UB GIS alumni who use their project management skills on a daily basis in their work:
Expand your world view and prepare to work in our interconnected global systems. Students often participate in international field schools and study abroad experiences to further their understanding of how GIS is applied in different contexts.
In addition, national and international scholars are invited to campus through the interdisciplinary Colloquium Series to present and interact one-on-one with to students to expose them to a multitude of world views.
Recent guest scholars include:
Collaborate with classmates on applied group projects, research papers, academic competitions, in student organizations and volunteer opportunities in the community.
You can help create a sustainable world while gaining valuable hands-on experience and applying teamwork skills by assisting faculty members with interdisciplinary research projects like these:
* Computer Analyst
* Environmental Scientist
* GIS Specialist
* Business Analyst
* Research Analyst
* Transportation Planner
* Image Analyst
* Project Manager
* Triangulation Tech
* Data Scientist
In addition to those mentioned in the examples above, here are a few more GIS alumni who are making a difference in their profession and their communities. They're looking forward to helping you expand your professional network.