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Careers and Links of Interest

Despite a relatively tight job market, a degree in the Department of Environmental, Earth and Geospatial Sciences (DEEGS) at North Carolina Central University has a diversified set of job prospects, ranging from urban planners and environmental scientists to geophysics. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers offered through the DEEGS such as environmental scientists, environmental engineers, environmental technicians (biological or chemical). urban planners, geographers / mapping technicians (including GIS Specialists), atmospheric scientists, hydrologists, petroleum engineers and geoscientists have excellent outlooks and experience 'faster than average' average growth. Allied fields such as archaeologists, surveyors, sociologists, historians, business analysts and epidemiologists may require technical skills such as GIS offered through the DEEGS program.

A degree from the DEEGS at NCCU will not only provide students with the skills for employment in the workforce after NCCU, but the opportunity to pursue graduate studies at the Master's or Ph.D. level.

Recent DEEGS graduates are employed by the City of Durham, local environmental firms, as well national organizations such as the CIA. Other recent NCCU DEEGS grads are pursing graduate studies at NC State University, Oregon State University, the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of North Carolina - Greensboro.

Geography and GIS

Many contemporary issues in today’s every-changing world have geographic aspects. The potential for practicing geography in private enterprise and government has grown considerably in recent years with the increasing need for technical skills such as GIS, spatial analysis, remote sensing and statistical analysis. Examples of careers include:

  • Environmental Geography: Environmental geography is a branch of geography that examines the spatial aspects of interactions between humans and the natural world.
  • Land Planning: Land use planning involves the scientific, aesthetic, and orderly disposition of land, resources, facilities, and services with a view to securing the physical, economic and social efficiency, and health and well-being of urban and rural communities.
  • Geospatial Technologies: Geospatial technologies, which include Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Remote Sensing are powerful tools used to store, analyze, visualize, and present spatial information. Together with appropriate cartographic techniques and principles, geographers are using geospatial technologies to better understand the interaction of various factors across space. 
  • Economic Geography: Economic geography is based upon their diverse knowledge and skills related to location analysis. Economic geographers play a key role in a vast array of business ventures, such as helping to make decisions about where to build the next Walgreens drug store or determining the most time-efficient route for a UPS delivery driver.
  • Health Geography: Health geography is the application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease, and health care. The health of human populations reflects the complex interplay between population characteristics and the environment.

Environmental Science and Environmental Health

Examples of Careers as Environmental Science Majors include:
Air Pollution Analyst, Air Quality Inspector, Geochemist, Occupational Safety Specialist, Organic Farmer, Paleontologist, Aquatic Environmental Scientist, Geologist, Park Ranger, Aquatic Toxicologist, Geophysicist, Pollution Prevention Specialist, Radioactive Waste Engineer, Recycling Coordinator, Conservation Systems Analyst, Hazardous Waste Specialist, Seismologist, Energy Efficiency Consultant, among others. With a more advance degrees such as Master’s of Ph.D., the career options can be further specialized.

Examples of Careers as Environmental Health Majors include:
Environmental Health Specialist, Toxicologist, Industrial Hygiene Specialist, Environmental Consultant, Environmental Auditor, Hazardous Waste Manager, Public Health Specialist, Environmental Enforcement Officer, Environmental Protection Specialist, Health and Safety Officer, Environmental Education Specialist, Environmental Risk Assessor, Ecological Risk Assessor, Bioremediation Specialist, Water Treatment Manager, Wastewater Treatment Manager, Science Teacher, Chemistry Teacher, Biology Teacher, and Pharmaceutical Sales among others. With a more advance degree, the career options can be expanded into various pathways including biomedical sciences and engineering.

Job Resources in DEEGS

Jobs in Geography

USA Jobs (Federal Jobs Clearinghouse)

GIS Jobs Clearinghouse


Geography Jobs

My GIS Jobs

Employment at the EPA

Earth Works Job Listings

National Park Service Jobs

NC Dept. of Environmental and Natural Resources

NC Environmental Education Jobs and Internships

Department of Interior Job Listings

Environmental Jobs and Careers

Eco Jobs

Employment at the USGS

Jobs in Geography (from the AAG)



Sources: University of Texas, University of Colorado

GIS Data Resources

  • - Online mapping tool that allows you to save and share maps that you are creating
  • ArcReader - Free, easy-to-use mapping application that allows users to view, explore, and print maps
  • CrimeStat - Free software package that complements statistical/centrality metrics from ArcGIS 9.x statistical software package
  • Google Earth - Google Earth Software that you can download onto your own compute
  • ArcGIS Explorer - Free ArcGIS Explorer. It looks and feels like Google Earth, but you can add own data and do basic analysis
  • ESRI Support Page - Answers any question revolving around ERSI software or GIS techniques
  • ESRI Developer Network - Extent the capabilities of Desktop ArcGIS with simple tools or make your own using snippets of code

Note: GIS data come in a variety of formats and projections. While data formats (coverages, shape files, CADD files, interchange, personal geo-databases, DLG) can easily be converted from one format to the next, doing so may compromise its topology, locational or attribute data. In addition, some state agencies publish their data using a statewide projection such as state plane coordinate system. Be sure to consult the metadata or the publisher regarding the projection information and previous processing if it is not declared.

Nationwide Data Resources

DLG Data - Digital vector data derived from USGS maps and related sources. Based on the line, polygon and point work for 1:24,000 USGS quadrangles. Availability changes from quadrangle to quadrangle. DLG data are stored in SDTS (Spatial Data Transfer System). The goal of SDTS is to serve as a happy medium for storing and expressing data between dissimilar computer systems. Refer to the SDTS Web site for converting between SDTS native format and your specific GIS format.

North Carolina GIS Resources

Environmental GIS Data

  • Environmental Protection Agency - EPA -related data available in a variety of different formats, including KML (the one used for Google Earth)
  • EPA GIS Data - Environmental Protection Agency Data. Provides links to various files

Climate Data

Statewide Data Resources

  • Alabama - Geological Survey of Alabama
  • Alaska - Alaska GeoSpatial Clearinghouse
  • Arkansas - Excellent resource hosted by the University of Arkansas, including 1999 and 2000 Landsat Data
  • Connecticut - Connecticut GIS data hosted by UCONN
  • Delaware - GIS Data through the Delaware Geologic Survey
  • Florida - Florida Geographic Data Library
  • Florida - Department of Environmental Protection
  • Florida - Central Florida GIS
  • Florida - Department of Transportation
  • Florida - Southwest Florida Water Management District
  • Indiana - Hosted by Indiana University. 2005 Imagery now available
  • Iowa - Department of Transportation
  • Kansas - Kansas Geospatial Commons
  • Kentucky - Kentucky Division of Geographic Information
  • Kentucky - Kentucky Geological Survey
  • Louisiana - GIS and imagery data hosted by LSU
  • Maine - Free Maine GIS data. Excellent 1 and 2 foot color imagery recently added
  • Maryland - Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Michigan - Michigan Center for Geographic Information
  • Minnesota - Department of Natural Resources
  • Mississippi - Mississippi Automated Resource Information System
  • Missouri - Missouri Spatial Data Information Service
  • Nevada - Landsat Image Archive
  • New Hampshire - Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System (NH GRANIT)
  • New Jersey - NJ Geographic Information Network
  • Oklahoma - Oklahoma University
  • Oregon - Map and Aerial Photography collection through the University of Oregon
  • Oregon - Hosted by Oregon State University
  • Pennsylvania - Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
  • Pennsylvania - Pennsylvania Spatial Data Access
  • Rhode Island - Rhode Island Geographic Information System
  • South Carolina - Through Department of Natural Resources
  • South Carolina - University of South Carolina
  • South Dakota - South Dakota Geologic Survey Program
  • Tennessee - Tennessee Spatial Data Server
  • Utah - Limited data access through Utah State University
  • Vermont - Free GIS Data
  • Washington - Washington State Geospatial Data Archive
  • Washington - Department of Ecology data sets
  • West Virginia - Hosted by West Virginia University
  • Wyoming - Wyoming Geographic Information Science Center.

Regional Data Sets

  • Bay Area - GIS Data provided by Metropolitan Transportation Commission
  • Great Basin - Data from Nevada, California, Arizona, Utah, Oregon, Idaho and Wyoming

GIS Data Documentation

  • STDS Documentation - DLG (Digital Line Graph) is the preferred format used the by USGS to express and store the features on its 1:24,000 USGS scanned DRG (Digital Raster Graphic) quadrangles

Metadata Resources

Metadata Documentation

GIS Metadata Software

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