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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)

Careers in Geography (University of Washington)

Where Geography Can Take You (University of Oklahoma)

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.

ArcExplorer -A free, lightweight GIS data viewer with limited functionality to view and query geographic data.

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. Updated as of 10/14/2010.

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.

National Atlas - Interesting geological, climatic, environmental and other data at a relatively low scale.

TIGER 2000 Data - Free GIS data organized by state produced by the U.S. Census Bureau in shape file format. Contains a lot of census data and low scale utility and infrastructure data.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Fish and Wildlife GIS Data

North Carolina GIS Resources

North Carolina One Map - Excellent resources for North Carolina GIS data and software resources. Directed by the NCGICC.

North Carolina Arc Users Group - Working group dedicated towards sharing information about ESRI software and data.

Winston-Salem GIS Data - GIS Data for the city of Winston-Salem

Department of Transportation - NC GIS data provided by Department of Transportation. Include contours.

Flood Maps - Flood maps and applicable GIS data for flood assessment.

North Carolina Center for Health Statistics - Great tabular data that we can use to create excellent GIS data.

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

Climate Prediction Center - Data in text format that could be easily converted to GIS format. Really good data, updated daily.

Climate Predication Center GIS Data - Data in .zip format.

National Climatic Data Center - Has archival data

Statewide Data Resources

Alabama - Geological Survey of Alabama.

Alaska - Alaska GeoSpatial Clearinghouse.

Arizona - Arizona GeoData Portal

Arizona - Arizona Regional Image Archive.

Arkansas - Excellent resource hosted by the University of Arkansas, including 1999 and 2000 Landsat Data.

Colorado - Hosted by Colorado Department of Transportation.

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.

Georgia - Georgia GIS Clearinghouse.

Idaho - GIS data repository hosted by the University of Idaho. Some of these files come in interchange (.e00) format. ArcGIS and ArcView have utilities to convert these data into shape files or other GIS data format. Most data are in IDTM (Idaho Transverse Mercator) projection.

Illinois - Illinois Natural Resources Geospatial Data Clearinghouse.

Indiana - Digital Atlas for Central Indiana.

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.

Montana - Montana Natural Resource GIS Data Bundler

Nebraska - School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska, Lincoln.

Nevada - Virtual Clearinghouse.

Nevada - Landsat Image Archive.

New Hampshire - Geographically Referenced Analysis and Information Transfer System (NH GRANIT)

New Jersey - NJ Geographic Information Network.

New Mexico - Some data may not be available, but a lot of imagery. Need special locator map to reference some imagery quads.

New York - Excellent 6 inch ortho-imagery now available.

North Dakota - Imagery and other data are available.

Ohio - Downloadable data by county

Oklahoma - Oklahoma Center for Geospatial Information.

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.

Texas - Texas Natural Resource Information System.

Utah - Limited data access through Utah State University.

Utah - Automated Geographic Reference Center (AGRC).

Utah - Utah Coalition for Geographic Information Systems Education.

Virginia - Fisher Library at the University of Virginia has an exhaustive GIS data warehouse. The Virginia Gazetteer has many GIS data layers and imagery. DRG and DOQQ imagery also provided for the entire state of Virginia.

Vermont - Free GIS Data.

Washington - University of Washington Geomorphologic Research Group.

Washington - Washington State Geospatial Data Archive.

Washington - Department of Ecology data sets.

West Virginia - Hosted by West Virginia University.

Wisconsin - Land Information and Computer Graphics Facility.

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.

Great Lakes - Great Lakes regional GIS data sets.

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.

TIGER Data Documentation - TIGER data documentation and coding schemes.

Metadata Resources

FGDC GIS Metadata Standards - Federal Geographic Data Committee GIS Metadata Standards

ISO Standards - International Standards Organization GIS Metadata Standards

JISC Standards - Joint Information Systems Committee

Metadata Documentation

Dublin Core - Popular Metadata Standards for Software Applications and other Electronic Resources

Library of Congress - LOC Core Metadata Elements

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions - IFLA Digital Libraries and Metadata Content Standards

GIS Metadata Software

CorpsMet- Metadata Editor Created by the Army Corps of Engineers

ISO Metadata Editor - Contains extensions for Remotely Sensed data.

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