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Geography Program


All fields of geography (from physical to human to geographic techniques, including geospatial studies and analysis) have been experiencing remarkable renaissance and growth that has accelerated during the last several years. Additionally, there is a growing need for professionals in environmental and urban studies to analyze and solve the spatially related problems that confront us. Geospatial studies and technologies consistently rank among the top ten growth industries of this century (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Modern geographers around our nation and our world are helping to solve problems ranging from natural resource distribution and use to urban planning, and from identifying and preparing for natural hazards, to analysis of human population and migration patterns.

Our range of geography courses at SMC provides excellent opportunities for students to build geographic knowledge and skills that can be used in many different fields and disciplines.  They also lead our students into geography and related programs at the top universities, including numerous leading California universities.


At this time, the Geography Program offers an AA-T Degree in Geography​. More information can be found here​. We are in the process of establishing a Geospatial Technology Certificate.

CAREER OPTIONS (This list is not comprehensive)

Cartographer        GIS Specialist                       Remote Sensing Specialist       Climatologist
Demographer        Environmental Manager        Teacher/College Professor
Census Planner      Resource Specialist              Weather Forecaster
Urban Planner        Forestry  Technologist          Coastal Zone Specialist 


Vicki Drake      310-434-8652
Jing Liu           310-434-4707
Pete Morris       310-434-8654

Alula Abate   
Mark Drayse  
Joan Hackeling
Jack Kranz     
George Leddy
Jeremy Patrich​
Ilya Neyman   
Rob Sullivan   


Upon completion of a Geography course: 

1. Students will be able to identify spatial patterns and interrelationships between systems and cycles that affect life and shape landscapes.

2. Students will demonstrate cartographic literacy, including map interpretation.

3. Students, using spatial analysis skills, will be able to analyze, recognize and evaluate spatial distributions on all scales from local to global to become better global citizens.

COURSES OFFERED IN GEOGRAPHY: All classes (EXCEPT GIS and Solar Photovoltaic classes) meet IGETC and GE transfer requirements.  Courses are not sequential; there are no prerequisites.

Geography 1: Introduction to Natural Environment
Geography 2: Introduction to Human Geography
Geography 3: Weather and Climate
Geography 5: Physical Geography with a Lab
Geography 7: Introduction to Environmental Studies
Geography 8: Introduction to Urban Studies
Geography 10: Living in a Hazardous Environment
Geography 11: World Geography
Geography 14: Geography of California
Geography 20: Introduction to GIS
Geography 23: Intermediate GIS
Geography 24: Geospatial Imagery: Maps for the 21st Century
Geography 35(S)/(F): Field Studies in Geography