Geography literally means "the writing of the earth." In Calvin's geography department, we investigate physical and cultural landscapes and the interactions between them.


In Calvin's geography major, you will investigate physical and cultural landscapes and learn how to view them within the context of a Christian worldview.

You will also:

  • work alongside a faculty member through a summer research fellowship
  • choose from a variety of interim courses, such as "The Geography of Terrorism"
  • learn mapping and analysis in our geo-spatial laboratory

Careers in Geography

  • Government Geography Information System Experts
  • Cartographers
  • Economic Geographers
  • Transportation Experts
  • International Development Workers
  • More

See job placement rates for Calvin grads.

Student involvement

Spend a summer gaining research experience in your field; join the ESC (Environmental Stewardship Coalition); Travel to West Virginia on spring break to petition against mountaintop removal.


Dollar amounts reflect awards given for the 2014-15 academic year.

Debra Deur Scholarship
  • award amount: $4,000
  • sophomore, junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is required; biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, chemistry, geology, environmental science or physics major
  • search and apply here
Hazel Holtrop Natural Resources Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,000
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 2.50+
  • financial need is considered; have an interest in a natural resource career such as forestry, wildlife biology, fisheries biology, hydrology, soil science, outdoor recreation, etc; have an interest in outdoor activities
  • search and apply here
John and Lillian Van Oosten Scholarship
  • award amount: $2,500
  • junior or senior
  • GPA of 3.00+
  • financial need is considered; biology, biotechnology, biochemistry, chemistry, physics, geology, geography, or environmental science major
  • search and apply here
View all scholarship opportunities


Henk Aay

Henk Aay
Professor Emeritus
Department of Geology, Geography & Environmental Studies
NH 058
(616) 526-7033

Johnathan Bascom

Johnathan Bascom
Professor, department chair
department chair
NH 085
(616) 526-7053

Mark Bjelland

Mark Bjelland
(616) 526-6648

James Skillen

James Skillen
Assistant Professor
NH B77
(616) 526-7546

Deanna van Dijk

Deanna van Dijk
NH 079
(616) 526-6510

Jason VanHorn

Jason VanHorn
Associate Professor
NH 075
(616) 526-7623

Talk to us

Ralph Stearley Ralph Stearley
Program Director
NH 071
(616) 526-6370


Connect with your counselor via email, phone, or in person. They'd love to hear from you and answer your questions!

Or, ask us your questions on Facebook.

In the fall and spring our counselors travel throughout the world to meet with students—see if they'll be in your area!

Teach This

Interested in teaching? You can gain certification in Geography as a:

Calvin's teacher education program also contains education-specific course requirements that you must complete prior to certification. See course requirements for:

Professor Robert Keeley talks about the education program.

Learn More

Explore Calvin's teacher education program.

Contact Deanna van Dijk, Ken Bergwerff, for more information about teacher certification in Earth/space Science

Contact Ken Bergwerff for more information about teacher certification in Geography

Contact Robert Schoone-Jongen for more information about teacher certification in Social Studies

Read the teacher education guidebook for more detailed information about certification.

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