“Why Geography” Series Presents: Luke Zaruba ’21

Posted on May 6th, 2021 by

1. Why did you choose to major in Geography?

When I came to Gustavus, I had no intention of becoming a geography major and had no idea what it could even be useful for. During my second semester, I took World Geography and instantly knew that geography was something that I was interested in and that this was the major for me. After talking with Professors Jesse McClelland and Jeff LaFrenierre about it, I declared the major within a matter of days. It was a very fast process for me, but I have loved being a part of the geography program over the past 2 years and don’t regret it at all.

2. To what extent your geography education has already transformed how you view and act on the world?

I think that the geography curriculum has impacted me greatly and has been an integral part in shaping me into who I am today. In my geography education, I have learned so much across many different topics, ranging from physical to human geography and more, and I think that this has allowed me to see how interconnected the problems that we face really are.

3. Beyond coursework, what other experiences have enriched your geography education?

I have been fortunate enough to be able to work for the department this year, which has been awesome so far! Over the past two summers, I have also been able to work on a farm, which was the source of inspiration for a research proposal I did in GEG-242, on solar energy and the land-use change of farmlands. There are so many opportunities to learn outside of the classroom when it comes to geography, which I think is one of the best parts of the major.

4. What will make the world a better place and where do you see yourself in five years?

I think that in order to make the world a better place, we have to start by simply listening to one another and caring for one another. In a time of unprecedented change, I think that this can go a long way and that we will better be able to take action against the issues that we are dealing with. I hope that I can be a part of this and within the next five years I hope that through a career in geography, specifically in GIS, that I will contribute to making the world a better place for everyone.

 

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