Editor, Daily Nexus,
I would like to applaud Matt Cappiello for his lament over the dearth of geographic knowledge on campus and at large. I agree that remedial action is necessary. I was surprised, however, when he ironically neglected to mention at any point the UCSB Geography Department, even when declaring the need for geography education requirements.
It made me wonder if he, and other undergraduates, know that the Geography Department here will probably be ranked number one in the country when the next rankings are published.
Though Mr. Cappiello is correct to point out that basic geographic knowledge provides an invaluable context to history and current events; a formal geographic education involves much more than a banal inventorying of “random facts.” Academic geography mostly concerns itself with sophisticated analysis of a wide range of phenomena, including, but not limited to: most aspects of earth science, urban settlement patterns, habitat loss, land use change, wayfinding, cartographic visualization and human spatial behavior. UCSB even offers a Geography of Surfing class.
UCSB is also world famous for its teaching of and research in Geographic Information Systems — a very hot skill to have these days — as well as its cutting edge Remote Sensing — satellite imagery, etc. -facilities. Our graduates end up with not only a deeper understanding of the world around them, but great jobs as well.
So, Mr. Cappiello, please refer your tired, poorly taught and befuddled masses yearning to learn geography our way and we will take it from there, sans the Ramen.