Featured Geographer

Jane Mulcahy

About Jane:

While my official career as a geographer began here at Syracuse University, it has actually been in the works since I was quite young. Whether it was my backyard in Ossining, New York, or my grandparent’s lake house in the Catskills, I had free reign over acres of property, and I took advantage of it. My parents also introduced me to beautiful and fascinating landscapes on family vacations to the American West. Places like Sedona, Arizona; Bryce and Zion Canyons; the Grand Canyon; the Grand Tetons; and Yellowstone remain to this day among my favorite places. As I grew older, my fascination with the environment around me expanded when I began to realize that I lived in a demographically unique place. My hometown of Ossining, New York, located about an hour north of New York City, has a socio-economic and ethnically diverse population. Growing up in such an environment led to my interest in race and race relations.

Jane Mulcahy climbing steps


When I got to Syracuse University, I had no idea a major in geography was even an option. As a freshman, I took an introductory human geography course and realized there was a discipline that was not only captivating, but mixed my interests in the physical and social environment as well. Every class I took and professor I interacted with since that first human geography course has only confirmed and reinforced that geography, especially at Syracuse University, was the discipline for me.

What I love about geography is the way in which it makes you think spatially, makes you think critically, and simply just makes you think about the world in which we live. Throughout my college career I was fortunate enough to travel, volunteer, and study in various parts of the world, including the Dominican Republic, France, and Australia. The spatial and critical perspective that my geography education has given me allowed me to appreciate and get the most out of my studies abroad. This was especially true with my experience in Australia, a country whose history and culture have been enormously impacted by the natural environment. While living in Sydney, Australia, I took classes about Australian culture and volunteered with an organization called Conservation Volunteers Australia in which I learned about Australian flora and fauna. The combination of the two educational activities allowed me to have a well rounded, stimulating experience. 

Jane Mulcahy and friend   mulcahy (feeding animal)

My career as a geography major at Syracuse University has helped me to land a spot in the Geography Internship Program at the National Geographic Society for the Fall of 2010. I have been placed in the National Geographic Education Programs division and will be working on projects aimed at the diffusion of geographic knowledge. I am very excited about and appreciative of this internship opportunity. While I am not sure what career path I will pursue after my internship, I am sure that at the foundation of my endeavors will be my geographic education at SU.