Welcome to the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Grain Elevator

Geography is the study of place and how humans interact with our natural environment. It is both a social science and a natural science and includes aspects of human settlement, population, economy, topography, climate, vegetation, and water. Simply put, geography seeks to answer three basic questions: (i) Where things are; (ii) Why they are there; and (iii) How these things interact with other things.  You can insert just about anything you want for a thing.

Arguably, Geography is humanity's oldest academic pursuit.  The earliest of civilizations needed to share information on the sources of food and danger.  They derived knowledge from this information that enabled them to predict where new food sources could be found while minimizing danger risks.

Abandoned Farmhouse

At the core of Geography is the interpretation and explanation of spatial similarities and differences in cultural and biophysical phenomena.  Geographers study how these phenomena shape, and are shaped by, human societies in different communities, regions, nation-states, and the world. While physical geography focuses on the spatial variations in biophysical phenomena, human geography provides an understanding of the cultural communities in which people live.  Environmental geography exists at the intersection between human and physical systems and seeks to understand how humans affect their natural environments and how these environments affect human activity.  All geographic pursuits are supported by a rich set of data visualization and analysis tools - from cartography to satellite imaging - called geomatics.

Santiago Chile

Students who major in Geography frequently go on to related careers in government or private corporations in such areas as environmental and land use planning, parks and recreation, resource management, water use, and meteorology. In addition, skills acquired in the geography major, such as expertise in geographic information systems, statistical analysis, cartography, and remote sensing are in demand with such organizations.

The Geography Department offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Geographic Information Science programs through the Faculty of Arts, as well as a Bachelor of Science through the Faculty of Science.  At the graduate level, we also offer the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy.

Geography Weather Station