Geography

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geographic education draws on both natural and social sciences to understand the Earth’s environments and how humans respond to and transform the world around them.

Our faculty and students work to address some of the most important challenges of our time including sustainable land use, resource equity, migration, globalization, climate change, urbanization, and environmental justice.

Program Features

  • Environmental Sustainability   It is possible for society to live in harmony with the environment, yet we see grave challenges to this harmony all around. Understanding the relationship between humans and the environment--including the built environment--is at the heart of geography.   
  • Justice  The world's resources and wealth are not evenly distributed. Geographers want to know why. Because we are committed to justice, our studies aim to increase knowledge but also to transform the world--including ourselves.
  • Global and Local Connections  Geographers are curious about the world's places and people and the connections among them. Our faculty conduct research in the Caribbean, Ecuador, Europe, India, and the United States. We love sharing this knowledge with students, and we encourage you to study away to explore a part of the world that is new to you.
  • Field Experiences  Geographers like to learn "in the field." Your urban geography class may explore the Twin Cities metro while your global environmental change class will camp under the stars and your environment and society class will visit local farms.
  • The Geographer's Toolbox  Knowledge and skills in the natural and social sciences and in spatial thinking help geographers draw upon a wide variety of "tools" when trying to make sense of the world, solve problems, and create a more sustainable society. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to make maps and analyze spatial data is one very cool tool all our students learn.