Geography

Anti-Racism: A Statement

To witness the pressure of a white policeman’s knee on George Floyd’s neck against the ground of 38th Street and Chicago Avenue in south Minneapolis for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, killing him on the spot, comes with the responsibility of denunciation. The Geography Department at Gustavus Adolphus College condemns all acts of anti-Black violence and racism, state-sanctioned or otherwise. We stand in solidarity, in turn, with all those who took the streets of Minneapolis to demand justice for Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tamir Rice, Atatiana Jefferson, Philando Castile, and the long list of Black lives killed as if their lives did not matter. The cry and demand for justice is heard across North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, Africa, and Asia, bringing to light the global geographies of the Black diaspora and white supremacy. We support those global struggles too.

The violent geographies of anti-Blackness – the structures that support it, the representations that reproduce it, the silences that sustain it – must be studied, revealed, and understood if our goal is to eradicate white supremacy. The Geography Department commits to building up a racial justice education that entails curricular revision to ensure our courses address the structures that give life to anti-Blackness and resistances to it. In addition, the Geography Department is committed to providing an inclusive and anti-racist educational experience. We reject all acts of discrimination, exclusion, and elimination against indigenous, Black, Latinx, diasporic, feminist, and queer people and their voices. Inside and outside the classroom, the Geography Department centers the voices and perspectives of historically marginalized populations.

To that end, as a Department of students, faculty, and staff, we commit to dismantling white supremacy. Such a commitment requires un-learning past attitudes, assumptions, and behaviors. In particular, we expect white students, faculty, and staff to reflect on our conscious and unconscious behaviors, identify our racist ideas, unlearn those assumptions, and rectify our attitudes – to guarantee our Department upholds an anti-racist education and promotes racial justice. We, a community who values and centers Black and historically marginalized lives, are the Geography Department at Gustavus Adolphus College.


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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.

What can you do with a degree in geography?
A Gustavus Geography degree can take you many places. Our graduates enjoy satisfying, rewarding vocations in environmental sustainability, geospatial analysis, urban and regional planning, international and community development, environmental law and policy, and teaching and research.

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, East Africa, 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.