Department of Geography and Planning

Queen's University
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Department of

Geography and Planning


Geography and Planning

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About Graduate Geography.

Former Graduate Student Sarah de Leeuw. Text in image: "Geography gave me the support I needed. I was able to take a complex project and really run with it".

The Department of Geography and Planning at Queen’s University offers a comprehensive graduate program in Human Geography, Earth Systems Science, and Geographic Information Systems, based on innovative research and strong collaboration between faculty and graduate students. Our specialized Earth System Science labs include GIS and remote-sensing labs equipped with a wide range of the latest software and hardware, and facilities with the latest field equipment and laboratory instrumentation required for studying climatology, sedimentology and the biogeochemistry of environmental change, among other topics. In human geography, we provide strong support for fieldwork that engages topics of public interest from the community to the national or international scale. Many of our students work on questions of global significance, including development projects in Latin America or Africa, ecological change in the Arctic or the relationship between international migration and human rights. In recent years, our students have travelled to Nunavut, Japan, Great Britain, Africa, Bolivia, Guatemala, the Caribbean and other locales.

We provide a place for graduate students to learn and excel within a vibrant and supportive intellectual community.

The Department offers graduate training leading to the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy in the following areas:

1. Work, Identity, and Place

Labour geographies; labour market restructuring and regulation; international divisions of labour; labour migration; knowledge, creativity and skills; employment equity; entrepreneurship; gender divisions of labour.
Faculty: Donald, Holmes, Hovorka, Kobayashi, Mullings, McDonald.

2. Globalization, Development, Economies and Sustainability

Effects of globalization neoliberalism and the new economy; development economies and restructuring; industrial geographies; commodity chains and cultural economy; economy and governance; innovation; transnational economies; political economies of cities; global change and health; international political economy.
Faculty: Castleden, Donald, Holmes, Hovorka, Lovell, Mabee, Mullings, Rosenberg, McDonald.

3. Bodies, Health, and Health Care

The human and social body; socio/historical constructions of bodies; bodies and nature; access to health care; gender and health; emotional geographies; aging; demographic change; critical disability studies; food, nutrition, and food security; health and environment; environmental justice.
Faculty: Cameron, Castleden, Davidson, Donald, Hovorka, Rosenberg.

4. Citizenship, Identity, Justice and Governance

Immigration; race and racism; feminist geographies; citizenship participation and social justice; social movements; identity, multiculturalism, and cosmopolitanism; urban citizenship; indigenous social justice (historical and contemporary); access to services; urban governance; urban land use planning and change; housing.
Faculty: Cameron, Chen, Davidson, Godlewska, Kobayashi, Mullings, Rosenberg, McDonald.

5. Postcolonialism, Indigenous Peoples and Place

Historical and contemporary: practices of representation; indigenous places; literary geographies; colonial and postcolonial discourses; emotional geographies of place; cultural politics of race, class, and gender; geographies of nature and science.
Faculty: Cameron, Castleden, Godlewska, Kobayashi, Lovell, Mullings, Rosenberg.

6. Earth System Science

The broad emphasis in the field of Earth System Science is on developing an integrative understanding of the Earth as a physical system of interrelated phenomena. The focus is on the interaction and linkages between the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere and on physical, chemical, and biological processes operating at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Measurement, integration, and modelling of earth system elements to understand these linkages are key foci of research and graduate training activities. Field measurements and sample collection are matched with laboratory and data analysis, and modelling.

The overlapping foci of faculty research fall into two broad themes: Forest Ecosystems and Cold Regions. The former emphasises the primary biophysical and physiological processes of forest systems (especially boreal), exchange of energy, water, and trace gases, and local and regional integration with remote sensing and modelling approaches. The latter focus operates across diverse polar and alpine environments, with emphasis on hydrological, marine, geomorphic and biogeochemical processes and sedimentary systems.
Faculty: Chen, Danby, Gilbert, Lafrenière, Lamoureux, Mabee, McCaughey, Scott, Treitz.

7. Geographic Information Science

Faculty examine the theoretical, technical and applied aspects of cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing and image processing, and modeling of human and natural systems.

Specific research interests include: contemporary and historical cartography; land cover/use change detection and analysis; disease modeling; mapping/modeling human impacts on the environment; social, economical, and environmental interaction; biophysical remote sensing; image processing; resource/location optimization; geo-visualization; environmental exposure analysis; accuracy and error modeling.
Faculty: Chen, Danby, Godlewska, Scott, Treitz.