The Department offers graduate training leading to the degrees of Master of Arts, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy in the following areas (specific research opportunities by faculty member are available for review on the Research Opportunities in Geography and Planning page):
The broad emphasis in the field of Human Geography is on exploring the evolution of a multitude of human
systems. The focus is on the interactions and linkages between systems that operate at different scales, ranging from local (work, place, bodies, gender, health and healthcare, urban areas) and increasing through regional and national scales (citizenship, justice, governance, post-colonialism, indigenous peoples) to global systems (globalization, development, economies, sustainability). Unifying themes include identity and place.
Physical Geography (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 throughout the environment - the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, and biosphere - and on physical, chemical, and biological processes operating at a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Areas of faculty interest include forest systems, cold regions, energy production, and planning around resource use. 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.
Geographic Information Science
The broad emphasis of research in GIS encompasses the theoretical, technical and applied aspects of cartography, geographic information systems, remote sensing and image processing, and modeling of human and natural systems. Specific areas of research focus relate GIS to aspects of human geography (disease modeling, mapping of human impacts on the environment, resource optimization, contemporary and historical cartography), physical geography (biophysical remote sensing, image processing, geo-visualization), and urban and regional planning (land use planning, cartography, social engagement).
Urban and Regional Planning
The broad emphasis in the area of Urban and Regional Planning is on the planning and development of cities and regions, and the relation between development and public policy concerns. Research in urban and regional planning seeks to integrate the latest knowledge related to environment and society with real-world planning challenges. Areas of focus include health and social planning, environmental services, and land use and real estate planning.