Geographers study the natural and social processes that form our environments and interpret the changing interrelationships between environment and society. Geography courses examine the role of the natural environment in limiting and creating opportunities for people, and the role of society in reshaping the Earth habitat. The study of the natural environment itself, and the broad question of society’s relationship to nature, along with such concerns as the management of scarce resources and many environmental crises, have long been of interest to geographers.
At UBC, the Geography undergraduate program is divided into three fields: physical, human, and technical. The Department offers a wide range of courses leading to a Bachelor of Science Degree in physical geography or a Bachelor of Arts Degree in human geography. Technical courses are incorporated into both degrees.
At the graduate level, The Department of Geography at UBC is widely acknowledged as one of the leading departments in the world in terms of its research accomplishments. The scholarly interests of faculty members and graduate students encompass a wide range of subject areas, philosophical approaches, methods of analysis, and geographical locations.
Graduate work in Physical Geography at UBC has a strong natural science emphasis with a strong tradition of field-based studies. We have a spectacular mountain setting containing a very wide range of physical conditions. In comparison with other mountain areas, ours has been relatively little studied. There are therefore plenty of opportunities for new, ground-breaking studies. Our traditional strengths have been in climatology and geomorphology, but in recent years we have added additional research expertise in biogeography, hydrology, and spatial information sciences.
Graduate work in Human Geography emphasizes a pluralistic exploration of the connections between theory and circumstance in the interpretation of past and present geographies. Major areas of specialization include cultural, historical/environmental, economic, social, and feminist geography. Other inquiries focus on political and policy questions. Work in all of these fields often intersects with a more general interest in urban geography, or has links with the department’s programme in environmental geography. UBC graduate students pursue work, variously, on parts of North America, on East and Southeast Asia, on Russia, and on Eastern Europe.
The Department of Geography is located at:
1984 West Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
Phone: (604) 822-2663
Fax: (604) 822-6150