Message From the Head


The Department of Geography at UBC has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most productive and influential departments in the field, worldwide, with a reach extending far into the environmental, physical, and social sciences. Having served as Head for the past 3 years I can attest to the excellent work being done in the department. This is part of the reason I have agreed to an extension of my term to continue facilitating initiatives, supporting research and championing the interests of the department. The past year has seen an impressive record from the department and we look forward to an exciting year of new hires, innovative teaching and outstanding research.

While preparing for a departmental profile, these significant achievements came to light: since 2009, geography faculty have won a total of 47 awards, the majority from national and international organizations. Since 2009, geographers at UBC have produced 16 books, 27 edited books, 501 journal articles, and 207 book chapters. Taking into account awards received from all sources since 2009 reveals an average annual income of $2.539 million. Since 2009, joint investments from the Faculty of Arts, the Department and more than $4 million CFI awards, have enabled the establishment of 10 state-of-the-art laboratories.

The Department is very excited about three new hires this year, two of whom are indigenous geographers: (1) Sarah Hunt has been appointed as Assistant Professor of First Nations Studies and Geography effective July 1, 2015.  Her appointment is 75% in First Nations Studies and 25% in Geography where she will teach and do research in indigenous geographies; (2) Michelle Daigle will join us as Postdoctoral Research Fellow (Oct. 1, 2015-June 30, 2017) transitioning into Assistant Professor in Geography effective July 1, 2017. Her research is on Food sovereignty in resurgent indigenous landscapes; and (3) Jessica Dempsey joins us as Assistant Professor starting January 2016. Jessica is a UBC Geography alumna (MA 2005, PhD 2011) with a research and teaching focus on environmental politics of all shapes and sizes.

Since 2009, the Department has been particularly active in curriculum renewal and development initiatives including the Learning Outcomes project, the Flexible Learning Project for the development and implementation of curricular innovations, a Teaching Learning Enrichment Fund project to integrate a new system of Educational and Career Outcomes (including E-portfolios) into a range of Arts courses; an interactive digital landscape modelling system to simulate field-based learning in the classroom and more.

The Department strives to grow and improve and would very much value your support and feedback. Please stay connected via our website or social media. You have shaped our past and we hope you will be involved in working for our future.

Professor Marwan Hassan