Human Geography covers a wide set of sub-disciplines that share in common the study of the human use and experience of the world. It covers such broad territory as the relations between nature and society, place and human identity, and the spatial basis of economies and societies. Geography is a long-established discipline and has existed at least since classical Greek reflections on the relations between human beings and their physical environment. It has steadily evolved through the centuries and continues to do so. Human Geographers make contributions to the private and public sectors in such professional fields as education, physical and social planning, urban development, environmental and resource fields, industrial location, economic development, tourism, regional specialties, cartography and geographical information science.
The Human Geography program proceeds from a broad base in the first two years of BA studies when five courses (15 credits) are required. More focussed options are available in the 3rd and 4th years. In addition to systematic concentration on Cultures and Places, Cities and Globalization, Nature and Society, and Research and Methods, regional courses synthesising these concentrations cover Canada, East and Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Latin America. Recent field courses have been undertaken in Japan and the Kananaskis field site in Alberta. Further advice about options is available from the Geography Advising Office (Geography Building, room 218).
The Human Geography program includes four major teaching concentrations. Students are expected to select at least two courses from each concentration and four courses from the Research and Methods concentration.
Cultures and Places: the courses in this cluster cover cultural, historical and regional geography, ranging from the historical geography of BC, to the regional geographies of Asia, Europe and Latin America, to feminist geography and film and the city.
Cities and Globalization: these courses cover urban geography and economic geography, emphasising contemporary forces of globalization. They include economic, historical, political and social perspectives on urban life and land use, and also geographies of manufacturing, the resource sector and economic development.
Nature and Society: the emphasis here is on human use and perception of the environment. Courses include the study of natural hazards, environmental impact assessment, environmental change and sustainability, and more specialized fields such as water management and Arctic environments.
Research and Methods: these courses teach geographical skills and research methods, including interviewing, archival work, cartography, remote sensing, Geographical Information Science, statistics and the analysis of data bases such as the census. Smaller seminar and research classes offer hands-on applications.
More information on Geography majors and honours requirements and individual courses within each of the 4 concentrations are available here.