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Geography at Memorial

Fogo and Change Islands

Geography: putting place-names on a map? Finding your way using a map or a global positioning system? Yes, but geography today is much more than this.

Geography is a unique discipline in that it integrates the physical and social sciences. We focus on the changing interactions between people and their environments at local, national and global scales.

Geography is also a spatial discipline, so we are interested in the distribution of, and relationship between, the physical and cultural entities in our world: climate, landforms, soils, populations, agriculture and cities. Key questions that interest us include: Are we using resources sustainably? What are the impacts of environmental change (e.g. climate) on societies in different places? How should we interpret and understand the spatial distribution of economic, political and social activity? Geographers are more than map-makers (though they are that, too) – they are planners, researchers, educators and decision makers whose interests focus on some of society’s most pressing questions.

Geography has been taught at Memorial since 1946 and was raised to the status of full department in 1960. Graduate studies began in 1970 with the MA and MSc, and the PhD was added in 1992.

The Department entertains productive academic and research links with other departments such as anthropology, biology, computer sciences, earth sciences, economics, English, folklore, history, philosophy, physical oceanography, and sociology.

Our mission statement is to foster a spirit of inquiry about the geography of the world around us through our teaching and research, and to provide our students with the analytical tools needed to explore the questions that arise and the skills with which to communicate their findings.

The Department currently has 100 students in the Major program, 89 students in the Minor program, 11 students doing an honours degree, and 49 students (10 PhD and 39 Masters) in the graduate program.

To locate our department, open this file in Google Earth.

To learn more about the history of the department click here.