Physical geography emphasizes the study of surficial processes in the fields of geomorphology, biogeography, and hydrology.
Human geography includes cultural, historical, economic, urban, and political geography. One prominent theme is interpretation of places, and the cultural, economic, historical, political, and social factors determining the character and development of places.
Geographical Information Science is linked to the other themes. Research is focused on applications of GIS, remote sensing, and related technologies to problems in urban and transportation modeling, landscape ecology, geomorphology, hydrology, and environmental change.
Geography education investigates how geography is taught and learned. Topics include spatial learning, effective use of information technology, assessment, and institutional factors in geography education.
Over the past three years the department has aligned its research and teaching efforts to emphasize Human-Environment Interactions. We have worked to emphasize study of spatially variable change in natural systems – most especially change engendered by human activities such as globalization – as well as actual or advisable adaptive responses and interactions of human societies to these transformations.