Geography and the Environment

If you are seeking a holistic view of your world that joins theory to hands-on experience, questions inequities, and pursues solutions to the environmental and social problems of our times, come into the vibrant home of Geography and the Environment. - Susan Smythe, Faculty Member.

Why Study Geography?

Geography examines peoples' relationships with their environments, with attention to both physical and human landscapes. As an interdisciplinary subject, geography has the ability to span a great deal of topics and fields of inquiry, bringing much needed fresh and relevant perspectives to the table. This makes both human and physical geographers particularly equipped to respond to contemporary concerns and challenges facing people, communities, ecosystems, habitats, countries, and regions around the world. 

Our geographers are passionate about helping you learn about the world, offering hands-on travel and fieldwork opportunities and preparing you for a range of career and study options. Likewise, our Lab Technicians in our dedicated Geography Open Labs on each of our campuses are here to ensure your academic success.

Human geographers

Human geographers examine both human-built landscapes and natural environments around the world. Human geography is the study of how humans shape the world while simultaneously being shaped by the geographies they inhabit. Space, place, scale, and the environment are important elements of geographic inquiry and help frame questions about spatial patterns and processes from the local to the global, and everywhere in between. Human geography courses at Douglas College look at a range of issues such as:

  • food security
  • livable cities
  • immigration
  • multiculturalism 
  • personal and group identity
  • media representations
  • waste management
  • climate change
  • population dynamics
  • globalization
  • resource management
  • poverty
  • habitat destruction
  • biodiversity
  • tourism and recreation
  • cultural landscapes
  • economic patterns
  • and more


Physical geographers

Physical geographers study geological, hydrological, biological, and atmospheric phenomena, and how they all interact with each other and in the formation of the earth’s surface. Physical geography studies the patterns and process of these natural phenomena, but also examines how they are impacted by human activities and/or vice versa. This subdiscipline uses hands-on skills, problem-solving, and cutting-edge data analysis to answer important questions about the earth’s natural systems and contemporary environmental challenges. Physical geography courses at Douglas College cover topics such as:

  • landscape formation
  • natural hazards
  • topographic maps
  • weather and climate
  • coastal & ocean environments     
  • natural hazards
  • rocks and minerals
  • hydrology
  • biogeography
  • geomorphology
  • urban heat island effects
  • climate change
  • digital mapping
  • statistical analysis
  • coastal & ocean environments
  • landscape modeling
  • glaciation
  • and more


Want More Information?

For information about admission requirements, courses, intake dates, and more, visit the Program and Course Calendar
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