Department of Geography and the Environment

About the Department of Geography and the Environment

Since 1949 the Department of Geography and the Environment has provided multiple perspectives and tools to understand the relationships between people and their environments, analyze diverse cultural landscapes, and solve problems related to local and global change. The Department currently has 15 full-time faculty, many affiliated faculty, research fellows, and lecturers, over 350 undergraduate majors in Geography and Urban Studies, and 28 active graduate students. From our beginning, we have supported regional and international studies, with special emphasis upon Texas and the Southwest, Latin America, the Mediterranean World and Middle East, and Northern and Eastern Europe. Current topical areas include Environmental Changes and Surface Processes; Space, Place, and Social Worlds; and Digital Landscapes.

The Department's faculty has had an outstanding record of research and publication; indeed, a recent survey in The Professional Geographer found the faculty's book publication productivity to be the highest of any geography department in the nation. The faculty has made contributions to fundamental research through scholarship and policy work, and includes a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

The Department offers one of the nation's top undergraduate Geography programs (Rugg's Recommendations on the Colleges, 2008), and has been number one in attracting high school students who pass the College Board Advanced Placement Test in Geography (AAG Newsletter, January 2005). The Department has been ranked among the top fifteen graduate Geography programs in faculty quality (National Research Council, 1995), and tied for first place as having the best Cultural Geography program in North America (The Professional Geographer, 2003). The Department has about two thousand alumni who have pursued diverse careers in law, business, medicine, government, education, and journalism. Over 90 doctoral alumni and 220 master's alumni have included a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a president of the Association of American Geographers.

Paralleling and expanding those of the University, the Department of Geography and the Environment has its own Mission, Core Purpose, and Core Values.

Mission

The mission of the Department of Geography and the Environment is to provide the highest levels of geographic teaching, learning, and mentoring while engaging in cutting-edge research, and applying this knowledge at scales ranging from local to global.

Core Purpose

To explore and understand bio-physical and social environments, and their interactions and transformations, thereby contributing to a more just and sustainable world.

Core Values

Exploration – An international vision

Inquiry – Field work is a fundamental activity

Critical Thought – An attitude that everything is subject to questioning

Respect – Foster equality, fairness, ethics, principles, appreciation

Collaboration – Ideas must be developed in a community of scholars

Motivation – Intellectual curiosity is paramount

 


  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street, A3100
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712
    512-471-5116