Department of Geography and the Environment


The Department of Geography and the Environment is renowned for the quality and diversity of its collaborative research and curricula. We invite you to explore the disciplinary spectrum through our research clusters, initiatives, and spotlights.

Research Clusters

Research Initiatives

The Food and Farming research initiative integrates components of the Department's three major research clusters to examine food and related materials in a geographic context.

Research Spotlights (more coming soon)

Research Spotlights highlight the ongoing research of faculty and graduate students.

Research Initiatives

Food and Farming

Eugenio Arima, William E. Doolittle, Gregory W. Knapp, and Rebecca M. Torres

Food and Farming research initiative integrates components of the Department's  three major research clusters to examine tactics and strategies of the production, distribution, preparation, and utilization of food and other useful plants and animals at a variety of scales from local to regional and global.  Faculty and student research projects have included the dynamics of agricultural and other land use in the Amazon basin, irrigation features and practices in the Southwest, Mexico, and the Andes, nontraditional export agriculture (including soybeans, quinoa and flowers), cattle ranching, the impact of roads, tourism and migration on agriculture, gendered spaces of food preparation, kitchen gardens, the persistence of smallholder farming, impact of traditional plant use on the environment, and the impact of climate change on agriculture.

Research Spotlights

Professor Gregory Knapp

Floriculture and Discourses of Tradition, Modernization and Sustainability in Ecuador

Mountain Agriculture has been transformed in the Andes and elsewhere by the development of nontraditional exports, taking advantage of unique environmental characteristics.  This research project studies the particular case of greenhouse floriculture in Ecuador, its social and environmental impacts and vulnerabilities, and its relationship with indigenous smallholders.  Recent project publications include refereed journal articles in the Annals of the Association of American Geographers, and the Journal of Latin American Geography.

Knapp with UT graduate student Heather Rule, in a rose breeding facility, 2017.