Welcome to USF Geography
Geography is a diverse and intellectually vibrant academic division of the Department committed to excellence in geographic research and scholarship, as well as student success at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The primary mission of the Geography Division is to enhance the reputation of the University, College, and Department by providing a forum for high-quality teaching and research. We aim to produce outstanding undergraduates and graduates in our programs, to engage them in critical thinking and practical problem-solving, to enhance the reputation of the University through innovative and meaningful research, and to serve the region and local community.
The following degree programs are available:
- The B.A. in Geography offers a broad education in human and environmental geography, which, combined with undergraduate research and practical knowledge, provides the necessary experience for a range of academic pursuits and employment opportunities.
- The M.A. in Geography provides the theoretical foundation and methodological expertise necessary to conduct publishable-quality geographic research, as well as hands-on experience for real-world professional opportunities.
- The Graduate Certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) serves managers and administrators in the public and private sectors, technical professionals, decision-makers, or others involved in the planning, implementation, and use of GIS.
- The Ph.D. program in Geography and Environmental Science & Policy (Geography track) is designed for advanced graduate students specializing in geographic research at the cutting edge of the discipline.
We investigate all aspects of geography, but our research and teaching focus on three themes:
Human geography studies the construction of space, place, and power. It encompasses the study of economic geographies (e.g., globalization and development), political geographies (e.g., geopolitical struggles and new social movements), and social and cultural geographies (e.g., identities and exclusions). Human geography is key to providing insights into contemporary spatial arrangements, including the role of cities within the global economy, locating urban-rural intersections in the production of uneven development, and how class, gender, and race shape struggles for social justice.
Environmental geography links the study of nature and society and considers the ways in which conventional divisions between human and non-human (natural) worlds are bridged through the production of socio-natures. This understanding is crucial to explaining and ameliorating contemporary environmental problems, including the privatization of natural resources, inequalities in access to food and water, injustices associated with environmental hazards and undesirable land uses, and the role of human activities in spurring large-scale environmental change.
Geographic Information Science and Spatial Analysis
GIScience and Spatial Analysis concentrates on the use of advanced geospatial technologies, and the development and use of spatial analysis methodologies, to applied research problems in human and environmental geography. A thorough understanding of such geospatial technologies as Remote Sensing, GIS, and GPS, as well as modern methods of spatial statistical analysis, and emerging spatial analytical techniques such as agent-based modeling, is a critical aspect of developing appropriate approaches to the analysis of geographic data.
Geography faculty and students conduct research on a wide range of issues and problems in local and international contexts, including urban and environmental geographies of Tampa Bay, remote sensing of natural and social environments, spatial and environmental justice in the U.S., and rural development in India. Our recent research activities have been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Fulbright Research Award, and American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS). Recent faculty publications have appeared in top-tier academic journals such as Annals of the Association of American Geographers, The Professional Geographer, American Journal of Public Health, Health and Place, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, International Journal of Remote Sensing, Remote Sensing of Environment, Landscape and Urban Planning, and Social Science Research. Our faculty members have also published several recent books: Spatial and Environmental Injustice in an American Metropolis: A Study of Tampa Bay, Florida; Villages, Women and the Success of Rural Cooperatives in India; Relocating Global Cities: From the Center to the Margins; and Cultures of Globalization: Coherence, Hybridity, Contestation.
Geography graduate students have also received a number of recent awards and accolades for their thesis or dissertation research. These include the National Science Foundation (NSF) Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Award (Shawn Landry, Richard Salkowe); Association of American Geographers (AAG) Dissertation Research Grant (Richard Salkowe); AAG Rural Geography Specialty Group PhD Student Research Grant (Richard Salkowe); AAG Norb Psuty Student Paper Merit Award (Marilyn Montgomery); AAG Jeanne X. Kasperson Student Paper Award (Angela Gilbert, Marilyn Williams); Graduate Research Paper Award, Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference (Ravic Nijbroek); Florida Society of Geographers Founders and Distinguished Members Award (Cynthia Meyer); USF Signature Research Doctoral Fellowship (Nicole Caesar); and the USF Outstanding Thesis/Dissertation Award (Angela Gilbert).
Please feel free to contact us or pay us a visit if you have any questions.
Jayajit Chakraborty, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair