About Us

Greetings!  Welcome to the website of the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. 

The Department of Geography is a core environmental discipline at SFU, focussing on the spatial dimensions of human societies (Human Geography), the earth's biogeophysical environments (Earth System Dynamics), and the ever more complex interactions that exist among the human and natural environments (Spatial Information Science). We were a founding member of the University back in 1965 and have since become one of the strongest Geography departments in North America. We rank 6th overall (4th in citations per paper and 5th in H-index citations) of all Geography departments in Canada, and 2nd overall (1st in citations per paper) amongst Canadian comprehensive universities in the 2016 QS World University Rankings.  We currently number 21 continuing research and teaching faculty, amongst them a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, a Canada Research Chair, a Fellow of the Canadian Geographical Society, Michael Smith Scholars, SFU excellence in teaching awardees, and other award holders.  We have a rich network of Adjunct faculty and Associate members, and an active group of Emeriti. We have >60 graduate students in the MA, MSc and PhD programs and post-docs who are collaborating on research projects with our faculty and ~500 undergraduate student majors enrolled in BA and BSc programs. We also offer Certificates in Urban Studies and Spatial Information Science, and our BSc program fulfils the curricular requirements for Professional Environmental Geoscience and Professional Agrologist accreditation. A hallmark of our programs is the rich diversity of experiential learning opportunities available to students in the form of tutorials, labs, community collaborations, co-op, and field trips and schools at home and abroad.

Geography’s enduring strength relates to its nature as an interdisciplinary discipline. Geography may be defined as: how place and space shapes physical and social processes, and their interactions, as they work themselves out in differentiating and integrating the earth’s surface. Geography as a discipline has no monopoly on this perspective but concerns for how and why places around the globe are different and how and why places are integrated (across space) around the globe are at the heart of modern geographical thinking.

Our members are engaged in leading-edge research and teaching in human geography, earth system dynamics (physical geography) and spatial and geographic information science (SGIS).  We explore topics as disparate as, economic development, medical tourism, cultural theory, augmented reality, mountain tourism, sustainable development, health services, the politics of property, cellular automata, environmental economic geography, urban planning and policy, limnology, landscape ecology, resource depletion, health informatics, conservation, port cities, political economy, soil-plant relationships, political ecology, fluvial geomorphology, policy transfer, ecological modelling, climate change, and paleoglaciology.

I invite you to explore our website, and learn more about us.

Tracy Brennand
Professor & Department Chair