From the Dean’s Office

Geography is a field that captures our imaginations and furthers understandings of the connections between people, places, regions, and various types of landscapes. It allows us to engage other spaces and times, to get our hands dirty in the field, and to conceptualize the scalar and spatial dimensions that comprise a broad range of phenomena including natural processes, socio-political formations, and the organized patterns of soil, water, atmospheric and societal states.  

So often, when I meet someone who expresses knowledge, curiosity and wonder in the way they narrate their experiences with nature, culture, or society, I learn that this person has an educational background in Geography. I love the way geographers can apprehend the world around them at multiple scales and how this heightens their ability to describe different kinds of change and associated natural and social forces, and structures, that underpin them. In many ways, geographical knowledge is akin to practical wisdom.

It is my pleasure to work with the Department of Geography to support and expand their teaching and research impact, as well as celebrate the intelligence and creativity of their faculty, staff and students. This was a big year for Geography welcoming Dr. Leanne Roderick as a permanent faculty member last September and Dr. Sharon Luk as a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Geographies of Racialization in April. They also completed a three-day External Review, created a new Minor in Climate Change and Society, which will launch this Fall, and continues to develop a new Major and Minor in Urban Change. Geography also continues to actively develop its own Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion commitments, as well as recently holding an in-person retreat to examine the department’s values and envision future directions. 

The number of faculty research awards, and student awards is truly remarkable. Dr. Paul Kingsbury (Associate Dean, Undergraduate) and I are also delighted to see SFU’s approval of a new course, GEOG 304 “Geography of Wine” and see Geography make good progress on updating the Business and Geography Joint Major.

The next academic year, then, promises to be another big one for this stellar department!

Naomi Krogman,
Dean, Faculty of Environment