Research

SFU Geography

As one of the top-ranked Geography departments in North America, our department is at the forefront of new research in human geography, earth system dynamics (ESD), and spatial and geographic information science (SGIS). Our goal is to create research that matters and that helps shape the ways in which we live in and interact with the natural and built environment. Areas of specific expertise include geographical political economies, global environmental change, water science, the city, spatial health and spatial information theory.  

*Times Higher Education’s (THE) 2020 University Impact Rankings (read SFU article)        ^Maclean's 2020 University Rankings

Research Areas

Human Geography

Human Geography focuses on the crucial difference that place and space make to human societies and to the social and natural environments through which societies operate. 

Human geographers at SFU address issues such as: equity and justice; economic development and sustainability; cities and urbanization; mobility and transportation; resource use; conservation and human-environment interactions; culture; and politics.

Earth System Dynamics

Earth System Dynamics explores the function and interactions among the planetary climate system and the hydrosphere, the biosphere, and the geosphere. 

Physical Geographers at SFU have expertise in hydrology, climatology, limnology, fluvial and glacial geomorphology, soil science, and landscape ecology and are known for cutting-edge research in the areas of global environmental change and water sciences.  Our training of students is built on foundational sciences and a holistic view of Earth system dynamics.

Spatial and Geographic Information Science

Spatial and Geographic Information Science (SGIS) combines theoretical and applied aspects of GIS to discover patterns on the earth’s surface. SGIS includes the sub-disciplines of cartography, spatial analysis, spatial modeling, geocomputation, geosimulation and geovisualization. It adds a spatial dimension to many geographical enquiries and also provides an intellectual foundation for spatial theory.