Physical Geography

Physical Geography is the study of the planet we live on: its water, vegetation, air, and the role that humans play in our land surface environments. Our students learn about Earth’s climate and how it is changing, how landscapes are shaped by water and ice, how cities affect water and local weather and climate, and how distributions of plants and animals are changing in response to human activities.

Students in our program enjoy hands-on experiences collecting data outdoors and in the lab. We also use computer models to simulate processes and create scenarios of different futures. Our students gain the skills required to examine important environmental issues that affect us: how climate change affects rivers and floodplains, how different trees species migrate, and how we can better utilize green infrastructure to manage urban climate or nutrients.

Physical geography students bring the critical skills employers need to create healthy communities and environments. These skills include:

  • flood risk assessment and modelling
  • water quality monitoring and improvement
  • mapping environmental change
  • natural hazards planning
  • ecosystem modelling in response to land use change
  • watershed management and restoration

Degree Options: