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Welcome to the Department of Geography at the University of Montana. We would like to invite you to look around our virtual space and link to the diverse programs, people, courses, and resources that make our department one of the top choices for Geography students.

Geography provides a broad ranging perspective on humans as inhabitants and transformers of the face of the earth. The search for this understanding involves thorough study of the physical earth, its habitation by humans, and the resulting diversity of regions and places. Geographers study the physical earth by examining the interlocking systems of the natural environment, including climate, landforms, soils, and biota. Humans are studied by examining those diverse historical, cultural, social, economic, and political structures and processes which affect the location and spatial organization of population groups and their activities. Regions and places, whether described as nations, cities, ecological units, or landscapes, are studied by integrating and interpreting their physical and human relationships in an effort to better understand them and the problems they face.

Geographers are often found working in business, industry, government, and education. Those in planning might be called upon to determine the most satisfactory location for a new school or an airport, or undertake the environmental or socioeconomic studies required for community and regional planning. Others enter fields such as environmental law, diplomacy, intelligence, and teaching. Graduates trained in cartography and GIS find professional opportunities in map-making and spatial analysis. No academic discipline offers a greater range of employment opportunities.

As faculty, we are united in seeking to promote excellence in the following three interconnected focus areas:

Cartography and Geographic Information Science

The knowledge and application of Cartography and Geographic Information Science (CGIS) to geospatial analysis, geographical research, and to understanding the character of places. Offerings include a Certificate in GIS Sciences and Technologies at the undergraduate level, an option in Cartography and GIS at the graduate level, and courses in field techniques and in quantitative and qualitative methods.

Community and Environmental Planning

The theory and principles of Community and Environmental Planning (CEP) in achieving ethical, inclusive, healthy, and sustainable human-environment interactions. Offerings include an option in CEP at both undergraduate and graduate levels. Courses are in planning principles and processes, community analysis, transportation planning, planning decision support systems, water policy, environmental planning, economic geography, migration and population transformation, and sustainable cities.

Mountain Studies

The scientific understanding of Mountain Environments in spatial context and with attention to the physical and human systems in mountainous regions. Regional foci are the Rocky Mountains in the U.S.A., and the Altai, Hindu Kush-Karakoram-Himalaya, Pamir, and Tien Shan mountains in "High Asia". Specializations are in paleo-environments, environmental change, glaciers, periglacial, geomorphology, environmental rehabilitation, environmental hazards, and water resources.

Thank you for your interest. We hope the next time you visit, we can welcome you in person in our department on the campus of the University of Montana.