Geography and the Environment

The Department of Geography and the Environment  at Lakehead University offers both Undergraduate and Graduate degrees in geography and environmental studies.  Our course offerings reflect the breadth of the discipline, covering physical, human, applied and regional geography, as well as geographical techniques and research methods, including field studies. Research interests and teaching specializations of the faculty reflect not only the breadth of geography, but also a variety of scales ranging from local to regional to global. Geographers in our department are working on adaptation to climate change, developing metrics for urban change in Thunder Bay, developing best practices for source water protection and stormwater management in the region, and exploring environmental issues and natural resource use from the perspective of Indigenous peoples both in Northwestern Ontario and Northern Canada, amongst other projects.

Interested in Geography?

Students interested in Geography and the Environment at Lakehead University will learn....

  • a comprehensive understanding of contemporary environmental issues and how best for society to respond to these
  • how to develop and conduct geographical research projects
  • geomatics skills including GIS, remote sensing and digital photogrammetry
  • lab- and field-based analytical skills for soil, water, landscape and environmental assessments

What is Geography and the Environment?

Geography is the study of spatial patterns and processes on the surface of the earth, mainly in the context of human activities. Geography explores where people and activities are located, why they are located where they are, what changes are occurring in these patterns, what impacts these changes are likely to have on human and physical environments, and what should be done about these impacts. Physical geography deals with spatial aspects of the atmosphere, land surface and waters while human geography is concerned with cultural, political and economic forces that lie behind the distribution of human activities.  Geography is a central discipline in the study of and mitigation of environmental issues including, but not limited to, adaptation to climate change, management for watershed protection/integrity and impact assessments of major development projects impacting traditional territories of Canada’s First Nations.  


Students can pursue undergraduate degrees in Geography (science or arts) and combined degree programs in Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Geology and Outdoor Recreation, Parks & Tourism. In addition, most of these programs can be completed concurrently with one or both of the Certificate in Geomatics - emphasizing geomatics training in GIS, Digital Photogrammetry, Digital Cartography and Remote Sensing - and the Bachelor of Education degree program. For more information, see the Calendar. Students can pursue a graduate degree with a focus on geography and anthropology (the Masters of Environmental Studies, Northern Environments and Cultures), offered jointly by the Departments of Geography and the Environment and Anthropology. Explore the research pages of individual faculty members and contact the Department Chair(s) or Graduate Program Coordinator for more information about these programs.