University of Minnesota
Department of Geography, Environment and Society

Department of Geography, Environment
and Society's home page.


Geography at the University of Minnesota is a success because of its people!


The stature of the current geography faculty, for example, is evidenced by a variety of measures. Over the last ten years, the faculty has earned the following honors and awards. At the university level: Four McKnight Land Grant professorships; one Scholar of the College; two Fesler-Lampert professorships; one multicultural research award and five outstanding service awards. Within the profession: two Association of American Geographers (AAG) Honors awards; two AAG book prizes; one American Geographical Society award; and two National Council on Geographic Education awards. In addition, three faculty have served on National Research Council committees, two were elected President of the Association of American Geographers, one serves as vice president of the International Cartographic Association, two have co-edited major international journals, one has served on the Board of Directors of the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis, and one was elected to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Since 1995, the faculty has published thirty books, 205 refereed articles and book chapters, and has raised $8.5 million in external grant money, with an additional $1.5 million from the university, for scholarship and instruction.


Students in the Geography Department join us from many U.S. states, and from a variety of other global regions. The objectives of our programs are actually quite simple—to educate well-rounded, critically minded, methodologically diverse geographers. Our students are knowledgeable about the myriad epistemological approaches geographers utilize, the qualitative and quantitative methods used and possible joint approaches, how to develop and pursue interesting research questions, and how to interact with others outside of their areas. Furthermore, they are outgoing enthusiastic people, who help create an exceptional learning environment for undergraduate and graduate alike.

Between 2004-2013, our program graduated 70 PhD students, 99% of whom have jobs directly related to their graduate work. The distribution of employment type is as follows (percentage of total in square brackets):

  • tenure-track faculty (4-year college / university) – 33 [47%]
  • postdoctoral research – 9 [13%]
  • government (e.g. planning, analysis, research) – 6 [9%]
  • academic professional (e.g. research positions) – 4 [6%]
  • visiting/adjunct faculty – 8 [11%]
  • nongovernmental/nonprofit organizations – 4 [6%]
  • private sector – 3 [4%]
  • two-year college or secondary education – 2 [3%]


The Geography, Environment and Society staff is a friendly group, eager to help students and faculty while seeing to the daily management of the department. They are the backbone of the program and perform their administrative duties with aplomb. Don’t hesitate to contact them with a question or a concern. They’re here for you!

Visit the various pages to get more detailed information on all the people who make up the Geography, Environment and Society Department here at the University of Minnesota.