Welcome to the Department of Geography and Environment

Geography deals with some of the most exciting issues on Earth. It studies the interaction between human beings and the global environment and the resulting problems and opportunities. The Department of Geography at the University of Lethbridge offers a unique multidisciplinary experience by combining the fields of Archaeology, Environmental Science, and Geography into one department

Students have the opportunity to study in areas such as: archaeology, environmental science, human geography, physical geography, remote sensing, and urban & regional studies. We also offer a concentration in geographical information science (GIS, and combined or multidiciplinary degrees. Click on the icons above for more information about our programs.

Department Highlights

Geography Seminar

The Geography of the Crown: Law and the Political Geography of Settler Colonialism

Patricia Burke Wood (Professor of Geography, York University)
Co-sponsored by the Departments of Geography and Women and Gender Studies

Thursday, October 17, 2019
Anderson Hall (AH100)

FREE. Everyone welcome.

The Crown, its honour and its duties, are all inventions of British and Canadian law. They are best understood in their specific historical-geographic context, particularly settler-colonialism. They emerged for strategic purposes and are not universal concepts, even among settler societies formerly part of the British Empire. Imperial actors employed legal discourse to secure geography, to render the Crown’s largely unpracticed and abstract claims more real. This assertion was, and continues to be, challenged by pre-existing Aboriginal political geographies. In its efforts to address these tensions in cases of Aboriginal title and rights claims, the Court makes use of the Crown, its honour and duties, but avoids fundamental questions of political geography, most notably in the recent decision of Mikisew Cree (2018). The unresolved point of tension in Mikisew Cree and other cases is the origin and legitimacy of the Crown’s assertion of territorial sovereignty. Through a geographic critique of the legal history of Aboriginal title, this presentation will argue that in the context of settler colonialism in Canada, “the Crown” is a land claim and should be treated as such.

Geography Seminar

FireSmart Vegetation Management Research in Alberta

Dave Schroeder and Hilary Cameron

Friday, October 25, 2019
Anderson Hall (AH117)
Free. Everyone welcome.

This seminar presentation will address the need for FireSmart vegetation management research and showcase some of the work being done in Alberta and beyond. We will begin with a primer about wildfire basics and how vegetation affects the way wildfires spread. This discussion will include models that are used to forecast wildfire spread and intensity. We will show that vegetation management is one way that wildfire and land managers can mitigate the risk of unwanted wildfires.

Vegetation management is a long established practice by many First Nations, primarily through the use of prescribed fire. In today’s era wildland landscapes encompass many permanent communities that are dependant on resource based industries. Prescribed fire is still used as a hazard reduction tool, but other tactics are also needed. The establishment of “newer” FireSmart vegetation management tools has to date been largely based on the knowledge of wildfire managers gained from wildfire suppression experience.However  knowledge gained from wildfire observations does not translate into a thorough understanding of current FireSmart vegetation management effectiveness. In response Alberta and partner agencies have established a research program to evaluate vegetation management effectiveness. Examples of results to date, on-going work and opportunities for new work will be discussed.

U of L researcher part of team to study migration through the lens of refugee experience

How have current stories of migration been shaped by longer histories of borders and displacement? What can the experiences of those crossing the Canada-U.S. border tell us about the history of Canada and the U.S.?

These are some of the questions driving a new project, Remembering Refuge: Between Sanctuary and Solidarity, that will build a digital oral history archive of the Canada-U.S. border as recounted by refugees from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Haiti.

The project, led by Dr. Julie Young, Grace Wu and Johanna Reynolds, is supported by a grant from the National Geographic Society and will be carried out in partnership with the Department of Geography at the University of Lethbridge.

U of L alums documenting Waterton archaeology sites

Last summer’s Kenow Wildfire destroyed more than 19,000 hectares in Waterton Lakes National Park and the resulting loss of vegetation has revealed archaeological sites that were previously hidden in the underbrush.

Working alongside Parks Canada archaeologist Bill Perry, Rachel Lindemann (BA ’05), Alanna Shockley (BA ’16), Kevin Black Plume (BSc ’18) and Tatyanna Ewald, a graduate student from the University of Calgary, have been conducting post-fire assessments in Waterton as Parks Canada employees since May. Black Plume, who’s from the Kainai First Nation, helps ensure elders are called in to help interpret sites when necessary.

Research Project

U of L research project will provide access to detailed models of historical Blackfoot objects held in British museums

A team of University of Lethbridge researchers and Blackfoot Elders will soon embark on an ambitious project that will provide immediate virtual access to historical Blackfoot objects held in museums, thanks to federal funding from the New Frontiers in Research Fund.

The U of L researchers, led by Christine Clark (BFA ’10, MFA ’14), an assistant professor of New Media, and including Dr. Josie Mills, director and curator of the U of L Art Gallery, Danielle Heavy Head, Blackfoot Digital Library liaison, Jackson 2Bears, U of L art studio professor, and Marcus Dostie, U of L geography instructor, will create extraordinarily detailed 3D models of non-sacred Blackfoot objects held in British museums.

Course Highlight: Urbanization in Developing Countries

GEOGRAPHY 3245: Urbanization in Developing Countries
Credit hours: 3.00
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

A theoretical examination of the spatial and temporal patterns of urbanization in developing countries. Topics include urban structural characteristics, urban-rural relations, regional disparities, housing, employment, and relationships between urbanization and development processes.

Prerequisite(s): One of Geography 1200 or Geography 2000 AND Third-year standing (a minimum of 60.0 credit hours)
Lib Ed Req: Social Science


Career Bridge | Co-operative Education & Applied Studies

Career Bridge


Put Your Knowledge to Work 

Whether you’re looking for a more in-depth learning experience by assisting with research projects on campus or by testing your knowledge in a real-life work setting, we can help! The programs available in the Career Bridge office will provide you with a solid foundation for further studies and an excellent framework for a challenging and rewarding career — whatever direction you decide to go. Explore career options, participate in research and develop skills that complement your degree.

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