Greetings from the Department Chair

Welcome to the Department of Geography at The University of Montana. I 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.

The Department of Geography maintains particular strengths in each of the following major branches within the discipline:

Physical Geography

Biogeography, Paleo-Environments, Climate and Global Change, Geomorphology, and Mountain Geography

Human Environment Interaction

Environmental Rehabilitation, Water Policy, and Environmental Hazards

Geography and Society

Geography of Towns and Settlements, Economic Geography, Migration and Population Transformation, and courses in Cultural and Global Competence

Community and Environmental Planning

Planning Principles and Processes, Community Analysis, Transportation Planning, Planning Decision Support Systems, and Environmental Planning

Regional Geography

Geography of Central and Southwest Asia, North America, Africa, South Asia, and Europe

Geographical Techniques

Cartography and GIS, Certificate in GIS Sciences and Technologies, Field Methods, Quantitative and Qualitative Methods


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.

Department of Geography
The University of Montana