Geography and Geology

Our Program

Our four-year geography program is ideal for students interested in geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, climate change, environmental sustainability, research, and urban and regional development.

Our program provides students with skills that go beyond the study of geography, including a broad understanding of numbers and numeracy, writing and research, and data presentation, including mapping and graphing.

Geography enthusiasts will marvel in the rich environment in which Algoma University is located. The natural landscape is jarred by the St. Marys River and the Great Lakes, as well as mountain ranges, valleys, and highlands. Our geography isn’t limited to just physical spaces, either; the Algoma region boasts cultural diversity, including those of First Nations heritage. Plus, Sault Ste. Marie has also long been known throughout history as a “meeting place” and we are located directly on the border with Michigan. At Algoma U, students study geography where there’s plenty of it!

Geography is the science dealing with the description, distribution, and interaction of humankind, space, and the environment. It addresses questions of location, distribution, pattern, and process within cultural, social, and physical environments. Our program is divided into four major thematic areas, which covers the breadth of the study of geography: physical geography; human geography; human-environmental geography; and geomatics. Students can study up to two of these areas.

  • Physical geography explores the ever-changing surface of the earth and the physical processes that cause these changes. Students will develop the ability to identify critical processes in landscape form and structure, earth-building and the formation of rocks, weathering and mass movement, coastal/shoreline environments, and much more.
  • Human geography examines the relationship human beings have with the earth and how people are distributed on the earth. It examines how we interact with each other, why we interact this way, and how we can improve our lives with this understanding knowledge. Students will explore how and why the first known cities formed; how culture is spread and stagnated by barriers; and how different regions in the world function culturally, socially, environmentally, and economically.
  • Human-environmental geography focus on the impact humans have on our environment through activities like urban sprawl and globalization, and how we can work to develop more sustainable practices. Students will develop an understanding of global and environmental change, impact assessments, and natural resource management. Students will study the Great Lakes and their cultural, environmental, and economic importance to humans.
  • Geomatics is the discipline of gathering, storing, processing, and delivering geographic information, or spatially referenced information. In our program, students will be introduced to the world of cartography, GIS, remote sensing of the environment, and air photo interpretation.

Our program is also aided by small class sizes, which affords students more one-on-one time with our dedicated faculty. Our faculty are highly-qualified and are committed to teaching, research, and student success. Our program produces top quality graduates, many of whom continue with higher education, and others who secure meaningful employment in both the public and private sectors, locally, nationally, and internationally. Although we are a small department by provincial and national standards, we are able to make significant and lasting contributions in both our teaching and research.

This program is offered under the written consent of the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities granted for the period from 01/02/2012 to 01/02/2017. Prospective students are responsible for satisfying themselves that the program and the degree will be appropriate to their needs (e.g. acceptable to potential employers, professional licensing bodies or other educational institutions).