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  • The Natural Environment
    The Natural Environment core area in the Geography Department focuses on the processes that shape the physical features of the landscape.

Our Department

With roots in exploration, map making, and accounts of differences from place to place, modern geography investigates the spatial organization and material character of planet Earth and the physical and human processes that shape its places and landscapes. Geographers study many different topics and places, but they share a concern with what can be learned from analyzing spatial arrangements (both perceptual and actual) and the changing characteristics of places and landscapes. In pursuit of their work, geographers employ a wide range of tools including field exploration, map making, geographic information analysis, textual analysis, and modeling. The teaching and research being undertaken in the Department of Geography at the University of Oregon critically explores biophysical changes (global and local) shaping the planet; the prospects and challenges of fostering sustainability; the nature and implications of geopolitical, economic, and cultural shifts in different parts of the world; and the nature, use, and understanding of maps and geospatial technologies.