About : Message from the Chair
Welcome to Geography at San Diego State University. This is an exciting time to study geography. The talents and skills of geographers are sought after more today than ever before. The ways in which human societies create and transform their social and physical environments is a pressing concern. There is global warming, global terrorism, global economic restructuring and heightened geo-political competition between countries, along with rapid internal political, economic and social changes within countries. We are increasingly aware of the impact of human-induced changes to climate, vegetation, oceans and the physical landscape. Within cities, wealth and poverty reside cheek-by-jowl. Ethnic minorities along with women, children and the elderly are increasingly exploited or disempowered. Many of our neighborhoods are no longer safe and the household is an increasingly marginalized economic unit. What we know as “nature” is rapidly disappearing with urban and ex-urban encroachment, while at the same time our susceptibility to hazards such as wild-fires increases. The study of these and many other issues and concerns comes under the geographers’ purview. Through the development of a variety of theories, methods and technologies, geographers work comfortably at the scale of the entire planet or the scale of a region or community, or even an individual.
San Diego State University is at the forefront of research and teaching within the discipline of geography. The Department of Geography boasts a top-ranked national PhD program and MA and undergraduate programs that are amongst the best in the country. The research of the geography faculty is internationally known and covers a diverse array of topics. Research is funded by a number of top national and international agencies. There are many opportunities for students to get involved in primary research, to study at foreign universities through collaborative programs, and to join in interdisciplinary research with other fields of study.
Please come and visit us and learn more about how you can become part of SDSU’s geography community. There are a number of organizations (from clubs to research centers) within the department about which you can find more by scrolling through these web-pages. Whether you are interested in an advanced degree, or you are an undergraduate looking for a major, or you are a member of the community interested in the kinds of geographic research ongoing in San Diego you will find open doors and welcoming smiles amongst the faculty and staff on the third floor of Storm Hall.
Stuart C. Aitken, Chair