About Us

Mission

To inspire the highest levels of geographic teaching, learning, and mentoring while engaging in the scholarly pursuit of geographic knowledge, and to apply this knowledge toward understanding the ever-changing interplay of human societies and physical environments.


We focus on understanding changing human societies and physical environments and their interaction on Earth as:

  • subjects of inquiry in the natural, social, and information sciences, and humanities;
  • sources of concern that will drive the discipline of geography to new levels of understanding and better methods of prediction;
  • a way of appreciating the interdependency of people and environments
  • a motivation for fostering efficient and ethical use of resources
  • a means to critically examine values and principles for organizing human activities based on social equality, economic equality, and respect for cultural diversity; and
  • sources of wonder, curiosity, and inspiration.

 

Department of Geography 2015-2019 Strategic plan

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General information
Year founded
: 1945
Main office: 302 Walker Building
Areas of study: physical geography, human geography, nature/society, and geographic information sciences
Degrees offered: B.S., B.A., M.S., M.GIS, Ph.D.; post-baccalaureate certificates in Geographic Information Systems and Geospatial Intelligence

College: Earth and Mineral Sciences


By the Numbers
Faculty: 26 tenure-line, 5 emeritus
Post-doctoral scholars: 3
Research staff: 35
Administrative staff: 10
Undergraduate students: 140
Resident graduate students: 71
MGIS (online) students: 153

 

Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Science with options in: 

  • General Geography
  • Geographic Information Science
  • Human Geography
  • Physical/Environmental Geography

 

Minor in Geography

Minor in Geographic Information Science

Research Centers and Labs

Vegetation Dynamics Lab
Director: Alan Taylor
Office: 226 Walker

Riparia (formerly Cooperative Wetlands Center)
Director: Robert Brooks
Office: 217 Walker

GeoVISTA Center
Director: Alan MacEachren
Office: 205 Walker

Landscape Ecology at Penn State (LEAPS)
Director: Erica Smithwick
Office: 227 Walker

Human Factors in GIScience Laboratory
Director: Alex Klippel
Office: 229a Walker

Peter R. Gould Center for Geography Education and Outreach
Director: Cindy Brewer
Office: 215 Walker