Why Geography and Environment (GENV)?

A geography and environment degree offers students the opportunity to tackle complex human and environmental problems with a skill set that emphasizes a combination of knowledge-building, informed problem solving and much more.

Why Geography and Environment (GENV)?

A geography and environment degree offers students the opportunity to tackle complex human and environmental problems with a skill set that emphasizes a combination of knowledge-building, informed problem solving and much more.

As a student in the Geography and Environment Department (GENV), you will examine some of the most significant issues facing our planet and its inhabitants, including climate change, species extinction, habitat fragmentation, urbanization, poverty, and development.

Our GENV programs combine the strengths of a variety of disciplines across two faculties: the Faculty of Social Science and Humanities (FHSS) and the Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences (FNAS). These combined strengths provide you with a holistic understanding of issues that cut across a variety of fields, opening up a wide range of employment opportunities.

Our campus’s close proximity to freshwater, mountain, saltwater, and island habitats, as well as urban, rural and agricultural areas means that you will gain a wealth of hands-on experience in environmental stewardship and management and community development practices. Our Geographic Information Systems (GIS) lab and expertise provides up-to-date skills training in GIS.

You will learn from professors with extensive expertise in diverse fields such as ecological restoration, sustainable agriculture, marine biology, landscape ecology, chemical ecology, urban and regional planning, resource management, physical and human geography, and geomatics. Also, the faculty and staff engaged in running the GENV programs provide leadership in the local community and more globally in their scholarship and in more practical ways as they approach the task of serving humanity and creation stewardship.


  • BSc degree in Environmental Studies
  • BSc (Honours) in Environmental Studies
  • BA degree in Environmental Studies
  • BA degree in Geography
  • Minor in Environmental Studies
  • Minor in Geography
  • Concentration in Geography
  • Certificate in GIS (Geographic Information Systems)


There are three field study areas:

  • The Blaauw Eco Forest (Fraser Valley)
  • The Ecosystem Study Area (TWU Langley Campus)
  • The Crow’s Nest Ecological Research Area (Salt Spring Island)

Field courses are offered on Salt Spring Island and Hawaii, as well as other locations through our partnership with the Au Sable Institute of Environmental Studies.


“The project I am currently working on is to lay the groundwork for a comprehensive study on the intersect of faith-based organizations and city planning in Ottawa. This involves a large amount of reading and study of official planning policy documents as well as researching of faith-based groups in the city and how they impact the social landscape of the city. . . Using GIS we have been able to see what areas of the city have the greatest access to faith-based organizations, and where they may be lacking.”

Christopher, 2019, LLC, Ottawa, ON



An investigation of the scientific principles behind environmental issues and practical inquiry-based approaches to environment concerns in our local and global communities. The course integrates theoretical knowledge about the environment with real-life activities in a multitude of settings outside of the classroom to help students learn about complex interactions between human populations and their environments; and to inspire critical thinking about environmental challenges for today and future generations.


This course introduces the basic principles of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). It focuses on the theory and practice of GIS including how to store, analyze and display geographic information, how to use GIS as a tool in the social and environmental sciences, and the development of skills in the operation of GIS software.


A scientific examination of the systems and processes which govern natural and human induced climate change. Topics include atmospheric composition, structure, and function; climate change over tectonic, orbital, deglacial, and historical timescales; climate modeling; climate change impacts on terrestrial and marine ecosystems; and the political and socio-economic dimensions of climate change. Field trips are required.


A study of the ecological relationships of marine life in several major habitat types. Emphasis is on productivity, food webs, nutrient cycling, and community ecology. Ecosystem parameters are investigated through field and laboratory studies. Part of coursework takes place in the Lower Mainland, Gulf Islands, and/or Vancouver Island.


Graduates of our GENV programs have numerous career opportunities, including: senior environmental manager, city planner, GIS technician, agricultural mapping assistant, fisheries officer, marine science assistant, forester, environmental consultant, plant nursery inventory specialist, research associate, and K-12 school educator (elementary, middle and secondary schools). Many of our graduates have also furthered their education in relevant fields such as: MSc in Resource & Environmental Management, MA in Planning; MSc and MA in Geography; MSc Sustainable Agriculture; MSc Agricultural Sciences; MSc and PhD, Botany; MA Environmental Policy; MSc and PhD in Cetacean Research; and MSc in Herpetology.


Bachelor of Science (BSc)
Bachelor of Arts (BA)

Important Dates

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Financial Aid

Investing in your future may require some help along the way. We offer merit and need-based awards to help offset the cost of tuition. Planning early is key and we are here to help get you started.

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Admission Requirements

The admissions process at TWU is designed to be simple and convenient. Once we receive your application and transcripts, you will be contacted by your admissions counsellor within two weeks on your admittance.

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Field Study Sites

TWU’s Ecosystem Study Area (ESA) and Crow's Nest Ecological Research Area are diverse and sensitive habitats dedicated to the study, preservation, and proper management of the environment.

Careers in Geography and Environment
Female student measuring a fish on a table

A degree in Geography or Environmental Studies offers a wide range of career opportunities for students. A sample of these careers are listed below.

  • Aviation
  • Atmospheric Data Technician
  • Biologist
  • Business Manager
  • City/Urban/Municipal/Regional Planner
  • Climatologist / Meteorologist
  • Community Development Officer
  • Conservation Officer (Forest, Fisheries, Parks)
  • Consultant for Environmental & Geospatial Issues
  • Demographer
  • Ecologist
  • Ecology Research Technician
  • Economic Development Analyst
  • Environmental Impact Assessment Specialist
  • Environmental Lawyer
  • Environmental Scientist
  • Field Technician
  • Geographer
  • GIS Analyst/Specialist/Technician
  • International Development Agent
  • Land Surveyor
  • Landscaping & Grounds Specialist
  • Market Research Analyst
  • Outdoor Guide
  • Policy Analyst (e.g., Environmental Policy, Planning Policy)
  • Resource Management Specialist
  • Spatial Data Analyst / Statistical & Data Analysts
  • Teacher (Elementary, Middle, High School)
  • Urban Designer
  • Veterinarian / Veterinary Technician
  • Waste Management Specialist
  • Wildlife Manager
  • Zoologist / Zoo Keeper / Aquarist

Faculty Profiles

Paul Brown, Ph.D.

Part-time Instructor of Chemistry (Retired Professor of Chemistry)

David Roy Clements, Ph.D.

Professor of Biology
Assistant Dean, Faculty of Natural and Applied Sciences (Research)

Jayne Cummins

Executive Assistant

Robert Doede, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

Christopher Hall

Land Manager and Instructor

Stuart D. Jones, MCIP, RPP

Part-time Instructor of Geography and Environment

David Jordan, M.A.

Sessional Assistant Professor of Geography

Geraldine Jordan, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Geography

Aimee E. McGowan, MRM

Part-time Instructor of Geography and Environment

Terry Neufeldt, B.Sc., M.Ed.

Sessional Assistant Professor of Geology, Geography and Environment, and Physics

Maxwell Ofosuhene, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Geography
Co-Chair, Department of Geography and Environment

Sam Pimentel, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Mathematical Sciences
Coordinator, Mathematics

Liz Robertson

Executive Assistant

Bruce Shelvey, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of History and Political Studies
Environmental Historian

Jamie Spinney, Ph.D.

Geographer – Distance Education Instructor

Karen MM Steensma, M.Sc.

Professor of Biology
Co-Chair, Department of Geography and Environment (Starting August 16, 2020)

Tracy Stobbe, Ph.D., MPP, BJ

Associate Professor of Business
Environmental Economist