The Department of Geography at Portland State University has faculty with interests in a variety of topics. Faculty research and teaching programs include local, regional, and international interests in hydrology, water resources, climate science, Geographic Information Science, biogeography, sustainability, urban environments, land use analysis, cultural and political ecology, and K-12 geographic education.

The Department offers undergraduate and master’s degrees in Geography, undergraduate minors in Geography, GIS, and Water Resources, a Graduate Certificate in GIS, and a joint PhD in Earth, Environment, and Society through the School of the Environment. The Department houses two research centers (Center for Geography Education in Oregon and Center for Spatial Analysis and Research) and four research labs (Climate Science Lab, Geomorphology and Soils Lab, Global Environmental Change Lab, and Hydrology and Water Resources Lab) for quality instruction, research, and outreach.

Portland State’s location in downtown Portland, Oregon provides amenities of urban living in one of the greenest cities in America as well as easy access to the coast, mountains, and high desert with plenty of opportunities for field-based classes and research. Many federal, state, and local agencies plus a variety of environmental and social non-governmental agencies are located in Portland, providing an array of potential applied community-based scholarship for student involvement. 

Faculty News

Dr. Melissa Lucash, Research Assistant Professor in Geography, and Terry Marcey, a recent B.S. graduate of the ESM department, were co-authors of a paper that was featured on OPB Earth Fix and NPR Jefferson public radio- “Post-fire management affects species composition but not Douglas-fir regeneration in the Klamath Mountains.” 

Martin Swobodzinski received an award of $85,201 from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)/PSU BUILD EXITO Pilot Project Program for a project titled, “Effects of Virtual Companion Animal on Humans Emotional Health. National Institutes of Health” for the period 02/2018 - 01/2019.


Student Spotlight

Graduate student Junjie Chen won the 2nd place in Earth and Environmental Sciences at the 15th Annual Sigma Xi-Columbia Willamette Chapter Student Research  Symposium.

Congratulations! Graduate student Janardan Mainali obtained a Rufford Small Grant for his dissertation research in Nepal."

Graduate student Laura Platt's work was mentioned in Cascadia Magazine Coring the Forest.

Graduate student Dmitri Kalashnikov was interviewed with 1190 KEX radio on climate variability and Pacific Northwest weather.