Welcome to the Department of Geography. Geographers study challenging social and environmental issues across scales by engaging diverse communities around the world. With geographic knowledge and skills, you can make a difference.

Click here to learn more about the Geography Department!

Greetings Geographers!

All PSU courses will be taught remotely this spring in order to limit as best as possible the spread of the coronavirus.  This includes all Geography courses and lab sections for spring term.  

If you are signed up for an online course, that course will still be offered online.  The face-to-face and hybrid courses will switch to remote delivery. The actual structure of the course will vary depending on the nature of your course.  Some instructors will broadcast live lectures via Zoom at the regularly scheduled time so that you can interact with the instructor; these will also be recorded so that you can view them when you are able.  Some instructors will post lectures or PowerPoint slides with narration at other times, and then be available at specific times during the week to answer questions. Likely, there will also be other creative formats that your Geography instructors will use as we progress through the term.  

If you are in a lab section, this material will also be provided remotely.  All of your instructors will contact you to share how you can access the course materials or necessary software.  In the meantime, keep up to date with the daily messages from PSU at www.pdx.edu.  

If you have any questions, contact us at geograph@pdx.edu or call us at 503-725-3916.


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

Heejun Chang coauthored a paper titled "Dreams and Migration in South Korea’s Border Region: Landscape Change and Environmental Impacts" published in Annals of the American Association of Geographers.  

Melissa Lucash contributed to a chapter on forest in the second Sate of the Carbon Cycle Report. 

Paul Loikith coauthored a paper titled "Short warm-side temperature distribution tails drive hotspots of warm temperature extreme increases under near-future warming" published in Journal of Climate.

Jola Ajibade coauthored a paper titled "‘Spaces of Exclusion’ in community water governance: A Feminist Political Ecology of gender and participation in Malawi’s Urban Water User Associations" published in Geoforum.

Alida Cantor coauthored a paper titled "Speculations on the postnatural: Restoration, accumulation, and sacrifice at the Salton Sea."Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.   


Student Spotlight

Kyla Zaret, Ph.D. student obtained a Sylff Research Abroad Award from the Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research

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.