About the Department
The Department of Geography & Urban Planning offers two separate, but related majors: geography and urban planning.
Geography and urban planning enable us to better understand the interaction between global forces and local places. The skills and knowledge that students in geography and urban planning acquire are practical and valued both at the global scale and at the local scale.
These fields are provide a window into a world made smaller by advances in telecommunications and transportation technology, by the integrated operations of multinational corporations(such as Intel and Toyota), by the threat of international terrorism and by environmental hazards (such as global warming or climate change).
Our graduates acquire a broad knowledge base, allowing them to provide insight into the complexity of the Middle East, or helping a grocery retailer decide where to put another store. UW Oshkosh Geography and Urban Planning graduates design models of global climate change, as well as help design a plan to minimize the negative impact of a new highway upon nearby wetlands.
The mission of the department of Geography and Urban Planning is to provide students with an understanding of the elements that influence the social and physical environment at both the local and global scale.
We see our role as equipping students with the knowledge to deal with the challenges of a rapidly changing world by teaching them critical thinking and problem solving skills. We seek to advance knowledge through research and to share this knowledge with our students, our colleagues and the broader community.
What is Geography?
Geography is the scientific study of place, spatial relationships and location patterns. Geographers study the character of places and the interaction among them (examples include New York and New London, Maryland and Mongolia, Africa and Asia).
Geographers also examine
relationships across space: relationships between weather in eastern
Africa and turbulence above the Atlantic Ocean, big business and small
towns, the depth of mountainside snow and the growth of trees.
Geographers study location patterns like patterns in the spread of AIDS,
the expansion of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and the invasion of exotic species such as
zebra mussel. Geography's broad nature allows students great
flexibility to pursue their interests. To all of these areas
geographers bring a common spatial, scientific perspective.
Geographers use a common set of tools that include maps and a new set of computerized tools. Remote sensing, geographic information systems (GIS) and quantitative methods have increased the power of geographers to analyze vast amounts of digital information and have revolutionized the way many geographers do their work.
Skilled geographers are in high demand in a wide variety of fields including landuse planning, environmental management, industrial and business location, transportation, cartography and urban and regional planning. Our graduates have valuable skills and insights to offer employers, and they pursue exciting, important careers.
What is Urban Planning?
Urban Planning focuses on cities and suburbs. Cities and suburbs are home to nearly three-quarters of Americans. Urban areas are not just concentrations of people but also concentrations of wealth, power and opportunity. However, cities and suburbs also face great problems like traffic management and mass transit, the provision of affordable housing, persistently high crime rates and racial tension. Urban planning offers insight into the features, systems and problems of cities and the regions to which they are connected.