The Department strives to be a centre of academic excellence in both theory and application pertaining to in economic, urban and development geography, geoinformation science, environmental social science, natural resource management, geomorphology and climate change. The mission is to build a sound foundation for geography teaching in schools and provide expertise and practical solutions and insight in the areas of land-use, spatial planning and the management of environmental resources through the spectrum of effective teaching, research, consultancy and community outreach.
- To equip students with the necessary state of the art; conceptual, analytical and technical knowledge for tackling and solving problems of sustainable development.
- To undertake research, consultancy and community service in geography education, geoinformation science, spatial planning, climate change, geomorphology, environmental management as well as land and water resources management and utilization.
- To enable students to specialize in areas.
- To enable students to specialize in areas of relevance to national and regional development at the undergraduate and post-graduate levels, in keeping with the University’s mission of being the African University of choice.
- To be a national resource centre for information and materials related to climate change, environmental and land management, water resources management, spatial data, land use planning and geography education.
- To strengthen collaborative research and share experiences with relevant national, regional and international institutions.
Research in the Department is founded on applying sound interdisciplinary principle as well as methodologically diverse scientific approaches relevant to both the natural and social sciences, in order to address key geographical and environmental questions. Much of our research has an applied, policy relevant focus applicable to a developing country context. With regards to the areas of focus, the specific research areas and the responsible staff members are as follows:
- Urban and Rural Geography
- Urbanization and settlement patterns
- Urban sustainability
- Greening cities
- Waste management
- Agricultural geography, sustainability and food security
- Environmental Change and Conservation
- Climate science/modelling
- Climate change (adaptation and mitigation); trend analysis
- Land use and land cover change
- People, Protected areas and conservation
- Natural hazards and disasters
- Geography of natural hazards
- Wildfires, floods, lightning
- Disaster preparedness
- Human and social geography
- Disease patterns
- Crime geography
- Population and settlement geography
- Economic geography
- Socio-economic Analysis and Surveys
- Geomorphology and Archaeology
- Pure and applied wetland geomorphology, rehabilitation and management
- Soil erosion and land degradation and appropriate rehabilitation
- Archaeology and preservation/conservation of heritage sites
- Cave geomorphology
- Soil/Land and Water Resources Management
- Elementary Land Surveying Studies
- Soil Survey and Analysis
- Water Resources Planning, Management and Utilization
- Basin Studies
- Geospatial Information Science
- Applied Geographic information systems (GIS)/Remote Sensing (RS)
- Machine learning and GIS/RS
- Environmental and spatial modelling
- Cartography and map production techniques
Teaching and Research Facilities
Despite the challenges faced by the Department, it has a GIS laboratory with a capacity of 30 students; soils and water analysis laboratory with a capacity of 20 students a cartographic laboratory that seats about 35 students. The Department also runs an active weather station with equipment used mainly for teaching purposes. The weather station also assists high schools in the country to conduct lessons related to measurement of weather parameters. Daily weather readings and made and published in the departments bulletin board for public information. The Department intends to upgrade the weather station with addition of automated instruments to facilitate incorporated into the national grid. In 2017 the Department established a vetiver grass nursery with an intention producing seedlings to facilitated fieldwork exercises and community outreach on combating soil erosion in the country.