UFV Geography and the Environment’s mission statement (est. June 2012):

Our mission is to inspire our students to critically reflect on the world and their place within it, and to prepare them to use qualitative and quantitative skills and practices in the study, explanation, and transformation of natural and built landscapes and the societies that inhabit them. 

UFV Geography and the Environment’s vision statement (est. June 2012):

Over the next 5-10 years, UFV Geography and the Environment strives to expand successful and innovative program delivery in the field, classroom, laboratory, and on-line, utilizing inquiry- and problem-based learning. We seek to build student abilities and confidence in the use of applied, geographic skills for their engagement in the labour market, and for their future as life-long learners and citizens. UFV Geography and the Environment seeks to increase faculty-student interaction, improve student capabilities and opportunities in research, pursue entrepreneurial endeavours, and further develop our own engagement with our diverse communities so as to address regional, national, and global questions and issues and facilitate better outreach and communications. Last, we strive to meet these goals by working collectively while building individual strengths and opportunities in teaching, research and scholarship, and service.

We emphasize:

1)       The integration of skills-based and knowledge-based instruction;

2)       Utilization of inquiry and problem-based learning;

3)       Preparing students for the labour market and graduate school;

4)       Engagement with communities at all scales, from the Fraser Valley to the global community.

UFV Geography and the Environment has established the following general and specific Learning Outcomes for its programs:

Upon completion of a Bachelor’s Degree, with a major in Geography or Physical Geography, graduates will be able to:

#1: Knowing

  • Demonstrate cartographic literacy in the form of identifying place location, map interpretation, and map creation.
  • Demonstrate basic numeracy in terms of interpreting geographic data.
  • Demonstrate geographic literacy in foundational physical geographic processes (in climate, geologic change, and ecosystem development) and in human geography (e.g. introductory concepts in population, economic, social, urban, and political geography).
  • Demonstrate basic geodesic literacy.
  • Demonstrate basic computer literacy in the preparation of reports, use of GIS software, and completion of research.
  • Demonstrate a more advanced understanding of one or more areas in human and/or physical geography.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of geography as a discipline, including how human and physical geography intersects and builds on one another,

#2: Thinking

  • Address and practice the values associated with environmental and social sustainability.
  • Demonstrate integrity in the use of information.
  • Recognize, synthesize, and interpret multiple and alternative perspectives and sources of knowledge when investigating social, environmental, and scientific questions.
  • Utilize both inductive and deductive reasoning in approaching geographic study.
  • Think holistically about geographic systems and questions.
  • Reflect critically on the findings of one’s research, the processes utilize to obtain results, and the meanings and values associated with this research.
  • Apply geographic thought creativity and critically and to specific contexts and places.

#3: Investigating and Problem-Solving*

  • Demonstrate an understanding of and be able to apply the scientific method.
  • Conduct primary data collection, identify appropriate methodologies and the different techniques available for use in data collection, and assess the appropriateness and ethics of the use of these techniques.
  • Demonstrate basic abilities in sampling and measurement for Human and Physical Geography research.
  • Effectively use GPS for data collection, and practice other basic surveying techniques.
  • Conduct questionnaires and interview questions.
  • Keep an organized field journal.
  • Effectively utilize basic statistical methods and handle numerical data in investigating and presenting geographic problems.
  • Demonstrate an ability to use GIS as a tool for handling geographic data.

#4: Communicating

  • Effectively communicate in multiple written formats, including, but not limited to: essays, field and lab reports, annotations, literature reviews, research posters, on-line communications, and other media.
  • Prepare research posters, GIS-produced maps, and other visual outputs depicting geographic information, patterns, and ideas.
  • Confidently present in oral forms the results of one’s research.
  • Effectively communicate to both specialist and non-specialist audiences, in both oral and written form, geographic information and theories.

#5: Self-Directing and Collaborating

  • Work effectively with peers in field settings, including the collection of data, organization of field activities, and analysis of geographic questions.
  • Collaborate with peers to complete research assignments, projects, and other tasks.
  • Demonstrate independence in the completion of tasks, including individual research projects.
  • Demonstrate a desire to continue the lifelong learning process independently.


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