School of Geography and Sustainable Communities

School of Geography and Sustainable Communities

We teach about and investigate issues of global significance, especially the human impact on the Earth, the management of valuable landscapes, and the planning of cities and regions. Our internationally influential researchers offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate opportunities for students to both understand and change a world full of critical problems and key opportunities.

Why Study With Us?

We believe students derive unique benefits from the range of knowledge and experience a geographical education offers. Our leading researchers will give you the chance to combine wide learning with practical experience using our many regional and overseas networks. Our graduates, equipped with a portfolio of intellectual and technical abilities, are highly sought after. 

Our Degrees

The School of Geography and Sustainable Communities offers courses in a range of areas such as Human Geography and Land and Heritage Management.

Explore Our Courses 

Our Research

We have three main areas of expertise:

  • People and their environments: we examine how people perceive, use and reappraise the non-human world at a range of scales in both urban and rural contexts.
  • Living in a cosmopolitan, urbanised world: we investigate how people’s identities and actions are shaped by their encounters with others, especially in multicultural cities.
  • Changing economies: we look at how new industries can create new pathways to a more sustainable future as we enter ‘the Anthropocene’.

Find out more about the research conducted by staff in the School of Geography and Sustainable Communities by reading our 2016 ─ 2017 Research Report, and via the Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER) webpage

International Fieldwork Intensive (GEOG339)

In this short video Associate Professor Michael Adams in collaboration with colleagues Tasneem Khan and Ananth Gopal discuss the unique opportunities provided by field teaching in the coastal zones of India. The geography subject International Fieldwork Intensive (GEOG339) engages with these issues in India (and also in Bali). Some of the concepts behind this approach are explored in Gill, Adams and Eriksen 2012 article on Engaging with the (un)familiar: field teaching in a multi-campus teaching environment and in forthcoming research.

Produced with support from the Australia-India Institute Chingari Program, and Pooja Gupta from EARTHCoLab. 

AUSCCER  Nick Gill Mt KosciuszkoOn the hunt for invasive hawkweeds

Self-confessed fieldtrip junkie A/Prof Nicholas Gill takes UOW Geography students to Mount Kosciuszko to assist in the fight against the spread of invasive hawkweeds. Read all about the research in the latest The Stand article or watch the short video.

GSC 2017 Bali fieldtrip photoStudents 2017 International Fieldtrip to Bali 

The School of Geography and Sustainable Communities offers an annual international cultural immersion fieldtrip, where geography students engage with, and learn from, local community-based experts. This year, 9 students travelled to Bali, Indonesia to experience the interconnections between social and ecological change, culture and tourism. Read more about this exciting 2017 Bali Fieldtrip here.

Michael Adams, winner of the Calibre Prize

Public conversations in geography

As geographers, teachers and researchers, we all want our work to be a force for good in the world. To this end we use innovative methodologies and then innovative communication, including print, video, digital media of all forms, infographics and public presentations. Engaging both specific and particular, and broad and diverse, audiences is part of our ambition.

This year Michael Adams won the Calibre Prize with an essay on the embodied geographies of freediving and loss. Salt Blood links research on the visceral experiences of freediving with personal responses to tragedy and grief. How can deep and prolonged immersion help us understand mortality and our place on the Blue Planet? That brief 6,000 words helped take the work of UOW human geographers to a very large audience: the media and public response has been considerable. Michael has been interviewed fifteen times; the essay is discussed on more than twenty websites; and it has been promoted on digital media and national radio to hundreds of thousands of people. Read about Salt Blood on the AUSCCER blog and some of the responses in Immerse yourself - The Stand.