Department of Geography

About the Department

The Department of Geography at the University of Nevada, Reno emphasizes the study of landscape change and human-environment interactions in arid and mountainous environments. The Department emphasizes the integration of human and physical geography and encourages the use of geospatial technologies (GIS, remote sensing, UAS, and cartography). Our department has a strong physical geography component that seeks to understand patterns and process within nature. We have strengths in cultural and historical geography that seek to understand patterns and process within societies. Where studies of nature and society meet, we study the effects of human ideas, systems, and activities on the environment. And, looking at human-environment interactions from a different perspective, our work also encompasses how the environment establishes contexts and constraints for human ideas, systems, and activities. Our approach encourages problem solving that utilizes spatial reasoning and the analysis of questions at multiple spatial scales: local, regional, national, and global.  


The mission of the Department of Geography is to engage students with the highest levels of scholarship and to conduct integrative research on vital social and environmental problems, in service to our communities, from the local to the global.

We use diverse approaches to analyze human and environmental patterns and processes across space and time, offering BA, BS, MS, and PhD degrees in Geography.  Our undergraduate programs include the ability to specialize in:

• Climate, Water, and Ecosystems
• Environmental Policy and Management
• Geotechnologies
• Globalization, Politics, and Place.

The Department of Geography serves the diverse university community and shares its core values of excellence, integrity, inclusiveness and collaboration.


The Department of Geography at University of Nevada, Reno strives to be a leader in the integration of the natural and social sciences to understand and solve problems of people and the environment. Our goals are to:

  1. Foster an appreciation of the value and necessity of spatial thinking.
  2. Build an extraordinary learning community that goes beyond the classroom.
  3. Increase our recognition locally, nationally and internationally as a leader in research.
  4. Be a top resource and destination for students at both the graduate and undergraduate level
  5. Advance the University's core values of excellence, integrity, inclusiveness and collaborationFurther connections with the community to address the needs of Nevada's diverse population
  6. To continue as faculty to lead in integration and collaboration across disciplines to advance the mission and vision of the department

Facilities and Labs

The Department of Geography houses a dendrochronology laboratory and palynology laboratory for paleoclimate reconstruction, the Nevada State Climate Office and geospatial laboratories that studies ecosystem and urban growth patterns and processes using GIS and spatial statistics. The Department has an extensive map collection, two computer labs, and equipment for field studies focusing on mountain environments, climatology, environmental reconstruction, and water resources.

Serving Nevada

The Department of Geography is the only program in Nevada that grants university education and college degrees in geography. The curriculum contributes to the higher education to all interested Nevadans with a full array of geographic offerings. Recognizing the varied needs and nature of Nevada students, the Department supports the University Core Curriculum, the degree at night program, non-degree enrollees, and instructs many non-majors, in addition to students seeking geography majors and minors.

The Local Area

Reno is uniquely situated for the study of geography, located 30 miles from the capital of one of the nation's most rapidly growing states. Reno offers access to the Sierra Nevada, Lake Tahoe, and the high desert and mountains of the Great Basin. 



Meet the faculty, staff and students that make it all happen.


Geography Degrees

The Department offers undergraduate and advanced degrees.

Student Resources

Geography Students

What you need to make the most out of your student experience.

Contact Us

Contact Department of Geography (0154)

1664 N. Virginia Street

Reno, NV 89557

Phone (775) 784-6995

Fax (775) 784-1058

Mackay Science