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The Department of Geography and Environment at UNC Chapel Hill is committed to promoting diversity and a climate of inclusiveness in faculty, staff, and student body. We have a particular focus on historically underrepresented groups, but also are attentive to the broader questions of diversity that include attention to economic status, gender, sexuality, and ability.

Read our full faculty statement on diversity and our diversity committee’s mission statement. See also our June 2020 statement on anti-racism, our December 2018 and November 2019 statements on the confederate monument known as Silent Sam, and our March 2021 statement regarding violence against Asian and Asian-Americans across the U.S.

The Department of Geography and Environment at Carolina brings a unique perspective to the study of some of our world’s most pressing issues. Geographers integrate physical science, social science, and the humanities to study social and environmental patterns and processes on the earth’s surface. From analyzing regional dynamics of climate change, hydrology, vegetation, and biodiversity to investigating new global structures of work and labor, religion, public health, our faculty and students conduct cutting-edge research at one of the top geography departments in the country.

Explore our programs, see where our alumni are now, and find out how geography can help you get where you’re going. Geography just released its 2023 newsletter on Mother’s day! Please click here to download.

Geography Newsletters


Department of Geography and Environment Statement on the “No Peace Without Justice: A Round-Table Talk on Social Justice in Palestine” public event on November 28, 2023. 

This event was co-sponsored by the Department of Geography and Environment and intended to provide a scholarly and civil forum that brings learning and understanding of the historical context for the current violence in the Middle East. The appalling remarks made by one of the speakers at the event do not represent the position of the Department of Geography and Environment. We condemn all forms of speech advocating for violence or prejudice.  

No university funds were used for the event and no panelist was compensated. Students were not required to attend. 

Please see Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz’s statement and the message from the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences regarding the event.

There are no upcoming events at this time.


Prof. Lentz gives a talk on research at the University of Indonesia

While doing research in Jakarta and collaborating with the University of Indonesia, Prof. Lentz will deliver a talk on decolonization during the Cold War through a biography of Oey Hong Lee (1924-1992), an activist-intellectual whose overlooked work is as relevant … Read more

Geography Department Commemorates Graduation on April 26 with Honors for Outstanding Students

The department of Geography and Environment celebrates graduation on April 26. Group photo taken in front of Carolina Hall The following undergraduate students received awards: 1. McNally Award for Excellence in Geography: Amelia Jane Loeffler 2. Melinda Meade Award for … Read more

Professor Clark Gray Clinches 2023 IPUMS Research Award!

Celebrations abound as Dr. Clark Gray emerges victorious in the 2023 IPUMS Research Awards, clinching the prestigious accolade for his groundbreaking paper titled “Heat and drought reduce subnational population growth in the global tropics.” For more information about this award, … Read more

Celebrating Excellence in Geography – AAG Announces 2024 Fellows and Diversity & Inclusion Award Recipients

In a momentous occasion, the American Association of Geographers (AAG) has unveiled the distinguished individuals recognized for their outstanding contributions to the field. Among the esteemed honorees are Danielle Purifoy, named as one of the 2024 AAG Fellows, and Elizabeth … Read more




Headshot of James Ellsmoor smiling with a coast behind him.

James Ellsmoor

BA, Class of ’16

Founder, Island Innovation

“UNC Geography was my entry point into understanding the world and trying to make it a greener place. Now I am using these skills to implement sustainable development projects in island communities around the world.”

Headshot of ELLA.

Ella Koeze

BA, class of ‘15

Graphics Editor For The New York Times

“My GIS classes at UNC were the first time I ever truly thought about the power of visualizing data, which is now the basis of most of my work.”

Headshot of Claire Strack.

Claire Strack

BA, Class of ’21

Public Health Analyst at RTI International

“My training in spatial data science taught me many of the R skills that I now use on a near-daily basis to prepare and analyze spatial data. My exposure to spatial data science began with the course GEOG 215 where I applied the knowledge from the course under the supervision and guidance of Dr. Delamater. The technical background and problem-solving skills I gained from these experiences have played a crucial part in preparing me for my current role.”

What can I do with a Geography degree?