College of Social Sciences
Social Sciences 445
2424 Maile Way
Honolulu, HI 96822
Tel: (808) 956-8465
Fax: (808) 956-3512
*M. Chapman, PhD (Chair)-population mobility, field methods, Melanesia
*S. D. Chang, PhD-China, urban development
*G. A. Fuller, PhD-population (fertility, policy aspects), geography of prophylaxis (fertility control, population and political instability)
*T. W. Giambelluca, PhD-climatology, hydrology
*J. Goss, PhD-urbanization, built environment, social theory, Southeast Asia
*N. D. Lewis, PhD-geography of health, human ecology, Pacific
*M. G. McDonald, PhD-agricultural change, social theory, political geography, Japan
*M. McGranaghan, PhD-computer cartography, geographic information systems
*B. J. Murton, PhD-cultural and historical geography, tropical agrarian systems,
*M. A. Ridgley, PhD-water resources, urbanization and environmental quality, human-environment system modeling, Latin America
*K. Suryanata, PhD-political ecology, agricultural geography, natural resource management, Third World
*R. A. Sutherland, PhD-geomorphology, soil erosion, water quality
*L. Wester, PhD-plant geography, biogeography of islands, human-plant relationships
*E. A. Wingert, PhD-cartography, remote sensing
*D. Woodcock, PhD-climatology, paleobiogeography
Cooperating Graduate Faculty
K. W. Bridges, PhD-computer cartography
J. O. Juvik, PhD-climatology, biogeography, resource management, humid tropics
J. Liu, PhD-tourism, regional development
M. D. Merlin, PhD-biogeography, natural history of Hawai'i
Affiliate Graduate Faculty
J. E. Bardach, PhD-marine and aquatic resources
J. Fox, PhD-social forestry
L. S. Hamilton, PhD-forest land use planning
C. J. Johnson, PhD-mineral resources and policies
J. Maragos, PhD-coastal and marine resources
J. R. Morgan, PhD-marine geography
T. A. Siddiqi, PhD-energy technology, environmental policy
Degrees Offered: BA in geography, MA in geography, PhD in geography
The Academic Program
Geography (GEOG) provides a broad perspective on people as inhabitants and transformers of the face of the Earth. It explores the complexity of the cultures, economies, histories, and ecologies that lie behind places on a map-places that make up the world we live in and pass on to our children. Three themes (the operation of interlocking systems of the natural environment; the relationship between nature and society; the relationship between location and society) focus upon challenges in the contemporary world such as global environmental change and its implications for human existence; resource management and regional development in the Third World; regional conflict fed by long standing economic, religious, or territorial differences; the making of resource and location decisions; and the display and management of spatial information. The department is uniquely placed to examine these issues in the Asia Pacific region. Hawai'i's historical, cultural, economic, social, and environmental context provides a fascinating setting for learning and research and can serve as a springboard into the wider region.
Students with a geography degree have gained both a holistic understanding of the world and a specific set of concepts and methodologies that can be applied to a wide range of career opportunities dealing with environmental and resources issues, location and resource decision-making, planning and policy questions, and the display of information on maps and through geographic information systems in all levels of government, private firms, nonprofit organizations, and international agencies.
Students must complete 37 credit hours including:
- GEOG 101/101L, 151, 375, 380, and 390
- One upper division course in each
- human geography (GEOG 305, 312, 314, 321, 324, 325, 326, 328, 330, 335, 336, 385, 410, 411, 412, 415, 420, 421, 435, 445, 455)
- physical geography (GEOG 300, 301, 303, 309, 400, 401, 402, 403, 404, 405, 410, 411, 412, 420)
- Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific regional problems (GEOG 352, 353, 355, 356, 365, 366, 368, 468)
- cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GEOG 370, 375, 387, 470, 472, 475, 476, 487, 488)
- Three additional upper division courses concentrated in one of four subdisciplines listed above
Individual programs are designed in consultation with the undergraduate adviser.
The minor in geography requires 15 credits of upper division course work in geography, which should include at least one course in three of four areas: human geography; physical geography; Hawaiian, Asian and Pacific regional problems; and cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems.
The department offers programs of graduate study and research leading to the MA and PhD degrees. Faculty interests and supporting strengths of the University provide advantages for study of the following general topics: (a) environmental studies and policies; (b) resource systems; (c) population, urbanization, and regional development; (d) cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems; and (e) Pacific and Asian regional problems.
Applicants are expected to have a broad-based undergraduate education encompassing basic courses in the physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities. They should have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of physical and human geography and of basic cartographic and quantitative techniques. Intended candidates for the MA or PhD need not have an undergraduate major in geography; students from related fields are welcome, but any subject-area weakness must be remedied by course work.
Holders of graduate degrees in geography are employed in research and administrative positions in county, state, federal, and international agencies; research positions in private business, especially consulting firms; and teaching positions in secondary schools, community colleges, colleges, and universities.
Applicants for admission to the MA program in geography must provide two transcripts, GRE scores (General Test only), completed application forms (available from the department and the Graduate Division), and three letters of reference.
The department offers a Plan A (thesis) program. In consultation with an advisory committee, the candidate plans a coherent program of study drawn from departmental offerings and pertinent courses from other University departments and programs. Each MA student must complete a minimum 31-credit program, including:
- 7 credit hours of core classes (GEOG 692, 695, 696)
- 15 credit hours in the chosen field of specialization
- 3 credit hours in advanced research skills
- 6 credit hours in GEOG 700 Thesis Research
The PhD program is highly selective, and admission is based upon demonstrated competence in previous work and promise of research ability. In addition to the materials required for MA admission, PhD applicants must submit representative samples of research writing and a comprehensive statement of professional goals and objectives. Students who have completed MA degrees in fields other than geography may be considered for admission to the PhD program. If admitted, however, they must undertake any remedial course work recommended by the department.
The PhD program consists of advanced courses and research seminars in the department, independent reading and research, and work in related disciplines. Each candidate will be expected to have taken the core program required for MA candidates or its equivalent. In addition, the following are common elements of all geography PhD programs:
1. Attendance and participation, while in residence, in the geography colloquium;
2. Familiarity with the general development of geographic thought (GEOG 695);
3. 30 credit hours in a major field and 15 credit hours in a minor field of departmental specialization (course work taken at the MA level may be used in partial fulfillment of this requirement)
4. Fulfillment of a research skills requirement including (a) one language and (b) 9 credit hours in research technique courses (quantitative, computer applications, cartography, remote sensing, field, bibliography, or laboratory) or a second language;
5. Passing of written and oral comprehensive examinations; and
6. Submission and defense of a satisfactory dissertation.