Research and Education at the Boundaries

For more than 50 years, UW has been home to one of the top ranked geography departments in Canada. Geography at Waterloo engages in scholarly research and education through the study of physical and human environments from local to global scales. Whether it is finding solutions to the climate emergency, understanding the relationship between economy and society, analyzing change in our physical environment, or developing novel technologies to better map our world, Geography bridges the social sciences (human geography), environmental information technologies (geomatics), and the natural sciences (physical geography) to find sustainable solutions to the problems that face our planet.

We also offer the only Geography and Aviation Bachelors degree in the world that provides professional flight training and develops student understanding of sustainable aviation.

If you are interested in a deep-rooted discipline that offers hands-on training, quantitative and qualitative skills development, and an integrative perspective needed to tackle the toughest contemporary environmental and sustainability challenges, you have come to the right place. The Department of Geography and Environmental Management (GEM) offers undergraduate degrees in:

  • Geography and Environmental Management (B.E.S.)
  • Geomatics (B.E.S.)
  • Climate and Environmental Change (B.Sc.)
  • Geography and Aviation (B.E.S.)

and graduate degrees/diplomas in:

  • Masters of Climate Change degree (M.C.C.)
  • Graduate Diploma in CLimate Risk Management (G.Dip)
  • Masters research degrees (M.E.S., M.A., M.Sc.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

GEM's Research Reputation


2021 Times Higher Education World University Rankings. #6 in Canada for Geography.

2021 QS World Rankings. #5 in Canada for Geography.

2021 Academic Ranking of World Universities. Top 75 in the World for Geography.

Climate and Env. Change

Starting in Fall 2022

Geography and Env. Mgmt.

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Geography and Aviation

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Book cover image_Cities as a tool for Sustainable Development

The conservation of endangered species is a critical challenge for sustainable development. Although

serious attempts are being made to reverse current trends, many species are threatened and their crucial habitats continue to be degraded and lost at alarming rates. A new 2023 volume, CITES as a Tool for Sustainable Development, seeks to underline and explore the legal aspects of implementing the CITES to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).