Geography and Environmental Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University is a strong, dynamic and innovative Department that prides itself as a consistent provider of high quality scholarly activity, programs and courses.
At the undergraduate level we offer nine programs that cover a broad spectrum of Geography. We offer BA and BSc degrees at both the Honours and General levels as well as combined programs. Our newest undergraduate program is the Geography and Geomatics degree.
At the graduate level, we offer MA, MES, MSc and PhD degrees in four fields of specialization: Environmental and Resource Management, Environmental Science, Human, and Geomatics.
The mission statement of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies stresses its commitment to: continuing to provide a dynamic undergraduate program covering a full range of knowledge, techniques and applications in geography and environmental studies; providing an array of stimulating undergraduate courses as a service to students from other disciplines; a graduate program emphasizing independent knowledge generation; faculty members engaged in developing new knowledge, innovative technical and educational approaches, with national and international horizons and fields of activity.
Undergraduate Advisor (Geography)
Dr. James Hamilton
Undergraduate Advisor (Environmental Studies)
People at Laurier
Dr. McLeman's research focus is on Environment and international migration to Canada. There is growing concern that anthropogenic climate change and sea level rise will lead to large scale population displacements in vulnerable regions. Recent evidence has shown that environmental events and conditions can have a significant influence on human migration in many parts of the world. This SSHRC-funded project led by Dr. McLeman is the first study to investigate how environmental conditions overseas may influence international migration to Canada. Researchers and graduate students at two Canadian universities are working with immigrant communities to identify and document the types of events and conditions most likely to stimulate migration to Canada, and to assess the implications for Canadian immigration, refugee, and immigrant settlement policies. Early results from research with immigrant communities with origins in Haiti, Somalia, and Francophone Africa suggest that environmental conditions in those regions can have direct and indirect effects on immigration decision-making. Often, these are experienced in the form of declining urban ecological conditions, with examples including water pollution, food security, lack of adequate sanitation and shelter, and poor air quality. The studies also suggest that the people most severely affected by adverse environmental conditions in those countries are not able to migrate to Canada, but are more likely to be displaced within their home countries.