We are still accepting applications for admission to our Geography Graduate Program!
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.
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People at Laurier
The objective of my research program is to examine the geomorphology of sand dunes in the Great Lakes Basin at the landform scale. Global Positioning Systems data are used in Geographic Information Systems to create maps of the surfaces of interest – foredunes, blowouts, established dune ridges, the beach-dune transition – and sequential maps are compared to determine the changes in the shapes of the features over time. Shape changes often result from increases or reductions to the sand supply to the system. These changes are caused by both natural processes and human impacts. Recognizing the difference between natural processes and human impacts is vital for Beach/Dune managers as the natural processes should be encouraged while the results of human impact need to be mitigated. I work with Parks Canada, Ontario Parks, Conservation Authorities, and Volunteer Groups (Friends of …) to determine both natural processes and human impacts for their areas and to recommend steps to mitigate human impact. Work at Pinery Provincial Park is ongoing to balance the need to for park visitors to access the beach while minimizing the impact on foredunes. At Point Pelee National Park, a current project includes measuring seasonal sand transport to the dune system to assist in re-establishing skink habitat. At Sauble Beach, the growth of the foredune is being monitored to assist the Friends of Sauble Beach in their work at providing beach access to visitors to the area.