Welcome message from the Department Head – Dr. Cindy Zhang

Dr. Chuarong Zhang
Dr. Cindy Zhang

Welcome to the Department of Geography at University of Connecticut (UConn).  A distinct identity for our department is its interdisciplinary nature with emphasis on spatial thinking.  Our department is multifaceted and has diverse fields ranging from geosciences, GIS, to social & cultural geography. The broad academic backgrounds of our faculty and the spatial thinking approach make our department easy to connect with many other disciplines in collaborative endeavors.

The vision of our department is to lead the interdisciplinary investigation of many critical social and natural challenges and problems of the 21st century tied to regional, landscape, and environmental changes through a spatiotemporal lens. We emphasize geospatial concepts and lead the development of geography, geoscience, and GIS programs to attract outstanding undergraduate & graduate students and faculty.

The major missions of our department include: (1) to conduct research that advances scientific knowledge in geographical science and support interdisciplinary research programs, (2) to train students in spatial thinking at both undergraduate and graduate levels to serve society, and (3) to provide innovative professional service to broader communities through various outreach programs using new geographical concepts and spatial methods.

The department offers two majors (BA and BS in Geography) and two minors (Geography and GIS) undergraduate programs, three graduate programs (Ph.D., M.A. and M.S. programs), and a GIS Certificate program. The overarching goal of both our undergraduate and graduate programs is to train next generation of students to serve society and be critical spatial thinkers, using geographic theories and approaches to tackle some of the most challenging problems and questions facing the discipline and society.

We have excellent faculty with diverse transdisciplinary interests and connections. Our faculty’s research focuses on four cluster areas: GIS, spatial analysis of social issue, earth-environment interactions, and human dimensions of climate change. These four clusters emphasize the importance of space, place, human, and the environment in addressing important research issues across natural and social sciences and the humanities.

I invite you to browse through our website and learn more about our department. Please contact me (cindy.zhang@uconn.edu) if you have any questions or comments.

Chuanrong (Cindy) Zhang

Professor and Department Head