The department of Geography and Environmental Studies is one of the six departments in the School of Natural Sciences. As one of the founding departments of the University of Zambia, the department has a long history of producing well-trained professionals in various geographical and environmental fields. Among them include hydrologists, planners, resource scientists, energy economists, climate change specialists, conservationists, ecologists and rural development specialists working in various government units, development agencies, private firms and non-government organizations.
Currently, the department is running undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in geography, environment and natural resources management, spatial planning and geo-information science and earth observation. These programmes seek to respond to the social, economic and ecological challenges facing our planet such as climate change, loss of biodiversity, deforestation, rapid population growth, urbanization challenges and increasing global and regional inequalities. The department takes an integrated approach to the study of geography, environment, natural resources and spatial planning. All this is in a bid to achieve the vision of being the leading department (both within the country and in the region) in research and training that enhances the country’s capacity to achieve sustainable development.
Location of The Department
The Department is strategically located in the main building midway between the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and the School of Natural Sciences. Immediately below the Air photo. Interpretation room (API) is the University’s Computer Centre. The University Library, the Bookshop and the post office are all within a minute’s walk from the Department. Above the Geography and Environmental Studies main office is the Senior Staff Common Room that provides snacks, meals and soft drinks during working hours.
Facilities in the Department
The Department maintains two spatial planning studios, a GIS laboratory, a satellite receiver station and a fully equipped Meteorological Station for the University which was recently rehabilitated in order to bring it in line with other major stations in the country
Research Centres in the Department
The Centre for Urban Research and Planning (CURP) is an interdisciplinary research initiative on the dynamics of Zambia’s urbanisation and spatial planning. CURP was formed to fill the information and knowledge gap that has been created over the years in Zambia due to lack of dedicated and coordinated research in urbanisation and planning. The Centre was established to undertake cutting-edge applied research to provide adequate and reliable information on different aspects of Zambia’s cities, towns and regions. The Centre accords particular emphasis on defensible and policy relevant research to inform a sustainable human settlements development discourse in Zambia and the region. CURP also seeks to provide technical support for the newly introduced MSc in Spatial Planning Programme at the University of Zambia.
In addition to CURP, the department is developing a new GIS Centre with the support of SASSCAL. Once operational the centre will be the department’s hub for GIS training, research and consultancy.
CURP Coordinator: Dr. Gilbert Siame
GIS Centre Coordinator: Mr. Garikai Membele