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Brief History

The history of the Department of Geography in Zhejiang University goes back to the Department of History and Geography, founded in 1936 by the eminent president of the University, Professor Chu Kochen. The founding head of this department was late Professor ZHANG Qiyun, a former student of President Chu Kochen. Professor Zhang was the founding Editor-in-Chief of the journal Acta Geographia Sinica and later he established the Chinese Culture University in Taiwan. Over the past 82 years, this department has experienced various ups and downs, and has been reestablished as Department of Geography within the School of Earth Sciences since 2016.

The department currently has 22 faculty members with 4 full professors, 2 research professors, 11 associate professors, 4 lecturers and 1 lab manager. Our faculty members, although small in total number, have been often evaluated as the best teachers by students and do make effort to accomplish research of national and global importance. Our students are often top awardees in national and international competitions such as Science and Technology Progress, and Mathematical Contests.  


Nowadays the Department of Geography has three major teaching and research fields, i.e. Physical geography, Human geography and Geographic Information Science (GIS). Our undergraduate students are divided into two main research and working directions: 1) Human geography and urban and regional development and 2) Geographic information science. All undergraduate students, however, need to participate in fundamental courses and experiments in physical geography, human and economic geography and GIS, in additional to other courses following the education laws of China.

We offer high-quality programs for master and doctoral degrees in almost all fields of geography, including ‘Remote sensing and GIS’, ‘Urban and regional planning’, ‘Human geography’, ‘Physical geography’, ‘Geomorphology’, ‘Global change’, ‘Palaeoclimate’, etc. For further details, potential candidates are encouraged to directly contact our faculty members whose research interests and emails are available in their personal homepages at the University website. 

Research Area

The research carried out in the Department of Geography is focused mainly in three major fields:

    Physical geography

Our group of physical geography has done intensive studies on various topics in the field of physical geography including geomorphology, biogeography, ecology, etc. Some of us have worked in the drylands of northern China over the last decades, aiming to better understand the interactions between climate change, landscape evolution, surface processes and tectonics in the Earth surface system. Climate variation and landscape evolution since Pleistocene in Chinese deserts and in other regions including Zhejiang Province are investigated with great details via analyzing landscape and sediments, supported by numerical simulation and remote sensing.

    Human and economic geography

Our team is this research field is renewed due to their long-term and sustained achievements in human geography, economic geography, historical geography combined with aspects of physical geography, especially in land use and planning, river system management with consideration to tectonic and fluvial geomorphology. Several of us are specialized in identifying tourism and regional economic development strategies, analyzing high-tech industries and firm innovations, and using GIS and remote sensing techniques for the investigation of natural resources, environmental changes and human activities.

    GIS

As the largest team of the department, this division aims to better understand the geographic information science and its interaction with the natural resources, ocean, transportation, and human activities. Major research areas include space-time big data, cloud computing, cyber-GIS, high-performance geocomputing, spatio-temporal data mining and analysis, remote sensing and GIS applications, resources and environment analysis, spatial statistics; urban geography, landscape ecology, land use/cover change studies. The Zhejiang Provincial Key Lab of GIS is affiliated with this division.


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               866 Yuhangtang Road, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, P.R.China
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