The Department of Geography and Geology is a dynamic hub of interdisciplinary research and teaching encompassing not only the scientific study of the natural world but also the concerns of the humanities and social sciences. It provides students with a broad-based, research-led education and is one of the few academic Departments that synthesizes ideas and information from the geosciences, environment, economics, politics, society and culture. In a world characterized by rapid environmental change, our research and teaching adopt an holistic approach towards understanding our complex and diverse planet.
Within the Department of Geography and Geology are three research groups and one Geology museum:
The University of the West Indies Geology Museum (UWIGM) is located on the ground floor of the De la Beche Building, Department of Geography and Geology. The UWIGM was established in 1969 as a facility to house Department's geological collections, and was opened to the public in 1970.
The Geospatial Support Group is a resource centre in the Department of Geography and Geology (DOGG) serving its primary clients of students and staff of the department. It is however serves external clients from within the wider The University of the West Indies (UWI) community and outside of The UWI.
In the Department we place considerable emphasis on the linkages between developed and developing countries, and on applied themes that connect people to the environment, such as natural hazards and disaster management, tourism and coastal processes, natural resource management and the environment, and urban geography and planning. Our courses cover a wide range of material, from tropical and temperate countries, and from industrialized/developed countries and the developing world. However, the Caribbean region is our geographical tapestry, so naturally many of our courses include Caribbean examples – more so than any other university geography degree in the world. We even have a special, Level III course on the region. Thus, we want UWI geography graduates to have the broad world view of geography graduates elsewhere, but also to have a deeper understanding of the Caribbean than their counterparts from universities elsewhere in the world.
The Department provides a friendly teaching and learning environment for geographers and geoscientists. The administrative structure of the Department has changed several times since the Geography degree was introduced on the Mona campus in 1965. In 1996, Geography and Geology were merged to form a single academic department housed in two buildings. Building A (the de la Beche building) is the older building. The upper floor includes the offices of geography lecturers and the computer laboratory. The ground floor houses the offices of geology lecturers, teaching classrooms (Labs #1 and #2), and three analytical laboratories (sedimentology, optics and paleo-environmental). The basement houses a teaching classroom (Lab #3), the Geology Museum and the rock-cutting laboratory. Building B includes the Map Library and Undergraduate Reading Room and a teaching classroom (Lab #4).
We hope you find the department an exciting, stimulating and friendly place to study. Our most significant non-physical feature as a learning environment arises because we attract students from all over the Caribbean region; from Trinidad & Tobago, Barbados, St Vincent, St Kitts & Nevis and St Lucia and other islands, as well as Belize. The regional character of the UWI, allows us to offer West Indian students a West Indian experience, an opportunity to meet people from different parts of the region, to share educational, social and personal learning experiences and ideas, and forge lifetime friendships.