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Nau mai, haere mai ki Te Iho Whenua. Geography is an environmental science concerned with the causes and organisation of natural and human phenomena across the globe

Geography is one of the most exciting subjects to study at university. We live in an interdependent world caught up in chains of events which span the globe. We depend upon increasingly fragile human and physical environments, whose complex interactions require sophisticated analysis and sensitive management. These issues present intellectual and practical challenges of the first importance and they are amongst the central problems of modern geography.

Te Iho Whenua – the connection between people and the earth. Our name in te reo Māori is derived from an important tikanga (custom). The identity it suggests, speaks of the pivotal relationship between people and the earth (Papatūānuku). Traditionally, it has been common to bury or return the placenta (whenua) of a newborn child to Papatūānuku, thereby connecting the child with the land (also ‘whenua’). This practice is known as iho whenua and is central to the concept of being tangata whenua (people of the land). For us as a Department of Geography, the name Te Iho Whenua symbolises our focus on the interwoven human and physical processes that together constitute the environment.

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Study Geography

If you would like to understand 'the big picture', then geography has a lot to offer you.

Study Geography at Otago

Postgraduate Opportunities

The Department of Geography encourages study at postgraduate level and has staff and facilities to support advanced research in a number of fields.

Apply now for postgraduate study at Otago

Our research

Our Research

Research in the Department of Geography reflects the specific interests of staff and their graduate students. The mix of interests is, of course, dynamic.

Research in the Department of Geography