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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.

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 the School of Geography, the name Te Iho Whenua symbolises our focus on the interwoven human and physical processes that together constitute the environment.

The School of Geography offers programmes in:

  • Applied Science / Environmental Management
  • Human Geography
  • International Development Planning
  • Physical Geography
  • Planning

and incorporates the Centre for Sustainability, an inter-disciplinary research centre.

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

Research in the School of Geography