The Department of Geography and Environmental Development comprises 13 faculty members, several post-doctoral fellows, part-time lecturers, some of whom are from the Blaustein Institute for Desert Research. The emphasis of the department is on applied research with four specializations both in research and teaching: Urban and regional
development, Geomorphology, Geographic Information Technologies, and Environmental studies. The orientation is towards issues of regional and
environmental development, in general, and in arid and semi-arid zones such as the Negev desert, in particular.
Urban and regional development deals with subjects of
core-periphery problems, settlements in sparsely populated
areas, nomadic populations and urban, rural, tourism and
transportation planning. Geomorphology concentrates on
geomorphic desert issues viz. fluvial, aeolian and marine
processes. Environmental protection emphasizes climatology,
meteorology, air pollution, environmental erosion and
degradation, as well as policy issues and impact assessment
studies. All three specializations are very appropriate to
the regional mission of BGU, and thus serve the Negev
region. A minor program (28 units) in Urban Studies is
chaired by a member of the Department of Geography.
The curriculum encompasses B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. programs
reflecting the three specializations. The graduate MA program
offers two tracks. The first is research-oriented and
includes writing of a research thesis. The second program is oriented
towards general geographical studies and, instead of the thesis, requires
writing seminar papers. The M.A programs include field
research projects. The structure of the M.A. program is
unique in Israeli education and enhances the attractiveness
of the department.
Admission to the Ph.D. program depends
on mutual research interest of the candidate and a faculty
The department has several laboratories: GIS, Remote Sensing, and computer-aided
cartography connected online to satellites delivering just-on-time images; Geomorphological laboratories which comprise a wind tunnel for aeolian simulation work; Environmental studies and soil laboratory; On-campus climatological station delivering online weather data; and World uniqe series of fluvial stations automatically monitoring water flow and sediment.