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Population, Development & Sustainability

Hands holding a globeOur geographers study sustainable population growth and development. The United Nations has projected that by 2050 the world’s population will be 9.7 billion, with much of that growth occurring in urban areas. These urban regions vary in their level of development, and environmental dynamics, such as climate change, threaten populations living there. A lack of sustainable development in the future will worsen problems associated with poverty, such as environmental justice and public health crises.

Courses and Degrees

Courses in Population, Development, and Sustainability cover topics of population growth, cities, transportation, politics, public health, energy, economy, and more broadly, sustainability. Students taking these courses will gain an understanding of today’s major issues with population, development and sustainability globally and develop best practices to alleviate burdens of future growth. These courses can be combined within the Population, Development, and Sustainability undergraduate emphasis for the Geography BS. 


Tim Collins

Professor, Director of Undergraduate Studies – human-environment interactions; vulnerability; hazards and disasters; environmental justice; health disparities; climate change, water, wildfire, and air pollution

Tom Cova

Professor  environmental hazards, emergency management, transportation, geographic information science

Andrew M. Linke

Assistant Professor political geography, political violence, Kenya, spatial statistics, GIS, climate change and conflict

Neng Wan

Associate Professor, Director of the Utah Geo-Health Lab GIS and spatial methods in understanding and solving environmental health problems. Director of the MSGIS program.

Yehua Dennis Wei

Professor economic/urban geography, global urban and regional development, regional science and spatial analysis, China

Last Updated: 3/26/21