Assistant Professor: Environmental Geographer

San Diego State University
San Diego, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.


The Department of Geography at San Diego State University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty member at the Assistant Professor level in Environmental Geography. Candidates must have a PhD in Geography or a related field with specialization in the interconnections between sustainability, resource management and environmental policy. The candidate will develop independent, externally-funded research, and will teach and develop innovative curriculum at undergraduate and graduate levels in environmental policy, sustainability, and resource management. The hire will advise students in the Geography Department’s master’s degree programs and the joint SDSU-UCSB PhD in Geography. Anticipated start date for the position is Fall 2019. Ability to teach and conduct research at the intersection of human and physical geography preferred. Demonstrated excellence in teaching, scholarship and commitment to funded research activity is required. The successful candidate will lead cutting-edge research on environmental sustainability issues such as: water policy; land use policy and ecosystem services; biodiversity conservation; climate change; food and agriculture; parks and protected areas; or other topics relevant to natural resource management. This scholar will be well-equipped to address environmental challenges in our rapidly changing world. We expect the hire will approach these issues primarily from a social science perspective supported by a background in biophysical science. This position may also be eligible for the SDSU Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE) hiring program that creates additional faculty lines for candidates who meet two or more of the criteria listed in .  To be considered for one of these additional BIE hires, candidates should identify in their letter of application how they meet two or more of the criteria. Anticipated start date for the position is Fall 2019.

About SDSU, Geography Department, and Area of Environmental Policy, Sustainability and Management

SDSU is a large, diverse, urban university, with a commitment to diversity, equity, inclusive excellence and the teacher-scholar model. The university offers bachelor's degrees in 97 areas, 76 master's degrees and 22 doctorate degrees. SDSU is currently designated as a Doctoral / Research-Intensive University by the Carnegie Foundation and has been named on the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index as the No. 1 small research university in the nation. In fiscal 2016-17, SDSU faculty and staff attracted more than $134 million in grants and contracts. Academic Analytics consistently ranked SDSU faculty research productivity highly in 2007-2010: #1 out of 92 small research universities in the United States, #15 out of all 155 public research universities, and #35 out of all 222 American research universities.

Our 36,000 students represent one of the most ethnically and socioeconomically diverse student bodies of any major university. SDSU is a Hispanic Serving Institution and is ranked 10th in the nation in conferring baccalaureate degrees to minorities according to Academic Analytics.  Our campus community is diverse in many ways, including race, religion, color, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, pregnancy, medical condition, and covered veteran status. We strive to build and sustain a welcoming environment for all. SDSU is seeking applicants with demonstrated experience in and/or commitment to teaching and working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and members of underrepresented groups.

Within SDSU, the Department of Geography has one of the strongest research programs, with focus areas in biophysical geography, remote sensing, watershed analysis, human-environment interactions, GIScience, geocomputation, and human and urban geography.  The Department offers M.A. degrees in Human and Environmental Geography, as well as M.S. degrees in Geographic Information Science and Watershed Science.  The joint doctoral program with the University of California, Santa Barbara is 7th ranked nationally according to the most recent report from Academic Analytics.  See for more information. 

Environment and sustainability are key components of geographic research and teaching. Our department takes a transdisciplinary approach to understand and develop innovative solutions to our world’s most pressing environmental, social and technological challenges. We use quantitative and qualitative analytical approaches, critical theory, and cutting-edge geo-spatial technologies to understand and draw connections between local outcomes and global forces, such a climate change, water resources, disease, globalization, resource depletion, inequality, youth and migration. Our research vision is to use our skills, knowledge, spatiotemporal thinking and geo-spatial technologies to advance theory, conduct policy-relevant research, and find sustainable solutions to social and environmental problems, both locally and globally.

Through our classes and graduate programs, we aim to provide students with the knowledge, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills, and proficiency in geospatial techniques required to understand complex global and local interdependencies between people, places and environments.  Geography students master theories and practices in physical sciences, social sciences, and humanities, as well as geospatial technologies. Our students not only develop abilities to conduct research, analyze evidence, and communicate clearly, but they also learn how to develop solutions to real world problems using an integrative approach. We see learning about the dynamics of human-environment systems as particularly relevant now and in the future.

The successful applicant should expect to teach at least several of the following extant courses offered by our department, with the potential to develop additional courses in their area of expertise:

Geography 170: Sustainable Places and Practice
Geography 370: Conservation and Science Policy
Geography 426: Regional Field Studies
Geography 454: Sustainable Cities
Geography 570: Environmental Conservation Practices 
Geography 572: Land Use Analysis
Geography 573: Population and Environment 
Geography 575: Geography of Recreational Land Use
Geography 670: Environmental Conservation Theory 
Geography 770: Seminar in Environmental Conservation. 

The particular expertise associated with this position, as well as the potential for multi-disciplinary collaboration, justify high expectations for significant external funding. The hire is expected to be active in extramural research funding from sources such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF), and other environmentally-focused foundations.

This position will support collaborative linkages within the department in the areas of (associated Geography faculty in parentheses): water resources (Biggs, McMillan); climate (DeSales); food and agriculture (Marcelli, Bosco); biogeography and landscape ecology (An, O’Leary, Stow); environmental statistics (An, Christakos); social-ecological systems (An, Levine, Marcelli); environmental planning and policy (An, Biggs, Christakos, Jankowski, Levine, McMillan, O’Leary, Stow), geospatial information systems and analysis (An, Christakos, Jankowski, Nara, Skupin, Stow, Tsou); and children, youth and family studies (Aitken, Bosco Marcelli, and Swanson).  The hire will also be well situated to join various research clusters in which our department participates: Blue Gold - water tied to changes in human population, societal demand, and climate change; Climate Change and Sustainability Studies (C2S2) – predicting regional climate, its impact, and human adaptions and mitigation; and Human Dynamics in the Mobile Age (HDMA).  Other research centers in the Geography Department include: Center for Information Convergence and Strategy (CICS), Center for Earth Systems Analysis and Research (CESAR), International Population Center (IPC), and Youth, Environment, Society and Space (YESS). Additionally, the hire will have significant opportunity for potential collaboration with other units on campus, including: Anthropology, City Planning, Ecology, Economics, Geological Science, Graduate School of Public Health, History, Humanities, Philosophy, and Sociology.

Application Instructions

Applications should include: 1) letter of application describing research and teaching interests, 2) curriculum vitae including list of publications, presentations, and past, current and pending funding, and 3) list of three references with contact information. Letters will be obtained from references upon request, with a requested turnaround time of approximately two weeks. Electronic submission of application materials should be sent via Interfolio. Applications received by October 1, 2018 will receive full consideration. The position will remain open until filled. For additional information see or contact the Chair of the Search Committee, Doug Stow,

The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the California Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Act and is required to comply with the requirements set forth in CSU Executive Order 1083 as a condition of employment. 

A background check (including a criminal records check) must be completed before any candidate can be offered a position with the CSU. Failure to satisfactorily complete the background check may affect the application status of applicants or continued employment of current CSU employees who apply for the position.