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Aerial view of Gould Street facing west

Ryerson Virtual Open House: November 18th, 2020

Come join the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at our Virtual Open House!

Faculty, staff, and students will be present to provide information about our undergraduate programs in Geographic Analysis (GA) and Environment & Urban Sustainability (EUS). 

The GA Virtual Program Session 9-10am

The EUS Virtual Program Session 3-4pm

Register at:

Ryerson health geographer rises to the COVID-19 challenge

Prof. Lu Wang

While the novel corona virus closed university campuses in March, Ryerson researchers are actively addressing the crisis. Professor Lu Wang of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies will examine how risk perception and prevention behaviour affect individual movement among Toronto’s culturally diverse communities. The project will enhance our understanding of the social dynamics of transmission and inform public health responses and decision-making related to the identification of high-risk groups, setting vaccine priority and resource allocation.

Geographic Analysis career night

Geographic Analysis career night poster

The Student Association of Geographic Analysis presents its 5th annual career night. The event brings current students together with alumni working in data analytics, urban planning, and public health.   

Ryerson Geography organizes first-ever Canadian location intelligence conference

LIKE Canada registration desk

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies was the inaugural host of LIKE Canada, the Location Intelligence Knowledge Exchange initiated by our industry partners Royal Bank of Canada, Telus, and Environics Analytics. A series of presentations and panels covered topics ranging from big data, analytics, and privacy to transportation and climate change. A catered lunch and industry exhibit provided opportunities for students to connect with professionals. There is a summary of LIKE Canada based on participants' tweets.  

PhD student receives 2020 Geoffrey F. Bruce Fellowship in Canadian Freshwater Policy


Edward (Evan) Millar is a PhD candidate in Environmental Applied Science and Management and one of two recipients of a 2020 Geoffrey F. Bruce Fellowship in Canadian Freshwater Policy. Evan came to Ryerson with a BA in English from McGill University and an MA in Communication and Culture from York University. His PhD research focuses on participatory water monitoring programs in Ontario and citizen science, and is co-supervised between the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies and the Department of Chemistry and Biology.

Professor's paper on "sanctuary cities" among 10 most impactful articles on migration studies

Professor Harald Bauder

Congratulations to Geography professor Dr. Harald Bauder, whose paper on "Sanctuary Cities: Policies and Practices in International Perspective" was listed as one of the top-10 most influential recent articles on migration studies by the United Nations' International Organization for Migration. More details can be found under Ryerson research news. In addition to being a faculty member in our department, Dr. Bauder also serves as the graduate program director of the MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies.  

Geographic Analysis Internship Night

Students attending SAGA internship night

The Student Association of Geographic Analysis (SAGA) executive organized another internship night for fellow students. Several 4th-year students presented their experience with the required work placement. The 2nd- and 3rd-year students in attendance learned about the application and interview process, internship opportunities across all fields of application, and how to turn the placement into a stepping stone towards a rewarding professional career.

Alumnus Makes Headlines with Toronto Police


BA in Geographic Analysis alumnus Kevin Miudo was portrayed in the TPSNews as "Alert Off-Duty Analyst Helps in Arrest". In addition to the unusual incident described, the article also outlines Kevin's day-to-day tasks as a newly hired civilian Crime Analyst at 51 Division. Crime analysis is one of the many fields of application of the geographic research and geospatial technology skills taught in Ryerson's Geography department.

Statement in Support of Climate Day of Action

Ryerson University quad

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Ryerson University supports #FridaysForFuture and the upcoming Global Climate Strike on September 27, 2019. We express our encouragement and solidarity with the striking youth and adults. Climate change is an existential threat to humanity and sustainability is a core value of Ryerson University, as noted in a statement by the Provost and Vice President, Academic. The Ryerson Faculty Association's Executive equally endorses the Global Climate Strike and academic accommodations for students who participate in local Climate Day of Action events. We hope that the imaginative and peaceful youth strikes are a turning point for climate action.  

Program Information for Ontario Universities' Fair


At the upcoming Ontario Universities' Fair, September 27-29, 2019, we will again be distributing the Department's "cue cards" with the following program information:

BA (Hons) in Environment and Urban Sustainability
Testimonials -
Mind-Action -
News and events -
Homepage -
BA (Hons) in Geographic Analysis
Testimonials -
Jobs -
News and events -
Homepage -

Symposium on Healthy Aging and Access to Healthcare Service among Older Immigrants in Toronto

Lu Wang

Dr. Lu Wang is organizing a symposium that focuses on healthy aging among older immigrants within the Greater Toronto Area. The project, funded by CIHR (Canadian Institutes of Health Research), is entitled “Spatial and Language Discordance in Accessing Physicians among Older Immigrants in Toronto: Identifying Barriers, Facilitators and Interventions.

Location: POD372 (Podium Building)

Ryerson University, 350 Victoria Street, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3

Proposed program:

8:30-9:00 am       Light refreshments

9:00-10:00 am     Welcome & Project Overview

10:00-12:00 am   Speakers: Insights from the community, research and healthcare sectors                        

12:00-1:00 pm     Lunch

1:00-2:30 pm       Group discussions

Please send your rsvp to Alexandra Wehr

Professor Larry Fullerton, MA, CFA (1946-2019)


It is with great sadness that we acknowledge the passing of our friend and colleague Larry Fullerton (BA, MA, York University), on Thursday April 18, at his home in Toronto, after a valiant battle with illness, surrounded by his loved ones. During this difficult time, we keep in our thoughts Professor Fullerton’s wife Anna Wycher, as well as his daughter Rhian and his extended family.

Born on December 22, 1946 in Willowdale, Professor Fullerton started at Ryerson University (Ryerson Polytechnic Institute at that time) after a job interview that, he recalled, involved little more than a vigorous chat over a cup of coffee. Over the years, he taught a diverse range of courses, but was happiest with those that were related to tourism and recreation studies.  Outside the classroom, service to Ryerson included his position for many years as coach of the women’s badminton team.

A retired member of the Canadian Forces with 44 years of service, Professor Fullerton was able to combine two of his passions, geography and battlefields, in research projects that involved putting his knowledge of geolocation to use in researching the background of all infantry members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF).  Few of us were given the opportunity to witness his talents as a musician, but he was a gifted and well respected bag-piper and percussionist. Widely recognized for his role as the long-time drum-major with the 48th Highlanders of Canada, he held the rank of Master Warrant Officer.  Over many years, he contributed to the evolution of the Canadian National Exhibition in his capacity as a programmer for and director of numerous musical productions.  Larry’s commitment to community was further evident in the generous support he lent to Variety Village which works with young people who experience disabilities and developmental barriers.

For his many accomplishments and honour, Larry was awarded Commemorative Medals for the Silver and Golden Jubilees of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.

Professor Fullerton was highly appreciated by colleagues at Ryerson and beyond for his true collegiality, for his capacity always to derive enjoyment from circumstance and for a well-developed and often self-deprecating sense of humour.  Larry often mused that on his first day of teaching in 1969, he was prevented, because of his youthful appearance, from using an elevator that at the time was reserved for faculty alone.

A celebration of life ceremony will be held on June 1 with details to follow.

Human Environment Interactions in a Changing World Event


The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies is pleased to host three experts with wide-ranging perspectives on the ways in which human-environment interactions are changing within contemporary urban environments. The speakers’ expertise ranges from a focus on the impacts of unfolding transportation and land-use developments to the socio-ecological impacts of modern agricultural systems, urban forests and greenspace. These issues will be explored by way of a panel discussion and question period. Refreshments and networking to follow - all are welcome!

March 29th,Ted Rogers School of Management Building TRS 3-109 from  2:00-4:30pm.


Dr. Steven Farber, Department of Human Geography, University of Toronto Scarborough

Dr. Marney Isaac, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough

Dr. Tenley Conway, Department of Geography, University of Toronto Mississauga

Retail Panel - GIS & Spatial Analytics in Retail and Marketing


This in-class panel featured discussions by professionals and former graduates from the Geographic Analysis program. The focus of the discussion was around the role of GIS and data analytics in retail and marketing. The event was open to anyone interested in location intelligence and spatial analysis in business and other real-world applications.   

David Ross Layton, 1956-2018

Portrait photo of David Layton

We are shocked and saddened by the untimely death of David Ross Layton on April 24, 2018.

Dave was one of the early graduates of the BAA in Applied Geography and an exemplary representative of a new understanding of geography's role in the business and non-profit sectors. He received Ryerson's highest student honour, the Gold Medal, upon graduation in 1980. Dave was proud of his association with Ryerson Geography and returned to campus as a long-term member of his program's advisory council, where his thoughtful, measured contributions were greatly appreciated. His varied career and extensive volunteer work earned him a 2006 Alumni Achievement Award.

Dave will be sorely missed by the Ryerson community. Our condolences and thoughts are with the Layton family.  

Master of Spatial Analysis alumna profiled by Yeates School of Graduate Studies

Photo of Amanda Maze

Amanda Maze, MSA '04,was profiled in the "Alumni of Grad Studies" series on the Yeates School of Graduate Studies Facebook page at With a BA in Geography from Queen's University and a Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) from Ryerson, Amanda started her career as Senior Analyst at one of the big-five banks and was later recruited as Real Estate Market Research Manager for a major retail company, where she is now Director of the Spatial Strategy team.

The MSA is one of Ryerson's longest-running graduate degrees with extraordinary career opportunities in geography, GIS, retail, marketing, banking, real estate, environment, conservation, planning, health, and public safety. See for program information.  

Geographic Analysis student honoured by industry partner

Screenshot of Esri Canada's GIS Ambassador program homepage

Fourth-year Geographic Analysis student Nick Pulsone is the first recipient of an Esri Canada GIS Ambassador of the Month award. Esri's GIS Ambassador program supports K-12 teachers introducing Geographic Information Systems and geospatial analysis in the classroom. Nick's journey from Skills Ontario GIS competitor to Ryerson Geography student and GIS Ambassador is outlined in Esri's blog post at

Geography Career Events at Ryerson

SAGA career night poster

In collaboration with the Chang School for Continuing Education and Ryerson's Career Centre, the Department organized a mock interview session with employer representatives, to prepare Geographic Analysis and GIS certificate students for internship and job interviews. The highly successful event will become a recurring element of the work placement in the Geographic Analysis program.

On the following evening, the Student Association of Geographic Analysis, again in collaboration with the Career Centre, organized a panel of alumni to speak about their studies, internship, job search, and work experience. Geographic Analysis alumni working at Environmental Risk Information Systems, Town of East Gwillimbury, BlueDot, and McDonald's Canada provided many insightful tips to current students.  

Why your geography degree will get you a job

City of Toronto - view from Toronto Islands

Read about Ryerson's unique approach to Geography as an applied field of study and professional career at Ryerson Today interviewed our former student Heather Hart about her role as Business Insights Consultant at McDonald's Canada. Within just a few years of graduation, Heather has already held analyst jobs in market research and public health prior to joining McDonald's. The article also cites our Department's internship coordinator Joe Aversa about the pervasive use of Geographic Information Systems in business and government, with the City of Toronto being one of the largest employers.

Is Amazon Go the future of grocery shopping?

CBC interview with Alex Arifuzzaman

Alex Arifuzzaman, entrepreneur and contract lecturer in our Department, spoke to CBC The National about Amazon Go, Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods, and the impact on other grocery retailers. Alex is a 2001 graduate of our Bachelor of Applied Arts in Applied Geography (now the BA in Geographic Analysis). He also holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management and is teaching in the MBA program at the Schulich School of Business. His expertise in retail analytics is frequently sought by the media, as shown in the interviews collected at See the full CBC report at

Open Data Providers, Portals, and Platforms

Cover page of URISA Journal, vol 28

Prof Claus Rinner and Dr. Victoria Fast, our Department's first PhD graduate and now herself a Professor at the University of Calgary, co-edited a special issue of the Journal of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association. The collection of articles attempts to answer questions such as: What is the status of open data? Who uses these data, and for what purposes? How important is geographic information and GIS for open data? What is the role of government, librarians, citizens? One of the articles is based on our Master's student Edgar Baculi's undergraduate research on the geospatial contents of municipal open data catalogs in Canada. The full journal issue is available via

Monitoring Mumbai's Mangroves

Satellite image of Mumbai, India

NASA Earth Observatory images by Jesse Allen, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey

Prof Eric Vaz was cited in a story on NASA's Visible Earth Web site at In a response to a NASA Earth Observatory image, Dr. Vaz comments on the overall decline of the mangrove forest in India's largest city. His 2014 publication referenced by NASA used landscape metrics to measure the growing urban footprint of Mumbai and the loss of coastal wetlands.

Building a Smarter City with GIS

Downtown Toronto aerial view

Downtown Toronto aerial view

The City of Toronto is using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) across its operations and employs Geographers, including alumni of our Department, in most of its units, including Planning, Transportation, Waste Management, Public Health, Police Services, Environment & Energy, Parks & Recreation, Major Capital Infrastructure Coordination, and the Geospatial Competency Centre. They are looking for more student interns and graduates with skills in geospatial analysis! See examples of how the City is getting "smarter" with GIS at

Ryerson University Open House

RyersonGeo programs and areas of application

Come join the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Ryerson Open House on November 17th!

Faculty, staff, and students will be present to provide information about our undergraduate programs in Geographic Analysis (GA) and Environment & Urban Sustainability (EUS). We have an exciting line up of activities, which include booths at the fair (POD-250 from 10-2), a GIS demonstration (POD-348 at 11), EUS program information session (POD-348 at 12) and GA drop-ins (JOR-602 from 12-2). Registration and Ryerson-wide information is posted at

We look forward to meeting you!

Combine Geographic Analysis with Pilot Training

Plane at Genesia Flight College

Plane at Genesia Flight College

We are pleased to announce a partnership with Genesis Flight College in Collingwood to support stundents who wish to pursue the BA (Hons) in Geographic Analysis and a Commercial Pilot License (CPL) concurrently. A CPL completed during studies in the Geographic Analysis program will count towards the program's internship requirement.

Application/admission, enrolment, and completion of the two programs is managed separately according to each organization's procedures. For more information, visit or

Ryerson Urban Forest Research in the News Again


Screenshot of Citytrees news report on TVO web site

Dr. Andrew Millward, Geography Professor and Program Director of the BA in Environment and Urban Sustainability, made the news again. His research group, former student Nikesh Bhagat, and collaborators at the Toronto District School Board developed the Citytrees mobile app as a citizen science tool to collect data about trees on public and private land. The app will help engage TDSB students in protecting and increasing Toronto's urban forest, which provides important economic and ecological services to all of us. More detail can be found at

The Inner Workings of Local Government

Councillor Mike Layton speaks with EUS 550 students

Councillor Mike Layton speaks with EUS 550 students

City of Toronto Councillor Mike Layton (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina) was invited to Dr. Sara Edge's class EUS 550 "Sustainable Cities, Politics & Equity", to speak with Environment and Urban Sustainability students. He engaged a full room in an accessible and lively discussion about Council's current priorities and challenges related to building an inclusive, equitable, and sustainable Toronto. Councillor Layton's visit went a long way in demystifying the complexities of local government and championing the importance of active citizenship.

2017 Ontario Universities Fair - Essential Program Information


Department faculty, staff, and students are looking forward to meeting prospective students, families, and friends at the 2017 Ontario Universities Fair (OUF) in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre this weekend. Geography is often overlooked or misunderstood as a career choice, and we are certain that we can explain to you why it is in fact one of the best choices you can make for your post-secondary education. To facilitate your access to program information, here are the links from our OUF "cue card".

BA (Hons) in Environment and Urban Sustainability:

- Testimonials -
- Spotlight -

BA (Hons) in Geographic Analysis:

- Testimonials -
- Jobs -
- Fun -

Geographic Analysis students exploring Italy and Austria

Ryerson Geography students on field studies in Salzburg, Austria

Ryerson Geography students on field studies in Salzburg, Austria

A group of 27 BA in Geographic Analysis students are headed to Europe for a 9-day field trip. The students will be exploring topics across all fields of study in their program, ranging from smart cities to geomorphology, and local retail structures to climate change. The senior field trip offered in our undergraduate programs is an important component of our experiential and global learning contributions.  

Busy week for researchers @RyersonGeo

Logos of this week's conferences

While the Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences is in full swing on Ryerson's campus, several of our faculty are attending the concurrent 2017 Annual Meeting of the Canadian Association of Geographers (CAG) at York University and the 2017 Joint Annual Scientific Meeting of the Canadian Geophysical Union (CGU) and the Canadian Society of Agricultural and Forest Meteorology (CSAFM) at the University of British Columbia. Over the weekend, activities on Ryerson's campus continue with the Local News conference organized by the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre.  

Another collaboration with Toronto Police Services

Screenshot of Toronto Police Service news titled "App Connects Community to Help"

In conjunction with the Toronto Police Service's "Action Plan: The Way Forward", graduate and undergraduate students of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies are involved in the data processing for, and the design and development of, a map-based online app that supports officers in locating nearby mental health services for people in distress. This "Community Asset Portal" will eventually be publicly available. Other partners include the City of Toronto's Social Policy and Research unit and Findhelp Information Services ( This project has drawn significant media interest with a CBC interview, Toronto Star article, and internal Toronto Police Service and Ryerson University news.  

EUS Students Organize Panel Discussion on Climate Change and Environmental Racism


The Environment and Urban Sustainability Student Association (EUSSA) organized a discussion on climate change and environmental racism. A panel of five academics and community activists explored the disproportionate impact of climate change on marginalized communities. The role of globalization and the prevalent socio-economic system was debated with an engaged audience of students from across campus.

The BA in Geographic Analysis, a Family Saga


Fourth-year Geographic Analysis student Melissa Snable walks in the footsteps of her parents, who met in the program (then called Applied Geography), from which they both graduated in the late 1980s. Melissa is a member of the Student Association of Geographic Analysis (SAGA) since 2nd year and received several student awards, including the program's 2016 Alumni Award. Read the full story in Ryerson's February 2017 alumni newsletter at

MSA Student Sweeps Graduate Studies Contests


Master of Spatial Analysis student Joseph Ariwi collected two 2nd prizes at the Yeates School of Graduate Studies' "Why Ryerson?" and "My Voice, Our Future" contests. The first contest was for a 20-word statement explaining why the student chose Ryerson for their graduate education, for which Joe wrote: "I chose Ryerson for my graduate education because of the depth of expertise and diversity of culture found on campus." The second contest was for a 1-minute video on the student's journey to Ryerson and where they are headed. Joe's video is available at A recap of the awards ceremony is posted at

Indigenous Knowledge Inspires EUS Students

Elders Cat Criger and Joanne Dallaire along with Ryerson alumna Roberta Nakoochee and student Danielle Sinclair shared Indigenous perspectives on environment and urban sustainability in an informal panel conversation. The session was co-organized by Geography Profs Atkinson, Edge, and Oswald together with Ryerson's Career Centre for students in EUS 801 with an open invitation to the university community. An audience of over 100 students, faculty, and staff from the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Community Services were fascinated by the applicabilty of Indigenous knowledge to western concepts such as recycling, conservation, water protection, and socio-economic sustainability.

Tracking Noise Across the City

Photo of student on ladder

With a team of undergraduate and graduate students, Dr. Tor Oiamo is conducting the first comprehensive study of environmental noise in the city of Toronto. In late summer, the team placed sound level meters on hydro poles across the City, each measuring noise from traffic, construction, and other sources for about one week. The project is now in the modeling and analysis phase.

This study was initiated and funded by Toronto Public Health, who provide more information on their Web site.

Geography – The Secret Sauce of Data Analytics

For GIS Day 2016, students and faculty participated in the user conference of Environics Analytics, Canada's premier marketing and analytical services company. The conference attracted 675 data analysts from 350 public and private sector organizations, all working with geodemographics to support informed decision-making.

The core role of Geography and location in data analytics was emphasized by many presenters. Environics Analytics founder and president Jan Kestle identified Geography as the "secret sauce" that enables data integration for advanced analytics. The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Ryerson University received shout-outs and accolades for training the next generation of data analysts through its BA in Geographic Analysis and MSA in Spatial Analysis programs. A significant number of conference participants are graduates of these two programs.  

A summary of our conference participation can be found at, while a detailed Twitter timeline was recorded at

Global Citizenship at RyersonGeo - Student Blog about Netherlands Field Trip

BA in Geographic Analysis student Selasi Dorkenoo has completed a comprehensive blog about her class's GEO773 Field Studies to the Netherlands. This course explores the host country's approaches to problem-solving across the location, urban, environmental, and geotechnology concentrations in the Geographic Analysis program, providing students with a unique overseas experience. Don't miss Selasi's day-to-day report with extensive photo coverage at  

GIS Professionals Meet in Toronto

Some 350 Geographic Information Systems (GIS) professionals from across Canada, the United States, and overseas met for the 54th annual conference of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). This year's meeting was held in downtown Toronto and provided opportunities for Geography students to participate as speakers, volunteers, and attendees.

Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) graduates Justin Pierre and Richard Wen presented their research in the areas of participatory mapping and machine learning. The contribution by Drs. Claus Rinner and Claire Oswald was titled "3D-Printed Geography for Education, Outreach, and More?" The Department also had a booth in the exhibit hall, collaborating with the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority, who brought their augmented-reality sandbox. Ten BA in Geographic Analysis, BA in Environment and Urban Sustainability, as well as MSA students volunteered for the conference and at the booth, with ample time to attend career-relevant breakout sessions and keynote speeches.

More details and photos from the event can be found at

Applied Geography, Alive and Well at Ryerson

Faculty members Drs. Tony Hernandez and Richard Shaker as well as Adjunct Professor Dr. Tony Lea attended the 39th Applied Geography Conference, October 26-29, 2016, in Louisville, Kentucky. Continuing the tradition of our Department - the former School of Applied Geography -, Dr. Hernandez, with co-author and senior research fellow and Dean Emeritus Dr. Maurice Yeates, documented spatio-temporal impacts of exchange rates on online retailing, while Dr. Shaker examined sustainable landscape function.

Fifteenth Anniversary of MSA Class of '01


On the occasion of this year's convocation, we were able to secure a recording of the Fall 2001 ceremony, in which a class of eight Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA) candidates graduated - the first graduate degrees ever to be conferred at Ryerson University! The video excerpt is posted on the Department's Youtube channel at Note that the honorary doctorate in that ceremony was no other than world-renowned primate researcher Dr. Jane Goodall.

In these last 15 years, more than 300 students have obtained the MSA degree and went on to command the local and regional job market for applied Geographers, GIS Analysts, and data analytics professionals across all fields of application.

RyersonGeo at the Ontario Universities Fair

Dear high school students, parents, and friends, if you are attending the Ontario Universities Fair this weekend, please stop by our department's programs in the Faculty of Arts booth. As you speak with our knowledgeable and friendly faculty, staff, and student ambassadors, you may find a "cue card" in the Ryerson admissions handbook. For ease of access, here are the direct links included on the cards.  

BA in Geographic Analysis:
- Fun,
- Jobs,
- Testimonials,
- Spotlight,

BA in Environment and Urban Sustainability:
- Testimonials,
- Spotlight,

Meanwhile, the Department's Twitter feed @RyersonGeo is buzzing with information on faculty and student research, jobs in Geography, and the ongoing student field trip to Europe!  

The Role of Cities in Managing Migration

Huffington Post commentary by Dr. Harald Bauder

RyersonGeo professor Harald Bauder argues in the Huffington Post that cities are best placed to integrate all residents into their local communities, independently of where they come from. This approach contrasts the "border regimes" at national policy levels that struggle to handle the deadly global migrant and refugee crisis. Read the full article at Dr. Bauder is cross-appointed with the MA in Immigration and Settlement, for which he currently serves as graduate program director.  

Mapping Accessibility of Legal Aid Across Ontario

A Geographical Information System will help track legal services available to Ontarians - screenshot of the map in progress

Dr. Eric Vaz's work was profiled in Ryerson University's July/August Research & Innovation Newsletter at With undergraduate and graduate students in his Lab for Geocomputation and in collaboration with Ric Young, founder of The Social Projects Studio and Distinguished Visiting Professor of Social Innovation at Ryerson University, Dr. Vaz is developing an online map to highlight unequal access to legal aid across the Province of Ontario.

Toronto Police Chief Announces Open Data Competition in Collaboration with the Department

Students speaking with the Toronto Police Services

Toronto Police Services Board chair Andy Pringle, Toronto's Chief of Police Mark Saunders, and staff of the Service's data analytics and business intelligence unit visited the DMZ to make an announcement about an open data competition to contribute to the Service's new open data strategy. The Chief acknowledged the ongoing collaboration with the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, which includes hosting student course projects and internships. A recent consulting report by Geographic Analysis students contributed directly to the Service's Transformational Task Force Interim Report.

More details on the announcement can be found in a news release at and through the Department's Twitter feed.  

Saying Farewell to Faculty Members

C. Greene, D. Banting and V. Fast

We said farewell today to four dear colleagues and friends, who are moving on to exciting new ventures: Dr. Doug Banting is retiring after serving as the Department's Physical Geography and GIS expert for more than three decades; Dr. Victoria Fast was appointed as Assistant Professor in Urban GIS at the University of Calgary; Dr. Chris Greene obtained a position as Instructor in the Environmental Science Program at Dalhousie University in Halifax; and Dr. Peter Kedron moves on to an Assistant Professor position in Oklahoma State University's Geography department. We wish our departing faculty the very best in their new career and life stages!

Government & Non-Profit Cooperation in Emergency Management

From the Ashes poster image

Dr. Sara Edge, Assistant Professor in the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies specializing in collaborative governance of environment and public health, moderated a panel discussion entitled "FROM THE ASHES: Government & Non-Profit Cooperation in Emergency Management". Against the backdrop of the Fort McMurray wildfire, emergency management and policy experts discussed lessons to be learned in Ontario from other jurisdictions.

Congratulations and Farewell to 88 New Alumni

Image of graduating student with professors

Today, we celebrated Spring Convocation with 47 Environment and Urban Sustainability graduate, 34 Geographic Analysis graduates, and 7 Master of Spatial Analysis graduates.

A summary of the day in photos and short messages is available at

Graduating Student Interviews

Image of interviewee

After convocation, five graduates were interviewed about their experience in the Geographic Analysis program; the video is posted at and on our page for prospective students at

More Awards for RyersonGeo Faculty

Image of C. Rinner and poster

Dr. Claus Rinner won two awards at the URISA Ontario BeSpatial conference. His poster with Dr. Claire Oswald on "3D Printed Geographies - Techniques and Examples" received the MApps People's Choice Awards - Best Map. And the MCDA4ArcMap tool that Dr. Rinner developed with visiting research student Steffan Voss won the Best Challenge Award - 2016 Innovation in GIS (Gold).

The complete list of awards with photos and a link to the poster is available at

The version of the poster that was displayed at the conference had two actual 3D prints attached to it, which may have contributed to its popularity! 

Urban Resilience in Canada

Urban Resilience in Canada - report cover

Dr. Richard Shaker, along with a small team of faculty and students, published a report synthesizing "research priorities and best practices for climate resilience in cities." Funded by Dr. Shaker's Knowledge Synthesis Grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the report tackles conflicting definitions of resilience and summarizes an ever-changing body of recent research. The team, which included BA in Environment and Urban Sustainability students Shenley Alkins and Victoria Papp, considered the social aspects of resilience along with the resilience of critical infrastructure and focused on the challenges faced by cities.

The full report is available for download at

Innovation Award for Discovery Walks Mobile Web App

A. Millward and W. Davis receives award

Congratulations to Dr. Andrew Millward and his former BA and MSA student William Davis on winning a 2016 Innovation Award from Parks & Recreation Ontario for the Discovery Walks mobile Web app, The award was presented to a team that included Robert Richardson, Manager of Partnership Development, representing the City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry & Recreation division. This project was initiated through William's 2013/14 Master of Spatial Analysis research. The current app was redeveloped with funding from MasterCard Canada.

Cluster of research publications

 Location of Sandhill constructed fen and poplar and Pauciflora natural reference fens in relation to Fort McMurray (ABMI Wall-to-wall Land Cover Map Version 2.1 (ABMIw2wLCV2010v1.0) from the Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute was used, in part, to create this map. More information on the Institute can be found at:

This month, faculty members and graduate students published five peer-reviewed articles about their research:  

  • K. Wayne Forsythe, Chris H. Marvin, Christine J. Valancius, James P. Watt, Joseph M. Aversa, Stephen J. Swales, Daniel J. Jakubek and
    Richard R. Shaker (2016) Geovisualization of mercury contamination in Lake St. Clair sediments. Journal of Marine Science and Engineering 4(1):19,
  • Jamal Jokar Arsanjani, Amin Tayyebi and Eric Vaz (2016) GlobeLand30 as an alternative fine-scale global land cover map: Challenges, possibilities, and implications for developing countries. Habitat International. Available online: 2 March 2016,

Illustration of selected Thiessen polygon-defined trade areas for Future Shop stores in the suburbs of the Toronto census metropolitan area (distances between Best Buy and Future Shop stores are in kilometers).

Social Innovator and Changemaker- Our 2016 Dennis Mock Awardee

Portrait of Jennifer Fischer

Congratulations to graduating EUS student Jennifer Fischer on receiving a Dennis Mock Leadership Award! In the award citation, Jen is described as the personification of a social innovator. She was the Sustainability Liaison for the Faculty of Arts, contributing to the first-ever Arts Eco Action Plan. She also was instrumental in the O'Keefe Laneway Rejuvenation project. Within Ryerson's SocialVentures Zone, Jen founded Soul Roots, an initiative to grow high-yield crops in street farms in Toronto's Parkdale neighbourhood. Jen also co-founded Microbe Hub and acquired social innovation funding from RECODE at Ryerson for this composting system that has engaged student volunteers, staff, and faculty in diverting a significant portion of waste on campus. Jen serves as volunteer, presenter, mentor, organizer, and ambassador for a variety of activities that build towards her vision of environmental sustainability and urban agriculture. 

Ryerson Geography & Environmental Studies at AAG 2016

Poster of the Golden Gate Bridge at night promoting AAG Annual Meeting in San Francisco

About half of the department's faculty and researchers are travelling to San Francisco this week to present their work at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers (AAG). A list of abstracts with links is provided at A strong presence in the area of business geography is combined with research on the urban forest, population health, migration & settlement, local food, renewable energy, and sustainability science. Best wishes to all at #AAG2016. 

Geography students, alumni help track the spread of Zika virus

Imagine a 4th-year internship placement with global impact. At BlueDot, Geography undergraduate and graduate students are working as data engineers, GIS analysts, and cartographers to support real-time infectious disease research and response. Ryerson Geographers are increasingly sought for careers in public health data analytics.

Two BA in Geographic Analysis students, a Master of Spatial Analysis student, and a graduate of both programs were interviewed by Ryerson Today about their experiential learning based at St. Michael’s Hospital’s Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute. Read the full story at

Ontario Minister of the Environment inspires students in the classroom

Photo of audience members and Glen Murray

The Honourable Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of the Environment and Climate Change, was invited to a conversation with the graduating class of our BA in Environment and Urban Sustainability. The unique event allowed students to hear from, and interact with, a veteran cabinet member and leader of Ontario's climate change action. The discussion took place in Dr. Claire Oswald's and Dr. Dave Atkinson's Senior Projects course, EUS801, and focused on sustainable city building. Students were "buzzing with inspiration", in the words of program director Dr. Andrew Millward. A summary of the event in the form of tweets from students and faculty can be found at

Runner-up at Ryerson's 3-minute thesis competition

Caribou Knowledge Surface. Gjoa Haven , NU. 2012

Congratulations to Julie Robertson, who finished in 2nd place at Ryerson's "3MT", a competition that challenges graduate students to present their thesis research to a general audience in under three minutes. Julie is a graduate of our BA in Geographic Analysis and a Master's student in Environmental Applied Science and Management, supervised by Dr. Dave (@RU_PolarSEAL) Atkinson. Her research is about representing Inuit knowledge of caribou movement in geographic information systems (GIS), an exercise in fitting dynamic and subjective observations into a rigid data structure for monitoring and conservation.

Geography students help York Region reduce emissions

Two photos of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies case competition participants.

Two teams based in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies were among six teams of students from regional universities participating in the first-ever case competition organized by York Region's Environmental Services Department. The Region aimed to tap into students' creative thinking around the aspirational goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2051. Students were encouraged to present innovative policy recommendations to make the Region's operations more sustainable. 

The participating teams consisted of students from our BA in Environment and Urban Sustainability and Master of Spatial Analysis, coached by Prof. Andrew Millward, and from the interdisciplinary MASc and PhD in Environmental Applied Science and Management, coached by Prof. Claire Oswald. Congratulations to both teams on their professional presentations at York Region headquarters at the conclusion of an intense 6-day preparation period! 

Waterfront Toronto expert cafe

EUS 801 Waterfront Toronto Expert Cafe

 Ryerson Geography professors Dr. Claire Oswald and Dr. Dave Atkinson today hosted an experiential learning event for their senior project class EUS801 in the BA in Environment & Urban Sustainability program. Groups of students discussed their policy and visioning research for a sustainable Toronto water front revitalization with a group of environmental and planning experts from different stakeholder organizations. More photos can be found at Thank you to students, organizers, and guests for their commitment to real-world, community-focused learning and teaching! 

And the Living City Leader Scholarship 2015 goes to...

Photo of Sarah Brigel

Congratulations, Sarah Brigel! The 4th-year Environment and Urban Sustainability (EUS) student received a competitive $1,500 award to help further her studies and career. The Living City Leader Scholarship awards are presented by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority to students who demonstrate the values of the Living City and epitomize the ideals of sustainability in their communities. Sarah engages with communities to promote happy and healthy people, clean environments, and a sustainable future. She is passionate about achieving this vision through urban agriculture initiatives, which help to increase local food security. Sarah aims to contribute to developing local, sustainable food systems that have the power to benefit communities on so many levels. 

Award-winning faculty


Pre-release: Geography faculty Dr. Harald Bauder and Dr. Claus Rinner will be presented two of Ryerson's research recognitions.

Dr. Bauder was selected for the 2016 Sarwan Sahota Ryerson Distinguished Scholar Award for his outstanding cumulative contributions to knowledge in the fields of immigration, settlement, and integration of newcomers. Dr. Bauder  recently published two co-edited books entitled "Immigrant Experiences in North America" (May 2015) and "Migration Policy and Practice: Interventions and Solutions" (Sept 2015).

Dr. Rinner won one of two Deans' Scholarly, Research and Creative Activity Awards for the Faculty of Arts for his outstanding achievements in research in geographic information science in the 2014/15 academic year. Dr. Rinner is the co-author of the book "Multicriteria Decision Analysis in Geographic Information Science" (Feb 2015).

In addition, both awardees have published numerous articles and hold external research funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, respectively.

GIS Day 2015 a success


Ryerson students, faculty, staff, and the local community were invited to explore and celebrate Geographic Information Systems (GIS) research and applications on GIS Day 2015. Keynote presentations outlined the pervasive use of geospatial data analysis and mapping in business, municipal government, and environmental applications. Research posters, software demos, and course projects further illustrated the benefits of GIS across all sectors of society.

Notable GIS Day exhibits included the Neptis Foundation's regional geoweb tool (in development with contributions from alumni); Prof April Lindgren's research project and map of news poverty across Canada (developed at the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre with contributions from Geography students); the Digital Media Experience lab's augmented-reality sandbox; 23 Master of Spatial Analysis geovisualization projects from the course SA8905, Cartography and Geovisualization; and select undergraduate, graduate, and faculty research and course posters.

To the left is a set of snapshots taken by @RUDeanOfArts Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau. A full account of the social media coverage of GIS Day 2015 at Ryerson can be found at The event was co-organized by @RyersonGeo and the Ryerson University Library and Archives' Geospatial Map and Data Centre.  

Double Gold for Geography and Environmental Studies

The Department proudly announces two (2) Ryerson Gold Medal winners among its graduating students! Dr. Victoria Fast, our first student ever to defend a PhD thesis, received the Gold Medal for the Yeates School of Graduate Studies. And Mr. Daniel Liadsky, graduate of the Master of Spatial Analysis, received the Gold Medal for the Faculty of Arts.  

The photo shows Daniel between President Levy and Chancellor Bloomberg. A news release describes Daniel's decision to take the Master of Spatial Analysis to develop his technical skills at the intersection of geography and statistics for the non-profit sector. Daniel's major research paper on "Exploring Toronto's Foodscapes: Measuring The Food Environment and Healthy Eating Behaviours" was supervised by Dr. Brian Ceh.

First PhD graduates @RyersonGeo


The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies has its first two PhD graduates! At Fall 2015 convocation, Dr. Victoria Fast and Dr. Christopher Greene celebrated the completion of their doctoral degrees in the interdisciplinary Environmental Applied Science and Management program.

Dr. Fast's thesis on "Participatory Mapping of Food Assets Using Volunteered Geographic Information Systems" was supervised by Dr. Claus Rinner. Dr. Greene's thesis on "Integrating Sustainability Subsystems in the Management of Urban Forests" was supervised by Dr. Andrew Millward.  

The photos show Dr. Fast with Provost Lachemi after the ceremony, and Dr. Greene in the Department hallway. Congratulations, Chris and Victoria!

Map exhibition by Geographic Analysis and MSA alumni


Please mark your calendars for "Geographies of Urban Form", an exhibition by @RyersonGeo alumni William Davis and Michael Markieta in the Ryerson Image Centre (RIC), Oct 14 to Nov 8, 2015.The show consists of 12 striking prints of the road networks of select global cities. William and Michael are graduates of our BA in Geographic Analysis. As students in our Master of Spatial Analysis (MSA), they experimented with novel forms of visualization at the intersection of geospatial data analysis and design. That is when they developed the competitive bid for the exhibition in the RIC's Student Gallery. The gallery's public fall reception is on Oct 21, 6-8pm. Regular hours and more details can be found at

This weekend at the Ontario Universities Fair (OUF)


Some 20 students, staff, and faculty of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies will be at the Ryerson booth at the Ontario Universities Fair (OUF) September 25-27. We will answer your questions about the Bachelor programs in Environment & Urban Sustainability (EUS) and Geographic Analysis (GA), as well as the Department's graduate and continuing education degrees.

If you are just back home from the OUF and can't find your @RyersonGeo cue card, please visit the following sites in addition to exploring our homepage:

Dr. Harald Bauder, recipient of Royal Society of Canada award

Congratulations to Dr. Harald Bauder, Professor @RyersonGeo and founding Academic Director of the Ryerson Centre for Immigration and Settlement (RCIS). Dr. Bauder is receiving the 2015 Konrad Adenauer Research Award from the Royal Society of Canada. He is one of "12 eminent Canadian scholars and researchers ... recognized for their outstanding achievements in research and scholarship". The announcement of the Society's 2015 awards can be found at A background story on Dr. Bauder's research and its relation to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis was published in Ryerson Today at

Social innovation made @RyersonGeo


Geography at Ryerson has been a leading innovator on campus since the Department's inception in the 1970s. Now, three social innovation projects led by Dr. Andrew Millward, Dr. Claire Oswald, and Dr. Richard Shaker are among just eight funded RECODE faculty projects University-wide. In addition, two of the seven social enterprise projects posted at Ryerson's SocialVenturesZone are led by the Department's Environment and Urban Sustainability students. Read about the details in Dr. Rinner's blog post about "Geography at Ryerson – Your Social Innovation Powerhouse".

Two tenure-track faculty positions available


The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Ryerson University is seeking applications for two (2) tenure-track faculty positions in the area of environmental geography and urban sustainability. Please consult the PDF posting or the online posting for details, and apply online. We are excited to find two new colleagues to share in the continuing growth and diversification of our research and programs of study. The review of applications will begin on November 1, 2015.

Alumna to open 2015 "Ex" as general manager

In 1983, a Ryerson student named Virginia Ludy took an internship as part of the Applied Geography program at the Canadian National Exhibition. Thirty-two years later, Virginia Ludy is taking over as the CNE’s first female general manager. As the 2015 edition of the Toronto summer staple approaches, she reflects on how much a traditional event can change over three decades. [Read more at Ryerson News & Events]