The Department of Geography is the second largest and also the second oldest university geographical department in Bohemia and one of the largest in Czechia. We believe that a balanced development of environment and society, protecting our environment, democracy, and equity for future generations is only possible by integrating the various perspectives and discourses about natural and social phenomena and processes at multiple scales and involving all actors. Our mission is to educate experts for the public and private sectors and teachers who will have the skills to integrate, critically analyse, interpret, and explain information about the world we live in using modern technologies and novel communication approaches. The Department cooperates with experts and top research teams from Czechia, Germany, Poland, the United Kingdom and other countries on this mission.
The geographical unit has been part of the University since its beginning. At the initial higher school of education (founded in 1954), it was a part of the Department of Social Sciences, led by regional and political geographer, Prof. Leopold Joura. In 1961, a joint Department of Geography, History and Natural sciences and Field work was founded. The Department of Geography has soon become an independent unit, as the number of employees and students grew, and was managed by economic geographer, dr. Miroslav Špůr, until 1972.
In later decades, the department was chaired by a geomorphologist Prof. Václav Němeček, economic geographer Prof. Bohuslav Štěpán, biologist Prof. Jaromír Hajer (during a short period of reunion with the Department of Biology), regional geographer Prof. Jan Charvát, and economic geographer Prof. Ladislav Skokan.
In 1999, regional and environmental geographer Prof. Jiří Anděl took his role as department chair, and he first brought it to the Institute of Natural Sciences, which transformed into the Faculty of Science in 2005. The first study specialization was mathematics-geography, and it has lasted through the entire existence of the University. Other subjects were gradually added to geography for combined studies (such as History, Biology, Physical Education, English).
Currently, the Department of Geography is chaired by rural and urban geographer, Vladan Hruška, Ph.D., and offers Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. study programmes in the two directions: (i) teachers training in geography for elementary and secondary schools, and (ii) geography for professional career in the public and private sector.