Assistant Professor: Environmental Sustainability Geographer

San Diego
17 Sep 2023
End of advertisement period
17 Oct 2023
Contract Type
Full Time

Assistant Professor: Environmental Sustainability Geographer

Location: San Diego, CA
Open Date: Sep 15, 2023

The Department of Geography at San Diego State University (SDSU) is hiring a tenure-track Assistant Professor with expertise in the areas of Geography and Environmental Sustainability whose research, teaching, and outreach addresses issues of sustainability, resource management (water, food, energy, land), climate, development, and/or policy, with a focus on human-environment interactions from a human geography perspective.

Faculty in the Department of Geography specialize in human, environmental, and physical geography and geographic information science (see our website for additional information). Faculty areas of expertise potentially complementing the candidate's include agricultural sustainability, climate adaptation, social movements, food geographies, migration, water resources, human-environment interaction and dynamics, ocean policy, remote sensing, and climate change. 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 doctoral program in Geography. The successful candidate will be expected to contribute to the Sustainability program, whose interdisciplinary majors and/or minors depend heavily on teaching, mentoring, and advising by geography faculty.

Candidates must have a doctoral degree in geography or a related field with specialization in the interconnections between sustainability, resource management, and environmental policy, as well as a research and funding record of accomplishment that demonstrates their ability to establish a clear program of research. A history of experience with extramural funding is preferred. Ideally, candidates would have experience conducting research in interdisciplinary environments and experience with multiple methodological approaches in human geography (e.g. surveys, interviews, focus groups, participatory research, spatial modeling, etc.).

Teaching and student mentoring experience at the undergraduate and graduate levels is desired but not required. Candidates should have a demonstrated interest in teaching and mentoring students at the undergraduate and graduate level, including master and doctoral students in geography.

We are seeking applicants with demonstrated experience in and/or commitment to teaching and working effectively with individuals from diverse backgrounds and members of underrepresented groups. Candidates must satisfy two or more of the eight Building on Inclusive Excellence (BIE) criteria. Candidates that meet BIE criteria: (a) are committed to engaging in service with underrepresented populations within the discipline, (b) have demonstrated knowledge of barriers for underrepresented students and faculty within the discipline, (c) have experience or have demonstrated commitment to teaching and mentoring underrepresented students, (d) have experience or have demonstrated commitment to integrating understanding of underrepresented populations and communities into research, (e) have experience in or have demonstrated commitment to extending knowledge of opportunities and challenges in achieving artistic/scholarly success to members of an underrepresented group, (f) have experience in or have demonstrated commitment to research that engages underrepresented communities, (g) have expertise or demonstrated commitment to developing expertise in cross-cultural communication and collaboration, and/or (h) have research interests that contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education. Please indicate in a separate diversity statement how you meet at least two (2) of these criteria. Additional guidance on our BIE program for applicants is here.

San Diego State University, Department of Geography

SDSU is the oldest institution of higher education in the San Diego region, with a campus in San Diego serving 36,000 undergraduate and graduate students and additional locations in Southern California’s Imperial Valley and Tbilisi in the Republic of Georgia. SDSU is included in the Carnegie Foundation’s Doctoral Universities: High Research Activity category. Established in 1897, SDSU offers bachelor degrees in 97 areas, masters in 84 and doctorates in 23. See for more information. SDSU is a large, diverse, urban university, an Asian-Native American-Pacific Islander -Serving Institution and a Hispanic-Serving Institution with a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. 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.

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 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 a distinctive doctoral program in Geography, bringing together resources from two outstanding institutions. 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 geospatial technologies to understand and draw connections between local outcomes and global forces, such as climate change, water resources, disease, globalization, resource depletion, inequality, youth and migration. Our research vision is to use our skills, knowledge, spatiotemporal thinking and geospatial 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 341: Feeding the World
Geography 348: Environment and Development
Geography 360: Human Dimensions of Climate Change
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.

Application Instructions
To apply, visit

Apply via Interfolio at

Candidates should submit: (1) a cover letter, (2) clear statements of research and teaching experience and interests; (3) a curriculum vitae listing publications, presentations, teaching and mentoring experience, and past, current and pending funding; (4) a diversity statement describing the applicant’s commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in academia through meeting BIE criteria described above; (5) a research writing sample; and (6) the names and contact information of three references (we will eventually request letters from these references for selected candidates with a turnaround time of approximately 2 weeks).

Applications ​​received by November 3, 2023 will receive full consideration, but the position will remain open until it is filled. For additional inquiries or questions, please contact Dr. Arielle Levine (

The minimum salary for this position is based on the current CSU salary schedule for Assistant Professors and may be revised based on contract collective bargaining. The anticipated salary range is from $85,000 to $92,000. Salary placement will be based on the selected candidate’s qualifications and experience, and salaries higher than the published maximums may be offered in limited circumstances. San Diego State University offers a rich benefits package that constitutes a major portion of total compensation. For benefits information, click here.

As part of its commitment to a safe and equitable “OneSDSU” community, SDSU requires that individuals seeking faculty employment provide at the time of application authorization to conduct background checks if they become a finalist for the position; applications without this authorization will be considered incomplete and not considered.

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.

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.

SDSU is a Title IX, equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against persons on the basis of race, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity and expression, marital status, age, disability, pregnancy, medical condition, or covered veteran status.

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