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Department of Physical and Environmental Geography
Head: Dr. Szabolcs Czigány, associate professor
The primary task of the Department is the study and teaching of spatial interactions in the physical environment. Our teaching activities comprise courses for Geography BSc and MSc, Environmental Sciences BSc and Msc, Earth Sciences BSc students, in teacher training and in the Earth Sciences Doctoral School. In addition to lectures, students can acquire practical skills in the Laboratory of Physical Geography and during the field practices organized by the Department. The model sand box recently installed serves the study and presentation of processes in physical geography. The infrastructure of the Department is utilized by optional courses on research methodology. A choice of further optional courses in topics of global and regional environmental problems is also offered by staff and such courses are instrumental in strengthening the positions of applied physical and environmental geography in MSc training. PhD students attend the doctoral courses „Evaluation of cultural landscapes“ and „Natural hazards“.
In recent decades the traditional research specializations of geomorphological, hydrological, soil geographical and complex settlement environment studies are expanded to include landscape ecological investigations, primarily aimed at assessing the rehabilitation potentials of floodplains in Southern Transdanubia. To this purpose complex (landscape history, soil evolution, groundwater monitoring and landscape pattern) investigations are applied. A major task of the Department is the study of the physico-geographical background to flash floods in test areas and the assessment of flood risk using hydrological and geoinformatical modelling. Another research topic in applied geography is engineering geomorphology, which is mainly engaged in the socio-economic impacts of geomorphological processes and the spatial distribution of natural hazards (first of all soil erosion and landslides). The study of the applicability of Digital Elevation Models in geomorphology is present in all research directions and even constitutes an independent research area. The undergaduate, graduate and PhD students preparing their theses can make their choice from the above topics offered by staff.