The college of geographic science from the department of history and geography in the period of National Normal College. In the past 80 years, it has gone through an extraordinary process of starting its own business, struggling to move forward and making rapid progress. After 1949, the college has been reorganized several times with being renamed as the department of geography, the department of history and geography, the department of biology and geography, the department of geography, the department of resources and environment, and the college of land，the college of resources and environmental science originatesandresources. It is the geographic talent cultivation and scientific research base with the longest history in Hunan province, the most complete system and the highest level of education, and the strongest academic research strength and social service ability, which has obvious comprehensive advantages and distinct school-running characteristics. In recent years, the college adheres to be guided by the thoughts of socialism with Chinese characteristics in the new era of Xi jinping, focuses on the talent cultivation and scientific research of geographic science. With equal emphasis on undergraduate and postgraduate education, it is gradually achieving the goal for establishing a base of geographic talent cultivation, scientific research and social service that is domestically top and internationally influential.
At present, the college consists of the department of geography, the department of geographic information engineering, the department of urban-rural planning, the department of land science, the institute of resources and environment, the institute of land and resources, the research center of geographic information system, and the research center of regional economic and social development. It offers five undergraduate majors, including geographical science, natural geography and resource environment, human geography and urban-rural planning, geographic information science and land resource management (among which, geographical science, human geography and urban-rural planning are the specialties of Hunan province). It also has a first-level geography discipline center for doctors, 3 second-level discipline centers of land resource management, population, resources and environmental economics, soil and water conservation and desertification control for masters, and authorization of education and public administration and other professional master's degrees. The college is the space analysis professional committee of China regional science association, the affiliated unit of Hunan geographical society, and the youth science education base in Hunan province.
The college now has 90 staff, including 73 professional teachers. Among the professional teachers, there are 24 professors and 14 associate professors, and the percentage of teachers with Ph. D degree is more than 84%. The college has many well-known scholars, including one academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences (also Xiaoxiang scholar chair professor), one national young and middle-aged expert with outstanding contributions, two experts with State Council special allowance, one national outstanding teacher, one selected by the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Hundred People program, one selected by the Hundred People program of Hunan province, and two selected by the new century talent support program of the ministry of education, and a large number of young doctors with strong development potential, including two winners of outstanding youth fund of Hunan province and one Huxiang young talent.
"Geography", the main discipline of the college, is the key discipline of "the Tenth Five-year Plan", "the Eleventh Five-year Plan" and "the Twelfth Five-year Plan" in Hunan province, which has been selected into the national first-level cultivation discipline of Hunan province in 2018. The college has established a post-doctoral research station of “geography”, a provincial key lab of “Geospatial Big Data Mining and Application”, a provincial key university lab “Resource Utilization and Environmental Change Laboratory of Dongting Lake Basin”, a provincial demonstration center “Resources and Environment Experimental Center”, and a key research base of the Provincial Tourism Administration “Tourism Research Institute of Hunan province”, etc.
The college adapts to the requirements of national higher education reform and development, bases itself on Hunan province, serves the whole country and faces the world, adheres to the development idea centered on talent cultivation and scientific research, and consequentlyachieves good results. In terms of talents cultivation, the college has cultivated more than 10,000 graduates with solid theoretical knowledge, active innovative thinking and excellent comprehensive quality. Some excellent alumni who are influential in teaching, scientific research, management, industry and other fields, such as Kaizhong Yang, Houkai Wei, Yunlin Zhang, Xinhua Peng, Huijun Guo, Zhongcheng Jiang,Jianping Shi, Wei Peng, and Xiangming He, are emerging.In terms of scientific research, the discipline is dominated by geography with simultaneous combination with the fundamentals of ecology and economy for long-time comprehensive human-nature system research towards the subtropics especially mid-subtropical regions, Dongting Lake Basin and Chang-Zhu-Tan city group, and consequently achieved a series of important results in those fields including the underlying mechanisms of environment changes and trend forecasting, the forming mechanisms and effective controls of flooding and drought disasters, the environmental pollution and ecological restoration, the land use cover and land use changes, the regional development mode and mechanism, the growth mechanism and regulation of urban agglomerations, and the development of middle school geography textbooks, etc. In recent ten years, teachers of the college have successively completed more than 50 national level projects including National Nature Science Foundation, National Social Science Foundation, National “863” Project, National “973” Project, National Science and Technology Support Plan and National Key Research and Development Plan, and more than 200 provincial and ministerial level projects as well as more than 800 bureau level and horizontal projects with the total financial funding more than 200 million RMB. More than 10 provincial and ministerial scientific and technological achievements (including teaching achievements) have been awarded. Over 1000 research papers have been published in important academic journals and more than 30 academic works and textbooks have also been published.
The college has been actively carrying out international communication activities, which has established close cooperation with famous universities and institutes in the United States, Canada, Japan, Russia, Germany, Denmark, Australia, Poland and other countries. Fixed academic exchange mechanisms have been established in China with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing Normal University, Wuhan University, Nanjing University and other high-level research institutions and universities. Regular or irregular academic exchanges are conducted among relevant academic backbones, joint cultivation for exchange students and project cooperation research are carried out as well. In the past ten years, nearly 20 teachers have visited overseas or conducted cooperative research. Four international academic conferences as well as eight national academic conferences, including the Annual Academic Conference of China Regional Science Association and the Annual Conference of Humanities and Geography of China Geographical Society, have been hosted by the college.