All human activity takes place on a geographic stage of great diversity and constant transformation. For more than a century, the Geography Department at Berkeley has been a leading center of scholarship about earth's landscapes and human relationships to the environment. Our inquiries encompass a wide range of topics, from the economies and cultures of cities and built landscapes, to tropical climates and the flow of polar ice sheets. We combine rigorous empirical work with deeply conceptual theoretical analyses, always recognizing the importance of both spatial processes and accumulated histories. We use geographic analyses to illuminate the abiding problems of the modern world.

Featured Project - Food: An Atlas

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Food: An Atlas FOOD: There is nothing so simple nor anything so complicated. Food is the neighborhood blackberry bramble foraged in midsummer. Food is the rice grain that finds its way to the table from halfway around the world.

The agricultural food base has become the first link in a chain of industries that deliver the fuel needed to energize the human body and mind. From it a vast complex of interrelated businesses—the global food industry—is focused on the production, distribution, preparation, and consumption of comestibles. There is almost no segment of the economy untouched by this network. And there is certainly no human unaffected by it. Despite the industrialization of food, it remains a personal and intimate human endeavor. We find community and identity in the food we eat. James Beard, American chef and early food writer, stated the profoundly obvious, “Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”

An Atlas is a collection of maps with a common purpose—either to present a holistic picture of place through repeating geography that maps various phenomena of the atlas’s subject area, or to examine a theme across a broad geography, striving to edify the reader on a particular subject. Food: An Atlas is of the latter. It illuminates a theme by its examination of food phenomena over a wide range of geographical scales, locations, and research disciplines.

Free download of the atlas here...

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