Specialists training in the speciality “Pedagogy and methodology of secondary education. Geography and Biology” at the University began in September 2001 on the basis of the Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection. The founders of the speciality were the teachers of this department: Doctor of Science in Geography, Professor Budz Markiian Dmytrovych; Doctor of Science in Pedagogy, Professor Lisova Svitlana Valeriivna; PhD Oliinyk Vasyl Semenovych; PhD, Professor Kharchenko Borys Ivanovych. During 2003-2004, the Department of Ecology and Environmental Protection was reorganised through the separation of two separate departments – Geography and Biology.
The Department of Geography began its activities in February 2004. The team was formed with the involvement of scientific and pedagogical staff of Rivne universities and graduates of the geographical faculties of the universities of Lviv, Kiev, Lutsk. Currently, there are 9 lecturers at the department.
In the region there is no higher education institution that trains specialists in the field of “Geography” apart from the Academician Stepan Demianchuk IUEH. An important stage in the activity of the department was the accreditation of the magistracy in 2008.
Lecturers of the department conduct more than 40 courses for students in the speciality “Geography”, “Primary Education”. The department provides teaching of professionally oriented disciplines for students of the speciality “Foreign Tourism and Hospitality” under the programs of European Education. PhD Yaromenko O.V. supervise the preparation of bachelor’s work for graduates of this speciality, which are performed and defended in foreign languages at Kodolányi János University of Applied Sciences in Szekesfehervar (Hungary).
Lecturers are actively involved in the work of the Rivne Department of the Minor Academy of Science as scientific supervisors, reviewers, members of the jury at competitions and defenses of student scientific works in geography and geology. Lecturers of the Department of Geography and Tourism are invited to participate in the work of the Regional Centre for Retraining and Advanced Training of Employees of Government Bodies, Local Self-Government Bodies, Heads of State-Owned Enterprises, Institutions and Organisations of the Rivne Regional Administration.
Scientific and methodical work
The Department of Geography has a Geoinformation Systems Laboratory, equipped with computers. The Laboratory allows to carry out laboratory work, practical classes in professional-oriented disciplines of the geographical cycle using computer technology, modern applications (Mapinfo, MapEdit), electronic databases (electronic atlases of Ukraine, developed by the Institute of Geography of Ukraine, Institute of Advanced Technologies ).
The educational process is carried out in the specialised offices of the department: physical geography and social geography. The Classrooms of the Department of Geography are provided with geodetic instruments (theodolites, theodolite rails, compasses, curvimeters, planimeters), meteorological devices (meteorological thermometers, barometers).
The educational process uses a collection of minerals and rocks, collected by the faculty members, wall maps, globes of different scales, training stands, soil monoliths, video collection for conducting classes (more than 50 educational films).
The department is a participant of the experiment on introduction of credit transfer and distance learning. For this purpose, the department has prepared electronic educational support for the disciplines, practices of innovative forms of training using computer and multimedia equipment. The teachers of the department are the authors of textbooks, guidelines, monographs, publications in professional editions.
The current direction of the department is scientific work and participation in solving important regional problems of socio-economic development and environmental engeenering. The department is working on the scientific topic: “Geographical Science and Education in the Context of Sustainable Development of Ukraine”. The range of scientific interests of the lecturers of the department is quite wide:
-processes in urban landscapes and their impact on the operation of engineering structures;
-surface and underground flow formation under conditions of anthropogenic load, development of standards of hydrological calculations in the design of hydrological systems;
-ecological status of eroded soils of the North-Western region of Ukraine (Associated Professor Oliinyk V.S.);
-landscape and ecological bases of recreation and tourism within nature protection territories (Lecturer Basiuk T.O.);
-economic potential and competitiveness of regions
-medical geography and geography of social problems
-scientific schools in public geography (Associated Professor Yaromenko O.V.);
-toponyms as a source of geographical research (associate professor OV Yaromenko);
-the use of geo-information technology in the educational process of training geographers
-structural levels and content of geographic education standards of Ukraine in the context of European choice
The traditional direction of the department’s work is the organisation of the research work of students and presentation of the best researches at student scientific conferences (Dnipropetrovsk, Kiev, Ternopil, Kharkiv, Zhytomyr). Each year, students of the Faculty publish about 15 scientific publications in co-authorship with scientific leaders and individually.
Scientific work of the master student of the department Tokar O.I. won the second place in the All-Ukrainian competition of student scientific works in geography. And Seletska V.P. the scientific work of the department at the same competition was awarded with the diploma of the third degree.
Every year students of the department participate in the All-Ukrainian Student Olympiad in Geography, where our students demonstrate knowledge at same level with famous state universities of Ukraine. In particular, in 2009 and 2010 students of the department were awarded for the best performance in Ukraine by the results of the computer testing stage.
Tourist and local lore work
An essential attribute of the Department of Geography is an active and productive tourism and local lore work. Excursions to places of interest of Ukraine, hiking trips for students during internships and during their free time are organised.
The Department cooperates closely with the Regional Sports Tourism Federation in Rivne Region, the Young Tourists Station, the Department of Culture and Tourism and the Department of Physical Culture and Sports of the Rivne Regional State Administration.
Students of the specialty and teachers of the department take part in the annual regional championship of tourism among pedagogical workers.
Lecturers of the department are candidates for masters of sports in the technique of hiking tourism, participated in sports hiking (including categories) in the Carpathians, the Caucasus, the Crimea, the Urals.
In the summer of 2009, sports hiking trip with participation of the teachers of the department on the Polar Urals was awarded the 1st place at the Ukraine Championship of Hiking Sports in the group of the 5th category of difficulty. The same hike took the fourth place in the 6th category of difficulty in the championship of the Sports Tourism of Russian Federation and was recognised as one of the most difficult tourist sports hikes since the independence of Ukraine. On the basis of the Department of Geography, in cooperation with the Regional Sports Tourism Federation in Rivne Region, courses for training of instructors and senior instructors of sports tourism are conducted.