Mr Joe Fagan

BA and MA in Geography, with an emphasis on coastal processes and management.

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Senior Tutor


After many years working in adventure tourism I returned to University of Auckland to teach within the School of Environment. I coordinate and teach our large undergraduate classes in physical geography (GEOG101 S1 & S2)  and the core stage two geography course (GEOG250). In 2019 we introduced a new sustainability module and I coordinate and teach SUSTAIN100/100G, as well as teaching on SUSTAIN200. As well as teaching at University I am still involved on tourism and am interested in documentary film making. In my free time I like to run, hike, ride, fly (a paraglider), write and take photographs.

Here is a link to a documentary I made with a collegue from IU called "Sunny with a chance of tourists"

Research | Current

I am currently working on the following research topics: backcountry huts and dual purpose tracks (with Kearns, R.A.); adding value to student learning in the field (with Sturm, S.); and the unintended learning outcomes of student-led field trips (with Wall, M.).

Teaching | Current

My approach to teaching has been shaped by my own (mixed) experience as a student. My teaching style has developed through observation and experimentation. I try to create a learning environment that is inclusive, collaborative, engaging and empowering - thus encouraging students to be curious and passionate about what they are studying. I feel privileged in my role as a teacher to be able to join students on their learning adventure, and it is this shared experience that makes teaching so rewarding. My teaching focusses on coastal geography, environmental issues and sustainability. Like most geographers I particularly enjoy field trips and field based teaching. I am also interested in Team Based Learning (TBL) and Adventure Learning and have started to incorporate these into my teaching.


School of Environment Ako Teaching Excellence Award (2019)

Faculty of Science Dean's Award for Excellence in Teaching (2015)

AUSA Class Rep coordinator of the year (2013)

Areas of expertise

Coastal geography, sustainability, and backcountry tracks and huts.

Committees/Professional groups/Services

New Zealand Geographical Society

University of Auckland Sustainability Network

Faculty of Science Teaching and Leaning Innovation Group

School of Environment Student Experience Committee (Chair)



Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)

As of 29 October 2020 there will be no automatic updating of 'selected publications and creative works' from Research Outputs. Please continue to keep your Research Outputs profile up to date.
  • Fagan, J., & Kearns, R. (2017). Tramper perspectives on New Zealand's Great Walks in a time of transition. New Zealand Geographer, 73 (3), 166-180. 10.1111/nzg.12156
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns
  • Fagan, J. B., & Sturm, S. (2015). "Drawing in the sand" as a tool for teaching coastal geography. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 39 (3), 478-484. 10.1080/03098265.2015.1038700
  • Kearns, R., & Fagan, J. (2014). Sleeping with the past? Heritage, recreation and transition in New Zealand tramping huts. New Zealand Geographer, 70 (2), 116-130. 10.1111/nzg.12050
    Other University of Auckland co-authors: Robin Kearns

Contact details

Primary office location

SCIENCE CENTRE 302 - Bldg 302
Level 5, Room 525
New Zealand