Geographic Information Science (GIScience) is the basic research field that seeks to redefine geographic concepts and their use in the context of geospatial technologies, including Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing and positioning systems. Faculty research in the area includes both theoretical and applied aspects of GIScience, as well as the impact of geospatial technologies on individuals and society.
The relationship between social and ecological systems is at the core of much geographic inquiry. Faculty research in this field crosses a broad spectrum, ranging from historical geographies of water resource allocation strategies in the American West to biogeographical inquires regarding how humans interact with other components of ecosystems to create patterns of species distribution that vary in space and time. Contemporary natural resource management is an important focus for the department.
Society, Culture and Space
An interest in the social and cultural dimensions of spatial phenomena and the creation of place undergirds much of the faculty’s research. A variety of faculty projects explore the geographic interrelationships between culture, economics, politics, urban form, technology, and the environment. The department has an exceptional depth in the area of legal geography, with three full time faculty holding law degrees and offering decades of combined experience in active legal practice and law-based research.