image of a colorful map with green, orange and yellow sections

Geographers study the spatial dimensions of human activities and physical landscapes. The discipline of Geography focuses on the interrelationships between humans and their environments, linking the physical and social sciences.

Geographers use a variety of tools, but much of their work revolves around developing and analyzing various forms of spatial data and information, with a special emphasis on satellite imagery, vector graphics, historical, and paper maps.

Possessing the ability to "think spatially," along with a diverse toolkit of quantitative and qualitative methods, geographers have a wide variety of employment options. Our alumni have taken positions in business, government agencies, academia, and non-profit organizations. The job market is especially strong for those with skills in Geographic Information Systems and Science (GIS).

The Department of Geography at UC offers PhD, MA, BS and BA degrees.

All students are encouraged to develop individualized programs meeting their specific needs, in consultation with their academic adviser. For more information on courses and requirements for the BA/BS program, please visit the Undergraduate Program site. For more on the PhD and MA programs, please visit the Graduate Program site.

Recent Publications

  • Kim, C., and O. Parent, 2016, Modeling individual travel behaviors based on intra-household interactions, Regional Science and Urban Economics, Vol. 27, pp. 1-11.
  • Hinkel, K. M., W. R. Eisner, and C. J. Kim Detection of tundra trail damage near Barrow, Alaska using remote imagery, Geomorphology. (
  • Wang, S., H. Liu, B. Yu, G. Zhou, and X. Cheng (2016), Revealing the early ice flow patterns with historical Declassified Intelligence Satellite Photographs back to 1960s, Geophysical Research Letters, 43(11), 5758-5767.
  • Niesterowicz, J., T. F. Stepinski, and J. Jasiewicz (2016), Unsupervised regionalization of the United States into landscape pattern types, International Journal of Geographical Information Science, 30(7), 1450-1468.
  • Buffam, I., M. E. Mitchell, and R. D. Durtsche (2016), Environmental drivers of seasonal variation in green roof runoff water quality, Ecological Engineering, 91, 506-514.
  • Beck, R., et al. (2016), Comparison of satellite reflectance algorithms for estimating chlorophyll-a in a temperate reservoir using coincident hyperspectral aircraft imagery and dense coincident surface observations, Remote Sensing of Environment, 178, 15-30.

Faculty Accomplishments

  • Richard Beck: Fulbright Specialist in Eastern D. R. Congo.
  • Nicholas Dunning: AAG Robert McC. Netting Award 2015 (a life-time achievement award).
  • Kenneth Hinkel: 2010 Francois Emile Matthes Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Cryospheric Sciences; 2012 William and Anne Manierre Award for publication of primary research in the Huron Mountains.
  • Hongxing Liu: NASA Group Achievement Award
  • Lin Liu: Best Service Award and Excellence in GIS Education Award of the International Association of Chinese Professionals in Geographic Information Sciences.

Student Accomplishments

  • Daniel Schleith: 2016 Incentive Summer Stipend for Geography PhD Students
  • Min Xu: Competitive Scholarship for Geography PhD students 2016-2017
  • Song Shu: Graduate School Dean's Fellowship 2016-2017.
  • Jacek Niesterowicz: Geocomputation 2015 Best Paper Award in the recent Geocomputation 2015 conference.