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Undergraduate Research

Senior Thesis Requirement

All candidates for the Bachelor of Science Degree in Applied Geography are required to complete a thesis during their senior year. This is a two-semester project under the direction of an advisor selected from the department's faculty. An advisor is chosen based on research interests and specialization shared in common with the student. The faculty advisor directs the student's research and acts in the role of mentor as well as thesis editor. A second reader is also assigned from the faculty. All thesis research is independent and original. Theses are not simply reviews, proposals, or "term papers." They include some combination of field, laboratory, library, archive, and survey work that requires data collection, analysis, and both written and oral presentation. Honors students may also use their thesis as their senior honors paper. Moreover, students may present the results the of their research at the annual meetings of the Association of American Geographers (spring), the Southeast Division of the Association of American Geographers (fall), and/or the Applied Geography Conference (fall).

The department houses the University of Louisville Center for Geographic Information Systems using the latest ArcView/ArcGIS software, and also possesses an additional well equipped computer/spatial analysis laboratory, a large map collection, and assorted air photo, field survey and sampling equipment that may be used in student research. Faculty members have ongoing research programs that may also provide data as well as other avenues for students to be involved in undergraduate research.

Senior Theses 2001-2002


  • Shannon Casasfranco: Beyond United States Borders: American Geographical Knowledge and Understanding of Afghanistan; Professor Anderson, Thesis Advisor.


  • Paul Deatick: Urban Impermeable Surfaces and Their Effect on Stream Discharge in the Floyd's Fork Watershed, Jefferson County, Kentucky; Professor Hadizadeh, Thesis Advisor.


  • Emily Gadd: "Sky-Piercing Rocks": The Symbolic Importance of Skyscrapers and the Skyline to New Yorkers; Professor Clarke, Thesis Advisor.


  • Deanna Jarrell: Temperature Trends for Bullitt, Hardin, Jefferson, and Nelson Counties, Kentucky, from 1990 through 1999; Professor Mountain, Thesis Advisor.


  • Timothy Shawn LeMaster: The Bridge as Symbol and Metaphor: Focus on Kentucky; Professor Clarke, Thesis Advisor.


  • Travis Nalley: Influences of Socio-Economic and Reservoir Site Variables on Angler's Choice of Fishing Site; Professor Leuthart, Thesis Advisor.


  • Eric Raderer: Air Temperature Variability over 1900 to 2000 in Kentucky; Professor Mountain, Thesis Advisor.


  • Joe Reverman: Economic Sustainability of Bardstown Road, Louisville Kentucky; Professor Dakan, Thesis Advisor.


  • Nicholas Seivers: An Analysis of Travel Behavior to Activity Clusters in the Louisville Area Using GIS; Professor Scott, Thesis Advisor.


  • Brian Smith: Urban Encroachment On Agricultural Land In Owen County; Professor Anderson, Thesis Advisor.


  • Mike O' Toole: Influences of Slope On Urban Development, A Case Study of Southeast Jefferson County; Professor Leuthart, Thesis Advisor.


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