Department of Geographic and Environmental Sciences

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Department Spotlight

Andrea Gaughan

Dr. Andrea Gaughan was recently awarded funding in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Mehring (UofL Biology) from the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute for a new project, "It’s not easy being green: rapid assessment of wetland carbon source-sink status through remote sensing." Over the course of the one-year project, we will explore the viability of different types of high resolution remotely sensed data to be used as indicators to determine wetland greenhouse gas source and sink status across Jefferson County. The ultimate goal will be to get a sense of "hotspots" for wetland GHG emissions and associated wetland characteristics for those areas.


Urban analytics is an emerging field that incorporates city theories, urban informatics, and data science. The newly designed Urban Analytics Track prepares students to engage and assess the increasing abundance and availability of data to address various urban issues, such as air, water, and land pollution, urban heat island, transportation and mobility, crimes, public health, inadequate housing options, and disparities in access to urban services. This track brings the Department’s recognized strengths and expertise in data analysis and geospatial technologies and provide students with both theoretical knowledge and practical tools necessary to understand and solve urban problems.

Recent Faculty Publications

Dr. Charlie Zhang and colleagues have recently two new articles in high-ranking journals including  Exposure and Health  and  Environmental Research . In addition, Dr. Zhange advises two students who have also recently led publications. Mr Gregory Hess – Geography and Environmental Sciences and Ms. Janna Meiman – School of Medicine have recently published articles in   International Journal of Applied Geospatial Research   and  Prenatal Diagnosis .


Dr. Wei Song co-authored a recent  publication  in the geography flagship journal, Annals of the American Association of Geographers. The article presents a study on the spatial patterns and evolution of urbanization in China using geospatial technologies and  nighttime light satellite  information and the spatial structure of economic activities using a network-based approach.


Dr. Maegen Rochner has a new publication out with colleagues in the  Journal of Vegetation Science  that examines drivers of forest change in Yellowstone National Park. Their study "highlights the interplay between succession, forest disturbances and climate-related growth responses in driving forest compositional change in subalpine and treeline environments."


Ms. Laura Krauser (ULCGIS Research Coordinator) along with co-authors with Drs. Forrest Stevens and Andrea Gaughan and Vietnamese colleagues, also published this year an  article  in the prestigious geography journal, Annals of the American Association of Geographers that uses remote sensing and household interviews to characterize a changing agricultural landscape associated with dragon fruit cultivation in southern Vietnam.

Dr. Margath Walker recently published the book Spatializing Marcuse: Critical Theory for Contemporary Times.  The book is a fresh appraisal of philosopher Herbert Marcuse’s work foregrounding the geographical aspects of one of the leading social and political theorists of the 20th century.   Margath A. Walker considers how Marcusean philosophies might challenge the way we think about space and politics by drawing on examples from contemporary geopolitics, digital infrastructure, and issues like resistance and immigration.



Student Guide

Geographers investigate the character and possible associations between a subject and its environment. The Department of Geographic and Environmental Sciences educates students to view the world in a spatial and time-dependent context to determine relationships between people and their immediate and global environment.

Bachelor of Science: The department offers Bachelor of Science degrees in four different concentrations:

  • Environmental Analysis: designed for students who are interested in the environment and environmental sustainability.
  • Geospatial Technologies: designed for students who are interested in developing geospatial technologies like GIS and remote sensing.
  • Human and Cultural Dynamics: designed for students interested in the forces that shape human environments like population trends, sustainable development, ethnic and racial segregation, globalization and geopolitics.
  • Urban Analysis: designed for students interested in the various processes that shape urban environments.

Learn more about our undergraduate degree options

The M.S. in Applied Geography is designed to provide students with the analytical skills and background knowledge needed to solve real-world problems with geographic dimensions. Graduate students experience a nucleated body of coursework designed to foster and support the theoretical knowledge and advanced skill sets demanded for the professional and academic/research fields. Coupled with the enhanced level of course content; quantitative, qualitative and spatial data analysis applications; and the Departmental emphasis upon critical reasoning, effective writing and communication skills, graduates will be capable and prepared for effective integration into a broad diversity of professional fields.

Learn more about our M.S. in Applied Geography

The Department of Geography and Geosciences offers two minors:

  • Minoring in Geography exposes students to the schools of thought in physical and human Geography and techniques of Geographic Information System (GIS).
  • Minoring in Environmental Analysis exposes students to the physical processes associated with the environment and environmental sustainability.

Learn more about a Minor in Geography or Environmental Analysis

Our graduates work for local, state and federal governments; environmental consulting firm;, retail businesses; and research and educational organizations. Departmental graduates also have been admitted to some of the nation’s finest graduate programs.

Visit College of Arts & Sciences Advising for assistance with your major or minor.

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GeographIC and ENVIRONMENTAL sciences

University of Louisville

Louisville, Kentucky 40292

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M-F 8:00am to 5:00 pm

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tel (502) 852-6844

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