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Geography and Earth Science

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New Courses for Spring 2017

For four weeks in early summer 2017, UWL Geography Professor John Kelly will teach World Cultural Regions (GEO 110) in the historic and fun city of Galway, Ireland, as part of UWL’s study abroad program at the National University of Ireland. Students in Dr. Kelly’s course will also enroll in UWL Sociology Professor Tim Gongaware’s Introduction to Sociology course. For Kelly, this is a return to his roots – no, not because of his Irish surname, but because he spent a semester at the same university in 1990, as an undergraduate geography major. Since 1990, Ireland’s economy developed quickly, then partly declined. The western coastal region is the ideal place for students to learn about rural and urban landscape change, the geographies of language and music, recent trends in immigration and globalization, and Ireland’s links to the European Union (highlighted by the nearby United Kingdom’s recent decision to leave the EU).   More Information and Facebook

Augemented Reality Sandbox

The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse Geography and Earth Science Department has constructed an AR Sandbox for instructional and outreach use.  Using software developed at University of California Davis a sandbox was built with help from the Departments of Biology, Recreation Management and Physics, and Information Technology Services (ITS), and Facilities Planning and Management. It is used to give students a better understanding of how map contours relate to physical terrain and how water from rain would flow on a terrain.  The ARSandbox is located in Cowley 256.

Students using AR Sandbox Students using AR Sandbox
Students using AR Sandbox

Students to Develop a Bike and Pedestrian Map for La Crosse

The students taking Map Design and Geovisualization Geo/ESC 355 will be developing a new bike and pedestrian map for the city of La Crosse.  Working in groups, using cutting edge map design software the students will develop this map as part of their course work.   This was reported in La Crosse Tribune

Congratulation to 2016 Graduating Students

The Geography and Earth Science Department wants to congratulate the following students who graduated this year.

May 2016 - Jill Castro, Darla Boley, Matthew Donohue, Taylor Handrow, Samantha Haugen, Emily Johansen, Augustus Johnson, Kyle Johnson, Andrew Knickerbocker, Bernard Lincks, Donald Patnode, Lucas Pierce, Kyle Swales, Nicolas Treankler, Jared Vander Loop, Tammy Westberry, Tyler Woodke and Thomas Young

December 2015 - Taylor Blumenstein, Justin,Bobllitz, Andrew Donaldson, Dylan Hamel, Andrew Henn, Benjamin Lamb, Jodie Manderfield, Braley Quall, Tiffany Weiss and Kristy Ely 

We wish you all the best on the next set of adventures in your life.

Geography Department Hosts Mexican Visiting Scholar

During April and May, Jahzeel Aguilera Lara is a visiting scholar at the Department of Geography and Earth Science. Ms. Aguilera is completing her master's degree at the Environmental Geography Research Center (CIGA) in Morelia, Mexico, a part of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM). During her stay in La Crosse, Jahzeel has presented a lecture on her thesis work, "Making Sacred landscapes through Ritural Practices: A Case Study of Indigenous Nahuas in Mexico." She has worked with UWL Geography Assistant Professor John Kelly on developing maps for her thesis; has assisted Dr. Kelly in his participatory mapping and GIS work for indigenous communities in Honduras; and has enjoyed fruitful interactions with UWL students and professors (including George Cravins, pictured), and with others in the La Crosse community. Jahzeel's presence at UWL is part of the growth in international exchanges of many sorts, and of the Geography Department's involvement in Latin America and beyond.

Jahzeel Aguilera Lara collage

Gamma Theta Upsilon (GTU) Initiation 2016

Six students were initiated into the GTU on April 27, 2016: Josh Rostek, Sofia Kozidis, Justine Bula, Tammy Westberry, Jenna DeShaney and Karl Radke. GTU is an international honor society in Geography dedicated to prompting Geography as a field of study/research and applying geographic knowledge and skills in services to humankind.

2016 GTU Inititiation

 2016 GTU Cake

Geographic Information Science (GIS)  Poster Competition

 GIS Poster Competition 2015

New Faculty for Fall 2015

The Geography and Earth Science Department is please to introduce our new faculties members joining us this fall.  Dr. Niti Mishra specializing in cartography and Dr. John Kelly specializing in human geography. 

John Kelly is a human geographer focusing on Latin America, territoriality and land ownership, and indigenous peoples. A lifelong map lover, he was introduced to the geographic discipline by the late Peter Gould. Dr. Kelly studied geography at the University of Chicago, and landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. After seven years with conservation and rural development groups in Mexico, he earned his geography doctorate at the University of Kansas, working with multinational research teams led by Peter Herlihy to better understand the cultural-political ecologies and dynamic territorial challenges and opportunities among indigenous peoples in Mexico and Central America. His current research uses participatory mapping and web-based GIS to analyze the role of local reserves in Latin America.

Niti Mishra received a B.A. (Honors) in Geography from University of Delhi, India and M.S. in GIS from Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. He completed his Ph.D. in Geography from University of Texas at Austin where he also did post-doctoral research. His research interests lie in cartography, geovisualization and GIS applications for mapping, monitoring and management of natural resources. Dr. Mishra has conducted research in diverse landscapes such as glaciers in the Indian Himalayas, agricultural systems in Thailand and more recently in savanna systems in southern Africa and Texas. At University of Texas at Austin, his dissertation research focused on understanding complex linkages between ecological patterns and processes in savanna ecosystem in southern Africa by combining field data with satellite image analysis. In his off time, he enjoys watching movies, hiking, cooking and experimenting with his DSLR (digital single lens reflex) camera.