Research and Projects

Developing an Online Center for Global Geography Education Phase 2


Phil Klein (Geography & GIS) – National Science Foundation

With this 3-year grant, the Association of American Geographers (AAG) is developing instructional materials for international online collaborations for teaching and learning geography. The co-PIs are Dr. Michael Solem, Educational Affairs Director of the AAG and Dr. Osvaldo Muñiz, Professor of Geography at Texas State University-San Marcos. The Center for Global Geography Education (CGGE) is a web-based set of issues-based, inquiry geography modules, in which students at universities in different countries work together on a series of case studies and activities about contemporary geographic issues. The CGGE topics include Nationalism, Global Economy, Population and Resources, Migration, Water Resources, and Global Climate Change. The modules are available in English, Spanish, and Chinese. We will also enhance the online capabilities for faculty using the materials and conduct workshops at international conferences to enlarge the network of international geography faculty using this instructional technology. See the project website.

An Evaluation Of Air-Rail Passenger Intermodal Access At United States Airports”


Timothy Vowles (Geography & GIS) and Andrew Goetz (University of Denver)- National Center for Intermodal Transportation The goal of this project is to assess the quality of intermodal linkages at US airports by developing and testing a typology of air-rail intermodal access.  Even though airports may claim they have air-rail connections, there is a wide range in the quality of those linkages and connections.  Quality will be defined by the characteristics of the connection and system including but not limited to number of destinations served, scale and scope of the rail system, geographic extent of the system serving the airport, and users of the air-rail systems.  From this analysis we hope to explain which airports have the preeminent air-rail connections and provide insight into best practices for other airports to pursue when creating or improving their air-rail connections in the future.  By quantifying these distinctions through a comprehensive survey analysis we expect to clarify those airports having truly embraced air-rail intermodal connectivity as part of their urban transit system. 

Katherine M. Johnson, Sabbatical Leave Project, 2009

After a few years writing about growth issues along the Front Range, I’ve turned to a book project on the origins of the Interstate Highway System.  I don’t think the whole story of how and why we built these big roads has been told yet.  The missing piece, as I will try to show in this book, is the power political of people who own land  – especially here in the West.   They set the highway agenda, as I read it, going way back to 1916.  My thinking here has also been influenced by new theories about how society works in which academic geographers have taken a lead.   I discuss some these ideas in the articles I’ve posted on my website.

Forest Canyon Cultural Landscape-“Patch Ecology” Pilot Project


Bob Brunswig (School of Social Sciences/Anthropology) and James Doerner (Geography & GIS) - NPS

Pilot study for an interdisciplinary study and GIS model of natural and cultural landscape use of Forest Canyon Pass, Rocky Mountain National Park, over the past 11,000 years. The project is based in Patch Ecology Theory and utilizes field data and analytical methodologies from archaeology, physical geography (paleoclimate/paleoecology), Geographic Information System (GIS) software analysis/modeling, Native American ethnobotany research, and ecological biology.

Fire History and Climate Change in Rocky Mountain National Park


Jim Doerner (Geography & GIS) – National Park Service A project designed to study the long-term history of forest fires and their relationship with past climatic conditions in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Building a Network of Rural GEODES:Geography District Experts for the New Social Studies Standards in Colorado


James Dunn will reach out to rural geography teachers and offer them a strong connection to UNC Geography with graduate coursework, a meeting on the UNC campus, and opportunities to become leaders for their district and their neighbors. The teachers become geography ambassadors and help to show rural students the career potential in geography. They also help transition the curricula of their schools to address Colorado’s new social studies standards.

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Join the undergraduate geography club. It’s called the Geography GIS Club. The club is active and would welcome leadership if you want to shape the club.

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For more information, please contact:
James Dunn, Chair
Department of Geography and GIS
Campus Box 115
University of Northern Colorado
Greeley, CO 80639

Telephone: (970) 351-2834
Fax: (970) 351-2890


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