Bridging Natural and Social Science

Students in UNC’s Geography program study the environmental, cultural, political and economic processes that produce distinctive local, regional and global patterns across the Earth’s surface. Geography is one of the few academic disciplines that bridge the gap between the natural and social sciences.

Geographers analyze how complex interactions among these spatial processes create constantly changing human and natural landscapes across the world.

Students can choose from one of three emphasis areas: Geographic Information Sciences (GIS), Global and Area Studies, and Secondary Teaching. The department also has a dedicated Geographic Information Sciences (GIS) laboratory and paleoenvironmental research laboratory.

Announcements and News

Become a GEODE

The Department of Geography & GIS will host a workshop, "Become a GEODE (Geography District Expert)," in the Spring of 2017. This workshop gives priority to secondary social studies teachers in the rural districts of Colorado's eastern plains, though all districts are welcome to apply.

Learn more about the workshop

Professor of Common Ground

Taking students out of the classroom and into Colorado's diverse landscape, Fulbright scholar and geography professor Karen Barton, Ph.D., builds understanding in the face of polarizing issues.

Read the full story from UNC Magazine

Karen Barton

Geography Field Trip

University of Northern Colorado students attend a geography field trip on the Colorado River. Instruction by Professor Jimmy Dunn and outfitted by Centennial Canoe Outfitters, Inc.

Learn more about the upcoming 2016 Field Courses


Notable Alumni: Matt Peldzus '12

My name is Matt Peldzus and I graduated from UNC with a Geography and G.I.S. degree in 2012. I work for a company called AlsoEnergy out of Boulder. We customize and manufacture ways to measure solar energy using cloud technology. It's a fairly small company but almost doubling in size and profit each year. In 2009, AlsoEnergy introduced PowerTrack™, a cloud-based software platform for monitoring renewable energy system performance. Our company monitors 1,500 solar power project sites around the world.

 Matt Peldzus

Notable Alumni: Ben Rude '11

I graduated from the University of Northern Colorado with my Geography degree and teaching license in December, 2011. After a semester of substitute teaching and coaching track in the Thompson School District, I accepted my first full-time position at Liberty High School in Colorado Springs. I am entering my second year at LHS and will be teaching World Regional Geography, World History and Geography, and Honors Civics. I feel like the Geography Department at UNC did an exceptional job in preparing me to instruct these courses. 

 Ben Rude

Journey to Iceland: Summer 2016

UNC students traveled to Iceland this summer with Geography & GIS faculty member, Dr. Karen Barton, and explored the cultures, landscapes, and natural resources of Iceland. Photo essay by Bryant Walkinshaw.

Career Paths in Geography

When you choose to pursue a career in Geography and GIS at UNC, you'll have many options and opportunities for specialization and focus. Career paths include work in business, with community organizations, in GIS, government, natural science, planning, resource management, teaching and transportation. Take a look at the type of work you'll be doing, and read about some of our alumni in the field. 

Visit Geography and GIS Career Builder

Geography and GIS Career Options