We are now the Department of Geography, GIS, and Sustainability!
The Department of Geography, GIS, and Sustainability (DoGGS or GGS) now includes the Environmental and Sustainability Studies program (formerly housed in UNC's University College) in addition to offerings in Geography and Geographic Information Science (GIS).
Bridging Natural and Social Science
Students in the 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 interested in Environmental and Sustainability Studies will learn to understand and address the significant challenges facing a growing human community dependent on finite resources. Environmental and Sustainability Studies uses a dynamic approach that requires the study of multiple disciplines and perspectives to address human problems which require sophisticated understanding of interacting systems: natural, economic, historical, aesthetic, socio-cultural, spatial, and political.
Students can elect to major in in Environmental and Sustainability Studies or Geography with one of three emphasis areas: Geographic Information Sciences (GIS), Global and Area Studies, and Secondary Teaching. Minors are available in Geography, GIS, and Environmental Studies.
Announcements and News
Students Recognized at 2019 Honors Convocation
Geography, GIS & Sustainability students Delia Lynch, Charlie Marchese, Sidney Neville, Macenzi Steck, Michael Chenore, Jaxon Nelson, Joshua Rogerson, and Gabrielle Stanton were recognized on April 14th for excellence in their program. Congratulations! View the event program. See all the event photos.
Faculty Recognized for Scholarly Excellence
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences recognized outstanding faculty on April 14, 2019. Dr. Karen Barton was awarded the College Scholar Award. Congratulations!
"Social Determinants of Health in Colorado" project receives grant
Jieun Lee and Ivan Ramirez (Instructor, University of Colorado) received a grant of $41,298 from Colorado Evaluation and Action Lab Funding for their project “Social Determinants of Health in Colorado: Spatial Analysis of Housing Affordability, Health Issues, and Health Care Accessibility.” Using statewide data at the census-tract level, this study will employ Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to investigate the spatial relationships between asthma prevalence, lead exposure, and mental health (defined as suicide mortality, alcohol consumption, and substance overdose) as compared to availability of affordable housing and medical/mental health care accessibility. This study will result in a series of maps that can assist the state and other governmental partners to more effectively implement affordable housing and health care accessibility strategies.
Expedition to educate! A look into UNC study abroad
Dannon Cox with the Graduate Student Association recently published a podcast with special guest Dr. Karen Barton in which she discusses the impact study abroad programs have on students, as well as her upcoming expedition to Nepal.
Geography student completed NASA DEVELOP internship
Jennifer Mehren worked with the Intermountain West Ecological Forecasting Team on developing predictive model to help locate potential locations for Lodgepole pine stands in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming in order to point to vulnerable stands in case of a future Mountain Bark Beetle infestation. Among other, more technical, deliverables her team produced a 3 minute video on their project and methods.
Geography, GIS & Sustainability Student Spotlight
Logan Myers, an Anthropology and Geography major, had the opportunity to go overseas to Spain over the summer and conduct Underwater Archaeological research. The school he was a part of focused on an ancient Roman military port that was embedded in one of Spain's coastal bays.
His team built off of previous seasons' data and expanded the school's knowledge of the bay's underwater environment. Their techniques for data collection involved scuba diving at a depth of about 10-25 meters while surveying the ocean floor for artifacts. When his team found an object of interest, the items data was collected via GPS points, pictures, and video to use for ArcGIS mapping, possible artifact recovery, and protection of the artifact from looters. Overall, this experience allowed him to travel to a foreign location surrounded by dedicated individuals doing what he loves and, in his opinion, the school was second to none as it sparked the beginning of his lifelong career.
Into the Arctic
Professor Jimmy Dunn and a crew of five students headed north for summer research and discovery in the Canadian Arctic.
"I don't think there's a more profound way to learn than to do something like this"
Careers in Geography, GIS & Sustainability
When you choose to pursue a career in Geography, GIS, or Sustainability, 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, sustainability, 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.