Driving innovative environmental solutions and research

We live on a dynamic planet, one that is constantly changing in response to complex human and natural processes. Geographers study the interactions of people with each other and their environment to better understand these intricately related processes.  

At Iowa, we conduct research and teach students about social and biophysical systems and the events that shape our world. We work to understand these dynamics with a special emphasis on human-environment interactions and the science and technologies needed to analyze, model, and visualize geographic processes.

Our undergraduate program offers students majors in geography, environmental policy and planning, and sustainability science that provide the breadth of knowledge needed to understand contemporary social and environmental problems and the skills to work on issues related to environmental monitoring and policy, climate change, ecosystem processes, sustainability, public health, international development, geographic information systems, and more.

Our graduate program focusses on the environmental consequences of human decisions on local, regional, and global scales and the application of GIScience to the study of these consequences. We provide leading-edge educational and research experience for professional and research-oriented graduate studies in GIScience, environmental change, health and society, and international development.  

The Geographical and Sustainability Sciences department works closely and is affiliated with various centers, departments, and researchers across campus including The Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research (CGRER), the College of Public Health, International Programs, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of Biology, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Department of Statistics and Actuarial Science, and the Iowa Geological Survey.  

Faculty research is supported by grants from the U.S. National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, NASA, and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and many others.