Our faculty conduct important, impactful research on social and biophysical systems and the events that shape our world. 

Our focus is on understanding these dynamic systems with a special emphasis on human-environment interaction and the science and technologies that are needed to analyze, model, and visualize geographic processes. 

Ongoing research by faculty and students includes projects on environmental health, land use/land cover, natural hazards, urban ecosystems, environmental policy, and spatiotemporal modeling. 

Departmental facilities include a GIS laboratory and a spatial analysis and research laboratory equipped with the latest in GIS and programming software. This includes handheld navigation devices, tablet PCs for field computing, and other equipment. Additional facilities include a lab with tree-ring bench, oven, furnace, balances, and microscopes; field meteorological stations, datalogger and micrometeorological instruments for environmental health monitoring; and other field equipment. 

Faculty research areas

The breadth of research in the Department of Geographical and Sustainability Sciences is encompassed in four primary areas:

Research and creative production in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

As part of a top-tier, AAU-accredited public research university, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences holds scholarly, scientific, and artistic discovery at the heart of our mission.

Throughout our departments and programs, our professors are at the forefront of their disciplines. They bring their world-class research and artistry into their classrooms, studios, and labs, giving students the unparalleled opportunity to learn right from the source of the latest innovations in knowledge and practice.

Graduate students and many undergraduates work side-by-side with faculty members, conducting breakthrough research and creative production that advances humanity’s understanding of ourselves and the complex, ever-changing world in which we live.

The creation of knowledge and understanding is an exhilarating and never-ending mission—and is at the core of every University of Iowa liberal arts and sciences education.