As we are now a global society, the U.S. economy, culture, health, and environment are intricately connected to almost every other nation on earth. 

Some connections are readily apparent (global climate change, conflict over limited resources, international trade) others more subtle (e.g., long range atmospheric transport of dust and its potential impact on health thousands of miles away from its source, or the global diffusion of micro-finance and its impact on the quality of life of women in developing countries). Our ability to craft a positive future for the U.S. and humanity in general, depends greatly on an understanding of processes at local, regional, and global scales. We study the processes, politics, and policies that form and affect these connections. 

Current research in international development at the UI:

  • Spatial and environmental aspects of bird flu in Asia
  • Water interactions and diarrheal disease in Bangladesh
  • Using satellite imagery to monitor land cover change across Africa and in specific locations in China
  • Spatial decision support systems for planning services in developing countries.
  • Using simulations to study the dynamics of land cover change at frontiers of development.

International Studies is not an undergraduate track, yet students interested in international issues—undergraduate and graduate students alike—have the opportunity to learn from leading authorities in areas such as emerging diseases in Vietnam, Bangladesh, and China, and land use and land cover change in Ecuador, Thailand, and China. The close ties between the Geographical and Sustainability Sciences and the University of Iowa’s International Programs provide students with opportunities to engage in a broad range of formal and informal learning activities.

International studies faculty

Portrait of Margaret Carrel

Margaret Carrel

Associate Professor
Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Chair
Portrait of Marc Linderman

Marc Linderman

Associate Professor
Portrait of George Malanson

George Malanson

Coleman-Miller Professor Emeritus
Portrait of R. Rajagopal

R. Rajagopal

Professor Emeritus