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- The department prides itself for being recognized as one of the university’s “Unique and High-Need” Programs; indeed, it is the only program in the College to receive that distinction. In part, this distinction comes from the department's commitment to sustainability studies, geology course offerings, geospatial technologies and certificates, and research labs. GES is a program of excellence in all facets of teaching, research, and service and models “best practices” within the discipline of geography.
- Our faculty have produced an impressive number of pure and applied publications. The quality and quantity of publications in peer-reviewed outlets is on par with many Tier I (Carnegie classification) institutions. Faculty in the department are committed to a high level of scholarship and support one another in pursuing academic achievement. This is a key strength, and ensures not only the success of GES faculty, but also provides an excellent example to the graduate and undergraduate students.
- The department has an excellent record of obtaining external funding. Grants, including those provided by National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Geographic, have been a critical source of graduate student funding. As a result, many graduate student have gained not only essential financial support but also indispensable experience as “research assistants” for GES faculty working on cutting-edge projects.
- Recent hires, such as Dylan Harris, PhD, who started Fall of 2020, have only solidified the reputation of GES. Dr. Harris and other new hires to the department already had an outstanding reputation in the discipline and are poised to make significant contributions to the discipline of geography.
- GES faculty serve on editorial boards of the discipline’s top journals, hold key positions in the discipline’s largest professional organization, and serve as board members and/or consultants for numerous local and regional community organizations, illustrating that GES faculty hold exceptional standing in diverse professional settings.
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The purpose of the BA in GES is to provide students with an understanding of the discipline of geography. This includes courses in physical, human, and cultural geography, as well methods courses that provide exposure to the various tools and techniques of geographic research.