Research & Initiatives

Research & Initiatives

Geography & Environmental Research Labs

The research interests of the UCCS Department of Geography & Environmental Studies (GES) cover a wide range of environmental topics, including hydrology, geomorphology, geospatial technology, and dendrochronology, and aim to provide insight into environmental processes to inform management and planning decisions.

Faculty Research

We encourage students to see what type of research our faculty are conducting. This information can be found on faculty members’ curriculum vitae (CV) which are linked from their profile pages.

Department Research Labs

Forest Hydrology Research Lab

Lab Director: Dr. Curt Holder

The Forest Hydrology Research Lab investigates the influence of vegetation characteristics in generating water for communities. Current research projects examine the extent to which leaf hydrophobicity influences canopy storage capacity in common species of the semi-arid Western United States and two sites in Guatemala. Data collected in the lab will increase our understanding of hydrological processes to inform the planning and management of vegetation cover in watersheds contributing as raw water source regions for municipalities.

For more information contact Curt Holder:

Geomorphology Research Lab

Lab Director: Dr. Brandon Vogt

Geomorphology seeks to understand processes that create and change land surfaces. As an interdisciplinary science, geomorphology examines the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, and anthrosphere.

Research tools include:

  • Leica-Geosystems ScanStation C10 3D terrestrial laser scanner (TLS)
  • CST/Berger 205 electronic total station
  • Ingram-Ward compact combination thin section saw/grinder
  • Various GPS receivers
  • Federal snow sampler (2 m)
  • Two Davis Wind Speed and Direction Smart Sensors / HOBO Micro Station Data Loggers
  • 18 Onset HOBO V2 temperature data loggers (TidbiTs)
  • Seven Onset RS1 Solar Radiation Shields
  • DJI Mavic Pro Platinum drone
  • Software environments:
    • ArcGIS Pro
    • Leica Cyclone V 2020

For more information contact Brandon Vogt:

Geospatial Technology Lab

Lab Director: Matt Gottfried

Several computer facilities at the university and within GES are well-equipped with technologies critical for the analysis and presentation of geospatial data.

Lab Focus:

  • Computer cartography
  • Geographic information systems
  • Remote sensing software and products

PCs are outfitted with all ESRI GIS products, including ArcGIS Desktop / Pro, ArcServer, and ArcSDE.

The laboratories provide access to ENVI, ERDAS, Feature Analyst, TerrSet, Surfer, MapViewer, Grapher, TransCAD, Trimble Pathfinder, Microsoft Office, and SPSS.

For more information contact Matthew Gottfried:

Tree Ring Lab

Lab Director: Christine Biermann

The UCCS Tree Ring Laboratory is a research unit within GES. Housed in Columbine Hall, the lab uses dendrochronology, or the study of annual growth rings in trees, as a method to investigate issues of climate change, forest dynamics, fire history, and human-environment interactions.

For more information contact Christine Biermann: