Robert Watrel, Interim Department Head
Darrell Napton, Professor/Graduate Coordinator
Department of Geography
Wecota Hall 109, Box 506
Geography is an exciting field that recognizes the complex relationships and linkages of human and natural systems; geography is the science of place. As such, geographers study and analyze many of today’s pressing issues, which range from climate change, human modification of the Earth’s systems, environmental hazards, resource assessment, and land use to population distributions, urbanization, cultural adaption, political organization of space, and globalization. Geographers’ tools, skill sets, and techniques, which include computer cartography, remote sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), are recognized increasingly as essential for solving many contemporary questions and are not only being adopted by businesses and governmental agencies but also by wider society. More people are recognizing that geography is fundamental to understanding our world and solving many of the problems that confront us.
The Department of Geography at South Dakota State University offers Bachelor’s of Science programs in Geography and Geographic Information Sciences (GISc) and a Master’s of Science degree in Geography. A diverse faculty focuses on topical specialties that include environment, geomorphology, soils, land use, hazards, energy use, cultural issues, historical, and political geography. Regional specialties are North America and Europe.
Janet Gritzner, Professor Emerita
Yanan Li, Assistant Professor
Thomas Loveland, Adjunct Professor
Darrell E. Napton, Professor
David Roy, Professor
Jamie Spinney, Assistant Professor
Robert Watrel, Interim Department Head and Associate Professor
George W. White, Professor
Xiaoyang Zhang, Associate Professor