2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog 
    Sep 19, 2020  
2019-2020 Undergraduate Catalog [Archived Catalog]

Department of Geography & Geospatial Sciences

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Bob Watrel, Department Head
Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences
109 Wecota Hall



Darrell Napton, George White, Xiaoyang Zhang

Associate Professor

Bob Watrel

Assistant Professors

Dapeng Li, Bruce Millett


Don Berg, Charles F. Gritzner, Janet Gritzner, Edward Hogan, Roger Sandness


The Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences offers enriching academic and life experiences, connecting people to the world in which they live. The department offers programs addressing the complex relationships and linkages of human and natural systems; geography is the science of place. As such, students study and analyze pressing issues ranging 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. Students gain experience with geospatial techniques including cartography, remote sensing, Global Positioning Systems and Geographic Information Systems. These are recognized increasingly as essential for solving many contemporary societal questions. This also makes graduates from the department marketable in numerous business and governmental careers, as well as graduate schools for those seeking advanced degrees.





Graduate Programs*

  • Geography (M.S.)
  • Geography (M.S.) - Geographic Information Sciences Specialization
  • Geospatial Science and Engineering (Ph.D.) - Geography Specialization
  • Geospatial Science and Engineering (Ph.D.) - Remote Sensing Specialization

* Graduate degrees are offered in collaboration with the Graduate School. For details, see the Graduate Catalog.

Facilities & Services

The Geography and Geospatial Sciences department is located in Wecota Hall. The department produces its own annual Geography Convention, the longest running such event in the United States.

Student Support & Engagement Opportunities

The department provides numerous opportunities for student engagement. For example, the Geography Club is a student organization centered on both academic and social functions. Membership is open to anyone interested. Additionally, the South Dakota State Geography Convention is student organized and sponsored.

Students and faculty regularly travel including attendance at regional and national geography meetings, as well as travel to other parts of the world in pursuit of their individual scholarly interests.

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