Bob Watrel, Department Head
George White, Professor/Graduate Coordinator
Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences
Wecota Hall 109, Box 506
The Department of Geography and Geospatial Sciences offers graduate students the opportunity to earn a Master of Science Degree. The curriculum, organized through formal courses, seminars, internship experiences, and supervised research, is designed to prepare students for positions in such professional areas as planning, remote sensing, geographic information sciences, government service, research, business, and teaching. The program also is designed to provide students with the education needed to pursue further graduate study. Students seeking this degree are expected to select courses that will provide a sound foundation in geography (philosophical, physical and human, and research techniques) supported, if appropriate, by courses outside the department. Students may also seek out opportunities such as the cooperative program with the EROS Data Center and/or internships, generally available with planning districts, governmental agencies, business, and industry.
Student Learning Outcomes
- Critical thinking: Demonstrate foundational and specialized knowledge in both the physical and human sciences and their interconnectedness at local, regional, and global scales.
- Critical thinking: Interpret the ethical consequences of global issues concerning the environment to strengthen commitment to local, national, and global citizenship.
- Problem solving: Demonstrate proficiency in the application of appropriate geographical technologies and techniques to address issues in the physical and/or human sciences.
- Written communication: Communicate geographic ideas clearly and effectively (e.g., maps, writing, oral presentations, posters, photos, flowcharts, tables, graphs, and illustrations). (Communication Skills)
- Creative thinking: Apply observations from laboratory and/or field experiences to analyze problems and offer solutions.
- Creative thinking: Demonstrate the ability to collect, organize, analyze, and synthesize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial-temporal context.
- Inquiry and analysis: Explore complex local, regional, and global issues using a geographical perspective to formulate questions and draw informed conclusions that are based on critical scientific analysis and interpretation of information.
Course Delivery Format
Geography is not only a classroom subject but one that also includes laboratory research, fieldwork, and travel, as well as limited online coursework.
Facilities and Services
The department houses the Geospatial Sciences Center of Excellence and produces its own annual Geography Convention, the longest running such event in the United States.
Student Support and 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.
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.