Graduate Research

Students pursuing a master's or PhD benefit from research-focused programs in areas of faculty expertise. Field experiences abound in our tight-knit community, and many students have the opportunity to publish or present their research at the annual American Association of Geographers meeting each spring.

  • 2018 Graduating Class

    Doctor of Philosophy
    Sarah McCall

    Master of Arts: Geography
    Natalie Trivino
    Daniel Zimny-Schmitt

    Master of Science: Geographic Information Science
    Gregorio Aranea
    Laura Atkinson
    Andy Bohnhoff
    Rebecca Boyce
    Sandor Coscia
    Kristin Judy
    Nicholas Karl
    Madeline Kelley
    Alex Krebs
    Benjamin Kreisman
    Michael Krois
    Franzel Loetz
    Michael Micallef
    Davis Miller
    Alysa Ochoa
    Joseph Paniccia
    Jaclyn Phipps
    David Richardson
    Christian VanWyngarden
    Leslie Wilson
    Christopher Yeager

    Bachelor of Arts: Environmental Science
    Sage Bard-Gilbert
    Michelle Connacher
    Matthew Driscoll
    William Ekern
    Mellik Gorton
    William McDermott
    Jake Michelotti
    Jack Poole
    Sarah Shimizu
    Alicia Strauss
    Devin Toth

    Bachelor of Arts: Geography
    Sophia Drobny
    Renee Facchini
    Nina Friedman
    Matthew Gutman
    Adam Hall
    Sara Hall
    Robert Hutchins
    Daniel Janosko
    Brett Johnson
    Jessica Kenny
    Thomson Kirsch
    Conor O'Toole
    Nathanael Rodd
    Ford Sanger
    Tamara Sapien
    Hannah Shook
    Danforth Webster

    Bachelor of Science: Environmental Science
    Amy Caswell
    Henry Crawford
    David Palazzo
    Marisa Paukovich
    Ruby Tedeschi
    Alexandria Vieth

  • Graduate Student Dissertations, Theses & Capstones (2018)

    Gregorio Aranea, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Sea Level Rise: Using GIS to Assess the Socio-Economic Impact in the Commercial Zone of Waikiki Special District." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Laura Atkinson, MS, Geographic Information Science, "A Comparison of LiDAR Data Decomposition Strategies for Desktop Parallel Processing." Advisor: Dr. Jing Li.

    Andy Bohnhoff, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Spatial Analysis of Denver’s Parks and Trails with Potential Improvements – A GIS Based Look." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Rebecca Boyce, MS, Geographic Information Science, "A Point Pattern Analysis for Swift Fox Sightings in Pawnee National Grassland," Capstone Advisor." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Jennifer Clark, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Developing open-source web platform to deliver stable carbon isoscapes." Advisor: Dr. Rebecca Powell.

    Brett Jefferson, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Reducing Storm Water Runoff in Portland, Oregon Using ArcGIS Tools." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Nick Karl, MS, Geographic Information Science, "A Spatial Statistical Analysis: Potential Lithium Supply Disruption Caused by Earthquakes," Capstone Advisor. Completed. (September 2017 - November 2017).

    Madeline Kelley, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Developing a Flood Risk Information System for Colorado: A Mixed Methods Approach.” Advisor: Dr. Hillary Hamann.

    Robert Koch, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Locating Future Oil and Gas Development Locations while Minimizing Risks to the Residents: Using GIS Analysis." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Alex Krebs, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Exploring the Feasibility of Monitoring the Effects of Gentrification on Urban Greenness with Remotely Sensed Data." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Mike Krois, MS, Geographic Information Science, "UAV Photogrammetry and Automated Digital Terrain Model Generation for Public Land Surveyors." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Sterling LoetzMS, Geographic Information Science, "Geoprocessing and Statistical Techniques for Building Footprint Delineation and Extraction Within Urban Environments." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Sarah McCall, PhD, Geography, "Political Economy in Nicaragua.” Advisor: Dr. Matthew Taylor

    Michael Micallef, MS, Geographic Information Science, "The Location of Professional Sports Arenas & Their Correlation with Prices of Alcoholic Beverages." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Davis Miller, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Mapping the Campaign Trail: Implementing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to target unaffiliated voters within CD3, Colorado for the Democratic Campaign." Advisor: Dr. Erika Trigoso.

    Alysa Ochoa, MS, Geographic Information Science, "District-level Analysis on Variables Contributing to Low School Performance in Rural Colorado School Districts." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Joe Paniccia, MS, Geographic Information Science, "The Geography of the Digital Divide:  A Geospatial Approach to the Prioritization of Broadband Access Expansion." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Jackie Phipps, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Understanding Tourism: Spatial Analysis of Squished Penny Machines." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Rachel Pierstorff, BA, Geography, "Trends and Perpetuation of Suburban Poverty Based on Service Accessibility and Urban Form: A GIS Analysis of the Western Twin Cities Suburbs," Undergraduate Honors Thesis. Advisor: Dr. Andrew Goetz.

    David Richardson, MS, Geographic Information Science, "A GIS Analysis of Illicit Marijuana Cultivation Sites across Colorado National Forests Using a Traditional Risk Terrain Modeling Methodology." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Natalie Trivino, MA, Geography, "Paleoflood hydrology and drainage basin morphometry, Colorado Front Range.” Advisor: Dr. J. Michael Daniels.

    Christian VanWyngarden, MS, Geographic Information Science,"A Geostatistical Analysis of the Riparian Extent in Regions Affected by Water Reallocation." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Chris Yeager, MS, Geographic Information Science, "Oakland: The Struggle of Increased Housing Costs and Homelessness Populations." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Kenny Yeboah, MS, Geographic Information Science, "The Effect of GPS Ground Control Points on UAV Mapping Accuracy - A case study using the DJI Phantom 4 UAV/Drone." Advisor: Steven Hick.

    Daniel Zimny-Schmitt, MA, Geography, "An Investigation of the Performance of Urban Rail Transit Systems on the Corridor Level: A Comparative Analysis in the American West." Advisor: Dr. Andrew Goetz

  • Graduate Student Papers and Presentations at AAG 2018


    Historical Administrative Maps of the Czech Republic: A Case Study of the Conceptual and Quantitative Merit of Historical GIS
    Presenting authors: Kelly Measom


    Data Decomposition Strategies for GPU Based LiDAR Parallel Processing
    Presenting authors: Laura Atkinson

    Migrant Politics in the Urban Global South: Nicaraguan Struggles Over Trash, Excrement and Urban Infrastructure in the Informal Settlement of La Carpio in San Jose, Costa Rica
    Presenting author: Nikolai Alvarado

    Public-Private Partnerships with Public Transit, Local Government Agencies and Ridesourcing in Denver, CO
    Presenting author: Sylvia Brady

    Free and Open Source Web-GIS and the Cloud
    Presenting author: Jennifer Clark

    The Political Ecology of Community Seed Banks
    Presenting author: Bryan Collins

    Multi-Decadal Streamflow Reconstruction of the Upper Samala River Basin, Guatemala
    Presenting author: Diego Pons

    Applying Risk-Management Science to Wind-Farm Development
    Presenting author: Arie Feltman-Frank

    GIS Watershed Delineation and Morphometric Analysis of the Upper Vltava River in the Czech Republic
    Presenting author: Shannon Jones

    Developing Flood Risk Information for Colorado
    Presenting author: Madeline Kelley

    Engaging Children with Voice through Photo-Story Maps
    Presenting author: Corey Martz

    Historical Administrative Maps of the Czech Republic: A Case Study of the Conceptual and Quantitative Merit of Historical GIS
    Presenting author: Kelly Measom

    Visibilities of Surplus: Latino Migrant Day Laborers and Social Reproduction in Urban Borderzones
    Presenting author: Daniel Olmos

    Environmental Governance, Elite Dynamics and Conflict: The Unequal Distribution of Socio­-Environmental Impacts Emerging from Mining and Hydropower Development in Guatemala
    Presenting author: Anna Sveinsdottir

    Paleoflood Investigations and Physiographic Characteristics Associated with Susceptibility to Flooding in the Mountainous Colorado Front Range
    Presenting author: Natalie Trivino

    Evaluating Accessibility Changes and Socio-Economic Development in Mexico's "Montana de Guerrero" Region
    Presenting author: Jessica Villena Sanchez

    VisAIS: A Multidimensional Visualization Client to Support Analysis of AIS Information
    Presenting author: Xuantong Wang

    An Investigation of the Performance of Light Rail Transit Systems at the Corridor Level: A Comparative Analysis in the American West
    Presenting author: Daniel Zimny-Schmitt

    The Development of Key Environmental Datasets for Fisheries Institutions on Lake Victoria
    Presenting author: Noah Krach

Funding & Support

  • Grant Application Support

    DU's Office of Sponsored Research & Programs (ORSP) can help you through the process of applying for research funding from federal, non-federal and internal sources.


  • Graduate Student Resources

    The Office of Graduate Studies offers several centrally-funded awards as well as workshops and resources for students involved in research.

  • Professional Development Grants

    Graduate Student Professional Development Grants provide financial support for conference presentations, exhibitions and performances, thesis and dissertation-related expenses and travel fares.

    Learn More