Our professors have diverse research interests within the areas of environmental processes and change, urban planning and transportation, human-environment interactions and geographic information science. 

From Denver, we are able to study the local and regional effects of climate change on our water supply, the destructive impact of the mountain pine beetle and the planning and development of our transit systems. Zooming out, we seek to make a global impact with projects that increase understanding of environmental change, migration and geopolitics and the impact of these factors on communities in Africa and Central America.

Learn more about our faculty's current research interests with details about their studies.

Current Research Projects

Laboratory Facilities

  • David B. Longbrake Geographic Information Technology Laboratories

    The David B. Longbrake Geographic Information Technology Laboratories is comprised of a 24 seat instructional computer laboratory, a 16 seat advanced instructional/research computer lab, large-scale commercial grade plotter, large and small format scanners, and a color printer. Both computer labs include the latest versions of geospatial technology software, including ArcMap, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Earth, ERDAS Imagine, Google Earth Pro, R, RStudio, ENVI, JMP Pro, GeoExpress 10, GeoDa, and TNTmips. 

  • Geographic Positioning System (GPS) Laboratory

    This lab is dedicated to housing an extensive GIS equipment collection. It is also home to the Community Base Station, providing 24-7 location data for differential correction along the Front Range and beyond. 

  • Geospatial Visualization Laboratory

    The Geospatial Visualization Laboratory is designed to provide high-end computer visualization technology for student and faculty research. The facility includes five high-end computers, three large wall-mounted digital monitors, and an extensive collection of geospatial and analytical software.

  • Mt. Evans Field Station

    The Mt. Evans Field Station is owned by the University of Denver and operated under a special-use permit from the Arapaho National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service.

    The facility is available year-round for use by academic groups and individual researchers with interests in the geology or ecology of the Colorado Front Range. It is an ideal location for summer research groups, field camps or field courses. 

    Learn more or make a reservation.

  • Palynology Laboratory

    Fully functional wet laboratory with emphasis on pollen analysis of sediment cores.

  • Reuben F. Miller Soils and Sediment Analysis Laboratory

    This USDA-approved laboratory performs particle size distribution, organic matter content, CaCO3 percentage, bulk density, pH/eH, and soil-color analysis using laser-diffraction particle size analyzer, sonic sifter, Ro-tap sieve shaker, muffle furnace, drying ovens, incubator, centrifuges, pH/eH meter, spectrophotomoter and balances.

  • Remote Sensing Research Laboratory

    Lab technology includes state-of-the-art image-processing software including ERDAS Imagine, ENVI and ESRI GIS software. We also house an Analytical Spectral Devices FieldSpec portable sprectroradiometer to collect solar spectral reflectance, radiance, and irradiance measurements across a wide spectral range. 

2020 Herold Fund Research Awards

Created in 2010, this fund honors the memory of Professor Laurance C. Herold, a faculty member in the Geography Department from 1963 through 1996, who led many student field research expeditions, notably to study prehistoric agricultural terraces in the Sierra Madre Occidental of Chihuahua and Sonora, Mexico. The Laurance C. Herold Fund supports field research by graduate and undergraduate students as part of their degree programs in the Department of Geography & the Environment.

  • Dinko Hanaan Dinko, PhD program, “Negotiating Water Conflicts and Livelihood Security in Ghana.”
  • Shannon Jones, PhD program, “Pacific Coastal Mangrove Sediment Dynamics Relative to Extreme Flooding From Tropical Cyclones.”
  • Meghan McCarroll, PhD program, “Water Literacy of in Drought-Prone Cities: A Case Study from Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa.”
  • Jennifer Murdock, MS(GISc) program, “Geological Application of GIS: Delimiting the Transcontinental Arch of the Rocky Mountain Region Using GIS Based Contour Mapping.”
  • Paige Ramsey, MS(GISc) program, “Land Trust Employees and Associated Land Owners Conservation Easement Processes Related to Water.”

Gaining Insight through Graduate Studies

Our graduate students play leading roles in hands-on research that has the potential to empower citizens worldwide with knowledge and understanding of land, data and human-environment interactions. 

Our strong graduate program ushers junior investigators into professional academia with an emphasis on field experience and conference attendance.