The Department of Geography at MSU actively pursues cross-campus collaborations and community engagement. Individual faculty interact with other campus units on cooperative research projects and teaching and many professors conduct research involving local, regional and state-wide community partners.
The Department also interacts in a more formal way with several campus partners:
A sub-unit within Geography, RSGIS provides spatial analysis services to local and state government agencies. Recognized as the leading source of spatial technology expertise in the state, RSGIS staff assists the State of Michigan with data acquisition, quality control, and software programming. They also provide training workshops in GIS, remote sensing and cartography for working professionals. They operate an imagery archive that houses photo and satellite images for the state of Michigan from the 1930s to present. Staff also assist faculty research projects form all across campus. They employ a number of geography undergraduate and graduate students on many projects.
Also housed in Geography, the Enviro-Weather program is a real-time, state-wide weather and climate data collection system, partially funded by MSU Extension and AgBioResearch. Weather information for nearly 80 stations in Michigan is posted online for the benefit of farmers, boaters, natural resource managers, and other interested parties.
Geography offers non-credit certificate programs in GIS and other technologies aimed at practicing professionals, those seeking career change, and the general public.
CGCEO is a research center focusing remote sensing applications to geographic phenomena such as deforestation in the Amazon, resource management in China, disease spread in East Africa, and other global problems. Geography faculty form the core of the research staff and many geography graduate students are employed on various projects.
A number of Geography faculty are either jointly-appointed of formally affiliated with the program in the College of Social Science. The program offers courses in a PhD specialization in environmental policy in which a number of geography graduate students have enrolled. The program also tracks research opportunities in the environmental realm and sponsors visiting campus speakers.
Several Geography faculty are affiliated with GUSP as course instructors and research associates. The program promotes comparative urban research in a variety of global settings with a focus on poverty, urban sprawl, and political structure.
The overall objective of this research project is to understand the nature and magnitude of the interactions of climate and land use/cover change across East Africa. Researchers are employing a variety of tools to understand these important linkages. These include the use of regional atmospheric models, crop production models, land use/cover change models, satellite remote sensing, role playing simulations and household survey information. Data from several case study areas, located along ecological gradients located on prominent volcanoes (e.g., Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya) are being used to build high resolution models that can be scaled up to the region.