Research in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies

Geography and Environmental Studies students gain the knowledge, theoretical insights and technical skills needed to effectively address real-world challenges. The department provides opportunities for students to engage in research, service, travel and professional development.

Student Research Grants

2015
Xing Gao. Excel! Research Scholars Program. Understanding how distance to facility and quality of care affect maternal health service utilization in Kenya and Haiti: A Comparative Geographic Information System Study. $3,500.

2014
Mitchell Schaps. UST Collaborative Inquiry Grant. Modeling and Marketing UST Activity Space. $1,500

2012
Annie L’Heureux. UST Young Scholars Grant - Alternative Development: Using GIS to Determine the Correlation Between Urban Villages and Property Value Growth in the Twin Cities. $4,000.

Julie Rech. UST Community Based Research Scholar Award. Partnering with the Great River Greening. $4,000.

Fartun Dire. UST McNair Scholar Award. Examining Settlement Patterns of the Somali Population through the Use of Mental Maps. $4,000.

Service Grants

2014

Paul Lorah and Conservation Geography Students. 40 kW Solar Power System for Anderson Student Center. Installed Fall 2014. Campus Sustainability Grant. $49,000.

2012

Paul Lorah. Conservation Drone Imaging System. UST Beverage Committee Grant. $3,000.

Paul Lorah and Conservation Geography students. UST Takes a Nice Ride: Promoting Health, Building Community and Cutting Carbon. Campus Sustainability Grant.$20,000.

2011

Simon Emms, Paul Lorah, Tim Lewis and ENVR 151 students. Student Restoration of Oak Forest: Analyzing Carbon Storage in a Recovering Landscape. Campus Sustainability Grant. $15,000.

2010

Paul Lorah and ENVR students. Purchase of smart power strips for dorm rooms in Brady Hall. UST Beverage Committee Grant. $3,500.

2009

Paul Lorah and ENVR students. Solar Panels for Brady Hall. UST Beverage Committee Grant. $15,000.

Student Conference Presentations

2016

Abrahamson, Jenna, Allen, Elliott and Zimmerman, Darian. (2016). Nature’s Strongholds: Conservation in the Face of Climate Change. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Abrahamson, Jenna, Allen, Elliott, Sabota, Jesse, and Zimmerman, Darian. (2016). Assessing potential impacts of energy sprawl on Minnesota landscapes due to ethanol. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Bettin, Nathaniel. (2016). Modeling Landscape Suitability and Connectivity to Promote Bison Conversation on Native American Tribal Lands. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Carroll, Emily. (2016). Adolescence, Rehabilitation and the Buffalo Commons. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Cleveland, Silas and Wright, Jacob. (2016). A Guide to Understanding Minnesota’s Community Solar Garden Legislation. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Eickhoff, Courtney, Helland, Chad, Holmes, Peter and Pauna, Jacob. (2016). Analysis of hybrid energy landscapes: combining solar pollinating gardens in Minnesota. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Hermann, Michael. (2016). Federal lands, conservation effectiveness and economic viability in the Great Plains. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

John, Benjamin. (2016). Rediscovering and refining the Popper's Buffalo Commons proposal. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Kellner, Jack, Van Pelt, Sophie, Sather, Aaron, Sciamanda, Marianne, and Spangenberg, Claire. (2016). Minimizing sprawl, maximizing generation: Minnesota’s wind energy futures. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

King, Anthiony. (2016). Rewilding buffalo highways through the Great Plains. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Kruger, Greg. (2016). Where is the most economically viable location for rewilding bison habitat in the Great Plains? Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Moreno-Hernandez, Giovani . Rewilding land for bison in the United States. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Lally,Karen. (2016). Promoting Conservation: the InterTribal Bison Cooperative, Restoration and Development. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Misey, Rose. (2016). Exploring National and Local Relationships between Obesity and Education. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Sinsky, Murphy. (2016). How Fracking has changed the Buffalo Commons landscape. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Pauna, Jacob. (2016). How viable is habitat restoration in the Great Plains? Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

Woodard, Caitlin. (2016). Where the Buffalo Roamed: Using historical relationships to foresee the effect of the Buffalo Commons on Native American Populations. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College. April 23.

2015

Bettin, Nathaniel. (2015). Assessing Minnesota’s Wind Power Potential. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Gustavus Adolphus College, MN. April 18.

Button, Emma, Woodard, Caitlin, and Vierling, Brooke. (2015). Vulnerability, isolation and the urban heat island: Using GIS to assess potential health impacts of climate change. Presented at the Association of American Geographers Annual Meeting. Chicago, IL. April 22.

Grow, Ryan and Sathe, Eric. (2015). Using GIS to optimize energy landscapes: Siting solar and wind to conserve pollinators. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Gustavus Adolphus College, MN. April 18.

Lauzon, Megan. (2015). Analyzing a square kilometer of hybrid energy landscape in Minnesota. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Gustavus Adolphus College, MN. April 18.

Merry, Ryan. (2015). Supplying renewable energy for electric vehicles through rooftop solar in Minnesota. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Gustavus Adolphus College, MN. April 18.

Pastika, Dan. (2015). Low input high diversity biofuel and the conservation of grassland bird species habitat. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Gustavus Adolphus College, MN. April 18.

Schlundt, Tommy. (2015). Analyzing the relationship between developed lands, solar energy and public transportation needs in Minnesota. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Gustavus Adolphus College, MN. April 18.

2014

Dire, Fartun. (2014). Health has no boundaries: An examination of geographic contributions to health. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Dire, Fartun and Friebe, Joel. (2014). Forest transition in El Salvador: An example of Tobler’s first law of geography? Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Engen, Emily and Hare, Riley. (2014). Global deforestation? A wave of regrowth amidst tension in El Salvador. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Friebe, Joel. Economic geography and central place theory. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Le, Hung and Synstegaard, Byron. (2014). Anthropogenic factors associated with reforestation in El Salvador. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Lor, Tu. The development of transportation geography. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Mazza, Simon and Hulbert, Benn. Global deforestation, local reforestation: Forest transition theory in El Salvador. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Mohanty, Rani and Welter, Dylan. (2014). How is El Salvador’s environment affecting reforestation? (2014). Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Mohlin, Joey. (2014). The perception of Geography. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Monroe, Cari and Brundrett, Chelsea. (2014). Environmental factors associated with forest growth in El Salvador. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Ronnei, Nicholas. (2014). The importance of transnational space: Contextualizing the local within the global. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Strain, Sarah. (2014). This town is big enough for both of us: Forest health, urban areas and population in El Salvador. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

Sweet, Rachel. (2014). Protected lands and forest health in El Salvador. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Saint Paul, MN. April 26.

2013

Jorgensen, Emily. (2013). The Best Places to live: Discovering the urban villages of the Twin Cities. West Lakes AAG meeting. Eau Claire, WI. October 18th. Second place student presentation winner.

Jorgensen, Emily. (2013). Urban villages and equity. Minnesota GIS/LIS Annual Conference. Rochester, MN. October 10th.

Schaps, Mitchell. (2013). UST takes a Nice Ride: Linking amenities to activity space.  Minnesota GIS/LIS Annual Conference. Rochester, MN. October 10th. First place student

Schaps, Mitchell and Ronei, Nicholas. (2013). Activity Space to Third Space: An Analysis of UST Nice Ride Use. West Lakes AAG meeting. Eau Claire, WI. October 18th.

Bjoenness, Frederik. (2013). Neighborhood Quality in a Global Context. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

Burke, Ryan and Tincher, Thomas. (2013). Alternative Transportation Clusters in the Seven-County Metropolitan Area, Minnesota, 2013. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

Dirie, Fartun. (2013). Mental Maps: Gaining Insight into the Diverse Somali Perceptions of Residential Desirability in the Twin Cities. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

Dire, Fartun. (2013). Measuring Quality of Life in the Twin Cities: Third Space and Traditional Neighborhood Institutions. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

Miller, Chad. (2013). Where Should I Live? Analyzing Neighborhood Quality of Life in the Twin Cities. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

Ronnei, Nicholas. (2013). Mapping Insolation in Minnesota: The New Sunshine State. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

Schaps, Mitchell. (2013). Wind Power Potential in Minnesota. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

Kidd, Jay and Jorgensen, Emily. (2013). Analyzing Changing Patterns of Carbon Sequestration in Scott County, 1992-2006. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN. April 27.

2012

Boie, A. (2012). German Geopolitik: The evolution and application of geopolitical theory in Europe before 1945. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN. April 28.

Dire, Fartun. (2012). Mental Maps: Gaining Insight Into the Diverse Somali Perceptions of Residential Desirability in the Twin Cities. Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium annual conference.  St. Cloud, MN. Oct. 3. First Place Undergraduate presentation and winner of $1,000 scholarship.

Gebauer, P. (2012). Geography in Education: The role of technology in K-8 classrooms. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN. April 28.

Grundtner, L. (2012). Crime and Place: The historical development of geographic criminology. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN. April 28.

Kidd, J. (2012). Medical geography: Spatial perspectives on HIV/AIDS. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN. April 28.

Lee, C. (2012). The use of geographic information system applications in the field of public health. Undergraduate Research Symposium 2012: Sustainable Urban Communities Redux. Saint Catherine University. March 8.

L'Heureux, A. (2012). A history of geographic perspectives on the relationship between Humans and the Environment: From environmental determinism to humanistic approaches. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN. April 28.

L’Heureux, Annie. (2012). Using GIS to determine the correlation between urban villages and property value growth in the Twin Cities. Inquiry at UST, Saint Paul, MN. September 25.

Mueller, J. (2012). Geographic perspectives on Detroit: How geographers study place. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN. April 28.

Rech, J. (2012). Examining the use and application of Geographic Information Systems in natural hazards management. Midwestern Undergraduate Geography Symposium. University of Saint Thomas, Saint Paul, MN. April 28.

Rech, Julie. (2012). Great River Greening: Managing Environmental Data and Evaluating Restored Landscapes. Inquiry at UST, Saint Paul, MN. September 25.
  

Internships

Department majors have earned paid internships with a wide range of community partners, including the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota, the Metropolitan Council, the City of Saint Paul, Ramsey County, The Great River Greening, Best Buy and many others.

Student Consulting in our GIS Lab

The department prides itself on the role of undergraduates doing GIS projects for outside clients, faculty, and business students (who need demographic data mapped). A typical scenario is that someone approaches the department needing a map or some GIS analysis.  A faculty member meets with the client and a student assigned to the project.  The student does the work and all three people meet again to determine if the client is receiving the product that they want.

Faculty Consulting

Geography faculty serve as consultants on projects for a wide range of organizations, including the Great Plains Restoration Council, The Nature Conservancy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.