Geography & Planning Department

Our Department

Mission Statement

The Geography and Planning Department is committed to preparing students to effectively participate in our rapidly changing world by engaging them in the exploration of the social, environmental, and technical forces that shape our planet's future. Through effective teaching, advising, and research, our goal is to give students geographic insight into the relationship among human societies and the physical world at different scales.

Student Learning Goals

Goal 1: Demonstrate technological capabilities related to geographic data interpretation and their spatial representation.

  1. Students can formulate geographic research questions.
  2. Students can collect, compile, and interpret geographic data.
  3. Students can present geographic data in a map.

Goal 2: Demonstrate an awareness and appreciation of global, regional, and local scales and the interdisciplinary nature of geography in the physical and social worlds. 

  1. Students can recognize the presence and application of regional, local, and global dimensions of the social and physical worlds in data and the landscape.

Goal 3: Demonstrate an awareness of environmental and social diversity, human-environmental interaction, and environmental values.

  1. Students can explain interactions between the size and distribution of human and non-human populations, resources and the natural environment in historic and contemporary perspectives.
  2. Students are cognizant of varying interpretations of diversity, causality, interaction, policy and values in human-environmental relationships.
  3. Student will understand ways in which they use the environment can affect future generations and other human and natural systems.

Goal 4: Demonstrate commitment to experiential learning and service to the community and the environment.

  1. Students provide appropriate geographic skills to community-based organizations and associations.

Goal 5: Demonstrate proficiency in written and spoken communication.

  1. Students can write clearly in the discipline of geography and use and cite scholarly sources of information correctly.
  2. Students can speak clearly in the discipline of geography.

Facilities and Equipment


GeoPlace is in Butte 111 and is a group project workspace that comes with a media table including a large screen and sharing devices.


The student computer lab contains 30 new Dell workstations, LCD displays, and are running Windows 7. This state-of-the-art lab is continuing to grow. We are always adding new software packages in support of our techniques-based classes.

Available Equipment


Output Devices

Field Equipment

- ArcGIS 10.3.1 (w/ all extensions)
- My SQL Server
- GPS Babel
- Marxan- Conservation planning tool
- SAM- Spatial Analysis for meteorology
- Trimble Planning
- Zonae Cogito- Conservation planning tool

- Wacom 21" Cintiq display

- Trimble GeoXM w/Pathfinder
- Trimble Juno SB (10 Units)
- Garmin eTrex Vista GPS (40 units)
- Google Glass
- eBee senseFly imaging UAV

- Adobe Creative Suite 6 with Flash, Illustrator, InDesign, DreamWeaver, Photoshop

- Nikon Coolpix 7600 digital camera

- ENVI 5- Remote Sensing Analysis

- HP Z5400 color plotter (up to 42" wide)

- Increment tree borers

- Google Earth

- Color scanner

- Clinometers

- Adobe Flash Builder

- Densiometers

- SPSS 21 R Package

- Color laser printer (to 11"x17")

- Stream flow meters
- Soil sampling & lab equipment

- Canoco PC-ORD

Geography and Planning Equipment

The department provides field equipment and electronic devices for checkout by students and faculty.

Meriam Library Map Repository

An extensive map collection is located in Special Collections(opens in new window) on the fourth floor of the University's main library. It is open to the public.