Welcome to the Department of Geography at South Dakota State University. Geography is an exciting field that recognizes the complex relationships and linkages of human and natural systems; geography is the science of place. As such, geographers study and analyze many of today’s pressing issues, which range from climate change, human modification of the Earth’s systems, environmental hazards, resource assessment, and land use to population distributions, urbanization, cultural adaption, political organization of space, and globalization. Geographers’ tools, skill sets, and techniques, which include computer cartography, remote sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), are recognized increasingly as essential for solving many contemporary questions and are not only being adopted by businesses and governmental agencies but also by wider society. More people are recognizing that geography is fundamental to understanding our world and solving many of the problems that confront us.

The Department of Geography at South Dakota State University offers Bachelor’s of Science programs in Geography and Geographic Information Sciences (GISc) and a Master’s of Science degree in Geography. Additionally, minors are available in Geography and GISc plus a certificate in GISc. A diverse faculty focuses on topical specialties that include environment, geomorphology, soils, land use, hazards, energy use, cultural issues, historical, and political geography. Regional specialties are North America and Europe.

Geography is not only a classroom subject but one that also includes laboratory research, fieldwork, and travel. SDSU’s Department of Geography promotes a blend of all three of these ingredients. For example, contingents of SDSU students and faculty regularly attend regional and national geography meetings. At the same time, the Department produces its own annual Geography Convention, the longest running such event in the United States. SDSU Geography also has a connection with a university in Romania, which is located in a culturally rich area at the foot of the scenic Carpathian Mountains. The exchanges that result from this relationship provide invaluable international experience for our students, which is critical in our increasingly globalized world. Many of our geography students travel to other parts of the world in pursuit of their individualized scholarly interests and then share their experiences with fellow students upon returning. SDSU Geography offers enriching academic and life experiences. Become a part of SDSU Geography and get connected to the world in which you live!

geography 9-13

Back row L to R: Dr. Bruce Millett, Dr. George White (Head), Dr. David Roy
Front row L to R: Dr. Robert Watrel, Dr. Hilary Hungerford, Dr. Darrell Napton, Dr. Janet Gritzner, Dr. Xiaoyang Zhang, Dr. Trisha Jackson
Fast Facts
Number of Students, Undergraduate 102
Number of Students, Graduate 35
Fields of Study 6
Student/Faculty Ratio 25:1