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Physical and environmental geography

Climate variability and Climate Change
This research focuses on their impact of climate variability and change on hydrological and terrestrial ecosystems. It employs the Community Earth System Model to investigate hydrological and biogeochemical processes that are interactive with climate. Specific focus on land-atmosphere interactions, climate change and terrestrial ecosystem modeling, and soil moisture modeling (Dr. Lei Meng).

Water resources management, water hydrology and nonpoint source pollution in the US and China
The main questions of this research are:


Using GIS to reduce the impact of sensitive weather on profitable crop production in the US
A USDA million dollar funded research to use GIS to develop methods for multi-scale, multi-crop, multi-regional crop disease forecasting system and web-based delivery system.  Research to benefit a variety of cropping systems throughout the U.S. including the leaf spot of peanuts in Georgia and northern Florida, Fusarium head blight of barley in the northern Great Plains and late blight of potato in Michigan are used as regional case studies. (Dr. Kathleen Baker)

Using satellite imagery  to evaluate the quality of rice paddies in South Korea
This research uses satellite imagery to evaluate the quality of rice paddies in western South Korea that has been reclaimed from the sea (Dr. Charles Emerson and Dr. Gregory Veeck)

Using geospatial technologies and Eocene Mammalian fossils
NSF-funded research to use geospatial technologies (satellite image analysis, geographic information systems, and the global positioning system)  to improve the likelihood of finding productive Eocene mammalian fossils in the Great Divide Basin, Wyoming (Dr. Charles Emerson). 

Community development and planning

Environmental modeling, social justice, spatial communication and urban governance
Research entails the modeling of biophysical processes to inform more sustainable (i.e., ecologically sound and socially equitable) urban policies as well as evaluating how spatial communication can inform just processes of environmental governance. Current projects include

Small and medium-sized city analysis
Research focuses on understanding the spatial, social, and economic dynamics of medium and small and medium-sized urban areas and their implications for community economic development and planning. Current topics include Growth and Change in Micropolitan Michigan; Size and scale in the urban hierarchy (Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah).

Michigan Heritage Water Trails
The Michigan Heritage Water Trails are routes on navigable waterways designed and implemented to foster an interactive historical educational experience. Current research focuses on developing a trimodal leisure corridor that integrates bike, sea kayak, and driving routes. This research is funded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Coastal Zone Management. (Dr. David Lemberg)

Economic Geography

Agriculture, rural development and rural environmental/ecological issues
Examination of agricultural, rural development, and ecological issues with particular reference to Asia. Current topic includes agricultural activities on reclaimed lands in South Korea. (Dr. Gregory Veeck and Dr. Charles Emerson). 

Economic development of Africa
Problems, issues, and prospects of development with respect to Africa. Specific focus on theory and practice of economic development; problems and issues in rural, urban, and transportation development; and the role of the human factor in the development of Africa (Dr. Benjamin Ofori-Amoah). 

Geographic Education

Analysis and mapping of the impact of content standards and statewide assessment on geography
This research examines student geography achievement in Michigan schools. Beginning in 1997, baseline data were collected by survey from Michigan school districts regarding their instructional programs in geography. The State content standards were introduced in 1998 and the initial statewide testing of students in geography at the 4th, 8th and 11th grades began in February 1999 (Dr. Joseph Stoltman).


Agri-tourism in Southwestern Michigan
This research investigates how apples, hard cider and value-added products produced through the agricultural realities of the area can lead to enhanced tourism opportunities. Additionally, many of the same products that Michigan produces are found around the world. These areas present research opportunities for geographers as well as tourist possibilities for comparisons (Dr. Lucius Hallett and Dr. Gregory Veeck).

Ethnic tourism
This research focuses on tourism planning and development issues with an emphasis on ethnic tourism in China. Topics have ranged from analysis of tourism impacts, destination planning and related socio-cultural issues, tourism demand management, and rural tourism. (Dr. Li Yang).

Michigan Heritage Water Trails
Dr. David Lemberg (See community development and planning above)

Centers and institutes

W.E. Upjohn Center
The W.E. Upjohn Center for the Study of Geographical Change provides preservation and protection of historic maps and documents and is a world class facility for digitizing large format originals at very high resolutions. (Dr. David Dickason)