The Master of Arts in Applied Geography at UCCS is a terminal master's program that encourages graduate students to focus on applied, community-based research projects to solve local, regional, and even international issues. Given pressing research needs and future labor force demands, the MA in Applied Geography incorporates a multitude of issues that speak to people, profit, and planet.
Areas of Specialization
- Sustainability Studies: Sustainability studies integrates knowledge and methodologies from the Sciences, Humanities, and Arts to provide a roadmap that can be applied to the design, selection, and implementation of sustainable policies, practices, technologies, and strategies. Sustainability Studies provides a dynamic feedback loop of information and practice. The Master of Arts in Applied Geography provides opportunities to explore nature-society relations and social equity issues at a variety of scales.
- Applied, Community-Based Research: Students typically engage in applied, community-based research projects. These students often provide practical and systematic solutions that address one or more of the universal sustainability goals of environmental protection, social equity, and economic opportunity. The context of this research is typically the local community, but several students have expanded the scope of their work to include the western US and the US more generally. Some have even gone as far away as Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa to collaborate with both our skilled faculty and local experts to provide social, economic, and technological solutions for specific problems facing these communities.
- Geospatial Technologies: Many graduate students use the emerging field of geospatial technology to advance research on these topics, since visualizing data through technologies such as geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and/or internet mapping is profoundly changing the way research scientists are addressing critical social, economic, and environmental issues.
- Physical Systems: Here, students conduct research around physical geographic systems to contribute knowledge to disciplines of geomorphology (mountain systems, rock weathering, hazards), weather and climate (weather hazards, micro-climate, meteorological / landscape relationships, climate systems and climate change, wildland fire regimes), geology (paleontology and geologic hazards), geomorphometry, digital terrain modeling, soils, biogeography, water, cryosphere (snow science and glaciation), and more. Many of these topics require the use of geospatial tools such as GIS, remote sensing, LiDAR, and GPS.
The program requires graduate students to undertake problem-solving research, think critically about spatial relationships, and communicate effectively. Graduates from the MA program go onto PhD programs, serve in professional and managerial positions, and/or as information and technology experts for consulting firms, public agencies, and non-profit organizations. Additionally, the program prepares graduate students for emerging careers as geospatial analysts in the Military and Intelligence Communities.
David Havlick, PhD
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies in GES