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Geographic Information Science BS

(HEGIS: 22.06 GEOGRAPHY, CIP: 45.0702 Cartography)

Department of Geography

105 Wilkeson Quad
Ellicott Complex
North Campus
Buffalo, NY 14261

Dr. Scott Mackay

Dr. Jared Aldstadt
Director of Undergraduate Studies

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Why study Geographic Information Science BS at UB?

A Geographic Information Science degree provides students with cutting-edge knowledge, skills, and abilities in using geospatial technologies, and this includes geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing, locational analysis, and geographic visualization. This curriculum focuses on the theoretical foundations of geographical information science, the development and use of state-of-the-art software and emerging technology, and the collection, processing, and interpretation of geospatial information. Because the use of geospatial technology and GIS in society is widespread, demand for these skills in public and private sectors remains high and continues to grow, offering students diverse career opportunities.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Geographic Information Science degree, students will be proficient in collecting, describing, analyzing, interpreting, and visualizing patterns, processes, and interactions of geospatial phenomena including the environment, human activities, and their interactions in time and space. Students will develop skill in using state-of-the-art geospatial software and technologies employed in research, industry, and government agencies. Students will have theoretical and practical experience in solving geospatial problems in a variety of geographic realms including the environment, health, cities, and social media.

The Learning Environment

A key component of the Geographic Information Sciences degree is access to the Geographic Information and Analysis Laboratory. This multipurpose computing facility supports the teaching and research needs of geospatial sciences with site licenses for specialized software packages, and it enables faculty and students to pursue active learning experiences. Introductory courses include relatively large enrollment classes that embrace a range of media sources, active learning exercises, technology, and remote options to enhance the learning experience. Upper-division courses tend to include relatively smaller class sizes with unrivalled opportunities to engage students in research, to use state-of-the-art technology and software, and to gain practical experience through independent projects, directed research, and internship opportunities with local stakeholders.

About Our Facilities

The Department of Geography maintains the Geographic Information and Analysis Laboratory, a multipurpose computing facility. The collection, processing, and presentation of digital information obtained from a variety of sources are critical components to the study of geospatial sciences. This facility supports the teaching and research needs of geospatial sciences, it provides students with access to state-of-the-art software, and it enables the hands-on training required to master Geographic Information Sciences.

About Our Faculty

Geography has a diverse faculty in terms of disciplinary focus, composition, and real-world experience. The department has around 20 faculty with specializations in Earth Systems Science, Geographic Information Science (GIS), International Trade, and Urban and Regional Analysis. Faculty within Geographic Information Science have expertise in modeling the environment, disease, and human interactions, ontology, volunteered geographic information, and remote sensing. All faculty have active research programs and are often supported with extramural funds from NIH, NSF, government agencies, and industry. Several faculty members have earned the rank of SUNY Distinguished Professor and have been awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Scholarship and Creative Activities and Teaching, while others have been recognized for their contributions to international education and graduate student mentoring. The department is supported by about 12 teaching assistants and several adjunct instructors who assist in the learning experience.

Faculty List Directory

Please visit the Geography department website for additional information about our faculty.

Career Outlook

The geospatial technology and services industry is growing in the US and worldwide, providing high-wage career opportunities in a wide range of employment sectors. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (US Department of Labor) lists geospatial technology (cartography and photogrammetry, in particular) as an emerging industry with high demand for workers and potential for growth.

Career Choices

  • Cartographer
  • Climatologist
  • Computer analyst
  • Ecologist
  • Environmental scientist/manager
  • Geomorphologist
  • GIS specialist
  • Health care
  • Market research analyst
  • Meteorologist
  • Natural resource manager
  • Researcher
  • Urban and transportation planner

Work settings include:

  • Consulting companies
  • Engineering and marketing consultants
  • GIS software development, implementation
  • Government agencies
  • Local, city and/or state planning offices
  • Multinational corporations
  • Real estate developers
  • Social services organizations
  • Universities

Academic Advising

The department provides a two-tiered support system for students. A fulltime staff person, the Undergraduate Secretary, is available to service the needs and queries of all undergraduate majors within the department. The Director of Undergraduate Studies is a faculty member who provides academic advising and has the authority to address curriculum issues.

Academic Advising Contact Information

Ms. Dawn Raffel
Undergraduate Secretary
Department of Geography
105E Wilkeson Quad
Phone: 716-645-0470
Email Ms. Dawn Raffel

Scholarships and Financial Support

The department gives annual awards to highly-qualified undergraduate students on a competitive basis. The McConnell/MacPherson Award in International Trade recognizes an academically outstanding graduating student in International Trade. The Greg and Susan Aldrich Undergraduate Research Award was established to provide funding to students to overcome barriers that obstruct their ability to perform meaningful research and/or creative activities. The Charles H.V. Ebert Scholarship for Physical Geography provides recognizes an academically outstanding graduating student in Earth Systems Science.

Students in our program may also qualify for scholarships and financial support from a number of other sources, including: Nationally Competitive Fellowships and Scholarships, and UB College of Arts and Sciences Scholarships and Awards.

Associated Programs

Associated Subjects

Published: Feb 01, 2023 08:50:12