About the Department

About Geography & Environmental Studies

The Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (GES) prides itself on being recognized as one of the university’s “Unique and High-Need” Programs; indeed, it is the only program in the College to receive that distinction. In part, this distinction comes from the department's commitment to sustainability studies, geology course offerings, geospatial technologies and certificates, and research labs. 

A Message from the Department Chair

Message from the Chair
David Havlick

Welcome to the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies (GES).
Our award-winning faculty offer engaging, high-impact learning opportunities in the classroom, through field-based courses, mentored research, and online instruction. We offer undergraduate (BA) and graduate (MA) degrees, minors in Geology and Sustainability, and undergraduate and graduate certificates in GIScience.GES students benefit from small classes; faculty dedicated to teaching and learning; a commitment to diversity and inclusiveness; and the beautiful, dynamic geography of Colorado and the Pikes Peak Region. Coursework in Geography and Environmental Studies fosters a greater understanding of the places, people, and environmental systems that affect us locally, regionally, and globally. GES degrees incorporate diverse intellectual approaches, conceptual tools, and geospatial technologies to prepare graduates for careers that make a positive difference with real-world impacts. We look forward to your joining us and discovering why geography matters!

Academic Focus

Our academic focus spans a variety of areas, including physical geography, human geography, and environmental studies.

Physical Geography

Our faculty and students study topics such as weather and climate, geomorphology, hydrology, and biogeography.

Human Geography

We explore issues such as urbanization, globalization, and the relationship between culture and the environment.

Environmental Studies

The program focuses on the sustainable management of natural resources and the protection of environmental quality. 

Promoting Hands-On Learning

In addition to traditional classroom instruction, the GES department offers students a variety of opportunities for hands-on learning, including field research, internships, and service-learning projects.  

Our faculty are actively engaged in research, and graduate students have the opportunity to work alongside them on cutting-edge projects

Department Faculty

The Geography and Environmental Studies (GES) Department at UCCS is home to a strong and accomplished faculty who have produced an impressive number of publications in both pure and applied research. Their output in peer-reviewed outlets is comparable to that of many Tier I institutions.  

GES faculty are dedicated to academic excellence and support each other in their scholarly pursuits, which serves as a positive example for both graduate and undergraduate students.

Mission Statement

Broadly, GES seeks to:

  • Broaden students' understanding of the world in which they live. 
  • Produce graduates with an appreciation for the discipline of geography. 
  • Highlight the importance of inclusivity. 
  • Prepare students for careers and productive citizenship through lifelong learning. 

Specifically, GES seeks to: 

  • Educate students about human and physical processes that shape the natural and cultural landscape. 
  • Foster understanding of human-environment interactions and sustainability. 
  • Provide technological skills needed to study spatial relationships.