UD geography students are using high-resolution satellite images to update geographic maps of Kathmandu, Nepal.

Department of
Geography &
Spatial Sciences


The Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences (GSS) has nationally and internationally recognized faculty who are engaged in cutting-edge research and offer exciting educational opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students.

GSS provides a unique perspective that seeks to explain patterns of differences and commonality across the human and natural environment. In the Department, students examine the physical properties of the natural environment and the role that human beliefs, activities and decision-making have in shaping the world around us.

Academic Programs

Mapping competition

2020 Inaugural Student Competition for Geospatial Data Visualization and Map Design

The results for the Department of Geography and Spatial Sciences and the UD Data Science Institute's university-wide competition for achievements in the art and science of mapping geospatial data have been announced! Click below for winner details and galleries.


LEARN more

Students and instructor in a geospatial mapping class
Pearson Hall classroom with students using laptops.


GIScience & Environmental Data Analytics major

Geographic Information Science (GIScience) is the analysis and mapping of large geospatial data sets to better understand the world around us. GIScience allows us to harness the large amounts of data being collected today for the betterment of the environment and society. This major will help you develop in-demand skills, including managing and using large geospatial and environmental data sets, finding meaningful patterns in them, representing their complexity in graphs and tables, and distilling and presenting the coherent and logical stories they tell.

GIScience  major


Illicit mineral trade

Interdisciplinary UD team to map global illicit trade in energy-critical materials

Indian agriculture

Groundwater depletion could reduce winter cropped acreage significantly in years ahead

Secure food supply chain

UD’s Kyle Davis investigates how to make the global food supply more resilient to environmental disruptions

Cities and rainfall

Marshall Shepherd speaks at Mather Lecture on how cities affect rainfall and storms

History maps win competition

Students’ success with data mapping to be honored at Geographic Information Systems Day



 UD student Rebecca King toured one of Russia’s cathedrals.

Senior geography and Russian double major Rebecca King becomes first UD student to receive Critical Language Scholarship and Boren Award.



The Science of How Cities Affect Rainfall and Storms

J. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia delivered the 2020 John R. Mather Visiting Scholars Lecture on November 5. Watch it here, then learn more about our research areas, including meteorology and climatology.

J. Marshall Shepherd of the University of Georgia delivers the 2020 John R. Mather Visiting Scholars Lecture: youtube.com/watch?v=WbZV-wwcyIM