In 1994, the Department of Geography and Geology was merged with several other departments at UW-Platteville to collectively form the Department of Social Sciences. Due to programmatic and university growth, and with the support of the administration, the Department of Social Sciences voted to divide into separate departments in May of 2014. The newly (re)established Department of Geography, housed within the College of Liberal Arts and Education, is now in the early and exciting stage of defining its mission, goals, and vision for geography at UW-Platteville. The Department includes six tenure line faculty positions, three academic staff instructors, and is the home department of a University Fellow. We offer a major in Geography and minors in Geography and Environmental Science.
The Department of Geography will be one of the best teaching departments on campus that embraces its role in providing a powerful liberal education to our students while being a leader in high-impact, field-based education and undergraduate research at UW-Platteville. We will be known as the resource for geographic and GIS training and resources for the campus and broader Driftless Area.
We will create a vibrant learning environment through the integration of high-impact practices in field, classroom, and laboratory settings to provide an excellent liberal education to UW-Platteville students and inspire reflective, life-long learning and the ethical application of knowledge to enrich our students, region, state, and society. We will provide exceptional, comprehensive training in geography to a select group of majors through individualized programs of study that incorporate project-based learning, critical reflection, transformative experiences, and a rigorous pursuit of knowledge that produces leaders in the many fields of geography. We will embrace diversity and maintain a supportive departmental culture that promotes the professional development and growth of our students, staff, and faculty and helps form engaged, global citizens working to make our world a better place.
Our teaching and research facilities are exceptional and include ample teaching space, excellent physical geography laboratories, a field equipment room shared with the Biology Department that provides easy access for loading gear and equipping student groups, a large dedicated storage space that houses an extensive mineral collection, and a beautiful outdoor laboratory provided by the 300 acre campus grounds that include extensive open space, woodlands, a meandering stream, a restored native prairie, and woodlands damaged by a tornado in spring of 2014. A university-owned 97-acre natural area that includes the geologically and biologically unique Platte Mound and the 430-acre Pioneer Farm complete with numerous stream gauges and soil pits are both short drives from the main campus and easily accessible for labs.
The Geography Program is home to the Tree-Ring, Earth, and Environmental Sciences Laboratory (TREES Lab), which provides over 1,800 square feet of space dedicated to undergraduate research. The TREES Lab is fully equipped for research in tree-ring, wood anatomy, charcoal, soil, and sediment particle size analysis and currently employs two post-baccalaureate research fellows and a full-time research technician. More information about the TREES Lab is available at /trees.