Original Research

In their senior year, geography majors are required to do an independent research project on a topic of their interest. Work begins in the spring of junior year when topics are chosen. The majors then have until winter term of senior year to complete their research. In addition to a written paper, students present their findings to geography majors and faculty orally. Several students also have presented their research at Augustana's Celebration of Learning and the Illinois Geographical Society (IGS) Annual Meeting. Our experiences at the 2003 IGS meeting are described here.

Since the Augustana Research Foundation initiated an annual senior research award in 1978, geography majors have been honored 11 times.

Each senior research project falls under one of the five themes of geography.  The following site explains these five themes and contains some recent senior research projects that have been turned into websites.
Five Themes Homepage

Some recent and not-so-recent senior projects:
Senior Research Projects - Updated 9/24/08

Student research also is important in the core geography classes.  Recent Urban and Transportation Systems class projects have been presented as websites.  They can be viewed below:
Quad City Brownfields
By the River's Edge

In one core geography class, cartography, students learn the art and science of map-making. Recently the cartography class has created publication-quality maps for a book on the Grand Excursion, for which the 150th anniversary was celebrated in the Quad Cities during the summer of 2004. Find out more about the Grand Excursion and the book on this event...Grand Excursions on the Upper Mississippi River: Places, Landscapes, and Regional Identity after 1854, edited by Curtis C. Roseman and Elizabeth M. Roseman. University of Iowa Press, 2004, and a webpage with excerpts from the book.

Last year’s class created maps for a website on Route 6.

Outside of class, students have used their cartography skills to create maps for other organizations. Click here to view a few examples of their work.

Faculty Research

Jennifer Burnham
Quantification and Spatial Assessment of High Arctic Organic Carbon Storage in Northwest Greenland