Department of Geography and the Environment at University of Texas at Austin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Geography and The Environment
Type Public
Established 1949
Chairperson Brian Roberts, Chair
Location Austin, Texas, United States
Campus The University of Texas

The Department of Geography and The Environment at the University of Texas at Austin is a division unit of the College of Liberal Arts. The Department was founded in 1949 and is a research focused institution with a well-developed graduate program.[1] It is the first Geography Department established in Texas, and the second within the southwest region of the United States of America.

Research in the department is organized in the following research clusters:

  • Space, Place and Social World
  • Environmental Changes and Surface Processes
  • Digital Landscapes


UT Geography Building Street View
UT Geography Building

From its founding, the Department has supported regional and international studies, with special emphases on Texas and the Southwest, Latin America, the Mediterranean World and Middle East, and Northern and Eastern Europe. The Department has also provided training in the topical areas of geography. These included cultural geography, physical geography (earth sciences), and mathematical geography (cartography). By 1960, conservation (environmental resource management) had become an explicit topical focus which would be further strengthened over the years. By 1970, urban and regional analysis became an area of departmental concern, and by 2004 Urban Studies had been added as a major managed by the Department. In more recent years, remote sensing, computer cartography, and geographic information systems have been developed as additional areas of teaching and research. In 2004 the Department's name was changed to Geography and the Environment to reflect its enhanced role in the University.

Key Positions[edit]


Sheryl Luzzadder Beach (2014-Present); Brain Roberts(2012–2014); Kenneth Young (2009–2012); William Doolittle (interim chair, 2009); Leo Zonn (2006–2009); William Doolittle (2004–2006); Gregory Knapp (1996–2004); William Doolittle (1992–1996); Paul English (1982–1992; George Hoffman (1978–1982); Robert Holz (1972–1978); C. Shane Davies (acting chair, 1971–1972); Robert Mayfield (1967–1971); Lorrin Kennamer (1960–1967); Donald Brand (1949–1960).

Department Managers[edit]

James Gunter (co-, 2012-present); Debra Barton (2005–2012); Karen Eikner (2004-2005); Maria Acosta (2001-2004); Sakena Sounny-Slitine (1997-2001); Ruth Schwab (1996-1997); Jacqueline Erengil (1992–1996); Beverly Beaty-Benadom (1986-1992).

Graduate Coordinators[edit]

James Gunter (2008–present); Shannon Harris (2007-2008); Tan Thai (2005-2007); Debra Barton (2001-2005); Maria Acosta (2000-2001); Mechelle Powell (1999-2000); Greg Osburn (1997-1999); Stephanie Bush (1996-1997); Ruth Schwab (1994-1996); Valerie Billingsley (1993–1994); Judy White (1992-1993); Carol Vernon (1987-1992).

Undergraduate Advisors[edit]

Calina Coakwell (2001–present); Sylvia Edwards-Khan (1999-2001); Emily Johnston(?) (1999); Amanda Weaver (1998); Melissa Mayo (1997-1998) (Staff position established September 1998).

Faculty Members[edit]

Current Faculty Members[edit]

Paul C. Adams

Eugenio Arima

Sheryl Luzzadder Beach

Karl Butzer

Kelley A. Crews

William E. Doolittle

Gregory W. Knapp

Troy Kimmel

Edgardo M. Latrubesse

Jennifer A. Miller

Francisco L. Pérez

Rebecca M. Torres

Kenneth R. Young

Leo E. Zonn


C. Shane Davies

Robin Doughty

Paul W. English

Kenneth E. Foote

Robert K. Holz

Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov (1938–2003)[2]

The original faculty of the Department (1949)[edit]

Donald D. Brand (1905–1984)

Dan Stanislawski (1903–1997)

George W. Hoffman (1914–1990)

Centers and Labs[edit]

UT Geographic Information Science Center[edit]

Founded in 2004 the GIScience Center was created to solidify the Department of Geography and The Environments research and teaching focuses in Geographic Information Science. The GIScience center offers an integrated approach to GISc research and teaching. The GIScience Center is the focal point of Geographic Technologies on UT campus and work cross departmental with other research units on campus to develop GIS and Remote Sensing resources and research.

Environmental Information Science Laboratory[edit]

The Flagship computing facility of the GIScience center, open to students and researchers providing cutting edge equipment and software to develop Geographic Projects. Founded by Kenneth E. Foote in 1985, the lab is now integrated into the GIScience Center.

Robert K. Holz Remote Sensing Laboratory[edit]

Named after Robert K. Holz, the remote sensing laboratory focuses on providing computing facilities for teaching class, training, and professional development of students and researchers on campus.

Digital Landscapes Laboratory[edit]

Strictly a research laboratory, the Digital Landscapes Laboratory houses researchers performing technology demanding geographic research.

Physical Geography Center[edit]

Physical Geography laboratories provide all equipment and lab space needed for the Department.

Geomorphology and Geoarcheology Laboratory[edit]

Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory[edit]

Soils Laboratory[edit]

Weather and Climate Resource Center[3][edit]

The department's Weather and Climate resource center maintains a digital database of Austin and Texas weather, storm and climate data including all records for the two National Weather Service first order weather observation stations for the greater Austin metropolitan area at KAUS/Austin Bergstrom International Airport (records since 1942) and at KATT/Austin City - Camp Mabry (records since 1856). In addition the Center provides weather monitoring services during special occasions or emergencies for the University of Texas.


Well over a thousand geography and urban studies majors have earned their degrees through our Department, plus over 90 doctoral students and over 220 master's students. Most of the PhD alumni and many of the master's alumni found positions in higher education, and include a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a former president of the Association of American Geographers. The undergraduate program has graduated many successful people who have pursued careers in law, business, medicine, government, education, the military, journalism and information technology.

Notable alumni[edit]

Undergraduate alumni[edit]

Paul Goodloe, broadcast meteorologist for the Weather Channel.


External links[edit]