Climate and Environmental Change

Geography students standing together doing field world in Siberia.
Geography students conduct research on permafrost and glacial landscapes in Siberia.

The research area of climate and environmental change covers topics including the impact of climate change on cold regions and periglacial environments, anthropogenic wildfires, land-use change and smallholder farmer resilience and adaptation.

GW Department of Geography and the Environment faculty conduct research in the field along with university-affiliated researchers. 

Featured Researchers

  • Researcher Michael Mann uses spatially explicit data modeling to forecast future wildfires in the state of California.
  • Climate scientists Nikolay Shiklomanov, Kelsey Nyland and Dmitry Streletskiy and their research team employ a variety of techniques to monitor rapidly changing conditions in the Arctic including urbanization and permafrost thawing.

Faculty in This Focus


Student Involvement in Arctic Research

GW Geography and the Environment Department students alongside students from Moscow State University. (Photo: Luis Suter)

GW students at the undergraduate and graduate levels have been actively involved in Arctic research, including fieldwork in remote areas of the North American and Eurasian Arctic.

Geography faculty including Professors Streletskiy and Shiklomanov and postdoctoral scientist Dr. Nyland have been actively involved in developing, organizing and teaching summer field courses in the Russian and North American Arctic.

Over the last five years, 18 GW undergrads and nine graduate students have participated in Arctic field research. Undergraduate students who participated in summer Alaskan fieldwork and/or international field courses can develop their own projects during the academic year, which feed into the overall GW Geography Arctic research program.