GW Geography students gathering on a snow-capped rocky mountain slope near the Arctic Circle

Research

Research in the Department of Geography spans a range of topics across our core focus areas. From South Asia to South America to the Middle East, geography faculty are widely published experts in regions across the world. Faculty are also dedicated mentors to students, helping them pursue awards, present at research conferences and gain the skills they need to pursue competitive careers.

Undergraduates engage in independently funded projects under faculty guidance and can travel abroad for short-term research classes around the globe. Graduate students work closely with faculty on grant-funded projects and as research assistants in the topic areas that interest them. Recent student research projects have examined the role of adult soccer leagues in immigrant communities, the impact of wildfires in the West, climate change impacts on the Arctic, reprecincting in Texas and protecting mangrove trees in Costa Rica. On campus, students also take advantage of the department’s state-of-the-art Spatial Analysis Lab and other research centers.

$9 million awarded to faculty in external research funding since 2011.

 

Graphic: 150+ publications authored by geography faculty

 


Kean McDermott, MA '17

Kean McDermott

MA '17

"In my time here, the professors' doors have always been open. ... I've always felt that I had the support I need to pursue the research that I'd like to pursue."


 

Research Expertise Areas

Department of Geography research focuses on four core areas:

 


Department Initiatives and Centers

 


Geography Research in Action

Michael Mann sitting in front of a computer screen showing mapping software

Researchers Follow Social Distancing’s Path

Associate Professor of Geography Michael Mann is using GPS data to create a block-by-block map of the Washington, D.C., region, pinpointing social distancing behavior. Once completed, the model will be able to detect patterns by comparing real-time information to social distancing metrics.

Prof Dima Streletskiy

Radical warming in Siberia leaves millions on unstable ground

Geography Professor Dmitry (Dima) Streletskiy quoted in Washington Post article on climate change in Siberia.
Geography Major Aims to Map Gentrification in D.C.

Geography Researcher Aims to Map Gentrification in D.C.

Senior Gavin Derleth plans to quantify and analyze the impact of gentrification on neighborhoods and members of the local community.

 

Faculty Research Map

Our faculty are awarded millions of dollars to fund their research projects around the globe. Scroll over the map to see where their research has led, and click a location for more details.