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


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

Maura Welch

GW Geography Alumna Named George J. Mitchell Scholar

Former geography major Maura Welch, B.A. ’13, plans to study comparative social change at Ireland’s Trinity College Dublin after receiving a prestigious scholarship for American students to pursue graduate studies.
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.