2020-2021 Graduate Catalog 
    Mar 25, 2023  
2020-2021 Graduate Catalog [Archived]

Earth and Environmental Systems

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Master of Arts in Geography and Sustainability

Master of Science in Earth and Quaternary Sciences

Doctor of Philosophy in Spatial and Earth Sciences with Concentrations in:

   Earth Sciences



Department of Earth and Environmental Systems

Science Building, Room 159

Phone: 812-237-2444

Fax: 812-237-8029

E-mail: Jen.Latimer@indstate.edu

Web site:  http://www.indstate.edu/cas/ees/


Department Chairperson: Dr. Jennifer Latimer






Aldrich, Stephen, PhD., Michigan State University

Professor of Geography

Specializations: Geographic Information Systems, Amazon, Remote Sensing, Visualization


Bierly, Gregory D., Ph.D., Michigan State University

Professor of Geography, and Dean of the Honors College

Specializations: Synoptic and Dynamic Climatology and Meteorology, Remote Sensing


Brake, Sandra S., Ph.D., Colorado School of Mines

Professor of Geology

Specializations: Environmental Geology and Geobiology, Economic Geology


Latimer, Jennifer C., Ph.D., Indiana University

Professor of Geology

Specializations: Environmental Geology, Biogeochemistry, Oceanography, Environmental Justice


Obermeyer, Nancy, Ph.D., University of Chicago

Professor of Geography

Specializations: GIS, Urban Geography, Cultural Geography


Phillips, Shawn, Ph.D., State University of New York—Albany

Professor of Anthropology

Specializations: Biological Anthropology, Forensic Anthropology, Bioarchaeology, Health and Disease


Speer, James, Ph.D., University of Tennessee

Professor of Geography and Geology

Specializations: Dendrochronology, Quaternary Paleoecology, Paleoclimatology


Weng, Qihao, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Professor of Geography and Director, Center for Urban and Environmental Change

Specializations: Remote Sensing, GIS, Environmental Modeling


Winter, Amos, Ph.D., Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Professor of Environmental Science

Specializations: Marine Micropaleontology, Paleoceanography, Paleoclimatology


Associate Professors


Berta, Susan M., Ph.D., University of Oklahoma

Associate Professor of Geography

Specializations: Physical Geography, Geomorphology, Remote Sensing


Elyassini, Mohamed, Ph.D., University of Kentucky

Associate Professor of Geography

Specializations: Middle East, Global Geopolitics, Palestine-Israel Conflict, Geographic Thought, Development Studies


Heath, Kathleen M., Ph.D., University of Utah

Associate Professor of Anthropology

Specializations: Evolutionary Ecology, Mating and Parenting Strategies, Life History, Collective Action


Stone, Jeffery R., Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Associate Professor of Environmental Geosciences

Specializations: Paleolimnology, Diatom Paleoecology, Limnology, Diatom Taxonomy, Paleoclimatology


Assistant Professors


Badillo, Alex, Ph.D., Indiana University

Assistant Professor of Environmental Science

Specializations: : Ancient Settlement and Land-Use Change, Archaeological Survey Methods, Geospatial and 3D Technologies, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)





The department is staffed with 14 full-time tenured/tenure-track graduate faculty with teaching and research experience covering a broad range of environmental and geoscience topics. The recently revised graduate programs include exciting interdisciplinary courses and research options while continuing to provide students with a solid background in geography and the geosciences. Programs emphasize hands-on, experiential learning in the field and in the laboratory, and focus on applied, interdisciplinary research in earth and environmental systems.  State-of-the-art research facilities are available for graduate research projects, and include laboratories for remote sensing/GIS, climatology, urban environment and sustainability, environmental geology, biogeochemistry, geomorphology, biogeography, spatial analysis, paleoceanography, marine science, micropaleontology, sedimentary petrology, dendrochronology, geoarchaeology, archaeology, and bioanthropology.


Students finishing the Earth and environmental systems graduate programs have been extremely successful in securing university-level academic positions and high salary, decision-making positions with the U.S. Geological Survey, NASA, Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture, CIA, ESRI, Inc., ERDAS, Inc., British Geological Survey, Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana Department of Environmental Management, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, and environmental firms.


Our department also offers new Accelerated Master’s options in both Earth and Quaternary Sciences and Geography and Sustainability, which allow high-performing ISU undergraduates the option of earning a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in a total of five years.




The department offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Spatial and Earth Sciences, (with concentrations in Earth Sciences and Geography), a Master of Arts in Geography and Sustainability and a Master of Science in Earth and Quaternary Sciences (thesis and non-thesis options).  The non-thesis option is designed as a professional degree for students wishing to enhance professional career opportunities. Department graduate programs emphasize innovative, interdisciplinary applied research that offers graduate students hands-on learning opportunities to develop the professional skills they desire. Faculty work closely with students to achieve research and learning goals.  Students interested in Earth and environmental systems offerings should contact the department’s graduate coordinator or the faculty member working in the student’s area of interest.


Research funding comes primarily from federal and Indiana state agencies, as well as private industry. The College of Graduate and Professional Studies at Indiana State University also provides monetary support on a competitive basis for graduate research and for meeting presentations. The department has well-equipped research facilities, and faculty members and graduate students work with scientists from other departments at the University and with colleagues from other universities and government agencies.




The main objectives of the graduate programs in Earth and environmental systems are to:


    Enable students to gain experience in conducting research, teaching, and communicating research results in presentations and/or publications;

    Provide students with a strong educational foundation in Earth and environmental systems through interdisciplinary course work and field work;

    Prepare students for academic and professional careers through hands-on training in their chosen area.



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