Geography and Geographic Information Science

Department News Highlights

Dr. John Heppen's Book Named Best Reference Book of the Year

In February, the Atlas of the 2016 Elections, co-edited/co-authored by Dr. John Heppen, Department of Geography and GIS, was named one of the "Best Reference Books of the Year" by the Library Journal for the category of books on the topic of Law and Politics for 2018. Heppen was in charge of Chapters 3 and 4 and contributed 4 short articles as well. 

Order your copy of the book at Rowman & Littlefield

Map of the Year, 2017-18

Map of the Year Contest Winners

1st Place -  Japan, Matt Moran

Honorable Mention - Watersheds of the Saint Croix Basin, Hailey Sauer

2017-18 Department Awards

Student Award Recipients

Award for Academic Excellence - Kalley Swift

Geography Scholarship Award - Zain Kaiser

Outstanding Cartographer Award - Hailey Sauer and Jeff Gillitzer

Outstanding Graduating Senior - Kalley Swift

Student Leadership Award - Christopher Jurewitsch




"Go Where the Map Takes You" exhibit features Dooley's Gunpowder Piece

Professor, Matt Dooley's gunpowder map of the Mississippi, Confluence, will be featured in an exhibit, Go Where the Map Takes You: The Intersection of Cartography and Creativity, on the University of Southern Maine campus in downtown Portland, Maine from November 16, 2017 to March 10, 2018.  This exhibition will focus on artists who use maps, cartography, topography, or other aspects of geographic representation as their inspiration or materials.

The piece is 102"x63" in dimension; medium is gunpowder and pigment on paper. Watch the Making of Confluence video here.
Dooley Gunpowder Map 2










Heppen is Editor of the Atlas of the 2016 Elections

Professor, John Heppen, who teaches our Political Geography course, among others, is a co-editor of the Atlas of the 2016 Elections to be released by Roman and Littlefield Publishing Group in February 2017.  Heppen received a Faculty Research Grant from UW-River Falls for the project.

Rader Awarded 2017 Excellence in Advising

Professor and Department Chair, Charlie Rader, received his second consecutive University of Wisconsin - River Falls, College of Arts and Sciences award for Excellence in Advising at at the annual ceremony on August 21, 2017.  In 2016, Rader received the Excellence in Teaching Award from the college.

2016-17 Department Student Awards

Matthew Holub, Award for Academic Excellence

Alex Meincke, Student Leadership Award

Rachel Potter, Student Leadership Award

Josh Leonard, Outstanding Cartographer

Heather VanGuilder, Geography Scholarship Award

2016-17 Map of the Year

Kirsten Schmidt - 1st Place for Island of O'ahu
Hailey Breister - Honorable mention for Presidential Range

Student Research Selected for NCUR 2017

Geography students, Kalley Swift and Kirsten Schmidt, will present their recent work at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Memphis, April 6-8, 2017.  Their abstract, "Trash Accumulation on UWRF Campus," was selected from more than 4,000 submissions!

Individually, Swift was also chosen to present her project, "Anthropogenic Climate Change on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation."

Congratulations Kalley and Kirsten!

Professor Rader's Mapping Work Featured in Canoes Book

Canoes: A Natural History in North America, by Mark Neuzil and Norman Sims, is a University of Minnesota Press publication that documents a singular North American artifact and traces its history from dugouts through birch bark and cedar to modern composites.  In addition, it delves into the social and cultural history of the craft.  Charlie Rader contributed five maps to the project: Range of Paper Birch, Fur-trade Routes and Trading Posts, National Wild and Scenic River System, Missouri National Recreation River, and The Northern Forest Canoe Trail.

Co-Author, Mark Neuzil, will speak at the annual SGO Banquet this April.

Professor, Dooley's Gunpowder Mapping Work Featured in National Geographic

On November 21, 2016, National Geographic published an article as a follow-up to professor, Matt Dooley's, gunpowder mapping presentation given at NACIS in October, 2016.  Read the article here.

Professors, Rader and Heppen, Participate in Panel Discussion

Charlie Rader and John Heppen, along with Imtiaz Moosa and Walter Wietzke of Philosophy, led a panel discussion entitled "The Amazon: Wilderness, Technology and Society," on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016.  Rader presented on habitat loss, development and social justice in the Amazon, while Heppen's presentation focused on the geography and demographics of the area. 

Rader Presents at NACIS 2016

Geography Department chair, Charles Rader, along with Dan Bochman, 2010 geography alumnus, presented "Uisge Beatha: A Deep Map of Islay," a paper and poster involving an investigation and mapping of the whisky industry on Islay in Scotland at the NACIS conference in October.

Dooley Presents at NACIS 2016

Geography professor, Matt Dooley, presented at the October, 2016 NACIS conference in Colorado Springs on his gunpowder mapping workshop, taught on campus in October, 2015.  

Rader Receives 2016 Excellence in Teaching Award

Charles Rader, Professor and Department Chair,was awarded the College of Arts and Sciences, Excellence in Teaching Award in September, 2016.  Recipients are selected based on responses from alumni of the College of Arts and Sciences.  Previous department winners include Dr. Matt Dooley, Dr. Charles Rader,  Dr. Don Petzold and Dr. Ruth Hale.


2015-16 Map of the Year

Kyle Glowa - 1st Place for New Zealand Reference Map

2015-16 Student Award Winners


Student Leadership Award: Diego Valadares

Outstanding Graduating Senior: Jason Blatz

Award for Academic Excellence: David Bergs

Outstanding Cartographer: Kyle Glowa

Geography Scholarship Award: Kalley Swift


Wilcoxson Takes 2nd Place for Research Paper
West Lakes Division of the Association of American Geographers (AAG)

UWRF student, Kaitlynn Wilcoxson, won 2nd place in the Undergraduate Research Paper competition at the annual meeting at UW-Eau Claire, October 15-17, 2015.  Kaitlynn is pictured below (center) with her award for "Regional Distribution of Income Inequality Across the U.S."
Kaitlynn Wilcoxson AAG

Dooley Interviewed by MPR

Professor, Matt Dooley, was interviewed by Minnesota Public Radio on October 15, 2015 about the map gallery and Tangible Map Exhibit on display at the NACIS (North American Cartographic Information Society) annual conference at the Depot downtown.  For more information and the audio recording, click here!

Geography students present posters at MUGS

Geography students present posters at MUGS

MUGS Conference, University of St. Thomas

(L-R): Joe Rusella and Gregg Roemhildt

Geography students Joe Rusella and Gregg Roemhildt accompanied Dr. John Heppen to the 2012 Midwest Undergraduate Geography Symposium (MUGS) on April 28, 2012, at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minn. The conference provided a forum for undergraduate geography students from colleges and universities in the Upper Midwest to showcase their research activities. Joe and Gregg presented their senior research posters.

Senior posters displayed at RSCA Day

Senior posters displayed at RSCA Day

RSCA Day 2012

(L-R): Micah Bowe, Joe Russella, Cliff Johnson, Andrea Strauch, Lindsey Bierwerth, Abby Neumann, and Jenna Walz

Student geographers presented their senior research posters at the annual Research, Scholarly, and Creative Activity (RSCA) Day on April 19, 2012 in the Falcon's Nest of the University Center.

Geography students attend GIS Career Fair

Geography students attend GIS Career Fair

 GIS Career Fair

(L-R): Gregg Roemhildt, Micah Bowe, Dan Patzke, Lindsay Fox, and Jenna Walz

Seven geography students attended the GIS Career Fair at the University of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis on April 3, 2012. The event was hosted by the University of Minnesota GIS Student Organization (GISSO) and featured a variety of vendor booths, GIS-related posters, and a series of talks. Afterward, a few students and Dr. Matt Dooley had pizza a Psycho Suzie's in Northeast Minneapolis.

Geography Student Presents at National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Geography Student Presents at National Conference on Undergraduate Research

Gregg Roemhildt NCUR 2013

Gregg Roemhildt's abstract submission, "Land Cover Change Analysis of the Kinnickinnic River Watershed, Wisconsin," was approved for presentation at the 2013 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Chosen from more than 3,500 submissions, Gregg's abstract demonstrates a unique contribution to his field of study. Gregg will have the opportunity to present his work to his peers, faculty, and staff from around the world at the national conference. Gregg, a senior geography major and computer science/cartography minor, will be attending the NCUR April 11-13.

Congratulations! 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award Winner in the College of Arts and Sciences

Congratulations! 2013 Excellence in Teaching Award Winner in the College of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Mathew Dooley, Professor

Recipients are selected based on responses from alumni
of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Previous department winners include: Dr. Charles Rader,
Dr. Don Petzold and Dr. Ruth Hale.

UWRF Student Wins 2nd Place in International Competition

GIS/Geospatial Markets and Opportunities

Check the latest news in career opportunities:

Professor Matt Dooley Shows the Artistic Side of Cartography at Minneapolis Art Gallery

Professor Matt Dooley Shows the Artistic Side of Cartography at Minneapolis Art Gallery


Professor Matt Dooley has a solo exhibition through September 4, 2014 at the Shoebox Gallery in the heart of South Minneapolis. The Shoebox Gallery is a storefront display window on 2948 Chicago Ave. S and available for viewing at all times.  Curator, Sean Smuda, has run the Shoebox Gallery for over ten years and it rotates exhibits of various media. Matt worked closely with Sean Smuda ( to develop the theme for the show, which incorporates "terrestrial" and "extra-terrestrial" realms of the Midwestern landscape.  River systems are carved into clay tiles on the left, whereas printed, paper tiles on the right show UFO sighting reports within the same area.  The pairing of the two creates a dissonance of perceptions: tactile/analytical, sensuous/abstract, accurate/unknown.Dr. Dooley teaches GIS and Cartography at UWRF. His specialty courses include field methods and GPS, map design and advanced map design. Dr. Dooley excels in Cartography which is the art and science of making maps. The scientific portion deals with the earth sciences and projecting the surface of the earth onto a flat map while limiting distortions in area, shape, distance, direction, and proximity since going from the round earth to the flat map creates distortions. The artistic side of cartography includes creating maps that are aesthetically pleasing and designed well so the maps serve their intended purpose in addition to serving as a vehicle of artistic expression.For more information and pictures, see the links below:

2014 Fall Gala

2014 Fall Gala

Posters displayed by students of Geography and Mapping Sciences

Poster Fall2014          


Matt Dooley's Featured work

Matt Dooley's Work Featured

Matt's unique and creative work is featured at the Goodhue County History Center.

More Information

New Provost, David Travis, is a Physical Geographer

Welcome, Provost Travis!

Dr. David Travis began at UW-River Falls and joined the geography department faculty as a tenured professor this past summer.  Read more here.

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Geography and
Geographic Information Science
8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
344 Kleinpell Fine Arts

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