The Geography Department boasts GIS and physical laboratory spaces that support coursework, as well as independent student and faculty research. These include:

  • A fully-equipped GIS and cartography lab
  • A physical geography lab
  • A Pollen Analysis lab
  • The Center for Geospatial Analysis and Research

Together the physical laboratory and the GIS & Cartography form the heart of the department. When not being used by specific classes, they host Geography Club meetings, Homecoming and Reunion events, informal gatherings of students and faculty, as well as career, graduate school, and major information sessions.


The Cartography Lab

We consider the Cartography Laboratory (Monroe Hall 319-320) the traditional heart of the department. On most weekends, it is an open airy room with tall ceilings and windows, a view overlooking Palmieri Plaza and the fountain, and students working on computers or quietly talking. During the week, ‘the wall comes down’ and we have two laboratories. The GIS lab in 320 has 18 workstations with dual monitors and a full suite of GIS and remote sensing software, as well as a large-format plotter and dual-projector instructor workstation. The Physical Lab in 319 has worktables, maps covering all of Virginia at 1:24,000 as well as some class sets showing physical features, an Em River stream table and a muffle furnace. The attached prep-room houses other equipment including a light microscope and dissecting microscope. Students have access to both labs 24/7 during the regular semester via their Eagle One cards; it is not unusual to find them working in the lab day and night as the semester comes to a close…


For more information please contact Dr. Melina Patterson (mpatters@umw.edu)