December 22, 2017

Congratulations to Amber Miller who this past weekend earned a Master of Arts degree in Geography, and a graduate minor in Environmental Studies. Amber also completed a summer internship at Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee. Amber, we wish you the best in all future endeavors, and please keep us posted with your achievements, we would certainly like to cheer your success.

Speaking of personal goals and attainments, with the completion of another year, this is a great time to look back and update our CVs. For our alumni, please send us an update on your personal, professional, and/or academic achievements so that we can share the news with the rest of the department.  Remember that we can always be reached at

Also, as a geographer you have been uniquely trained to examine the physical and cultural landscape, so if you have taken any trips, or would be taking a trip during the break (even if you are just going back home), we encourage you to take pictures of the landscape and share them with us. We will feature your images in the GEO News Brief. For every image, please tell us the location of the shot and a brief narrative.

Academic Opportunities

1) M.S. or PhD. Graduate Research Assistantship at Virginia Tech – Fall 2018

Virginia Tech is seeking applicants for one graduate research assistantship at either the M.S. or Ph.D. level to begin Fall 2018 under the direction of Dr. Tom Crawford in the Department of Geography.  The assistant will contribute to a project supported by the NSF The project investigates linkages between monsoon rainfall, riverbank erosion, and household vulnerability and resilience. The study site is in the Bangladesh delta region in the Lower Meghna river/estuary which is the main outlet of the combined Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna basin. Students must have the ability to work within a multidisciplinary team of scientists from the U.S. and Bangladesh.  The assistant will have opportunities to engage in research within one or more of the following areas:  (1) geospatial analysis of shoreline change, (2) predictive modeling of shoreline change, (3) geographical social science analysis of household survey and focus group data.  While collaborators at a partner university are leading the project objective dealing with monsoon precipitation, there is the potential for the assistant to engage with this theme, particularly as it relates to prediction of shoreline change. Knowledge of GIS, remote sensing, and spatial analysis are desired along with the desire to engage with social science data and methods that may vary depending on the candidates interests.  The Department of Geography houses an M.S. in Geography and participates in the interdisciplinary PhD program in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis. Questions about these opportunities should be directed to Dr. Tom Crawford (+1-540-231-7216,

2) M.S. and Ph.D. Students in Geography wanted at the University of Alabama

The Human-Environment Interactions and Simulation Lab at the University of Alabama is seeking MS and PhD students to work in the general area of human-environment interactions. The Lab’s research is focused on understanding how humans make decisions to modify the environment, and how those modifications change environmental dynamics and feedback on subsequent human decisions. We are seeking MS and PhD students that are interested in bridging human and physical geography and will complement ongoing project topics including:

Global synthesis of large-scale land acquisitions and associated land-use changes.

Risk perception and adaptive responses of residential households to coastal hazards

Land-use change in Latin America driven by illicit commodity trafficking networks.

Land-use and livelihood change driven by global agricultural commodity markets.

Integrating a livelihoods perspective into food-energy-water (FEW) nexus analysis.

Socio-environmental synthesis of coastal saltmarsh evolution and vulnerability.

Cultural evolution approaches to understanding landscape modification in the Anthropocene.

For full consideration, applications for fall 2018 are due by February 15, 2018. Admission and selection for Graduate Assistantships is highly competitive. Interested students should first contact Dr. Nicholas Magliocca ( with a statement of interest, an unofficial transcript, and GRE scores to assess competitiveness and topical fit with the Lab. Questions about the admissions process can be directed to Dr. Justin Hart (

3) Ph.D. in GIS at the University of Texas-Dallas

A limited number of teaching and research assistantships are available to students interested in pursuing a Ph.D. in GIS, starting in the Fall of 2018, at UT-Dallas (  Their GIS program is a unique multidisciplinary program in the School of Economic, Political, and Policy Sciences (EPPS). UT-Dallas organizes academic units in a hierarchy of schools and programs. Although this organization hierarchy is similar to the conventional colleges and departments, schools and programs give more flexibility than the conventional organization for faculty and students to participate across disciplinary boundaries, and thus promotes interdisciplinary research and education. Their GIS research and education  focuses on spatial data analytics. Key topics include spatial statistics, spatial analysis, spatial modeling, remote sensing, and spatial econometrics.  Besides GIS, the School of EPPS houses criminology, economics, political science, sociology, public policy, public & non-profit management, and social data analytics and research. Ph.D. students may choose any subject area of interest to develop and apply GIS methods in their research. Their Ph.D. degree can be joint with Computer Science in the Engineering School or Geoscience in the Natural Sciences and Mathematics School, so students who meet course pre-requisites can choose computer science courses or geoscience courses to fulfill prescribed elective requirements.

Admission information is available at…

Applications must be submitted online at

Job Opportunities

Here are the most recent job opportunities for our recent and soon to be graduates:

Meteorologist (Intern), NOAA, multiple opportunities across the USA

GIS Analyst, CALIBRE, Ft Eustis, VA

GIS Analyst, Allegis Group Company, Fairfax, VA

GIS Analyst, Booz Allen, Fort Belvoir, VA

GIS Technician, North Penn Water Authority, Lansdale, PA

Should you have any questions about any of these opportunities, do not hesitate to get in contact.


The Geography Department