James M. Leonard, Ph.D.

Harris Hall 208
email Prof. Leonard

Ph.D. – University of Cincinnati, 2001

A native of Huntington, West Virginia, I became a member of the Marshall geography faculty in the Fall of 2001. My areas of teaching and research interest are drones, North America, West Virginia, geographic education, cultural geography (religion, social issues), and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). I am the director of the interdisciplinary GIScience minor and certificate programs at Marshall University. I am also director of the Geography Department GIS/Remote Sensing Lab in Harris Hall 202. I teach:

  • GEO305 United States and Canada
  • 317 World Regional Geography
  • 4/526 Principles of GIS
  • 4/529 Vector Analysis GIS
  • 4/540 Spatial Statistics and GIS
  • 4/554Drones and GIS
  • 616 Geographic Research Methods

Peer-reviewed journal publications:

  • James Leonard and Kevin Law. 2019. Tornadoes in West Virginia. Southeastern Geographer, 59(4): pp. 340–364
  • James Leonard and Kevin Law. 2012. Spatial and Temporal Variations in West Virginia’s Precipitation, 1931-2000. Southeastern Geographer 52(1): 5-19.
  • James Leonard. 2009. “They are just like the rest of us, only with a bigger home:” Spatial Integration of Socio-Economic Classes in Rural Mingo County, West Virginia. Southeastern Geographer 49(3): 267-290.
  • Sarah Brinegar and James Leonard. 2008. Poverty and Affluence: A Comparative Analysis of Economic Segregation in the Metropolitan Regions of Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus, Ohio. Urban Geography 29(6): 581-606.
  • Leonard, James. 2006. Local Geography and Church Attendance: Wayne County, West Virginia. Journal of the Geography of Religions and Belief Systems 1(1):  28-50.
  • Leonard, James. 2005. The Geography of Visitor Attendance at College Football Games. Journal of Sport Behavior 28(3): 231-252.

Selected textbook publications:

  • Leonard, James M., D. Gordon Bennett & Jeffrey C. Patton. 2018. The United States and Canada: A Geographic Approach, Sixth Edition. SPC Press.
  • Gordon Bennett, Jeffrey Patton, and James Leonard. 2013. Applied Human Geography, 8th ed.
  • Gordon Bennett, Jeffrey Patton, and James Leonard. 2011. The United States and Canada: A Systematic Approach, 5th ed. SPC Press.

Select external grants:

  • Digital Mapping Project, 2014-2016 ($20,000). This grant pays for student interns to create GIS data from historic site data. Grantor: WV State Historic Preservation Office.
  • Digital Mapping Project, 2012-2014 ($129,000). This grant paid for student interns to create GIS layers from paper mine maps. Grantor: WV Department of Environmental Protection.
  • Faculty Enrichment Grant, 2007 ($3,000). This grant supported the creation of the Annotated Atlas of Canada student learning GIS project. Free to download(82 mb .zip) for educational use. Grantor: Canadian Embassy, Washington, DC.
  • Improving Teacher Quality Grant, “GIS Summer Academies for Lincoln and Mingo County High School Teachers,” 2005-2006 ($44,453). Grantor: WV Higher Education Planning Commission
  • Mapping Project, 2002-2003 ($4,200). This grant paid for a student to generate maps of employment training centers in WV. Grantor: WV Development Office.
  • Redistricting Project, 2001 ($28,500). This grant paid for creation, updating, description, and mapping of new voting precincts. Grantor: Cabell County, WV Commission.

Contact Us

Geography Department
Harris Hall 215
Marshall University
1 John Marshall Drive
Huntington, WV 25755

Telephone: 304-696-4364



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