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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Geography

Research Groups

The Geography Department at USC is home to a number of departmental and affiliated research organizations.

Research Institutes and Centers

Center for Excellence in Geographic Education / South Carolina Geographic Alliance

The South Carolina Geographic Alliance is a network of K-12 educators and university geographers using geography to improve the education of our children. Our primary goal is to bring the concepts and methodology of modern geography to the K-12 classroom by providing high-quality, low cost, professional development opportunities and materials for South Carolina educators. Find out more here.


Center for GIS and Remote Sensing

The Center for GIS and Remote Sensing conducts and supports research on GIScience (geographic information systems, remote sensing, cartographic visualization, and global positioning systems) related projects at USC. The Center offers campus wide GIS support, including training, assistance with specialized application development, and maintenance of a campus GIS data server. Find out more here.



The Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments (CISA), which is supported by NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessments (RISA) program. works with stakeholders across South Carolina and North Carolina to incorporate climate information into water and coastal management and related decision-making processes. Find out more here.


Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute

The Hazards and Vulnerability Research Institute (HVRI) is an interdisciplinary research and graduate and undergraduate training center focused on the development of theory, data, metrics, methods, applications, and spatial analytical models for understanding the newly emergent field of hazard vulnerability science. Find out more here.


Departmental Research Labs and Facilities  

The WIND Lab

The USC Department of Geography WIND Lab (Wind-Induced Nearshore Dynamics) is co-led by Dr. Jean Ellis and Dr. April Hiscox.  Based on their common research interest in wind-land Interactions, the WIND Lab focuses on a variety of wind-induced phenomena at multiple spatial-temporal scales. Find out more here.


Geoinformation and Big Data Research Lab

The Geoinformation and Big Data Research Lab (GIBD) focuses on geospatial big data processing and analytics, high-performance computing, and geospatial cyberinfrastructure/CyberGIS within the area of data and computational intensive GISciences. The GIBD Lab aims to advance and to support domain applications in climate change studies, disaster management, human mobilities, and public health.


Climate Research Lab

The Climate Research Lab includes faculty and students with research and teaching interests in variety of temporal and spatial scales. Lab members employ both modeling and monitoring approaches in research. The Climate Research Lab areas of specialty include: climate change and variability, synoptic climatology, climate impacts, microclimatology, physical climatology, historical and paleoclimatology, aerosols and climate, and air pollution.


Earth Surface Patterns and Processes Lab Complex

The Earth Surface Patterns and Processes Lab Complex within the Geography Department provides facilities and equipment in support of teaching and research in biogeography, geomorphology, hydrology, and sedimentation.