College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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Centers and Laboratories

The Department of Geography at UNI has a number of facilities for research and teaching and centers that focus on research, outreach, and teaching.  Information about several of our facilities/centers can be found here:



Arctic, Remote and Cold Territories Interdisciplinary Center (ARCTICenter)

The ARCTICenter is a research center that focuses on developing synergies and collaboration among faculty, staff and students in Geography and across campus, who are engaged in research and educational activities pertaining to the Arctic, as well as other remote and cold regions. The lab is partially funded by NSF and NASA. 

Geographic Alliance of Iowa (GAI)

The Geographic Alliance of Iowa (GAI) provides professional development opportunities for K-12 geography/social studies educators across Iowa. Funded by the National Geographic Society (NGS) and an endowment from the Wallace Genetic Foundation, the GAI has a membership of over 2,500 teachers in 98 of Iowa's counties.

Geoinformatics Training, Research, Education, and Extension Center (GeoTREE)

The GeoInformatics Training Research Education and Extension (GeoTREE) Center supports the effective use of geospatial (Geographic Information Systems, Global Positioning Systems, Remote Sensing, Web mapping) technologies at the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) and throughout the state of Iowa.



Environmental Characterization and Analysis Lab (EnCAL)

The Environmental Characterization and Analysis Lab (EnCAL) is a multifunctional facility housing three analytical systems.  The lab contains a Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) system for elemental analysis.

Hyperspectral imaging analysis system Students in a Laboratory  Students working at a table                                                             

Geospatial Sciences Lab

The Geospatial Sciences Lab has the state-of-the-art technologies that support a variety of computational tasks including image processing, geographic information system processing, global positioning system processing, modeling, statistical analysis, visualization, and desktop publishing.

Geospatial Sciences Lab Geospatial Sciences Lab Geospatial Sciences Lab

Low Altitude Remote Sensing Lab (LARS)

The Low Altitude Remote Sensing Lab (LARS) joins efforts of faculty and students who collect, process, and analyze very-high-resolution imagery acquired by unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drone flying at a low altitude. The UAS include a professional fix-wing eBee mapping drone with five cameras (RGB, NIR, RedEdge, Thermal, and Sequoia) that is capable of collecting aerial photographs at a spatial resolution down to 1.5 cm/pixel.

Low Altitude Remote Sensing Lab    Low Altitude Remote Sensing Lab    Low Altitude Remote Sensing Lab                                      

Quaternary Soils and Sediment Analysis Lab (QSSAL)

The department Soils and Sediment Analysis lab provides students and researchers with analytical facilities and equipment required to perform conventional analyses on most kinds of soil, sediment, and mineral materials. Quaternary Soils and Sediment Analysis Lab