College of Social and Behavioral Sciences

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International Engagement

The Department of Geography is actively advancing internationalization in research, teaching and service including extensive collaboration with universities in Brazil, Chile, Russia, and Switzerland.


UNI Geography's GeoTREE has begun extensive collaboration with Santa Catarina State University (UDESC) in Florianopolis, Brazil.  To date, collaboration has included  visits to UDESC's GeoLab by Dr. Ramanthan Sugumaran and GeoTREE's John DeGroote, as well as visits to the UNI campus by UDESC's Dr. Chico Oliveira's.  Areas of common research include geospatial technologies, specifically LiDAR and other aspects of remote sensing.  More information about UDESC's GeoLab can be found at: [In Portuguese]


Initiated through a U.S. Department of Education Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant in 2009, the Department of Geography/Geographic Alliance of Iowa sustains ongoing collaboration and exchange with the Universidad de La Serena (ULS) in Chile.  Focusing on geography education, this cooperative endeavor seeks to advance the teaching and learning of geography among pre-service and in-service K-12 geography/social studies educators in both Iowa/U.S. and Chile.  Current collaborative research projects include internationalizing teacher education and curriculum development with a focus on spatial thinking.  More information about geography/social studies education at ULS can be found at: [In Spanish]


The Department of Geography works to cultivate UNI's longstanding connections with Russia.  Supported by a gift from Jim and Connie Schuerman, PROGRUS is hosted by the Department of Geography and is designed to foster collaboration in geographic research and education between Russia and the USA.  In addition to collaboration among geographers in the two countries, PROGRUS also assists UNI Geography in establishing and maintaining long-term connections with Russian geography schools and funds a speaker and scholarship series that brings Russian geographers to UNI.  More information about PROGRUS can be found at:


The Department of Geography is involved in a research collaboration with the Physical Geography Division of the University of Zürich, Switzerland.  Our collaboration involves Dr. Dennis Dahms of UNI and the Glaciology, Geomorphodynamics, and Geochronology Group in Zürich, led by Dr. Markus Egli.  We intend to compare data concerning glacial cycles and climate dynamics in the Rocky Mountains of the U.S. with that of the European Alps, using a broad spectrum of dating methods to decipher land surface dynamics involved with glacial/interglacial climate change.  Among the numerical methods we use are radiocarbon and radionuclide exposure dating.  Our research includes the investigation of alpine soils developed in glacial sediments and how their chemistry and mineralogy are affected by various climate conditions and timescales. We are presently planning a project that involves the weathering mechanisms of soils and how they respond to chemical changes induced by warming climate and changes in forest vegetative cover.  More information about the Physical Geography Division of the University of Zürich can be found at: