Geographic Information Science at Western Michigan University is multidisciplinary, with active research in geography, environment and sustainability, geosciences, anthropology, marketing, and civil and construction engineering.

Universitywide coordination of GIS technology issues is handled through the Academic Information Technology Council, a Faculty Senate forum for coordinating information technology assets and issues at both the administrative and academic levels.


Several faculty members in the Department of Anthropology use GIS in their research. A recent interdisciplinary collaboration "Developing and Testing New Geospatial Approaches in Paleoanthropology" was funded by the National Science Foundation. Personnel include Robert Anemone, University of North Carolina Greensboro Department of Anthropology, and Charles Emerson, WMU Department of Geography.

Civil and construction engineering

The Department of Civil and Construction Engineering teaches geomatics and has an active research program in traffic engineering.

Earth science remote sensing

The Earth Science Remote Sensing Facility has several domestic and internal collaborators.

Facilities Management

Student interns from the Department of Geography and several engineering departments have developed a comprehensive facilities management system for WMU Facilities Management. Students working in Facilities Management were finalists in the Google 3D campus competition (work shown on Google Earth).


Faculty in the Department of Geography work on GIS-related projects with faculty in several other programs. The Department of Geography also administers the site license for ESRI GIS software applications. A recent collaboration between Dr. Kathleen Baker, geography, and Dr. Heather Petkovic, geosciences, "Collaborative Research: Learning across the Expert-Novice Continuum: Cognition in the Geosciences" was funded by NSF Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering.

Upjohn Center

The W.E. Upjohn Center for the Study of Geological Change provides preservation and protection of historic maps and documents and is a world class facility for digitizing large format originals at very high resolutions.