Geospatial research activities are spread throughout the Western Michigan University campus.

Recent research


John Van Regenmorter, a graduate student in anthropology and an alumni of the WMU GIS certificate program, wrote the following, along with Bob Anemone, professor in the Department of Anthropology:

  • Conroy GC, Anemone RL, Van Regenmorter J, Addison A (2008) "Google Earth, GIS, and the Great Divide: a New and Simple Method for Sharing Paleontological Data." J. Hum. Evol. 55:751-755. 

Civil construction and engineering

Dr. Jun Oh's recent research projects include:

  • TRANSIMS Case Study- Application of TRANSIMS for Highway Work Zones: Travel Pattern and Mobility Impacts
  • Federal Highway Administration Application of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles to Traffic and Emergency Surveillance: Demonstration and System Design
  • Michigan DOT Development of the SE Michigan Freeway Simulation Model, Michigan DOT

Earth science remote sensing

WMU's Earth Science Remote Sensing Facility is engaged in several research projects in the Middle East, such as:

  • Hydrologic, Geochemical, Isotophic, and Remote Sensing Constraints on the Origin and Evolution of the Rub Al Khali Aquifer System, Arabian Peninsula King Saud University and Saudi Geological Survey.

Environmental Institute

WMU's Environmental Institute coordinates interdisciplinary research in nature preserves owned by the University and is engaged in researching the impact of Polychlorinated Biphenyl contamination in the Kalamazoo River.


Research in the Department of Geography includes:

  • Modeling Agricultural Land Use Changes in Inner Mongolia. National Science Foundation, Veeck, G., Emerson, C.
  • Fractal and Geostatistical Metadata for Monitoring Global Change Using Remote Sensing Imagery. NASA Research in Intelligent Systems. Emerson, C., Quattrochi, D., Lam, N.
  • Synoptic weather forecasting and Web-based information delivery systems for managing crop disease risk in multiple regions of the U.S., USDA CSREES FQPA RAMP, Baker, K., Paz J., Stein, J., Wharton, P., Kirk, W., and D. Todey.


Dr. Mohammed Sultan's current projects include:

  • Integration of GRACE data with inferences from hydrologic models, geochemical data, and field data for a better understanding of the time-dependent water storage variability in large-scale aquifers. NASA Science Mission Directorate.

Upjohn Center

The W.E Upjohn Center for the Study of Geographical Change:

  • Assists any public or private collection to archive digital facsimiles of its holdings.
  • Facilitates public access to digital reader access files.
  • Repurposes digital collections for geographic information analysis.