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Featured on the University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka website:
Prof. Pat Farrel of Minnesota University, USA meets Prof. Sunanda Madduma Bandara, the Vice-Chancellor of University of Kelaniya

CHECK OUT THE: Earth Imagery Quiz results

Klobuchar at Victus Amy Klobuchar visit to Victus July 3, 2014

Lyda C. Belthuis, age 101, UMD Geography Professor Emeritus died on February 14, 2014 in Cedar Falls, just a few miles from her birth place on the family farm in Parkersburg, Iowa on May 29, 1912.

With a BA from Iowa State and an MA from Northern Colorado Lyda Belthuis taught several years in Iowa public schools before she matriculated to the University of Michigan where she was awarded her Ph.D. in Geography in 1947. She then joined Robert B Heller and Thomas W Chamberlin as the UMD Department of Geography and Geology. For the next 30 years she taught geography and geographic education and conducted research mainly in Australia, particularly on the Snowy Mountain Development Scheme. During the 1950s and 60s she served for many years as the Head of the Department of Geography.

She retired in 1977 to live in northern Iowa where she continued her ongoing investigations of the world traveling to numerous countries, walking and skiing the neighboring region, keeping meticulous records of local wild flowers, and lecturing-teaching on diverse topics to countless audiences. UMD students and many others fondly remember her Kodak slide projector presentations.


  • GIS TUTOR HOURS in KIRBY 389: Monday -Thursday 12:00-2:00 and F 11:00-1:00
  • 2013 Newsletter
  • Departmental name has been changed to Geography, Urban, Environment and Sustainability Studies.
  • A new GIS major was established last fall and is the only undergraduate GIS program in the state of Minnesota. (Link to GIS Major, Minor, Certificate)
  • The department has about 170 students enrolled in its four majors (Geography, Environment and Sustainability, Urban and Regional Studies, GIS). The number of majors has increased 18% in the past year.
  • The department has signed an articulation agreement with Itasca Community College in Geography and GIS program.
  • Awards: Dr. Adam Pine, together with John Bennett (an alumnus of the department), received the Minnesota Association of Community and Leadership Education Professional Award for Excellence in research; Dr. Mike Mageau received the Staff/Faculty Sustainability Inspiration Award; Dr. Randel Hanson was awarded a resident fellow position within the Institute on the Environment (IonE) at the University of Minnesota.

2013 Scholarship Winners

Catherine E. Cox Scholarship in Geography: Arne Kallas
Fredrick and Lois Witzig Geography Scholarship: Joshua Sandstrom + Forrest Steinhoff
Matti Kaups Geography Scholarship: Shane Bernard

Read more..


There are a variety of career and graduate opportunities for geography majors. Recent graduates with a geography degree from our department have been employed as cartographer, city planner, GIS specialist, hydrologist, soil conservationist, water resources technician, natural resources planner, watershed technician, environmental scientist, crime analyst, meteorologist, K12 teacher, among others.


The UMD GIS program's target is to prepare students for careers in the Analysis and Modeling sector of the very large Geospatial Industry, as defined by the Geospatial Technology Competency Model developed by the U.S. Dept. of Labor's Employment and Training Administration (ETA).


The Urban and Regional Studies Program is an interdisciplinary major which prepares students for careers in planning, public administration, policy analysis, community activism, and other fields related to urban development and urban change.


The ES Program provides detailed coverage of our most pressing environmental problems and their most promising sustainable solutions at local, regional and global scales. In addition, students will explore the barriers to developing and implementing these solutions rooted in the workings of our policy -making processes.


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