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Department of Geology and Geography

The Department of Geology and Geography establishes strong connections between students and faculty in ways that foster excellence in current and emerging research, teaching, and learning that prepares students for successful professional careers and citizenship.  We teach our students about the Earth, its people, and its processes. By integrating the study of human activity and the natural environment, we encourage our students to ask questions about the world around them.

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Besides their teaching responsibilities, Geology faculty are quite active in research and service to their professions and the university as well. They have independently or collaboratively brought in over $50,000 in external contracts and grants. Click here for more information on this program.


Students pursuing a degree in Geography choose from one of two options: Human Geography or Environmental/Physical Geography. Students in both options will be exposed to courses in Geographic Techniques such as field methods, cartography, geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and others – tools geographers use to analyze complex spatial relationships. Jobs in the field of Geography are anticipated to increase by 30% through 2022, the most of any concentration in the Geosciences, and students participating in our award winning Broadcast Meteorology Minor have a 100% job placement rate. Click here for more information on this program.

Meet our Faculty

Dr. Jake Crandall

Faculty Laureate 2023, Geology

Dr. Crandall’s research revolves around using terrestrial analogs to constrain the volcanic and hydrothermal conditions of potentially habitable environments on other planets, namely Mars and Venus. By understanding the mineralogy and conditions of these systems, as well as the challenges inherent in their detection, hydrothermal environments worlds away can be identified and characterized. This work informs and directs the evolution of multiple courses including Planetary Geology (GEO 3275), Volcanology (GEO 3505), and Petrology (GEO 3405). Dr. Crandall also involves students in his research and is currently supervising an undergraduate independent research project investigating the volcanic textures of multiple intrusions near the San Rafael Swell in Utah.

Dr. Barry Kronenfeld

Professor, Geography

"I am a cartographer and geographic information scientist. My main interests are in visualizing earth processes and human activities, modelling and simplifying geographic features, and analyzing spatial patterns. To carry out my work I develop custom GIS tools using Python and dot-net. Recent projects include mapping disease clusters, visualizing election outcomes and simplifying hydrographic stream centerlines."

Dr. Katie Lewandowski

Professor, Geology

Dr. Lewandowski's interests focus on paleoceanography, paleoclimatology, micropaleontology, and paleoceanography, particularly with regard to the subantarctic. Her research uses micropaleontologic data, most often benthic foraminiferal population census data, to try to reconstruct oceanic conditions during the Pliocene and Pleistocene epochs. She uses this information to enhance her teaching content in courses like Oceanography (GEO 2450G) and History of Earth (GEO2200), as well as upper-level courses. She also works with undergraduate students wanting to pursue independent research in these areas

Don't take our word for it

"I am an international student from Ghana, majoring in Geology with a minor in GIS. Coming to EIU is one of the best decisions I made in my life. Being a part of the Geology/Geography department has been the icing on the cake. I have grown and learned so much during my time here. The professors have been great mentors that have challenged me to be the best version of myself. I look toward the future with confidence and great enthusiasm knowing that this department has prepared me immensely for a successful future."

Shirley Tsotsoo Mensah, Geology (2019)

“Both the geology and geography programs have wonderful and supportive faculty who make classes exciting and continue to spark curiosity within their students.”

Abigail L. Knight, Geography and Geology (2019)

"The geography department at EIU has encouraged me to expand my thinking and approach problems from new perspectives. Thanks to the guidance of my professors, I feel prepared to attend graduate school and face whatever challenges this field throws my way."

Madeline M. Reiher, Geography (2019)

"Beyond learning the latest technologies and trends in GIS, I have a ‘friendship’ relationship with my lecturers rather than student-teacher relationship. If what you want is building your professional career, the PSM program is the BEST choice where you get mentors and life coach in addition to your degree. Love every bit of the program."

Bolarinwa Oladipupo, Professional Science Masters in GIS (2019)

"EIU’s Geography Dept. is a hidden gem when it comes to broadcast meteorology. By offering a practicum and a variety of classes that teach the sciences driving the atmosphere, you’ll be able to gain on-air experience through their collaboration with WEIU-TV with supportive faculty helping guide the way to the professional field."

Everett Lau, Geography (2021)

Contact Information

Department of Geology and Geography

Physical Science Building
600 Lincoln Ave.
Charleston, IL 61920
(217) 581-2626

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