Skip to content

related majors, minors, graduate degrees and certificate programs


of Maxwell faculty conduct international research


topical research clusters provide vast academic and experiential opportunities

Undergraduate Studies

Our dynamic major and minor programs provide a solid foundation in the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities.

Geography, B.A.

Environment, sustainability and policy integrated learning major (double major program), B.A. or B.S depending on base major

Minor in geography

Minor in environment and society

Graduate Studies

Graduate students are part of a vibrant intellectual community and work closely with faculty members in research and teaching. Advanced degree options include:

Geography, M.A.

Geography, Ph.D.

Joint degree program with the master of public administration (M.P.A.)

Certificate of Advanced Study in GIS and spatial analysis (concurrent with graduate studies)

There's a world of possibilities waiting for you.

View of Syracuse University Campus with Onondaga Lake in the background

Syracuse, N.Y. - A Learning Laboratory

Syracuse University’s location in Central New York serves as a learning laboratory, where students gain real-world experience through research, internships and more.

Students interested in environmental processes and management have easy access to the Finger Lakes and the region’s other extensive groundwater resources; ecological restoration projects in Onondaga Lake; environmental justice issues in Syracuse, N.Y.; or conservation challenges in the nearby Adirondack mountains.

Syracuse is also located within the first-in-the-nation unmanned vehicle traffic management corridor. This 50-mile stretch of land has become the most advanced drone testing corridor in the U.S., generating data that will inform future drone applications.

A Capital Experience

Many students of geography and the environment choose to study in Washington, D.C.; Albany; and New York City, key centers of state, national and international environmental and sustainability policy.

Visit Maxwell-in-Washington

Learn About the NYS Assembly Internship

Applied and Scholarly Research

Faculty members within the Geography and the Environment Department represent wide-ranging interests and sub-specialties, providing students with the opportunity to address real-world problems through multiple lenses.

Map of "food deserts" in Central New York

This unique partnership offers students with interests in urban studies, public health, environmental justice or community development opportunities to work on participatory research projects with local and regional community organizations.

Professor Ethan Coffel

Professor Ethan Coffel is principal investigator on a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant project exploring the link between climate and agricultural change. He is one of many faculty in our department whose research focuses on energy and natural resources.

Professor Jane Read in GIS laboratory

Watch this video interview with Professor Jane Read and learn about the tools and procedures for collecting, analyzing, visualizing, disseminating and understanding information about the earth, its inhabitants and physical processes using satellite imagery and other information technologies.

Map to represent historic geography in the city of Syracuse

This research area links historical geography with the growing interdisciplinary field of the geohumanities, including historical GIS, digital humanities, spatial history and the environmental humanities.

Geography and the Environment Events

We continue to follow the advice of local public health officials in regards to in-person events. Please check Syracuse University’s Stay Safe website for the latest safety protocols before coming to campus or other in-person venues.

Paleo to the People: New data and novel questions challenge conventional historical narratives of past societies and climate

010 Eggers Hall

Add to: Outlook, ICal, Google Calendar

Paleo to the People: New data and novel questions challenge conventional historical narratives of past societies and climate. 
This will be the annual Meinig Undergraduate Lecture, with guest speaker Amy Hessl, Professor, Department of Geography at West Virginia University.  
In the last few decades, paleoclimatology has made fundamental contributions to the study of past climate and has been instrumental in bench-marking anthropogenic climate change.  While paleoclimatology has long been applied to the study of complex societies, the emphasis has largely been focused on extreme climate and societal collapse, leaving many other possible responses and interactions of past societies to environmental extremes understudied.  Diverse historical narratives of socio-ecological change resonate with the public and expand the dialogue about climate change beyond environmental effects to social and cultural vulnerabilities and consequences. In this talk I explore two case studies that demonstrate how new questions and new data sources expand our understanding of past climate and society beyond collapse. First, I review work on how two Asian steppe empires, the Uyghur and the Mongol, survived, and in some instances thrived, under extreme drought and moisture anomalies. Second, I describe how a new paleoenvironmental data source – historic log buildings – allow us to evaluate the extent and ecological impact of land abandonment by Indigenous Peoples of eastern North America following European contact.  In both cases, paleo data challenge conventional historical wisdom and yield novel examples of socio-environmental interactions that can inform our current response to the climate crisis.

For more information, and for accessibility and accommodations requests, please contact Sarah Kondrk at or call the Geography office at 315.443.2605.
Sponsored by the Geography Department.  

Open to




Contact to request accommodations

Geography and the Environment Department
144 Eggers Hall