Updated: March 6, 2014
There are several educational, research, and public service facilities housed within
the Department that provide fascinating opportunities for a combination of theoretical
and practical work.
The Center for Cave and Karst Studies serves as a major research center dealing with all aspects of cave and karst studies,
with an emphasis on solving environmental problems associated with karst terrain.
The Hoffman Environmental Research Institute is a consortium of scientists and students dedicated to research and higher education
at the frontiers of environmental science. Its primary mission is to be a leader in
the development of innovative, basic and applied research programs aimed at understanding
the dynamics of human-landscape-atmosphere interactions. A major goal of the Institute's
activities is to actively involve undergraduate and graduate students in all aspects
of this research as an integrated part of their academic programs with the purpose
of nurturing their intellectual growth, critical thinking skills, and technical experience
in the environmental discipline.
The Kentucky Climate Center is staffed by the State Climatologist and maintains an extensive set of Kentucky
climatic data, as well as the Kentucky Mesonet project. The College Heights Weather Museum maintains historical instrumentation
and archival material.
The Department also has several computer labs with numerous GIS applications, statistical packages,
database programs, and Internet connections. The Department's state-of-the-art Geographic
Information Science (GIS) Laboratory contains advanced microcomputers, ARCVIEW software,
and other computer-mapping software.
The Applied Materials Institute coordinates and promotes educational, research and public service activities for
various groups in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, Department of Chemistry,
other Ogden College of Science and Engineering Departments, and the Applied Research
and Technology Program. The AMI is also active conducting third-party testing of materials
for regional and national businesses.
A map library is also maintained. Applied and basic field research by faculty and students is conducted continually in the local area, surrounding states, and throughout the