At ASU’s School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, our distinguished research faculty members are focused on the world’s most-pressing environmental and societal issues, including climate policy, water resource management, disaster relief, housing and community development, renewable energy and sustainable growth.
We offer research opportunities to both undergraduate and graduate students and collaborate with other departments within the University and beyond to develop new approaches and ideas. The School is also the editorial home of the International Regional Science Review and Letters in Spatial and Resource Sciences.
Researchers in the Geographical Sciences explore issues surrounding population and migration, environmental and landscape dynamics, geographic information science and technology, meteorology and climatology, urban and regional geography, and more. Our research spans the following four areas:
Researchers in Urban Planning are examining issues surrounding the connections among people, activities, and places; community development and affordable housing, place-making and revitalization; neighborhood-based planning; rebuilding communities after disasters; building sustainable cities; and more. Our research spans the following four areas:
Professor Wei Li studies intellectual migration — when highly educated and skilled people leave or return to their home countries. She has been researching these coveted workers for nearly 20 years, including a Fulbright project in Canada 10 years ago. Under the sponsorship of a second Fulbright, she’s currently looking into the same phenomena in India.
The Navajo Nation is rich in renewable-energy resources -- wind and sunlight -- yet thousands on the Native American reservation live without power or water. A recent study by geography professor Martin Pasqualetti looks into obstacles to adoption of renewable energy on Navajo lands.
An underwater fossil hoard discovered in the Caribbean has revealed that people have done more to deplete animal species than the shift of the last ice age. A study co-authored by Regent’s Professor Janet Franklin deals with the relative impacts of climate change and direct human activity on animal-species extinction.
ASU is one of 14 academic institutions and key partners across the United States that has formed a consortium to address the challenges that threaten urban water systems in the U.S. and around the world. Assistant professor Matei Georgescu is a principal investigator for the ASU part of the project, and assistant professor David Hondula is another participant.
Neither the traditional topographic map nor current digital equivalents tell us everything we’d really like to know about terrain and how it changes over time. The US Geological Survey is seeking to develop richer geographic information sources, and assistant professor Wenwen Li is developing key tools for extracting terrain characteristics using “deep learning.”
Graduate Student Research
Graduate students in the School of Geographical Sciences & Urban Planning conduct research that gets attention. Learn about some recent projects, and see examples of publications authored by our students and research awards they’ve received.