Students studying geoscience at Carthage have many opportunities to enrich their education.

Service Learning and Civic Engagement

Students in the Geospatial Department have opportunities to work on service-learning projects throughout their time at Carthage.

Service-Learning Projects from Fall 2019

  • Market area analysis for a proposed craft coffee shop in Southwestern Milwaukee
    Students incorporated demand from residential, recreational, and employment-based potential customers and competition from existing coffee shops.
  • Arboretum App
    Students worked with the 150 Years of Women Committee and the Offices of Admissions and Marketing and Communications to create a geo-enabled mobile app showcasing notable trees and other nature-related points of interest on the Carthage campus, intended for prospective students and families, visitors, as well as students, faculty, and staff.
  • Admissions, Stage 1
    Students geocoded 2017-2019 incoming freshmen classes based on home address, then aggregated the data by census block group and summaries total count and average high school GPA. They extracted block groups of recruiting success in the last three years; analyzed demographic, social, economic variables such as age groups, educational attainment of parents, ethnicity, disposable income, college tuition spending, life mode community tapestry, and more to create a tentative profile for identifying similar neighborhoods in future recruiting endeavors when overlaid with school district boundaries and high schools.
  • Research and Data Mining Project
    Using prescription opioid data at pharmacy level 2006-12 from the Drug Enforcement Administration released by the Washington Post, the team examined the spatial distribution and temporal trend among Wisconsin counties, correlated prescription opioid transaction data with corresponding overdose death data from Wisconsin State Health Department, and started analyzing the sociodemographic profile of a three-mile buffer around the top prescribing pharmacies in terms of total dosage normalized by population.


J-Term is a month-long period of study in January in which all academic departments offer innovative courses on campus, as well as study tours in other countries. The Geospatial Science Department offers courses every J-Term. Recent on-campus offerings include “The Science of Global Climate Change” and “The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource: Water.”

Recent off-campus study tours include study tours to China, Japan, the Himalayas, Nicaragua, Hawaii, and the Grand Canyon.

Learn more about J-Term

Watch a video about the Nicaragua J-Term study tour!

Research Opportunities

Research is built into the Carthage experience through the required senior thesis and options such as the paid Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, or SURE, offers Carthage students the opportunity to work one-on-one with a professor during the summer doing real research work. Students receive a stipend, room and board on campus, and a small research budget.

Students have opportunities to present their research during the Celebration of Scholars and other events.

Recent research topics and presentations include:
  • Alice Moody Chapin Arboretum Nature Tour: A GPS-Enabled Mobile App
  • Who were the most impacted by prescription opioids in Wisconsin: A spatiotemporal GIS analysis
  • The Impact of Land Use and Land Cover Change on Flooding in the Lower Russian River Watershed, Calif.
  • A Spatio-Temporal Visualization and Clustering Analysis of Leukemia and Lymphoma in the United States

Learn more about research at Carthage