About UNA Geoscience

The Department of Geoscience at the University of North Alabama is a dynamic and collegial group of seven fulltime faculty members, five adjunct faculty, two professors emerii, and one administrative assistant.  We offer three majors Geography, Geographic Information Science (GIS), and Sustainability leading to the Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. The department also offers a Master of Science degree in GIS as well as undergraduate minors in geography, geographic information science, and geospatial human computer interaction (GEOHCI), and General, Business, Community Development and Planning, and Environmental topical GIS certificates.

We are an applied department that offers a range of courses and degree options tailored not only to inspire curiosity and creativity among our students but also to provide a skill set that sets them apart. Tools that students learn to apply include geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, digital image processing, GPS, cartography, fieldwork, and others. We have assembled state of the art geospatial information technologies at the Freddie Wood Geographic Research Center and also developed innovative instructional techniques to make that happen. Our major in GIS, which is STEM designated, attracts undergraduate students committed to excellence and willing to take the challenge to utilize geospatial technologies to solve problems and also develop and design products that meet not only industry needs but also appeal to the user’s experience. We have established sufficient industry contacts in the region which expands internship and employment choices for our students and graduates, respectively.

Whether at the graduate or undergraduate level, our students are engaged in research projects that draw largely from faculty specialty areas in (but not limited to): agricultureurban geographyclimategeopoliticsenvironmental hazardscultural geographynature-society interactionseconomic geography, and sustainability.  All our programs are uniquely designed to offer ample experiential learning opportunities for our students. For example, before they graduate, our students have plenty of opportunities for: internships, cooperative education positions, projects through funded faculty research, field courses, study abroad, conference travel and presentations, internal and external grants and scholarships, and other fun-filled departmental activities. Because of these opportunities for hands-on experience, the majority of our students place in jobs before they graduate.  Our advising is designed in such a way that students wishing to proceed to graduate school select programs of interest, take graduate school entry exams, apply, and secure funding on time. 

If our programs are of interest to you or you have questions regarding the possibilities in geoscience-related careers, please contact Dr. Michael Pretes, Chair of the Department of Geoscience at geoscience@una.edu or 256-765-4246.