College of Arts and Sciences

Human-Environment Interaction


  • Land-Change Science
  • Cultural and Political Ecology
  • Sustainability


Geographers have long studied the dynamics of both social systems and physical systems, making our discipline a natural arena for the study of interactions between humans and the environment.  Geographers at Indiana University are engaged in research that focuses on many sub-fields of human-environment research including air quality, climate change, resource management, deforestation/reforestation, globalization, and sustainability. The study of these coupled human-natural systems (or social-ecological systems) leverages methodological traditions in geography such as GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and field work. The fundamental goals of these studies are to better understand the impact of humans on the environment and the impact of environmental changes on society. We also seek to identify what actions can help mitigate the negative consequences of local, regional, and global environmental change.

Faculty in Geography are actively involved with several research centers on campus that provide a multi-disciplinary community of scholars studying the human dimensions of global change, including the Center for the Study of Institutions, Population and Environmental Change, the Anthropological Center for Research and Training in Global Environmental Change and the Workshop in Political Theory and Policy Analysis.