Academic Programs Catalog

College of Social Science

Center for Global Change and Earth Observations

Jiaguo Qi, Director

The Center for Global Change and Earth Observations (CGCEO) is an interdisciplinary research unit administered by the College of Social Science, and which collaborates closely with other units at MSU. Faculty from across the university participate in research focused on the study of global environmental change and its impacts using geospatial information technologies, earth observation satellites, and process-based models to measure, analyze, and predict the human and physical processes of global environmental change. The Center strives to strengthen interdisciplinary approaches for addressing global change at all scales, from the local to the global and from daily to decadal, using the tools of the social and physical sciences.

The Center promotes basic and applied research on global environmental change in key areas including land-use and –cover change dynamics, urbanization and sustainability, land degradation and social-ecological processes; climate change and modeling; assessment and analyses of coupled human and natural systems, assessment and modeling of ecosystem services, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, water and energy fluxes; sustainable development, environmental monitoring and natural resource management. It also seeks to promote the coupling of global scale environmental research with local applications and problem solving. Research is supported through external funding from federal agencies, international organizations, the private sector, and foundations.

The Center develops and uses new tools of geographic information sciences, including open and distributed geographic information systems, satellite remote sensing, spatial and agent-based numerical modeling, field-based sampling, and internet-based spatial decision support systems. It conducts research around the world, with special focus on developing countries in Latin America, Africa (East and West Africa), Eurasia and Asia (Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia), and Australia, as well as in the Great Lakes and throughout the United States. The Center provides support to graduate research, education and training within the three collaborating colleges and provides academic support for curricula in geographic information science, global change science, and environmental science.