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 at Michigan State University (MSU). Faculty from across the university collaborate and conduct research on the issues of global environmental change and its impacts using geospatial information technologies, earth observation satellites, and process-based models to measure, analyze, and understand the social and physical processes of global environmental change. The Center strives to strengthen interdisciplinary approaches for addressing global challenges 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 variability, modeling and impact assessment; analyses and modeling of coupled human and natural systems, assessment and modeling of ecosystem services, carbon sequestration, biodiversity, water-energy-food nexus; natural resource monitoring, management and sustainable development. Research is supported through external funding from federal agencies, international organizations, the private sector, and foundations.

The Center also develops and applies technical tools of geographic information sciences, including open and distributed geographic information systems, efficient data processing, field-based sampling protocols, and spatially explicit decision support systems. It conducts research around the world, with special focus on developing countries in Latin America, East and West Africa, Eurasia and Asia (Southeast Asia, Central Asia, and East Asia), as well as in the Great Lakes and throughout the United States. The Center provides support to graduate research, education and training across the university and provides academic support for curricula in geographic information science, global change science, and environmental science.