Social Sciences

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Number of Programs: 5

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  • Center for Global Change and Earth Observations


    218 Manly Miles Building, 1405 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI, 48823


    The overarching goal of CGCEO is to contribute to the understanding of the interrelations among human, land, and climate systems in an international context, as reflected in MSU’s Boldness by Design. Building on existing strength in interdisciplinary approaches to understand the social processes, land use and land cover patterns and processes, and environmental impacts and responses at regional to global scales, the Center addresses the following key science questions:

    How are social processes altering and impacting global environmental dynamics? How do these changes, in turn, respond to and affect land and human systems?

    The research activities at the Center attempt to identify, understand and model land surface processes; determine and quantify socioeconomic root causes of and responses to global change, and assess human/animal health and ecosystem services.

  • Land Use and Planning Resources: MSU Extension


    Michigan State University Extension offers a broad variety of training courses and presentations on public policy topics related to local planning and zoning tools and techniques, planning policy options, land use and environmental issues, public participation programs, leadership development, community/economic development, and more. This service is available for Michigan’s 1,858 local governments (townships, villages, cities, counties), 14 multi-county regions, 12 federally recognized tribal nations, and interested citizens and activist groups. MSU Extension provides accurate information on planning and zoning techniques, as well as current “best practices.”

  • Michigan County and Statewide Historic Aerial Imagery Archive


    Geography Building, 2nd Floor, MSU, East Lansing, MI, 48824.


    The RS&GIS Aerial Imagery Archive is home to the largest repository of remotely-sensed imagery for the State of Michigan. The collection features:

    • County and statewide historic aerial photography datasets acquired by state and federal agencies dating from the 1920's to the 2000's.
    • The Archive generally maintains at least one photoset per decade for every location in Michigan
    • County, State, and Federal digital orthoimagery datasets.
    • GIS-ready datasets
    • Unique datasets such as Great Lakes shoreline imagery, high altitude color infrared photography, large-scale project-level photography, etc.

    The majority of the collection has been scanned. Imagery may be ordered via e-mail/phone/fax and delivered via digital transfer over the Internet. Imagery may also be accessed on site by appointment.

  • Michigan Groundwater Inventory and Mapping Project Web Resources


    The Michigan Groundwater Inventory and Mapping Project Website aids in the understanding and evaluation of the groundwater resources in Michigan and fulfills the mandates of Michigan Public Act 148 of 2003. The Website includes an Interactive Map Viewer, a Groundwater Information Database, Project Reports, Web Resources, Documents, and Online Tutorials.

  • Remote Sensing & Geographic Information Science Research and Training


    2nd Floor Geography Building, 673 Auditorium Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824.


    RSGIS provides spatial analysis services to local and state government agencies.  Recognized as the leading source of spatial technology expertise in the state, RSGIS staff assists the State of Michigan with data acquisition, quality control, and software programming.  They also provide training workshops in GIS, remote sensing and cartography for working professionals.  They operate an imagery archive that houses photo and satellite images for the state of Michigan from the 1930s to present.  They employ a number of geography undergraduate and graduate students on many projects.

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