AQ Difference

Geographers have proven that their unparalleled combination of natural and social science knowledge and research capabilities can contribute to solving many problems facing society. Many government agencies and industries employing geographers have found them to be flexible and resourceful problem solvers who can, with confidence, be given a wide variety of assignments.

2015 Award Winner


Congratulations to Molly Robertson, winner of the Paul Bieneman Award in recognition of her enthusiasm for geography and environmental studies. Pictured here Dr. Mary Clinthorne, Molly Robertson, Dr. Paul Bieneman, and Dr. James Rasmussen.

Graduate School Destinations for AQ Geography & Environmental Studies Students (2006 - 2015)
Graduate School Destinations for AQ Geography & Environmental Studies Students














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Undergraduate Research

2013 - Historical Land use and Paleolimnology in Barry County, Michigan

The following is an abstract Geography and Environmental Studies student Brian Woodin and Dr. James Rasmussen will be presenting at the East Lakes Division of the Assocation of American Geographers Conference:

Brian Woodin
This study takes a historical look at the environment surrounding Brewster Lake in Barry County, Michigan. The study utilizes both a historical and paleolimnological perspective to unravel the complex history of land use and erosion in this relatively small area. The land surrounding Brewster Lake has undergone significant changes in the past two centuries. European migration to Michigan in the 1850’s witnessed the beginning of intensive farming activity within the study area. Preservation efforts beginning in the 1980’s have culminated in the creation of the Pierce Cedar Creek Institute, encapsulating Brewster Lake and restoring 661 acres of land to natural ecosystems. Sediment cores reveal roughly 5.2cm of sedimentation per century from 6000ybp to 3470ybp. However, from 3470ybp to the present, the sedimentation rate was only 1.9cm per century which includes all of the sedimentation from the historical land use in area. Sedimentation in recent years appears to be either less or not appreciably more than it was before European settlement and land use. The minimal effects on the lake from the terrestrial landscape’s journey from old growth forest to intensive agriculture back to young forest prairie fen illustrates the resilience of some aquatic ecosystems in the face of terrestrial change.
Mission Statement

The mission of the Geography and Environmental Studies Department at Aquinas College is to provide students with knowledge of geography and environmental studies befitting their goals: for the general education students that they understand basic tenets of physical geography, human geography, and/or environmental studies; for the education certification students that they obtain the content knowledge necessary for their teaching careers; and for the geography and environmental studies majors that they possess the knowledge and skills necessary for them to succeed in their post-baccalaureate careers.