Students studying GIS at Carthage have many opportunities to enrich their education.

Service Learning and Civic Engagement

Students have opportunities to work on service-learning projects throughout their time at Carthage.

Service-Learning Projects from Fall 2022
  • Ramboll, global environmental consulting firm — A real project with clearance secured by a Carthage alumnus, on mapping and statistical summaries of three main pollutants and their exceedances over EPA limits at a former coal mine site and 3D analysis leading to sediment removal estimate to clean up the site.
  • A&R Land Services in Iowa — Build a web app that allows the client to search, query, and edit parcels within a three-county project area and its buffer zone in Iowa for a proposed wind farm to manage land acquisition efforts.
  • Higher Expectations in Racine — Build a public-facing web app for Racine County residents to search, query, and visualize daycare centers, their drive time areas, and available care by days of the week, times of day, and age range; through the overlay of American Community Survey demographics layers, for nonprofit advocates, government policymakers, and potential daycare service providers to assess and visualize well vs. poorly covered parts of the county to enable working parents to seek/maintain employment, identify and fill the gaps between demand and supply.
  • Seaside Sustainability in Massachusetts, a global environmental justice nonprofit — Build a web app that maps out environmental justice areas at the county level in Mass. in terms of black and Latino population and poverty and high schools/school districts in these target counties for Seaside to inform their efforts in recruiting youth volunteers and setting up local chapters of grassroots environmental justice work.
  • Ramboll, a global environmental consulting firm — A geo-masked real project with clearance secured by a Carthage alumna on mapping of target pollutants and their exceedances over EPA limits at a former industrial site, and 3D analysis leading to suggested excavation boundary, depths, and volume estimate to clean up the site.


J-Term is a month-long period of study in January in which all academic departments offer innovative courses on campus, as well as study tours in other countries. The Geospatial Science Department offers courses every J-Term. Recent on-campus offerings include “The Science of Global Climate Change” and “The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource: Water.”

Recent off-campus study tours include study tours to China, Japan, the Himalayas, Nicaragua, Hawaii, and the Grand Canyon.
Learn more about J-Term

Research Opportunities

Research is built into the Carthage experience through the required senior thesis and options such as the paid Summer Undergraduate Research Experience. The Summer Undergraduate Research Experience, or SURE, offers Carthage students the opportunity to work one-on-one with a professor during the summer doing real research work. Students receive a stipend, room and board on campus, and a small research budget.

Students can present their research during the Celebration of Scholars and other events.

Recent research topics and presentations include:

Learn more about research at Carthage