The Center for Cave and Karst Studies serves as a major research center dealing with all aspects of cave and karst studies,
with an emphasis on solving environmental problems associated with karst terrain.
The Center for Human Geo-Environmental Changes (CHNGES) is a consortium of scientists
and students dedicated to research and higher education at the frontiers of environmental
science. Its primary mission is to be a leader in the development of innovative, basic
and applied research programs aimed at understanding the dynamics of human-landscape-atmosphere
interactions. A major goal of the Institute's activities is to actively involve undergraduate
and graduate students in all aspects of this research as an integrated part of their
academic programs with the purpose of nurturing their intellectual growth, critical
thinking skills, and technical experience in the environmental discipline.
The Kentucky Climate Center is staffed by the State Climatologist and maintains an extensive set of Kentucky
climatic data, as well as the Kentucky Mesonet project. The Kentucky Mesonet is a research grade network of automated weather and climate monitoring stations
being developed by the Kentucky Climate Center at Western Kentucky University to serve
diverse needs in communities across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. The College Heights
Weather Museum maintains historical instrumentation and archival material.
The Department also has several computer labs with numerous GIS applications, statistical
packages, database programs, and Internet connections. The Department's state-of-the-art
Geographic Information Science (GIS) Laboratory contains advanced microcomputers,
ARCVIEW software, and other computer-mapping software, and contributes research support
to myriad international projects.
The Advanced Materials Institute coordinates and promotes educational, research and public service activities for
various groups in WKU’s Department of Geography and Geology, Department of Chemistry,
other Ogden College of Science and Engineering Departments, and the Applied Research
and Technology Program. The AMI is also active conducting third-party testing of materials
for regional and national businesses.
Applied and basic field research by faculty and students is conducted continually
in the local area, surrounding states, and throughout the world.