GEO 409: Advanced GIS

Welcome to GEO 409

Department of Geography
The University of Kentucky, College of Arts and Sciences
January 9 – May 2, 2024
Tuesday/Thursday, 11:00 am – 12:15 pm

Section: 001 (3 credits)
Instructor: Boyd Shearer
Classroom and Lab: White Hall Classroom Building, Room 311/313
Office: POT805A Office Times: 1–2:30 pm Wednesdays and 2–4 pm Thursdays (and by appointment and on Zoom)

Table of Contents

Methods of Contact


Most of our interaction will occur during our scheduled class time. You are encouraged to attend class (see attendance policies below) and engage in class participation. However, if you need to meet outside of class, we have a few additional opportunities.


Each Wednesday and Thursday during office hours, you may visit my office. I’m currently in the process of moving my primary office, so please let me know if you would like to meet. Alternatively, you may choose to schedule a custom time meet online, which can provide more flexibility, e.g., after 5 PM. Find the link to Zoom in the Canvas Zoom section. Click Join for the appropriate meeting. You do not need to share your camera with the instructor, but be prepared to share your screen and microphone.

Zoom link
Example Zoom meeting in the course navigation links


Gitter is a private chat room for students to discuss coding examples. (Canvas Discussion does not allow custom formatting, so we recommend using Gitter.) This service uses your GitHub account to log in. After creating your GitHub account, you will be sent an invitation to join this room:


For general questions you discover outside of class, please start by creating a new discussion in our Canvas Discussions section. If you find a post that you can help with, please contribute.

Please follow these guidelines when posting to the discussion boards:


If students have questions about grades, accommodating missed assignments, or other personal issues, please contact the instructor via the Canvas InBox. Do not send messages to my email address without prior approval. Canvas InBox creates an easily accessible record of our correspondence. I will respond to messages within 24 hours.

Course Description

This course is developed to introduce intermediate and advanced topics in geographic information science and spatial analysis including theoretical and application areas. Building upon a range of GIS software systems this course covers geographic data collection, entry and editing, spatial analysis, interpolation, and map development and display.

Our theme this semester is to model surface terrain (e.g., hills, land cover, sunlit areas, etc.) and above-ground features (e.g., trees, cliffs, buildings, etc.) primarily using KyFromAbove data. We will explore surface features throughout the state and produce analysis and summary information using various modeling techniques developed in class. You will create detailed maps and 3D visualizations and share them on a public web page. Past semester themes can be explored on this website:


We will develop our theme with the following course techniques:

Student Learning Outcomes


This is a ‘hands-on’ course that requires dedicated participation. Much of your time will be exploring cartographic and programming techniques, engaging in class discussions, and creating maps. Each class period will have a lecture and a lab. Lectures present our fundamental concepts and creative goals. Labs and daily tasks implement these concepts and goals through software exercises.

Required resources

Our computer lab has all of required software installed. If you would like this software installed on your computer, download and install the following software:

We have a few required online accounts that you will need to create. These accounts are used to manage project and to publish content. They are all free and you should be mindful of your social media branding when you select a user name.

To complete the field exercise, you will need to install the following free mobile app:

As we explore learning the Python programming language, we will use the following resources:

You are responsible for saving and making backups of your work. While you can use a USB thumb drive to save your work, I recommend that you use a cloud storage service such as Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or Dropbox. The course will not be able to recover your work if you lose your USB thumb drive. Also, working on a mounted USB drive is slower than working on a lab computer’s hard drive and ArcGIS Pro may fail to properly process data.

While there are no required books for this class, there are assigned readings, videos, etc. which will be made available on Canvas. You are attending a research 1 university, taking classes with people who do original research. As such, you may have the opportunity to read journal articles, book chapters, and maps published by your professors. Professors are not paid royalties for these publications and they are how information is disseminated within the academic community.

Course Assignments and Grading

This course requires the completion of eight labs and one final project. Grade requirements are weighted as detailed below:

Team Quiz Topics

Throughout the semester, exercises will be given to address common challenges working in ArcGIS Pro, Python, and code in general. These exercises will be completed in class and in teams of three or four students. The exact dates will not be disclosed, but attending class during the quiz will greatly help you and your team succeed in these challenges. Answers will be submitted via Canvas and use multiple choice or fill-in-the-blank questions.

Lab Topics

Completed labs will be submitted as a URL in Canvas. They should be submitted by 11:59 pm on the day that they are due.

1: Introduction to ArcGIS Pro and ArcPy
Learn how to set up a local ArcGIS Pro mapping environment and write a Python script to find features within a distance of selected locations.

2: Geoprocessing I
Creating Python scripts to automate basic GIS workflows and spatial analysis.

3: Geoprocessing II
Learn more advanced geoprocessing and scripting techniques to analyze KyFromAbove data.

4: Field Mapping
Create geospatial imagery to use in a field mapping exercise and publish it online using GitHub Pages.

5: Introduction to Lidar
Discover, symbolize, and animate lidar data for Kentucky.

6: 3D mapping
Use Lidar tools to measure landforms, do terrain analysis, and create 3D visualizations.

7: Shaded relief mapping
Using data created in the previous labs, create a custom shaded relief map and publish it publicly online.

8: Final Project
Create interactive online maps that visualize a site in Kentucky.

Each student will select a site in Kentucky, create a 2D and 3D visualization of that site, and showcase the project with a web page portfolio. Much of the work required to complete this project can be done in previous labs. Students will share the URL to their portfolio with class in a Canvas Discussion forum. The exact specifications of the deliverables will be addressed later in the semester.

Field exercise

During the ninth week of class (see course schedule), whichever class day has the best weather, we will meet outside to do a field mapping exercise on campus. We will use the Avenza Maps app on our phone to verify a map made in a previous lab. We will measure a feature on campus for use in a future lab.


This course has no exams. During our scheduled final exam period, an open lab will give you an opportunity to work with the instructor to complete your final project. Final projects are due the following day.

Grading scale and Rubric

Lab grading will focus on three rubrics:

Grade: A (90% to 100%) Excellent: You show a complete understanding of course materials and turn in assignments by the due date that are error-free, well-organized, and regularly show originality and creativity. Your participation in discussions is active, thoughtful, and helps to lead class learning.

Grade: B (80% to 89%) Good: You show a good grasp of key concepts within course materials and turn in the majority of work promptly that contains a few errors, but is organized and occasionally original and creative. Participation in discussions is active and contributes to ongoing conversations and work.

Grade: C (70% to 79%) Average: You show a basic understanding of key concepts within course materials and turn in work often late and contains some errors but meets the assignment goals. Work is rarely original and creative. Your participation in discussions and group work primarily contributes to established conversations and work.

Grade: D (60% to 69%) Insufficient: You show gaps in understanding of concepts within the course and fail to complete projects and exercises correctly and/or promptly. You have weak engagement in discussions.

Grade: E (below 60%) Failure: You show major gaps in understanding many concepts within the course and fail to complete projects and exercises correctly and timely. You do not engage in discussions.

Course Schedule

The schedule is preliminary. Any changes will be announced on Canvas and changed in this document.

Meeting dates Topic Due
1: Jan 9, 11 Intro to ArcGIS Pro
2: Jan 16, 18 Lab 1, Jan 21
3: Jan 23, 15 Geoprocessing I
4: Jan 30, Feb 1 Lab 2, Feb 4
5: Feb 6, 8 Geoprocessing II
6: Feb 13, 15 Lab 3, Feb 18
7: Feb 20, 22 Geoprocessing III
8: Feb 27, 29 Lab 4, Mar 3
9: Mar 5, 7 Intro to Lidar & Field Trip
10: Mar 12, 14 ☀️ Spring break
11: Mar 19, 21 Lab 5, Mar 24
12: Mar 26, 28 3D mapping
13: Apr 2, 4 Lab 6, Apr 7
14: Apr 9, 11 Shaded relief mapping Lab 7, Apr 14
15: Apr 16, 18 Final Project
16: Apr 23, 25 💻 Open lab
17: May 2 💻 Open lab Final project, May 3

Course Policies

Enrolling in this course means that you agree to abide by these policies. Please read them carefully and refer to them throughout the semester.

Academic Policies

This course adheres to the University of Kentucky’s core academic policies:

Additional and amended policies are detailed in the below sections.

Attendance Policy

You are expected to attend all classes, but attendance will not be recorded. A substantial portion of the course grade is derived from in-class, team exercises. Making it to class will ensure you succeed in these exercises and help you better understand challenges faced in the labs.

However, I understand that you might have circumstances that prevent you from making it to class. Stay in contact and notify me when you cannot make it to class. You will not adequately complete lab exercises and the final project without good communication. If you have more than two unexcused absences without staying in contact, I reserve the right to issue an academic alert, contact your advisors, and deduct two percentage points from your final grade for each additional unexcused absence.

While in class, I ask you not to attend to your social media accounts, whether on your personal devices or the lab computers. If your use of social media accounts interferes with your ability to engage with the course instruction, you will be asked to stop using them or leave class.

If you plan on not attending class nor staying in contact with me, then consider withdrawing from the course.

Teamwork & Collaboration

Be kind and help your neighbor if you finish early. Helping someone finish a lab or in-class task will help you more fully understand the presented material and techniques; it will make you a better cartographer and student.

Collaboration on lab assignments is allowed with no more than two classmates. If you collaborate, please observe the following expectations:

Submission of Assignments

All assignments must be submitted through Canvas by no later than 11:59 pm EDT on the day they are due (typically, Sunday, except for the final project and quizzes). Precise submission dates for each assignment can found in Canvas.

Late Assignments

Late assignments will be accepted. If you do not have an excused absence and you submit a late assignment, 10% will automatically will be deducted. Students with excused absences approved by the instructor will not be penalized. Late assignments submitted without an excused absence may not receive submission comments with the evaluation.

Excused Absences

Senate Rules defines the following as acceptable reasons for excused absences:

In addition to these policies, this course recognizes that a documented network or platform outage can justify an excused absence. Technical problems and scheduling conflicts also arise from time-to-time, and we recognize that assignments need to be turned in late. Please notify me as soon as possible if you anticipate a late assignment to discuss a “reasonable cause for non-attendance” that justifies an excused absence.

Policy on Generative AI

GenAI tools such as ChatGPT may be used in this course for the purposes of brainstorming, testing, debugging, and discovering code. However, you are responsible for submitting work that meets the assignment standards for quality and factual accuracy.

Before submitting any assignment that was aided by GenAI, you are responsible for fact-checking all statements and ensuring that any content drawn from other sources – including the use of GenAI – is appropriately acknowledged through the citation practices used in this course.

For example, if you use ChatGPT to code part of a submission, you should cite: Text generated by (or adapted from) ChatGPT, March 1, 2024, OpenAI, as a code comment near the code that was generated. Because you will likely modify the generated code to meet your goals, add additional comments that highlight the changes you made to the code.

By keeping track of your AI use and sharing your experiences, we all gain understanding, identify potential issues in this rapidly changing field, and discover better ways to use the resources for our objectives.

Class Behavior and Civility

All participants in this course should maintain the highest standards of academic, professional, and personal integrity and support a safe and inclusive learning environment (see the section on non-discrimination). With an understanding of mutual respect and civil discourse, we cultivate an online environment free from:

The instructor reserves the right to stop and remove content that conflicts with the above statement.

Chosen Names and Personal Pronouns

Everyone has the right to be addressed by the name and pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, including non-binary pronouns, for example, they/them/theirs, ze/zir/zirs, etc. Course rosters may not list gender or pronouns, so you may be asked to indicate the pronouns you use so that the instructor does not make assumptions based on your name and/or appearance/self-presentation (you are not obligated to do so). If you use a chosen name, please let the instructor know. Chosen names and pronouns are to be respected at all times in this course. Mistakes in addressing one another may happen, so we should encourage openness to correction and learning. Chosen names and personal pronouns may evolve, so if at any point during the semester you would like to be addressed differently, please let the instructor know.

The University of Kentucky Code of Student Conduct defines Invasion of Privacy as using electronic or other devices to make a photographic, audio, or video record of any person without their prior knowledge or consent when such a recording is likely to cause injury or distress.

Meetings of this course might be recorded by the instructor. All video and audio recordings of lectures, lab demonstrations, and class meetings, provided by the instructors, are for educational use by students in this program only. They are available only through the Canvas shell for this course and cannot be copied, shared, or redistributed.

As addressed in the Student Code of Conduct, students are expected to follow appropriate university policies and maintain the security of linkblue accounts used to access recorded class materials. Recordings may not be reproduced, shared with those not enrolled in the class, or uploaded to other online environments.

If the instructor or a University of Kentucky office plans any other uses for the recordings, beyond this class, students identifiable in the recordings will be notified to request consent before such use. In anticipation of such cases, students may be asked to complete an “authorization of use” form by a faculty member.

Video and audio recordings by students are not permitted during the online meetings unless the student has received prior permission from the instructor. Any sharing, distribution, and or uploading of these recordings outside of the parameters of the class is prohibited. Students with specific recording accommodations approved by the Disability Resource Center should present their official documentation to the instructor.

All content for this course, including handouts, assignments, and lectures, is the instructors’ intellectual property and cannot be reproduced or sold without prior permission from the instructors. A student may use the material for reasonable educational and professional purposes extending beyond this class, such as studying for a comprehensive or qualifying examination in a degree program, preparing for a professional or certification examination, or to assist in fulfilling responsibilities at a job or internship.

Prohibition on Cheating and Plagiarism

Please note that any content that you add to your submission should be in your own words or properly cited if you are using someone else’s words or content. See the University’s policies on Academic Offenses.

Statement on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

The University of Kentucky is committed to our core values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and human dignity, and a sense of community (Governing Regulations XIV). We acknowledge and respect the seen and unseen diverse identities and experiences of all members of the university community ( These identities include but are not limited to those based on race, ethnicity, gender identity and expressions, ideas and perspectives, religious and cultural beliefs, sexual orientation, national origin, age, ability, and socioeconomic status. We are committed to equity and justice and providing a learning and engaging community in which every member is engaged, heard, and valued.

We strive to rectify and change behavior that is inconsistent with our principles and commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. If students encounter such behavior in a course, they are encouraged to speak with the instructor of record and/or the Office of Institutional Equity and Equal Opportunity. Students may also contact a faculty member within the department, program director, the director of undergraduate or graduate studies, the department chair, any college administrator, or the dean. All of these individuals are mandatory reporters under University policies.


If you have a documented disability requiring academic accommodations, please notify the instructor as soon as possible during scheduled office hours. To receive accommodations in this course, you must provide the instructor with a Letter of Accommodation from the Disability Resource Center (DRC). The DRC coordinates campus disability services available to students with disabilities. Visit the DRC website, contact them by phone at (859) 257-2754, or visit their office on the corner of Rose Street and Huguelet Drive in the Multidisciplinary Science Building, Suite 407.

Technical Support

Distance Learning Library Services

Distance Learning Library Services aims to provide access to information resources for the students who take classes through the Distance Learning Programs. Services include:

Information on Distance Learning Library Services:

Information Technology Customer Services

UKIT Customer Services provides a single point of contact for students, faculty, staff, and alumni’s technological needs. Customer Services supports ITS’s overall strategic goals by assisting with the knowledge and tools for success with any information technology at the University Of Kentucky. Visit the Information Technology Services for many self-help topics, or you may contact Customer Services for additional assistance. For password resets, go to or call 859-218-HELP.

Canvas Learning Management System

This course uses the Canvas Learning Management System or LMS. The online course system is available via Canvas at Use your LinkBlue account to log in, and you will see this course under the courses menu (top of the page towards the left). This course ( offers an orientation to Canvas, and the Help button in the top right corner provides quick access to the guides, asks the community, and the phone number for 24/7 support. Course materials (syllabus, readings, assignments, discussions, exams, etc.) will all be posted here. You are responsible for any changes in assignments, readings, and due dates posted on the course blog.

UK Downloads

Download and install proprietary software, e.g., Microsoft Office 365, Adobe Creative Cloud, etc., as a member of the University of Kentucky community at

Campus Resources for Your Success

The Department of Geography and your instructors want you to succeed in your studies and have the best experience at the University of Kentucky. Sometimes circumstances make it difficult. Learn about resources that can help you overcome challenges and understand that you are part of a greater, inclusive, and safe community.

Academic Coaching

Meet with an Academic Coach to develop an individualized plan to meet your goals for this semester, and beyond. They will work with you one-on-one to determine your strengths, weaknesses, and help you reach your goals. Located in The Study Central (basement of Donovan), The Study North (Hub at Young Library), and Presentation U! @ The Hub

Bias Incident Support Services |

Bias Incident Support Services (BISS) provides confidential support and advocacy for any student, staff, or faculty member impacted by bias, hatred, and/or an act of identity-based violence. BISS staff aid impacted parties in accessing campus and community resources, including the Bias Incident Response Team, the University’s official reporting system for acts that negatively impact a sense of belonging. Campus and community consultation and educational opportunities centered on inclusion, diversity, equity, and belonging is a resource also provided by BISS. For more detailed information, please visit the BISS website or contact them via email.

Counseling Center

The UK Counseling Center (UKCC) provides a range of confidential psychological services and consultation to members of the UK community (students, faculty, staff, administrators, parents, concerned others). Please visit the website for more detailed information, or call 859-257-8701.

Martin Luther King Center |

The Martin Luther King Center (MLKC) supports an inclusive learning environment where diversity and individual differences are understood, respected, and appreciated as sources of strength. The MLKC’s year-round programs and activities that focus on the importance of cultural awareness and cross-cultural understanding support its three primary goals: 1) sponsoring cultural and educational programming; 2) offering opportunities for student support and development; and 3) through programmatic linkages with a wide variety of civic and community agencies, promoting community outreach, engagement, and collaboration. Students can reach the MLKC via phone at (859) 257-4130, by visiting them in Gatton Student Center Suite A230, via email, and by visiting the MLKC website.

Office of LGBTQ* Resources

UK is committed to supporting students and upholding the University’s efforts to promote inclusion among our community. UK faculty and staff employees support inclusion and diversity throughout the University, including how faculty structure classroom conversations and manage those dynamics. To assist in these efforts, students are welcome to provide the names and pronouns they prefer. One easy way to do this is by using the pronoun feature of UK’s Name Change Form. Otherwise, students can provide this information to faculty members directly.

Discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expression, and gender identity is prohibited at UK. If you have questions about support, advocacy, and community-building services related to sexual orientation, gender expression, or gender identity, students are encouraged to visit the website of the Office of LGBTQ* Resources.

Presentation U! @ The Hub

The Hub at Young Library and F. Paul Anderson Tower (FPAT). Free peer tutoring in composition and communication assignments (speeches, papers, group presentations, visual, and digital projects. Schedule a face-to-face or online tutoring appointment!

Transformative Learning

Transformative Learning is a centralized student support unit on campus; a student’s one-stop shop for on-campus academic resources, including peer tutoring at The Study, Supplemental Instruction, and Academic Coaching. The mission of Transformative Learning is to enhance students’ academic experience as early and as often as possible.

University Health Service

UHS is your source for employee and student health care. Our physicians are board-certified in family practice, internal medicine, gynecology/genitourinary care (GYN/GU), psychiatry, and occupational medicine. In addition to our physicians, our nurse practitioners have certification in family medicine, women’s health, psychiatry and emergency medicine.

Veteran’s Resource Center & Protocol for Short-Term Military Absences |

Being both a member of the military community and a student can bring some complexities. If you are a military member or a military veteran, or a dependent, please let me know when these challenges arise. Drill schedules, calls to active duty, mandatory training exercises, issues with GI Bill disbursement, etc., can complicate your academic life. Let me know if you experience complications, and I will do my best to work with you.

The Veteran’s Resource Center (VRC) is a great resource for members of our military family. If you have questions regarding your VA benefits or other related issues, the VRC has a full complement of staff to assist you. The VRC also provides study and lounge space, as well as free printing. Please visit the VRC websiteLinks to an external site., email the VRC, visit them in the basement of Erikson Hall, or call the director, Colonel Tony Dotson, at (859) 257-1148.

If you are a military student serving in the National Guard or Reserve, it is in your best interest to let all of your professors know that immediately. You might also consider sharing a copy of your training schedule.

If you are a military student who is a member of the National Guard or Military Reserve and are called to duty for one-fifth or less of this semester, please help me help you! Once you become aware of the call to duty, provide a copy of your military orders to the Director of the Veterans Resource Center (contact information above). (Please also provide the Director with a list of all your current courses and instructors.) The Director will verify the orders with the appropriate military authority and, on your behalf, will notify your instructors as to the known extent of the absence.

Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center |

If you experience an incident of sex- or gender-based discrimination or interpersonal violence, we encourage you to report it. While you may talk to a faculty member or TA/RA/GA, understand that as a “Responsible Employee” of the University, these individuals MUST report any acts of violence (including verbal bullying and sexual harassment) to the University’s Title IX Coordinator in the IEEO Office. If you would like to speak with someone who may be able to afford you confidentiality, you can visit the Violence Intervention and Prevention (VIP) Center’s website (offices located in Frazee Hall, lower level; email them, or call 859-257-3574), the Counseling Center’s (CC) website, and the University Health Services (UHS) website. The VIP Center, CC, and UHS are confidential resources on campus. The VIP Center accepts walk-in appointments.

An extended listing of campus resources

The university has a number of additional resources available to students, faculty, and staff.

The Academic Exploration Tool

The Academic Exploration Tool (AET) helps unlock your potential, taking your passions, interests, and career aspirations and connecting you with UK majors that suit your goals. With AET, explore the many majors offered at UK!

Academic Ombud

109 Bradley Hall. It helps students work through and resolve academic problems and conflicts. Stop by Bradley Hall, call 257-3737 or email with questions.

Academic Scholarships

Information and applications for University and departmental scholarships available on their website.

Basic Needs

A central site for locating resources across campus to assist students with needs related to all four components of student success: academic success, wellness, finances, and belonging. Any student who faces challenges securing their food or housing and believes this may affect their performance in the course is urged to contact the Dean of Students for support.

Big Blue Cycles

Big Blue Cycles is a fleet of 150 bicycles available to students who live in campus housing and who sign a one-year commitment not to purchase a campus parking permit.

Big Blue Pantry

Rooms 23 and 25, Whitehall Classroom Building (in the basement). The Big Blue Pantry serves UK students who are experiencing food insecurity or hunger. Any UK student with a valid UK ID, is eligible to receive non-perishable goods from the Big Blue Pantry by coming to White Hall 23-25 during our open hours. If our hours don’t fit your schedule, email us at to set up an appointment!

Calendar of Events

Visit this website to find out about everything happening across campus.

Campus Map

Where is X on campus?

Campus Recreation and Wellness

The mission of Campus Recreation and Wellness is to provide quality recreation and wellness programs and services for the campus community that support student success and promote healthy lifestyles.

Career Center

Stuckert Career Center. Offers appointments with a Career Advisor or Major Exploratory Associate who assist students in being career-ready for today’s diverse job market. 408 Rose Street 859-257-2746

Center for Academic Resources and Enrichment Services (CARES)

104 McVey Hall. The overall program goals are to increase the retention and graduation rates of students traditionally underrepresented in post-secondary education, including African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans. Services include tutoring, study groups, academic planning/monitoring, career exploration, and networking opportunities, personal development workshops, graduate school information/preparation. Call (859) 323-6347, follow on Twitter @UK_CARES, or Facebook.

Collegiate Recovery Community

103 Frazee Hall. The University of Kentucky’s Collegiate Recovery Community is dedicated to empowering students recovering from addictive disorders to achieve academic, personal, and professional success while maintaining recovery. The CRC provides a safe and supportive community for students in recovery, including a positive social atmosphere with like-minded peers, dedicated and qualified recovery staff, and an emphasis on developing as productive members of society. (859) 323-5981

Dining Services

Find campus dining options, including a list of dining locations, menus, and hours.

Disability Resource Center

407 Multidisciplinary Science Building. Students with documented physical, learning, or temporary disabilities may receive assistance and support from this office. Call (859) 257-2754 or email for more information.

Education Abroad & Exchanges

310 Bradley Hall. There are hundreds of programs to match every academic interest and budget; make an appointment, and they’ll tell you everything you need to know. For more information, visit their website, call (859) 323-2106, or e-mail them at Like them on Facebook and follow on Instagram @ukyabroad

Financial Ombud Services

10 Funkhouser. The Financial Ombud works 1-on-1 with students/parents to identify/resolve financial problems affecting payment of tuition & fees and enrollment. Contact Holly Sandlin, Financial Ombud, at (859) 218-1360, or email

First-generation Student Advising

230 McVey Hall. First-Generation Student Advising supports first-generation students at the University of Kentucky from recruitment to graduation through research-based programs, resources, best practices, and campus-wide advocacy about the needs of students who are the first in their families to go to college. Advisors advocate for first-generation students within their colleges and collaborate with other campus offices (e.g., Division of Student and Academic Life, Enrollment Management, International Center, and Office for Institutional Diversity) to provide the best resources to promote the success of first-generation students at UK.

The Hub

Basement of Young Library. Comfortable place to study; helpful reference librarians; technology support; Writing Center; computer labs; vending food.

International Center

International Student & Scholar Services provides several services for current international students, including support and information about student employment, health coverage, etc. ISSS provides immigration advising which allows international students to achieve their academic, professional, and research goals. By facilitating cross-cultural connections, we create opportunities to develop a sense of belonging at UK.

Kentucky Wildcab

Kentucky Wildcab is a free, late-night on-demand transportation resource for UK students primarily designed to provide a free ride home to UK students and their guests while promoting responsible and safe late night transportation decisions (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday from 10 pm to 3 am). Rides may be requested using the Transloc Rider mobile app on your smartphone or online. You can access this app through Google Play or the App Store, as well as through the GoSafe option on our LiveSafe app. For assistance during business hours, call (859) 323-RIDE (323-7433).

Lewis Honors College

The mission of the Lewis Honors College is to better the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the world by helping students to explore their purpose, develop intellectually, and lead with integrity.

Map Library

In 2018, the collection was named in honor of Gwen Curtis, who worked with the map library for 45 years. During her tenure, the Map Collection grew to become the largest research map collection in Kentucky and includes approximately 250,000 paper maps and aerial photos.


63 Classroom Building (Basement) Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday – Friday. Offers free tutoring and help with 100-level math classes.


302 Patterson Hall. Provides financial wellness education, resources, and 1:1 financial coaching to students enrolled at the University of Kentucky. Contact them by email at

Off-Campus Student Advising

230 McVey Hall. Off-Campus Student Advising fosters and enhances the off-campus student experience through education, advocacy, and involvement. The Off-Campus Advisor helps students strengthen their connection to campus and navigate obstacles that emerge from living off-campus. Off-Campus Student Advising works directly with students and their academic advisors while also collaborating with other campus offices (e.g., Division of Student and Academic Life, Enrollment Management, International Center, and Office for Institutional Diversity) to provide the best resources to promote the success of off-campus students at UK.


SAFECATS provides free safety escort service on campus from 8:30 p.m. –1:30 a.m. Sun – Thurs. Call 257-SAFE (7233) for both services. Hearing-impaired students may request a SAFECATS escort by e-mailing SAFECATS at

Student Employment Office

112 Scovell Hall. Helps students find jobs on and off-campus, visit the website to get started, or call (859) 257-9555 for more information.

Student Financial Aid

127 Funkhouser Building, (859) 257-3172. Assists students with the financial aid application process, responsible for the awarding and disbursement of federal, state, and institutional grants, loans, and scholarships.

Student Organizations and Activities

Get involved on campus and beyond. Find out about student organizations, events, and activities.

Student Support Services

Suite 443, Multidisciplinary Science Bldg. (MDSB), 725 Rose St. Provides a holistic approach to working with students who are first-generation, low income, or have a documented disability. Services include but are not limited to the following: tutoring, mentoring, and limited computer use. You must come in and complete an application to receive services. Visit the website or call (859) 257-9797 for more information.

The Study!

The Study is the University of Kentucky’s centralized peer tutoring center. The Peer Tutoring Program provides FREE, drop-in, peer tutoring for many core courses in mathematics, science, & business.

University Health Service

830 South Limestone. If you’re sick, this is the place to go. Full-time UK students see clinicians without charge, after paying the mandatory Health Fee. To make an appointment, call (859) 323-2778 (APPT).

Walk Across Kentucky

The Walk Across Kentucky is a diverse and unique Kentucky native plant collection and a living museum that captures the spirit of the Commonwealth’s landscape. Located in the Arboretum, State Botanical Garden of Kentucky, a 100-acre public garden located on the campus of the University of Kentucky in the heart of Lexington, Kentucky.

Wildcat Wardrobe

Wildcat Wardrobe is a collaboration between UK Student Government Association and the Stuckert Career Center. Students can access gently used professional clothing for job interviews or internships. Wildcat Wardrobe has drop-in hours Mondays and Wednesdays from 2-4 pm.

Wildcat Wheels

The Wildcat Wheels Bicycle Library (commonly referred to as Wildcat Wheels) is a nationally-recognized educational resource that provides free bicycle use and repair assistance to UK students and employees.

Writing Center

The Robert E. Hemenway Writing Center offers free and friendly help to all UK students, faculty, and staff. We assist with writing, speaking, and multimedia assignments across the curriculum. We offer advice on academic, creative, and professional projects.

About the Department of Geography

Located in Lexington, Kentucky, the Department of Geography at the University of Kentucky was established in 1944. The department is consistently ranked among leading geography graduate programs in the United States. Our department would make a great home for your major or minor in Geography and all things wildly spatial!,_University_of_Kentucky

Dept of Geo, since 1944