Community Outreach

Map It!

Program developed to assist students, faculty, staff, and community members with various GIS software needs, including, but not limited to, making maps, gathering and analyzing data, and creating programs.

Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability (CENRS)

The Center for Ecology and Natural Resource Sustainability's mission is to promote an understanding of the natural environment and its resources through scientific research, education of students at Kent State University and beyond, as well as programs to restore and preserve the integrity of natural areas.


Each year, the Department of Geography sponsors GIS Day.  2017's theme was "Putting Northeast Ohio on the Map."  Northeast Ohio, like most places in the world, is not fully mapped.  While some characteristics such as hospitals, flood zones, roads, and rivers are usually well-documented, other important aspects of our community are not (e.g., sidewalks, stores selling fresh produce, community centers, and even small clinics or individual physician’s offices).  Not having these data on the map limits our knowledge of research opportunities, of where government and non-profit agencies should allocate their resources, and of general public awareness of the state of our community.  Therefore, the purpose of “Putting Northeast Ohio on the Map” was exactly that - to crowdsource these data from students focused on mapping specific variables to improve our collective knowledge base, and to ultimately contribute toward improving quality of life in Northeast Ohio.

Conservation of Natural Resources

Students in Dr. Emariana Widner's Conservation of Natural Resources class conduct annual audits of trash and recycling bins on campus, which measures how much trash is mixed in recycling bins and how much recycling is mixed in trash bins.  The information helps the campus Sustainability Office to estimate the diversion/recycling rate on campus and target recycling information to help us to improve this rate (currently 36%).

City of Kent 

Dr. Jen Mapes was named Volunteer of the Year by Main Street Kent for her work making maps for Kent's downtown kiosks and festivals.

Stark Campus Garden

A new course during the three-week summer intersession, Campus and Community Gardens, provided Kent State University at Stark students with the opportunity to design, plant, water, weed, and harvest a campus garden.  The course, taught by Dr. Chris Post, focused on giving students the tools, time, contacts, and guidance necessary to set up a network of organizations and individuals who participated in the food’s organic production and distribution.  The goal: to empower students to find better solutions to food concerns.

The students planted a wide variety of vegetables and herbs, including tomatoes, kale, eggplant, peppers, radishes, cilantro, and rosemary.

Dr. Post also used the garden as a teaching tool in the class by educating students about sustainability and the difference between large- and small-scale agriculture.

In addition to serving as an educational tool for students in terms of sustainability, another goal of the campus garden is to serve the surrounding community – including some of their fellow students – as a local food source for those in need.

Read the article Two Green Thumbs Up For Kent State University At Stark’s New Campus Garden to learn more.


Chris Post, Ph.D., associate professor of geography, works with others on the Kent State University at Stark campus garden.