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featured faculty geography
oseph-Hupy-geology professor Hupy title

What are you doing in this picture?

Traipsing through some elephant grass in Vietnam, trying to reach the summit of Hill 861 on the Khe Sanh Battlefield. (learn more)

What kind of research do you do?

My research focuses on Military Geography.  I have been to the Western Front in France, and also to Khe Sanh battlefield, in Vietnam.  I look at how the landscape has been disturbed differently when you compare the two and how landscape is affected by war and how war is a catalyst for how land is used afterward.

Can you share some memorable experiences you’ve had with students?

Recently on a field trip for my Military Geography Course, I took my students to play paintball to apply what we had learned in class to a project they would work on based on the paintball game. Each team had 1 sq mile of land to analyze before and after the game.  They used spatial information and navigation techniques and worked on team projects afterwards. The day was a lot of fun for both me and my students, and I hope they got something out of doing hands on learning.


How are students involved in your research or lab work?

I have a few student/faculty research projects happening right now. I have one student looking at historic data using GIS to map out accounts and history of war. In my other current research project, I have two students working with me on my research In Vietnam. Those students have recently been awarded a grant to allow them to accompany me to Vietnam for further military geography research there.

What facilities or equipment do you get to use in your work?

GIS, GPS, geospatial gizmos, metal detectors, laser distance measuring devices. One of the reasons I love geography is all of the cool equipment and tools we get to use to solve problems and map out information.

What do you hope your students are getting from your courses?

I don’t like to teach for the test. I think that things are rarely black and white, so I hope my students are able to think critically and figure out answers or solutions to problems based on critical thinking skills.  In many cases there may not be only one answer, so knowing how to work through problems, solutions, and find what works best in each situation is ideal.

What is your favorite course to teach?

Geography 178- Conservation of the Environment.  This is a great introductory course where I get to see students' eyes opened to things they were previously unaware of. I also get to use this time to talk about things I am passionate about.

"What I love about geography is how there are so many possibilities and ways to apply  and use information."

Do you get to do anything fun or unique in your work? 

I travel to places to do research, such as Vietnam, and also travel locally for the courses I teach and organizations I advise.

What student organizations do you advise?

I advise the Foodlums, an organization on campus that raises awareness of the benefits of producing and consuming sustainable and local foods. I am also an advisor for the geography club on campus.

Best advice for students?

Pick a major thinking of long term goals. Find something you like, but also think about what you want to do in the future.  Don’t compete with those directly around you, know that when you get in the real world you are competing with the world, so be prepared as best you can.

Unique hobbies/interests?

Ice Climbing, woodworking, and sustainable agriculture.

Favorite UW - Eau Claire event?

I enjoy the Faculty vs. Women’s Hockey Team Games, Student Research Poster Day

Favorite Eau Claire restaurant?

Northwoods Brew Pub, they have great pie and trivia!

Favorite place to travel for fun? 

UP(Upper Peninsula) of Michigan

Excellence. Our Measure. Our Motto. Our Goal.