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Welcome to the Geography of the Northwoods website. Like many other great ideas, the topic of what truly constitutes the Northwoods came about in a bar named of all names, the ‘Northwoods Brewery.’ Ezra Zeitler and Joe Hupy were having a friendly debate over whether or not the city of Eau Claire, Wisconsin is truly located in the Northwoods, and if the Northwoods Brewery deserved such a name. Out of that debate came a resolution to define the Northwoods and the criteria that could be used to define the region. Joe Hupy came at it with a physical geographic bias, while Ezra Zeitler maintained that while the region is known for its environmental characteristics, the essence of what makes the Northwoods distinct are its people and cultures. The two professors presented their idea to a group of students in an upper level course at the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire (UWEC), and the students set out to define and delineate the real ‘Northwoods.’

This website represents the hard work of our students. After a trip around Lake Superior that allowed them to view the Northwoods first hand for a little geographic ‘ground truthing,’ the students set out to discover where the Northwoods truly begin and end. Students broke into groups that represented their skills and interests, setting out to define the Northwoods based upon criteria that stretched across the geographic spectrum, establishing a geographic information system (GIS) that ranged from popular media references to the Northwoods to raster based land use/land cover data sets. The regions they delineated represent the variety of criteria they worked with, and the diversity of hypotheses they put into the project. We hope you enjoy looking through the website. Please send us feedback with your ideas how to make the project even better, or if you think we are missing something in our delineation of the Northwoods.  After all, this is an ongoing project.


©2009-2010 UWEC Geography
Amy Brickheimer, Webmaster; Tom Koehler, GIS Specialist
Ezra Zeitler, PhD & Joseph Hupy, PhD - Instructors