The addition of a geography lab is helping to put the new major on the map at Missouri Southern.

The creation of the lab is a result of a minor degree growing into a larger program, said Steve Smith, professor of geography. After being approved by the state last year, the 2016-17 school year is the first for geography to be offered as a major.

“Geography and spatial science are among the top 25 job fields in the United States right now,” said Smith. “What we wanted was essentially an interactive class – room environment … a space that accommodates a bank of computers and space for lab classes and traditional lectures.

To construct the lab, crews combined two rooms on the second floor of Webster Hall, removing a wall and installing a dual-projection system, topographic maps, globes and new carpeting. “The idea was to create a space that’s visually interest – ing, and more than just a traditional classroom,” said Smith.