Champaign pools on Fraiser Island, Queensland Australia
The Champaign Pools on Fraser Island in Queensland, Australia , September 2008

Michael W. Longan

Associate Professor of Geography, Department of Geography and Meteorology at Valparaiso University.

Me on the train in the rain in Tiny Town, Colorado
(Summer 2000)

Ph.D. University of Colorado at Boulder, 2000
M.A. University of Arizona 1995
B.A. University of Colorado at Boulder 1993

Specialties: Communication Geography, Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, Urban Planning, Rural Geography, Landscape, neighborhood and community activism, China, Japan, and Australia.

Mike Longan's Facebook profile



During Spring 2012 I am teaching:

Courses that I have taught at VU include
World Human Geography, Urban Geography, Cartography , Research Design, Environmental Conservation, Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Culture, Nature, Landscape, Geography of Asia: China and Japan , and Geography of Cyberspace

I am the Chair of the Environmental Science Program.

I also serve as advisor for the Urban Studies Minor.

I am the faculty advisor for VU's Chapter of GTU.

Previously to teaching at VU I taught at Gustavus Adophus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and at the University of Colorado at Boulder.




I have research interests in urban, cultural, and communication geography. My main research focus is on the geography of cyberspace and media.

I have recently started research on the geography of country music.  Inspired by a class I taught on rural geography, I am interested in how changing themes in country music reflect cultural changes due to urbanization/suburbanization. 

I have published work on the geography of Facebook as Megaengineering.

I have finished work on a Virtual Regional Geography of Northwest Indiana which asks questions about what Northwest Indiana looks like from the perspective of cyberspace. I am interested in how and why people represent places in Northwest Indiana online. I hope to find out more about how the Internet is (or is not) helping to transform local politics, aid in local economic development, and foster social ties.

In addition to this research on the Internet and community I have also published research on "everyday virtual reality" focusing upon the representation and production of landscape in video games. I am interested in the extent to which the activity of virtual landscape production in video games may subvert or reinforce dominant ways of seeing and producing landscapes in the "real world."

At the Grand Ole Opry

At the Grand Ole Opry
(March 2010)

Me and the Fremont Troll Under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle
(Summer 1998)


I have also written about the the use of the Internet in geography education.

In the past I organized an informal faculty seminar on Qualitative Data Analysis and I am available to consult with faculty and students on campus about qualitative research and using NVivo.

I am the Communication Director for the Communication Geography Specialty Group of the AAG.

I am on the Editorial Board of Places Online.


At Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island, Queensland, Australia (September 2008).

The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota.
(Darwin, Summer 2000)



 at Carhenge
My car parks in silent reverence before mysterious Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska.
(Summer 2000)


Camels, Sand Dunes, and me near Dunhuang
At the Mingsha Shan
near Dunhuang, China (Summer 2006)

Me in front of stone henge
At Stonehenge
(Summer 2003


* I regularly go line dancing and have choreographed a few dances.

* Since I bought a house with a big garden plot, I have become a gardener.

* I was faculty advisor for the VU Hockey Club played intramural floor hockey for the Chiefs and am a big fan of the Gustavus Hockey Team. I have never actually played ice hockey but have vowed to do so someday.

*I have been exploring the bike trails of Northwest Indiana as time and weather permit.

* I was a member of the Trombone Choir and the Brass Choir at Gustavus.

*When I lived in Boulder, I played Trombone in the Boulder Concert Band.

* I was a member of the CU Bands including the CU Basketball Band and the C.U. Golden Buffalo Marching Band. The highlight of my marching band career was a trip to the Aloha Bowl in Hawaii.

* I was a member of the Pride of Arizona Marching Band while at the University of Arizona.

* I'm from Lakewood, Colorado where I attended Green Mountain High School.


Recent Travels

*In February 2012 I went to New York City for the AAG Meeting where I also saw William Shatner and Brad Paisly perform together on state.

*In August 2011 I went to Portland, OR for the NCGE meeting.

* In April 2011 I went to Seattle, WA for the AAG meeting.

* In April 2010 I went to Washington D.C. for the AAG meeting.

* In March 2010 I traveled to Nashville with two students to do research on the geography of country music at the Country Music Hall of Fame.

* In June of 2009, 2010, and 2011 I traveled to Nashville for CMA Fest.

* In September and October of 2009 I went to Queensland Australia and traveled from Brisbane to Cairns stopping at Fraser Island and the Whitsundays along the way. I also snorkeled on the Great Barrier Reef and visited the Daintree National Park.

* In March 2008 I went to Boston for the AAG meeting.

* In July 2007 I went camping North of Fort Collins, Colorado.

* In June 2007 I had an opportunity to spend a day in New Orleans to see the recovery efforts (and lack of recovery) first hand.

* In April 2007 I went to San Francisco for the AAG meeting and spent a day walking around one of my favorite cities.

* In May and June of 2006 I traveled to China with faculty from VU. We visited Tibet, Xinjiang, and Hangzhou among other places.

* In June 2004 I traveled to Boulder Colorado for the Geography Faculty Development Alliance's Early Career Faculty Workshop. See the GEO/MET Teaching Resource Center for some valuable teaching resources I found as a result of participating in this workshop.

* In May and June 2004 I traveled to Japan and China with a group of faculty from VU.

*In June 2003 I traveled to Cambridge, London, and Cardiff.

* I have returned to Minnesota several times since I moved to Indiana and regularly go home to Colorado for the holidays.

* Here are some pictures from my summer 2002 trip to Northern Minnesota.


At the Home Office in Wahoo, Nebraska
(Summer 2000)


A brotosaurus at Dinosaur Park in Rapid City, South Dakota (Summer 2000)

On Mt. Fuji
(May 2004)


On top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London
(Summer 2003)

Mount Baldy
(Fall 2003)

All contents copyright 1999-2012 Michael W. Longan

The content, views, opinions and positions expressed on these personal pages are strictly and exclusively those of the page author, and not of Valparaiso University. Comments and reactions to these pages should be directed to the page authors directly.