The Rahr Lab was established in 1991 in the Department of Geography as a facility specializing in the analysis and display of geographically referenced data. As a public lab -- accessible to the Dartmouth community, and available for use in support of teaching cartography, remote sensing, and geographic information systems (GIS) courses -- the Rahr Lab experiences heavy use throughout the academic year both from students and faculty/staff.

The Rahr Lab is primarily for coursework in Geography courses, other GIS-related courses, and research with Geography department approval. The doors are typically kept locked when not in use. Contact the lab manager, Aletha Spang, for questions about access.



Currently, the lab is outfitted with 24 Windows machines (Dell Precision 3000 3450 Workstations) installed with the Dartmouth Standards image and customized for GIS-related applications. Software currently on the Rahr Lab machines includes ArcGIS Desktop and Pro, QGIS, MATLAB, and a variety of statistical, coding, spreadsheet, word processing, and presentation packages. For questions about software installation, contact the lab manager. 

Users must log on to access the computers. The username is Public Cluster Machines (type in public_user if not an option), with the password box left empty. The domain should be set to Kiewit. We recommend saving all data and files to the Data (D:/) Drive (File Explorer  This PC Data (D:/)) as it has more storage capacity than the typical C drive.

Computers are wiped of files at the end of each term, and can often freeze or crash when doing high-powered analysis. We recommend backing up your data and files consistently to a hard-drive or Cloud drive. 



Rahr Lab Manager
Aletha Spang

General Computer Help
Phone: 646-2999


The Citrin GIS/Applied Spatial Analysis Lab supports research in geographic information science and technology, remote sensing, spatial analysis, geographic data visualization, and related fields. The lab is affiliated with the College's Geography Department, Earth Sciences Department, and Environmental Studies Program. It is supported by grants from the Jeffrey and Rona Citrin Family, the Neukom Institute for Computational Science, the J. Robert Porter '57 Fund, and the Computing Technology Venture Fund.

The lab offers nine workstations, including three Dell Precision 7920 towers configured for high-performance data processing for photogrammetry and geovisualization, and three Alienware mobile workstations plus two Aurora towers with advanced graphics for use of virtual reality and immersive 3D environments. Networked space for data hosting, collaboration, and distribution is available from Dartmouth's Research Computing high-performance servers. For data visualization purposes, there are eight sets of virtual reality headsets and hand controllers, a large-format wall-mounted digital display, and a large-format HP Z5200 plotter. Other hardware at the lab includes a variety of GPS units and an Ocean Optics dual field spectroradiometer with fiber-optic probes.

Software available in the lab includes ArcGIS, QGIS, ENVI, ERDAS Imagine, Matlab, IDL, CloudCompare, Agisoft Metashape, Unity 3D, Meshlab, and other packages for GIS, spatial analysis, remote sensing/image processing, and data visualization. The lab's data library includes an extensive archive of spatial data and satellite imagery. Lab staff have expertise with the open-source interactive web map development platform Leaflet, including rapid high-volume visualization of tiled vector and raster spatial data.

To learn more about the lab, or to discuss a project that might benefit from access to the lab, please contact us.

Find out more information on the Citrin Lab's website here.



The Lab is equipped with traditional facilities for the analysis of both fine-grained and coarse-grained components of soils and sediments. For fine-grained analyses, the Lab utilizes both the hydrometer and pipette methods for particle size analysis. As part of the sample preparation, samples must be oven-dried, weighed, and ultimately dispersed. The Lab possesses two high-grade ovens (one gravity feed and one mechanical vent), a de-ionizer, a Mettler self-taring scale, an analytical balance for precise weighing, a high-capacity fume hood, and three soil mixers for soil preparation. For subsequent analysis of the coarser soil/sediment fraction, the Lab is equipped with a sonic sifter for rapid analysis of the sand fraction and a Ro-Tap for sediment sieving of the extremely coarse fraction (coarser than 2 mm). For chemical analyses, the Lab possesses equipment for soil and water pH measurements, specific conductivity and salinity measurements, and a muffle furnace for organic matter analyses of soils. Besides furnishing equipment for scientific analysis, the Lab is also equipped with various safety mechanisms in case of an emergency – including an eye wash and emergency shower for any chemical accidents.

Although this and other field and laboratory equipment has been purchased primarily for faculty research, it has a substantial spillover into student research and undergraduate teaching. Currently, several students are utilizing this equipment for Senior and Honor theses, and almost all of this equipment gets incorporated into the physical geography teaching agenda. For our mandatory field and research methods class a physical geography field exercise (taking place either at Pine Park, Hanover or at the Dartmouth's Second College Grant) is required where students learn and utilize the surveying equipment, current meter equipment, and water quality equipment. For both Geomorphology and Fluvial Geomorphology courses, students utilize all aforementioned laboratory and field equipment as part of the course design, and many students select research topics incorporating field and laboratory analyses. In essence, the Department owns an variety of sophisticated and state-of-the-art equipment that is both at the disposal of our students and incorporated into our class structure, and exposes them to a technological level that at least rivals--if not surpasses--most graduate research institutions.