New Staff Profile: Alicia Cowart

Photo: Alicia Cowart

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Geography welcomes Alicia Cowart as the new Creative Director in the Cartography Lab. We interviewed Alicia to learn more about her and her goals starting this new role.

Title: Creative Director, University of Wisconsin Cartography Lab

Start date: July 1, 2023

  1. Can you tell us more about your path to UW-Madison and your new role in the Geography Department?

As the new Creative Director of the UW Cartography Lab, I am very excited to be working with students and clients on project-based cartographic work and managing the day-to-day operations of this production, research, and learning space. Prior to this role, I was Director of the Geospatial Analysis and Mapping Laboratory, a similar research and map production center employing students at the University of Colorado Denver. I also taught Cartography courses to undergraduate and graduate students for the last eight years at CU Denver, CU Boulder, and UC Berkeley. 

  1. What excites you most about being the Creative Director in the UW-Madison Cartography Lab?

I love working with students, especially helping them gain confidence in their abilities and think through ideas and problems. I am always impressed at how creative and resourceful students can be across all levels and institutions. Of course, I also love designing maps myself and it’s great to be part of this fantastic Geography department!

We just moved into a beautiful new lab space on the second floor of Science Hall! We are now front and center in the building, where the geography library stacks used to be, and it’s a wonderfully inspirational place for students to work. 

  1. What are some things you are looking forward to doing in Madison?

I’m so excited about the density of things to do here, I’m not sure where to start! I used to be really into dance and martial arts, so I’m looking forward to finding new activities along those lines once the weather pushes me indoors. I’m also enjoying the ability to walk and bike places within the city, especially the urban environment which is so well integrated with the “natural” landscape. My husband has been getting into cycling since we moved here, and so I’ve been enjoying riding around the city on the weekends with him. We’re also looking forward to exploring nearby cities like Milwaukee and Chicago.

5. Are there fun hobbies or other interests you have? 

I’m a classic Geography nerd: I love learning about places, history, and people. So, of course I love to travel and especially traveling to see and learn about historical things, art, and architecture. And plants. The photo I’ve included here is from a trip to Portugal where I got to do all of these things I love, plus one other favorite thing, which is catch up with old friends. I also love to dance! 

Author: lwunderlich