J. Clark Archer

J. Clark Archer

  • Contact Information
  • My Story
  • Publications
  • Background
  • Interests

Contact Information

TitleUrban and Regional Geographer
Faculty RankProfessor
Address926 Oldfather Hall
660 N 12th Street
Lincoln NE
  • office: 402-472-1945
VitaeDownload file


My Story

Clark Archer is a political, urban and population geographer whose work combines political science, economics, demographics, cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). He brings all of these disciplinary perspectives to bear in creating atlases.

His Historical Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, 1788-2004, was named Best Single-Volume Reference in Humanities; Social Sciences for 2006 by the Professional and Scholarly Publishing Division of the Association of American Publishers, and was on the Library Journal's Best Reference List for 2006. His Atlas of American Politics, 1960-2000, was named Choice Magazine's Outstanding Academic Title for 2003 by the Association of College and Research Libraries. His coauthors for both volumes were geographers Steve Lavin, also at UNL, Fred Shelley at the University of Oklahoma, and Kenneth Martis at West Virginia University. Lavin, Shelley and Archer teamed up to produce the Atlas of the Great Plains, published in 2011.

Archer is best-known for his work on the geography of election results, but he also studies housing patterns, the economic structure of the Great Plains, population change, and settlement patterns. His research can be generally described as "human patterns that involve a lot of data crunching." For the Historic Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections, Archer digitized county boundaries and other data back to 1789. As a student, he generated 30 boxes of IBM punch cards containing census-tract data for his Ph.D. dissertation research.

Courses he teaches include Introductory Human Geography, Geography of World Regions, Urban Geography, Quantitative Methods in Geography, Geodemographics and GIS, and Political Geography. Time permitting, Archer incorporates photos and experiences from his extensive travels into his teaching. He lived in Latin America growing up, and has traveled through Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States.

Archer has been at UNL since 1985. Before that, he was at the University of Oklahoma, Dartmouth College and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. He is a member of the Association of American Geographers and the National Council for Geographic Education.

Selected Publications

Archer, J. C., Edwards, R., Howard, L. M., Shelley, F. M., Wilhite, D. A., Wishart, D. J. (2017). Cartography editor for all maps considered/used. Atlas of Nebraska. Lincoln, NE:.
Lavin, S.J., Shelley, F.M. Archer, J.C. Wishart, J., Hudson, J.C. 2011. Atlas of the Great Plains. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.



DegreeMajorInstitutionYear Awarded
Doctorate of PhilosophyGeographyUniversity of Iowa1974
Master of ArtsGeographyIndiana University1968
Bachelor of ArtsPolitcal ScienceIndiana University1964





TitleAwarded byYear Awarded
E. Willard and Ruby S. Miller AwardAmerican Association of Geographers2019
Certificate of Recognition for Contributions to StudentsUNL Parents' Association2013


Professional Organizations

Association of American Geographers
National Council for Geographic Education


SNR Program Areas

  • Applied Climate and Spatial Science

Areas of Interest/Expertise

  • Geography
  • Geographic Information System/GIS
  • Geospatial Application
  • Great Plains
  • Human Geography
  • Mapping, Cartography
  • Population Dynamics, Distribution