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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Fall 2008

GEOG 101 S 01 Cultural Geography
4 Credits
Scholl, Andrew

Pre-requisites: None

The objective of this course is to provide knowledge and understanding of the cultural patterns created through human interactions with the environment and the processes responsible for cultural change. Topics will include: origins of culture in prehistory, human adaptations to the natural environment, the impact of different resource systems (hunting-gathering, agrarian, industrial) on nature in historical and spatial perspective, the creation of culture areas of the world, how states influence cultural survival, and the impact of globalization. The course will follow a lecture/discussion format to enhance critical thinking and writing abilities.

GEOG 120 S 01 Human Ecology
4 Credits
Scholl, Andrew

Pre-requisites: None

Humans can be considered a threatened species. Humans have induced this situation by overcrowding cities, exceeding the carrying capacity of available land, polluting the air, water and land, and eliminating many of the ecological systems that have evolved over thousands of years. But as population continues to grow, and more land is converted to other uses rather than food production, it will soon become apparent that life, as we know it today, will change in the next 100 years. This course examines some of the basic ecological systems that help sustain our existence, how humans have impacted these systems, and how governmental interference and hidden agendas have hampered efforts to rectify them. It is hope the student will have a better understanding of what needs to be done in the future, to make the world a better place for future habitation by our offspring no matter what part of the world they live in.

GEOG 220N 01 Physical Geography
4 Credits
Lenz, Ralph

Pre-requisites: Math Placement 22

Climate, vegetation, soils, and landform formation processes all influence human activity in any region; they are the focus of this process-oriented study of the physical environment. Heat and water budgets and their influence upon ecosystem development as well as fluvial, glacial, and coastal land shaping processes will be studied. Relationships between human activity and various physical environments of the world provide a central theme. Evaluation will be based on four exams and numerous in-class lab exercises.

GEOG 230S Urban Geography
4 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites: Math Placement 22

World urbanization has increased dramatically in the course of the 20 and 21st centuries. About 50% of the global population lives in cities now verses to 5% in the 1800s. Developed countries are 73% urbanized, with Europe and Russia facing shrinking population. Developing countries with large portion of their population in rural areas face an extremely fast rate of urbanization, and lead the world in number of mega-cities, often surrounded by shanty towns. What is the origin of urban growth and decline? What is the spatial organization of a settlement's network? What is the structure of the land use in North American cities, and how different it is from European, Russian, and Latin American, and Asian centers? All these questions require that cities be constantly rediscovered. The emphasis will be on American cities with their long standing inner-city/suburb dichotomy. A lecture/discussion format is anticipated. Field
assignments connect theories to the real world. There will be two exams, one oral report, a final paper, several field projects, and multiple computer assignments targeting urban management issues.

GEOG 250 C Africa's Geography
2 Credits
Lenz, Ralph

Pre-requisites: None

Development issues in the regions of Sub-Saharan Africa will be studied in this class. Geographical concepts relating to cultural patterns, ethnicity, colonization, population growth, physical geography and environmental limits, resources, green revolution, urbanization, and political systems may be considered. Major concepts will be presented through a lecture-discussion format, then students will write and make presentations about particular countries. There will be two exams and several quizzes and outside exercises. Classes will meet during the first half of the semester.

GEOG 280N Biogeography
4 Credits
Scholl, Andrew

Pre-requisites: None

A wide variety of plants and animals are found in different locations around the world. Many of these species located on different continents are closely related, although they are thousands of miles apart. Biogeography is the study of the distribution of plants and animals in both the past and the present in an attempt to understand where different species are located and why. This course offers an overview of the theories, methods, and current directions in modern biogeography, emphasizing terrestrial plant and animal species and communities. Course material will range from introductory to intermediate level, and will include discussions of several research articles from the field of biogeography.

GEOG 290S Business Geographics
4 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites: None

Geography plays in increasingly important role in many business decisions. In fact, a surprisingly large amount of information is geographical in character. It is related to such features as zip codes, street addresses, company or school locations, census tracts, cities or states. Micro marketing is gaining in importance because supply and demand is structured geographically. Until recently, business examined geography with colored pencils on legal pads or by pushing pins into wall maps. There is a better way. Business Geographics allows students to have hands-on experience in handling data and maps in a computer lab. This course brings the power of visualization into solutions of real world problems such as marketing, direct customer targeting, finding potential customers, site selection, and international trade. During the course, students will conduct several projects analyzing spatially business data, handling database conversion, geocoding, managing GPS, and mapping. The final project is centered on local business or public issues.

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