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Past Course Descriptions

Course Listings - Spring 2009

GEOG 101 S 01 Cultural Geography
4 Credits

Scholl, Andrew

Pre-requisites: None
The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the breadth of human geography and in particular how populations influence the way the environment is developed and utilized by people and the subsequent patterns present on the landscape. Topics will include: the spatial organization of human activities, ways in which social processes and structures can be understood through a geographic lens, geographic perspectives of human/environment interactions, economic relationships, 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. The overall aim of the course is to provide the student with the analytical skills necessary to think critically about contemporary geographical patterns and processes while also cultivating the student’s own geographical imagination.

GEOG 120S 1W Human Ecology
4 Credits
Scholl, Andrew

Pre-requisites: None
The purpose of this course is to make you aware of the inter-relationships between people and the environment around us. One of the fundamental aspects of geography is a focus on the intersection between people and the environment: both on how the environment influences us, and how we utilize and alter the environment around us. We will explore some of the central issues of concern in the world today, as well as some of the concepts and methods they use to study them. Major topics will include: geographic perspectives on human-environment interactions, the changing human population, water resources, energy issues, food resources, the role technology plays in our interaction with the environment, and environmental ethics and policy. These general topics will often be explored through a detailed examination of case studies. An underlying theme throughout the course is the issue of sustainability and impacts today on future society. The overall aim of the course is to provide the student with the analytical skills necessary to think critically about contemporary nature society relationships, their geographical patterns and processes while also cultivating the student’s own geographical imagination.

GEOG 220N 01 Physical Geography
4 Credits
Scholl, Andrew

Pre-requisites: None
Physical Geography is an introductory course that systematically examines the spatial patterns and interrelationships among physical elements at the earth’s surface. Particular emphasis is given to developing an integrative view of how atmospheric, hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes control the patterns of climate, water, landforms, soils, and biota across a local-to-global continuum. Those physical elements that influence and/or are influenced by people are the primary focus of study.

GEOG 222B 01 Weather and Climate
5 Credits
Lenz, Ralph

Pre-requisites: Minimum Math Placement 22
Climate patterns pose fundamental limits to ecosystem development, and therefore control the ways people can interact with the environment. Global climate patterns are the focus of this course, and there are two main goals. In the first part of the course, we will seek an understanding of the processes responsible for climate through study of atmospheric dynamics that create weather patterns across the globe. Then we will consider climatic classifications, and relate them to real-world responses of vegetation regimes to global climate patterns. Laboratory work is scheduled for Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Ten lab exercises and five exams will be the basis for evaluation.

GEOG 250C 1W Russia and Central Eurasia
4 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites: None
For the first time in all Russian history geography speaks for itself. After the disintegration of the Soviet Empire regions became exceedingly important in this highly centralized state. The current government is trying to reestablish control over the regions. Who will win in this geo-political game? Will Russia become a democratic state or it will pull back to the dictatorship? Will newly independent states like Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan gravitate to Russian economic and political domain or create new alliances with other bordering countries? We will discuss it throughout the course. The class will be focused on changing space economy, environmental and population issues, national identity problems, political orientation in different regions of the post-Soviet space. This course has a lecture-discussion-project format. Students are expected to complete several map assignments, participate in class discussions, and to write a final paper on major topics.

GEOG 250C 2W East Asia Geography
4 Credits
Lenz, Ralph and Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites: None
Welcome to East Asia, the most populated region of the World! East Asia as an entity is a distinct cultural realm, comprising China, Japan, North and South Korea, and Taiwan; we will also include Mongolia, but not Vietnam. With a geographic area extending from deserts of Central Asia to offshore Pacific islands, environmental diversity is within the region is pronounced, and the core country, China, offers a surprising amount of cultural diversity. Parts of this region are among the main players of the world globalization process. Advanced economies in Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea contrast with the backward ones of North Korea and Mongolia; China is undergoing a tremendous economic transition resulting in huge disparities between the interior of the country and its coast. This regional course will examine interrelationships between environmental, cultural and economic patterns. Evaluation will be based on exams, quizzes, a paper, and an oral presentation.

GEOG 310 01 Research Methods
2 Credits
Lenz, Ralph

Pre-requisites: Math Placement 22, Geog 101 and 220, 230, 240, or 292.

This methodology course is required for all geography majors. It will include coverage of research design, sampling, use of some statistical techniques, and SPSSX.

GEOG 390 Geographical Information System

5 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites: GEOG 230, GEOG 290 or GEOG 304, or an instructor’s permission.
GIS is an advanced course in spatial analysis and computer mapping which is targeted to majors in Geography, but also benefits majors in Biology, Geology, Management, Political Science, and others disciplines. The period since the mid-1980s has seen massive growth in the field of the GIS – computer based systems for the handling of geographically referenced information. Geographic Information systems have been confined mostly to public sector agencies until recently. Now they are becoming as widely used as spreadsheet analysis to a broad spectrum of applications from urban and regional planning and environmental management to homeland security and sustainable development. GIS mapping cuts across many disciplines, provides a common language for discussion, and acts as a means to bring people together in the decision making process. MAP IT OUT! Visualization is a great tool to analyze large data bases. During this course students work in a computer lab environment (new GIS Lab), learning GIS concepts and technology and applying them to real life situations while doing projects for local community. Student will gain skills in digitizing, data base management, multilayer computer mapping, and spatial analysis.

GEOG 490W Independent Study: Writing Research Papers in Social Sciences
2 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites: One 200 level course in Geography. Permission required.
This class is conducted in conjunction with the Research Methods, Geog 310.
During a semester students will learn how to conduct a research and write a research paper. We will meet for several group seminars, where students will lead discussions based on required reading materials. As part of this seminar we will have guest speakers form the Writing Center and the Communication Center; we also will have a workshop lead by a Wittenberg Librarian. Later in a semester each student will peruse his/her research project and will have individual meetings with the instructor. In the end of the semester the research paper will be presented in a class and at the Senior Comps.

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