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Course Descriptions

Geography Course Listings - Fall 2010

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 they create 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, patterns of economic activity, the relationship between political States and cultures, and the impact of globalization. The course will follow a lecture/discussion format to enhance critical thinking and writing abilities. In addition, the class will also require some out of class, off campus collection of data to complete exercises. 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 120 S 01 W 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 the impacts of today’s decisions 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. The course will involve a semester long research paper on an environmental issue of the students choosing. In addition, the class will perform a detailed energy audit of the University’s energy consumption.

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 01 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 250C 01.1 Africa’s Geography
2 Credits First Half Semester Course
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.
Prerequisites:  none.

GEOG 250C/S 01/02W Russian and Central Eurasian Geography
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 280N 01 Topic: Biogeography
4 Credits
Scholl, Andy

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 01 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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