DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY
Geography Department Course Descriptions Spring 2010
GEOG 101 S 01 - Cultural Geography
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
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
Pre-requisites: Minimum Math Placement 22
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
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 atmospheric dynamics determine variations in climate from place to place. In this course we will seek an understanding of the processes responsible for atmospheric dynamics that create weather patterns across the globe. Such processes determine atmospheric energy budgets, which also influence air pressure variations, which in turn affect latitudinal energy transfers, and the movement of water vapor into and out of the atmosphere. We will study earth-sun relationships, energy budgets, global wind and pressure belts, and the effect of thunderstorms, cyclonic storms, and hurricanes on global precipitation patterns. In the final unit we will consider global climate classifications. Laboratory work is scheduled for Thursday 12:30 pm to 3:40 pm Nine or ten lab exercises and five exams will be the basis for evaluation.
GEOG 250C - China’s Geography
Despite many parallels between China’s physical environment and that of the USA, there are some notable contrasts. With a geographic area extending from deserts of Central Asia to the Pacific Ocean, environmental diversity within the region is pronounced. This regional course will examine environmental impacts on cultural and economic patterns. China offers a surprising amount of cultural diversity, and cultural and economic contrasts between the Han and various minority populations, a topic not covered in most East Asian Studies classes, will be emphasized. As China undergoes a tremendous economic transition, huge disparities between the interior of the country and its coast have resulted. Demographic, agricultural, and urban patterns will be examined. Evaluation will be based on exams and quizzes, a project, and an oral presentation about one of China’s subregions or minority groups.
If you have already taken East Asia Geography, do not sign up for this class, as it mostly covers the China section of last Spring’s East Asia Geography team-taught class.