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Course Descriptions

Geography Course Listings - Spring 2013

GEOG 101S  01:  Cultural Geography
4 Credits
Scholl, Andrew

Prerequisites:  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 120S 01W:  Human Ecology
4 Credits
Scholl, Andrew

Prerequisites: 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:  Physical Geography
4 Credits
Scholl, Andy

Prerequisites:  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
5 Credits
Lenz, Ralph

Prerequisites:  Minimum Math Placement 22
Climate patterns pose fundamental limits to ecosystem development, and therefore control the ways people can interact with their environment.  Global weather and 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.  In the final unit we will consider climatic classifications, seeking to understand regional variations in global climate patterns.  Laboratory work is scheduled for Thursday 8:30 a.m. to 11:10 a.m.  Ten lab exercises and five exams will be the basis for evaluation. 

GEOG 292 S:  Population Geography
4 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Prerequisites:  None
This course studies population dynamic around the World, zooming on some specific countries and issues. Problems of overpopulation, health, sustainable development, environmental constrains, migration processes, family planning, and women’s role in society will be addressed during lectures and class discussions. Students will internalize the course concepts and content preparing their research papers on various population issues. This class has an informal lecture/discussion format. 

GEOG 310:  Research Methods
2 Credits
Lenz, Ralph

Prerequisites:  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:  Geographic Information Systems
5 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Prerequisites: GEOG 304 or GEOG 290S or permission
GIS is an advanced  course in spatial data analysis and computer mapping which is targeted to majors in Geography, but also benefit a broad field of others disciplines: Biology, Geology, Management, Political Science, Sociology, to name a few.
GIS is widely used by big companies and governmental agencies and small businesses and non-profit organizations in a broad spectrum of applications: from neighborhood development, urban /regional planning and environmental management to homeland security and sustainability issues. GIS mapping and data analysis cut across many disciplines, provides a common language for discussions, and acts as a common denominator to bring people together in the decision making process.  Visualization is a great tool to analyze large data bases. During this semester students will work in a GIS computer lab, learning GIS concepts and technology and applying them to a real life situation while conducting projects for local community.  The main emphasis in evaluating students’ progress will be made on their ability to apply the concepts and tools, learned in class, in real life problem-solving environment.

GEOG 490W:  Research Paper
2 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Prerequisites:  To be taken with GEOG 310
This class has a seminar format and taught in conjunction with the Research Methods, Geog 310.
During this course students will learn how to work on research, will lead class discussions on selected topics, and will write an extensive research paper. In the end of the semester the research paper will be presented at the Senior Comps.

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