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Department of Geography


Fall 2024 courses — as well as times and meeting places — may change. While the information here will be updated as necessary, please consult the registrar's listing of courses for the most complete information.

Undergraduates may take 100- through 500-level courses. Graduate students will only receive credit for courses numbered at the 500-level and above.

Fall 2024 Courses

R = Thursday

Dr. Robert Kopack
Section 001: M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 201 
Section 002: M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 201

This course introduces students to the breadth and impact of geography through exposure to core concepts, sub-disciplinary approaches, basic cartography, and field research. The course content requires students to think about how their lives are connected to global systems and to reconsider the production and meaning of the landscapes they encounter every day.

Youngjae Kim
Section: 001: M W  08:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 101

Have you ever been curious as to why the sky is blue? How hurricanes work? Or how tree ring records can provide insight into past climates? Physical geography synthesizes many aspects of various Earth and life sciences but expresses them in a way that emphasizes patterns of interaction between the environment and humankind. You will learn about the intricate workings of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere; how these spheres operate as individual systems and how these systems interact collectively to make the planet we live on today.

Section 001: T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM   |  Callcott 003  |  Staff
Section 002: T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 003  |  Staff
Section 003: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 003  |  Staff
Section 004: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM   |  Callcott 003  |  Staff
Section H01*: M W 03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 104  |  Jory M. Fleming
Section J10: Online – Asynchronous  |  Dr. Tara M. Remington
Section J11:  Online – Asynchronous   |  Dr. Tara M. Remington

This course will explore how geographic data is collected, visualized, and analyzed in various digital formats (e.g. maps, aerial images, infographics, etc.). Our exploration will include learning about the basics of cartography (map interpretation and mapmaking), problem solving through spatial thinking, and geospatial technologies. Though the subject matter is technically oriented, this course will focus on the basic concepts and applications.

 * Honors section

Section J10: Online – Asynchronous  |  Jill E. Thornton
Section J11: T R  08:30 AM – 09:45 AM  |  Online – Synchronous  |  Dr. Meredith J. DeBoom

This course introduces students to diversity, inequality, and interconnectedness in the contemporary world. In terms of diversity, this course highlights the ways that the physical environment, social and economic systems, political relationships, and historical circumstances have produced distinctive regional geographies. In terms of interconnectedness, this course explores the ways in which global processes—world trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism, geopolitical conflict, and climate change—have integrated different world regions into a complex global system. In terms of inequality, this course gives special attention to the way that regional and global processes intersect to produce and reinforce social and geographical disparities and differences.

Dr. Jean T. Ellis
Lecture: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 201
Lab 001: M  01:10 PM – 03:00 PM  |  Callcott 330
Lab 002: T  03:30 PM – 05:20 PM  |  Callcott 330
Lab 003: F  09:40 AM – 11:30 AM  |  Callcott 330
Lab 004: F  12:00 PM – 01:50 PM  |  Callcott 330

Landforms are physical features on the Earth’s surface such as valleys, mountains, hill slopes, beaches, and stream channels. The study of landforms (geomorphology) is one of the oldest of the natural sciences from which many classic scientific premises and methods were born. This course focuses on the principles of geomorphology and examines relationships between processes and landforms at a variety of scales in space and time. In particular, we will cover geomorphological theories, weathering and slope processes, erosion and deposition, and other factors responsible for shaping physical features on the Earth's land surface, emphasizing soils, hydrology, and processes of landform creation by water, wind, ice, and gravity.

Dr. Gregory J. Carbone
Lecture: T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 101
Lab 001: W  12:00 PM – 01:50 PM  |  Callcott 330 
Lab 002: W  02:20 PM – 04:10 PM  |  Callcott 330 

This course provides students with a general understanding of the processes which influence weather and climate patterns. It first examines the sources of energy driving atmospheric processes, the importance of atmospheric moisture, and the forces creating the winds. The second part of the course focuses on storm systems, including mid- latitude cyclones and severe weather. The last third of the class is devoted to the study of climate, climate variability and change, and the impact of such change on human activity.

Dr. Susan L. Cutter
M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM   |  Callcott 202

This course examines the geography of North America with particular reference to the connections between and among physical, environmental, economic, political, social, and cultural systems. We use the perspective of regions to examine the geographic diversity, commonalities, and differences in North America landscapes. The emphasis in the course is on geographic processes and relationships rather than place names per se, but you need to know these in order to understand the context. The primary goal of the course is to explain the why of where of North America—why cities are located where they are; why the depopulation of the Great Plains is economically significant; why ethnic diversity has transformed the border lands; why firms are located where they are; why are there different names for soft drinks depending on where you are, and much more. Grades are based on quizzes and fun interactive projects shared with the class.

Dr. Tara M. Remington
Section J10: M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Online – Synchronous 
Section J11: M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Online – Synchronous 

Introduction to principles and methods of geographic information systems including discussion of computers, spatial data, analysis, and display. Includes discussion of applications and hands-on experience.

T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 112

Dr. Sicheng Wang
T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 005

This course is an introduction to the principles and practice of map design. It provides the student with an understanding of the most appropriate ways of symbolizing geographic data on maps. Students develop cartographic skills through the completion of map projects using the latest Geographic Information Systems (GIS) software. Students learn how to design effective and attractive maps through lectures, demonstrations, discussions, and hands-on mapping activities. In the latter half of the course, each student completes a final mapping project, based on a topic he or she selects.

Dr. Kirstin Dow
M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 101
M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 101

This course examines the relationship between society and the environment, that is, relations between culture, power, and environmental change. The course not only addresses themes of environmental degradation, but also considers the history and culture of environmental protection. In this regard, we will explore ideas of nature, such as frontier wilderness and biodiversity, and analyze the ways ideas of nature have influenced national identity, urban planning, and the branding and consumption of goods. In our approach to issues of environmental degradation we will examine the wider relations of power and economic production that drive environmental change, while critically examining popular framings of environmental problems and solutions. In situating issues of environmental degradation and protection in their wider political, cultural, and historical context, this course helps students develop and apply critical thinking skills towards the environment and their place within it.

Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 302

This course introduces the basics of aerial photography including radiant energy, properties of the photographic image, photo geometry, photogrammetric measurement, photo acquisition, and interpretation of aerial photographs. Emphasis is placed on practical training in an effort to make the student a competent user of air photos for a variety of geographic and multidisciplinary applications. No previous technical experience is needed. Basic knowledge of ArcGIS will help in lab exercises but is not required.

Dr. Cary Mock
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 101

This course explores interrelationships between climate systems and human activities and asks how climate changes can impact social, economic, and political life. Selected case studies will cover past climatic changes, contemporary global warming, climate determinism, and climatic hazards such as hurricanes, fire, and severe drought.

Dr. John A. Kupfer
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 102

Biogeography involves mapping and understanding the distributions of plants and animals today and reconstructing those in the past using a range of analytical techniques, including geographic information systems, genetic analysis, dendrochronology (the study of tree rings) and palynology (the study of pollen to reconstruct past climates). Biogeographers also conduct research on how physical and biological factors control distributions of plants and animals and study how geographic distributions affect the evolution and extinction of species. In recent years, biogeographers have been involved in applying their knowledge to the protection of rare and endangered species and the conservation and management of threatened ecosystems. This course is broken down into 3 modules. The first module focuses on ecological concepts; the second module deals with the importance of evolutionary processes and biogeographic changes in geologic time, and the final module examines the development of modern distributions of plant and animal species and contemporary issues in biogeography such as conservation and land management.

Dr. Cary J. Mock
T R   01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 101

The purpose of the course is to present the basic concepts and processes as they relate to tropical climatology and hurricanes. It covers weather basics at large geographic scales encompassing climate processes that relate to the entire tropics, and then progressing to smaller regional spatial scales such as those dealing with monsoon climates, followed by tropical climate forcings such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation. Tropical cyclones and hurricane topics include the structure and characteristics, followed by hurricane forecasting techniques and then various aspects of hurricane climatology. Tropical weather forecast discussions, following a format routinely used by the National Hurricane Center and utilizing real- time weather information, will reinforce important concepts learned in lecture.

Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required for undergraduate students.

Dr. Robert A. Kopack
T  04:25 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Callcott 112

Research methods and projects; restricted to students with at least 15 hours of credit in geography. Restricted to students with at least 15 hours of credit in geography.

Research on a significant geography problem in the local environment. Emphasis will be on the development of relatively individualized experiences in scientific investigation.

Senior research thesis on a problem of fundamental geographic significance, supervised by faculty member; must include a written final project report.

Dr. Carl T. Dahlman
T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 102

Concepts of space and power and their relationship to polities, elections, geopolitics, identities, law, economics, populations, and civil society.

Dr. Susan L. Cutter
M W. 08:05 AM – 09:20 AM |  Callcott 102

Most parts of the world are at risk from environmental hazards, although to differing degrees. This course introduces you to the nature, impact, and social responses to environmental hazards from local to global scales. We will focus on the relationship between society, technology, and nature in trying to understand what makes people and places vulnerable to hazards, and which characteristics make them resilient. We will also examine hazards management and relevant public policies covering preparedness, post-disaster recovery, and mitigation. The major goals of the course are 1) to examine the impacts of hazards on society over time and space; 2) to assess various responses to disasters (relief, recovery, reconstruction, mitigation) by individuals and society; 3) to understand the evolution of and current status of hazards policy; and 4) to analyze hazard data and evaluate the relative hazardousness of places. Grades are based on exams and written assignments.

Dr. Jessica E. Barnes
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 104

This course will examine the political, social, and cultural landscapes of food and farming around the world. The first part of the course will trace global food systems from production to consumption. We will start at the point of agricultural production, exploring current controversies over sustainability, international land grabs, and genetically modified seeds. We will look at the global trade in food commodities and the inequalities embedded within the global food system. Finally we will examine food consumption and the links between consumption, class, and identity. In the second part of the course, we will focus on food security. We will explore what food security means at a local, national, regional, and international scale and the efficacy of various food security policies. We will conclude by looking at the contemporary movement for food sovereignty.

Dr. Michael Hodgson
M W  02:20 PM – 04:50 PM  | 

Geographical information systems for modeling physical/human processes in space and time using raster and vector data. Cartographic modeling concepts, embedded models, and GIS-model coupling.

Dr. John A. Kupfer
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 102

Geography of public land, water, and related public trust resources (wildlife, timber, minerals, fuels, recreation, wetlands, coastal zones, wilderness); historical geography of policy; spatial aspects of current research and management.

Dr. David M. Kneas
W  09:40 AM – 12:10 PM  |  Callcott 104

This course examines events, processes, and historical moments glossed as “globalization.” We will read key contributions from anthropology, geography, and history to analyze globalization and its pseudonyms (from capitalism to neoliberalism), as well as its discontents (from social protest to fair trade organic coffee). We will explore globalization as a centuries long historical process as well as a defined period of the post-Cold War era. Is globalization, as a cultural concept and political-economic process, useful today? How has the concept and its significance changed since the global recession of 2008? In grappling with these questions, we will examine the relationship between culture, power, and economy.

Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang

The internship in geography helps students acquire valuable "on the job" experience and develop marketable job skills as well as learn about employment opportunities and requirements. Students serve as interns with cooperating government agencies, or commercial and nonprofit businesses. A special effort is made to assign each intern to a position compatible with his/her interests, abilities, and career aspirations. The course must be taken for a grade to receive degree credit. Grades are determined in consultation with supervisory personnel in hosting agency. Grades are based on the performance of internship duties and the preparation of an internship summary report.

Instructor approval and a signed Internship Contract required.

Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty. May be repeated for credit.

Dr. Gregory J. Carbone
T  01:15 PM – 4:00 PM  |  Callcott 228

Major theories, measures of climatic change and variability, climate models, statistical analysis, and climate impacts.

Dr. Cuizhen Wang
R  04:25 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Callcott 302

Satellite-based information extraction; programming skills for digital image processing; self-developed modeling approaches; quantitative analysis of remote sensing data.
Prerequisites: GEOG 575 or equivalent.

Approved by instructor and with department permission.
Thesis preparation research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

Dr. Conor M. Harrison
M  09:40 AM – 12:10 PM  |  Callcott 228

A survey of (1) the philosophical and intellectual foundations of geography as a discipline, and (2) contemporary ideas and debates in major subfields of geographic research.

Advanced directed research by a Ph.D. student on geographical topics to be individually supervised by graduate faculty. This course may be taken for 1–3 credit hours of independent study by a student working closely with a faculty member on a specific research project to be defined and agreed upon between the student and a supervising faculty member.

Approved by instructor and with department permission.
Dissertation preparation research topic is individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.