Skip to Content

Department of Geography

Courses

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

Spring 2020 Courses

Section 001 / M W  5:30 p.m.–6:45 p.m./ CALLCOTT 201 / Dr. Brian Grabbatin (7-5234)

This course introduces students to the breadth and relevance of the field of geography to an array of current issues including climate change, migration, natural hazards, and urbanization. It explores concepts of space, place, mobility, and scale and shows how geographic expertise informs major decision-making and problem-solving contexts, such as location analysis for business, environmental policy, and economic development. This course further demonstrates the applicability of geography to other fields of study and current issues of globalization.

Section J10 / Online Web-based / Dr. Jean Ellis (7-1593)

Physical geography synthesizes and connects elements of our physical environment as they relate to human beings. It includes many aspects of various earth and life sciences, but expresses them in a way that emphasizes patterns of interaction between elements and with humankind. This means that physical geography, like other branches of geography, examines spatial relationships—not only where things are, but also the processes that underlie the observed patterns. The objective of this course is to provide a systematic introduction to physical geography, including the major components of the earth system (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere) as well as regulatory processes, distribution patterns of important aspects, and impacts of human activity.

Section 001 / T R  10:05 a.m.–11:20 a.m. / CALLCOTT 301
Section 002
/ M W 8:05 a.m.–9:20 a.m. / CALLCOTT 301
Section 003
/ T R 6:00 p.m.–7:15 p.m. / CALLCOTT 301
Section 004
M W 5:30 p.m.–6:45 p.m. / CALLCOTT 301

The Digital Earth is an introductory course that focuses on how the earth surface is visualized, explored, and analyzed in digital formats. It provides a systematic introduction of map-based analytical approaches to understanding the Earth environment and human society. The topics cover the basics of cartography (map making and reading), aerial photography and satellite image interpretation, geographic information systems (GIS), and map-based reasoning and communication of spatial data. Through lectures and computer/field exercises, students will learn fundamental concepts of digital geographic data and analysis to understand vast quantities of geographic information in our ever-changing world. Students will be exposed to leading edge trends in mapping technology—with examples from everyday life like web-based maps and smartphone apps—as their practical experiences.
Note: Students are required to bring their own laptop to class. 

Section 001 / T R 4:25 p.m.–5:40 p.m. / CALLCOTT 201 / Dr. Catherine C. Studemeyer (7-4186)

This course introduces students to the concepts and tools that will help them better understand the contemporary world. It addresses not only where things are, but also why these things affect world affairs and how cultural and physical environment attributes produce distinctive regions like ‘Latin America’ and ‘the Middle East’. Concepts explored include: the physical environment, migration, geopolitical conflict, economic development, cultural identities, and historical circumstances.

Lecture  / T R 10:05 a.m.–11:20 a.m. / CALLCOTT 201 / Dr. John A. Kupfer (7-6739)
Lab I  / T 11:40 a.m.–1:30 p.m. / CALLCOTT 202
Lab II / W 9:40 a.m.–11:30 a.m. / CALLCOTT 202 
Lab III / W 12:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m. / CALLCOTT 202
Lab IV / W 3:55 p.m.–5:45 p.m. / CALLCOTT 202

This course is an introduction to the physical features on the Earth’s land surface emphasizing soils, hydrology, and processes of landform creation by water, wind, ice, and gravity.  Landforms are physical features on the Earth’s surface such as valleys, hill-slopes, beaches, sand dunes, and stream channels.  The study of landforms is one of the oldest of the natural sciences from which many classic scientific premises and methods were born.  Landforms and soils provide evidence of past environmental conditions, how they have changed, and the processes involved, including human actions and natural agents.  The course emphasizes environmental changes in the recent geologic past up to the present.  Three hours of lectures and one 110-minute laboratory per week.

Lecture / T R 2:50 p.m.–4:05 p.m. / CALLCOTT 201 / Dr. April L. Hiscox (7-6604)
Lab I /  R 11:40 a.m.–1:30 p.m. / CALLCOTT  004/005
Lab II / W 12:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m. / CALLCOTT 004/005
Lab III / R 4:25 p.m.–6:15 p.m. / CALLCOTT004/005

This course provides students with a general understanding of the processes which influence weather and climate patterns on the earth.  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.  The laboratory sections will include experiments, workbook exercises, and analysis of real-time computer weather graphics.  The final grade will be based on lecture exams, lab exams, take-home exercises, a weather journal, and regular lecture and lab quizzes.
*4 credit hour course includes a 2 hour laboratory each week.

M W F 9:40 a.m.–10:30 a.m. / CALLCOTT 101 / Dr. Jerry T. Mitchell (7-2986)

This introduction to the geography of Latin America focuses on several interrelated themes: human relationships with Latin America’s varied ecosystems; the long-term impacts of European colonization on indigenous people; demographic shifts, migration, and settlement; the politics of race and ethnicity; patterns of industry, trade and agriculture; and political relationships among states in the Western Hemisphere. Reading and writing assignments will encourage students to examine regional variations within Latin America and differences and similarities between Latin America and Anglo America.

M W 2:20 p.m.–3:35 p.m. / CALLCOTT 202 / Mr. Samuel P. Nielson (7-5234)

This course covers a wide range of topics relating to the human and physical geography of the European subcontinent, including human settlement and migration, trade, resource extraction, commodity production, and geopolitical (re)actions. We will take a “historical-geographical” approach to the course—that is, we will consider key geographic patterns and transformations in different historical periods, specifically the Medieval/Pre-Modern period, the Age of Industrialization and Urbanization (the 17th to early 20th centuries), and the Contemporary Period (the period since WWII). In each period, the course highlights the mutually transformative relationships between economic production, state/regulatory systems, social organization, and the built, cultivated, and natural environments.  How, we will ask, did particular geographical systems come about in Europe, and how and why did they change?  How did innovations in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and governance alter people’s livelihoods and re-shape the geographical landscape?  The class will familiarize students with current realities in and events affecting Europe: a dynamic European Union, the Brexit vote, the re-emergence of populism, the refugee crisis, and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea.  Throughout the course, we will constantly be asking, what is Europe, and what (if anything) makes Europe a ‘unique’, definable space? 

T R 1:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m. / CALLCOTT 102 / Dr. Meredith J. Deboom (7-4605)

More than half of the world’s population growth between now and 2050 will occur in Africa. And yet — aside from the occasional picture of a starving child, machine gun-toting rebel, or stampeding wildebeest — Americans know relatively little about Africa and Africans. In this course, we will explore the extraordinary political, economic, social, and ecological diversity of Africa, a continent of 54 countries often misrepresented as one homogenous place — sometimes even one country! Through a series of summits using the U.S. Department of State’s “desk officer” system, we’ll unravel the “single stories” we’ve heard about issues ranging from colonialism and Chinese investment to foreign aid and HIV/AIDS. We’ll also consider what those single stories say about us, here in the U.S. Why, for example, are pictures from volunteer trips in Africa so common on Americans’ dating profiles? What’s up with Harry and Meghan’s African tour? Why was the release of Black Panther such a big deal in Nairobi? And do we really need to concern ourselves with who’s “blessing the rains” down in Africa? Join us to learn more about Africa, Africans, and how learning about both can help us understand the past, present, and future of our world.

M W 3:55 p.m.–5:10 p.m. / CALLCOTT 302 / Dr. Michael E. Hodgson (7-8976)

This course is an introduction to the use of small unmanned aerial systems (UAS), such as drones, in collecting and processing imagery for mapping/information. Course content includes UAS characteristics, small camera considerations, project planning and processing, and legal requirements in the United States and the European Union. Hands-on experience with collecting drone imagery and processing such imagery for mapping. No previous experience with drone operation is required. All course readings will be available on Blackboard. However, students are expected to purchase (or already have) a small aerial drone with a camera and global positioning system (GPS) receiver onboard (estimated cost $75–$150).

T R 4:25 p.m.–5:40 p.m. / CALLCOTT 102 / Dr. Kirstin Dow (7-2482)

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 (from frontier wilderness to tropical Amazonia) and analyze the ways ideas of nature have influenced national identity, racial difference, 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. 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.

T R 4:25 p.m.–5:40 p.m. / HONORS B112 / Dr. David M. Kneas (7-1308)

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 (from frontier wilderness to tropical Amazonia) and analyze the ways ideas of nature have influenced national identity, racial difference, 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. 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.

M W 2:20 p.m.–3:35 p.m. / CALLCOTT 101 / Dr. Cary J. Mock (7-1211)

This course examines the interrelationship between climate and human activities. We will study the physical nature of the climate system, climate variability and change; and their climatic impacts on society, including the social, economic, and political factors involved with these impacts. The approach will be based mostly from the examination of selected case studies.  Specific topics that will be covered include past climatic change and society, perceptions and impacts of climate during the historical period in North America, climate determinism, severe drought, climatic hazards which include hurricanes, fire, climate and health, and global warming.   Class sessions will vary between lecture, discussion, and class exercises.            

Evaluation will be based on short writing assignments and exams. There are no course prerequisites.

Section 001 / T R 4:25 p.m.–5:40 p.m. / CALLCOTT 302

Geographic Information Systems (GISs) represent a major advancement in computer handling of geographical data. These systems are used extensively throughout all levels of government, private industry, and academia to provide support for spatial decision making and problem solving. Principles and methods of Geographic Information Systems are presented with an emphasis on modeling the Earth and abstracting geographical data, collection of geographical data using modern techniques such as GPS, mapping information, and analyzing patterns and spatial relationships.

Practical experience with GIS is provided during the lab exercises using a state‐of‐the‐art GIS. Students are provided free copies of the GIS software. No prerequisites required.

Section H01 / Lecture: M 2:20 p.m.–3:35 p.m. / CALLCOTT 003 / Dr. Michael E. Hodgson (7-8976)
Lab: W 2:20 p.m.–3:35 p.m. / CALLCOTT 302
Honors College Permission Required

Geographic Information Systems (GISs) represent a major advancement in computer handling of geographical data. These systems are used extensively throughout all levels of government, private industry, and academia to provide support for spatial decision making and problem solving. Principles and methods of Geographic Information Systems are presented with an emphasis on modeling the Earth and abstracting geographical data, collection of geographical data using modern techniques such as GPS, mapping information, and analyzing patterns and spatial relationships.

Practical experience with GIS is provided during the lab exercises using a state‐of‐the‐art GIS. Students are provided free copies of the GIS software. No prerequisites required.

T R 1:15 p.m.–2:30 p.m. / CALLCOTT 101 / Dr. John A. Kupfer (7-6739)

This course introduces students to the major resource, managerial and recreational components of America’s National Park system. To provide a context for understanding current management issues, we will begin with an examination of the National Park Service’s history, development, mission, and decision-making framework. These will be followed by broad-brush treatments and case studies of current issues facing park system units, including wildfire management, invasive species, species reintroductions, pollution, recreation pressure, and other significant environmental changes.

T R 11:40 a.m.–12:55 p.m. / CALLCOTT 101 / Dr. April L. Hiscox (7-6604)

This course examines the fundamentals of air pollution. The emphasis is on the role of the atmosphere: how air pollution affects surface climate, and how climate and meteorology influence air quality. We will examine historical and current air pollution policies and regulations, as well as the impact of air pollution on society.

Independent Study Contract and Department Permission Required
Contact the Geography Department for more information: 7-5234 / CALLCOTT 127

Department Permission Required
Contact the Geography Department for more information: 7-5234 / CALLCOTT 127

Contract and Department Permission Required
Contact the Geography Department for more information: 7-5234 / CALLCOTT 127

M W 3:55 p.m.–5:10 p.m. / CALLCOTT 102 / Dr. Caroline R. Nagel (7-4970)

Migration has been one of the most significant forces shaping modern societies.  Today, no region or country is isolated from the changes wrought by population movement. The scale and diversity of migration flows can be linked to changing patterns of global integration.  But migration is not simply an outcome of globalization; instead migration actively creates ‘the global’ by forging expansive networks of people, commodities, cultures, and political action.  In this course, we will explore historical and contemporary processes driving migration flows, the impacts of migration on places of origin and destinations, and the multiple linkages that exist between migrants and their places of origin.  We will also give special attention to contemporary political debates worldwide on border security, citizenship, and integration.

Students registered in GEOG 512 may opt to enroll in one additional credit hour of service learning (see GEOG 497).

T 4:15 p.m.–7:00 p.m. / CALLCOTT 112 / Dr. Meredith J. Deboom (7-4605)
(Meets  with GEOG  735)

If we live in a globalized world, why do borders still exist? Why should we care who James Bond and Captain America are battling? What is nationalism, and why is it in on the rise? Why has addressing climate change proven so difficult? And why in the world is there a Russian flag under the North Pole? Political geography — a subfield of human geography that asks “who gets what, when, how, why, and where?” — can help us answer these questions and more. Through a series of case studies, we’ll explore how power operates across space and place and why that power is unevenly distributed at local, national, and global scales. Along the way, we’ll discuss a variety of pressing global issues, including nationalism, state-building, conflict, natural resource governance, climate change, and geopolitics.

M W 5:30 p.m.–6:45 p.m. / CALLCOTT 101 / Dr. C. Patrick Barrineau (7-5234)

Coastal regions in the United States are regularly stressed due to increasing rates of development as well as climate change. This course investigates the physical, social, and economic principles underpinning contemporary coastal management practices, and how these are used to mitigate anthropogenic as well as ‘natural’ stresses. Students will learn about the competing interests of coastal zone stakeholders, interest groups, and industry. Perspectives covered include those of regulators, landowners, tourists, business leaders, political representatives, and resource managers. Concepts of conservation, preservation, and sustainability related to coastal regions will be discussed in detail. In order to provide a diverse set of perspectives, guest lecturers from regulatory agencies, private companies, and research centers will provide in-class presentations on their backgrounds and specializations. Students will learn coastal physical and ecological processes as a basis for understanding effective coastal zone management practices. Coastal zone management practices and policies will be considered at multiple spatial scales: international, federal, regional, state, and local, with a focus on the United States Coastal Zone Management Act and the South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Plan. The physical, social, and policy-based impacts of sea level rise and coastal hazards will also be discussed.

T R 2:50 p.m.–4:05 p.m. / CALLCOTT 112 / Dr. Jessica E. Barnes (7-9945)

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.

T R 10:05 a.m.–11:20 a.m. / CALLCOTT 302 / Dr. Cuizhen Wang (7-5867)

This course introduces the fundamental concepts about remote sensing of environment with airborne and satellite systems. Topics include: 1) basics of electromagnetic radiation interacting with earth surfaces; 2) technical backgrounds of image acquisition and common satellite systems; 3) Earth observations with multi-spectral, thermal, LiDAR, and Radar remote sensing; and 4) example applications of remote sensing in vegetation, water, soil and urban developments. Knowledge of photo interpretation (GEOG345) is preferred but not required.

Lab exercises are provided to enhance students’ understanding of remote sensing based upon analog and visual image processing. The commercial image processing software, Erads/Imagine, is introduced in labs.

M 10:15 a.m.–1:00 p.m. / CALLCOTT 302 / Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590)

How can a computer system distinguish between geographical features, or tell when those features overlap? How can we develop algorithms to extract information from spatial data? How can we automate computing tasks to solve a complex spatial problems? This course explains how to solve basic spatial questions through computer programming. With this course, students will 1) learn to develop fundamental programming skills with Python; 2) apply programming skills to visualize and analyze spatial data; 2) gain practical experience in designing and developing tools to solve specific spatial problems and 3) become familiar with principles of popular GIS data models and algorithms, and the internal operations of GIS software. Prior experience with programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, Perl and VBA is helpful but not required. Hands-on programming exercises will accompany most of the lectures to help students gain programming experience and to enhance understanding of key concepts and techniques.

T R 11:40 a.m.–12:55 p.m. / CALLCOTT 112 / Dr. Kirstin Dow (7-2482)

This course will focus on climate adaptation planning and management. It will cover central concepts in adaptation and specific issues such as projecting impacts, vulnerability assessment, coping with uncertainty, and decision making.  We will consider case studies that reveal the diverse issues, approaches, and challenges to adaptation in communities large and small, more and less affluent.

Prerequisite: GEOG 343 or permission of instructor.

Instructor Approval and a Signed Internship Contract Required
Dr. Cuizhen Wang (7-5867) / CALLCOTT 310

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, Department Permission and Contract Required
Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
Contact the Geography Department for more information: 7-5234 / CALLCOTT 127

T 4:15 p.m.–7:00 p.m. / CALLCOTT 112 / Dr. Meredith J. Deboom (7-4605)
(Meets with GEOG  515)

If we live in a globalized world, why do borders still exist? Why should we care who James Bond and Captain America are battling? What is nationalism, and why is it in on the rise? Why has addressing climate change proven so difficult? And why in the world is there a Russian flag under the North Pole? Political geography — a subfield of human geography that asks “who gets what, when, how, why, and where?” — can help us answer these questions and more. Through a series of case studies, we’ll explore how power operates across space and place and why that power is unevenly distributed at local, national, and global scales. Along the way, we’ll discuss a variety of pressing global issues, including nationalism, state-building, conflict, natural resource governance, climate change, and geopolitics.

M 2:00 p.m.–4:45 p.m. / CALLCOTT 112 / Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590)

Massive volumes of geospatial data are being acquired at increasingly faster speeds from a variety of Earth observation platforms. These big geospatial data pose grand challenges for scientists in geography and other related geospatial domains, especially with regard to efficient data management, information extraction, spatial analysis, and visualization. Focusing on the emerging geospatial cloud computing and cyberinfrastructure, this seminar is organized to capture and discuss the latest innovations and cutting-edge technologies in GIScience for tackling data- and computational-intensive geospatial problems.

Students are expected to have basic training in GIS. Please contact the instructor for more information.

Prerequisites: GEOG 563

Approved by Instructor and Department Permission
Thesis Preparation research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
Contact the Geography Department for more information: 7-5234 / CALLCOTT 127

R 5:30 p.m.–8:15 p.m. / CALLCOTT 228 / Dr. Conor M. Harrison (576-6010)

This course examines the contemporary literature in the broad field of geography. Using a combination of readings, seminar discussions, and short papers, students will critically  evaluate current topical areas, methodologies, and prevailing theoretical and conceptual orientations of the discipline.  Students will hear from numerous faculty members and will lead discussions during the course of the semester. The goal is for students to situate their own research within the broader disciplinary context.

Approved by Instructor and Department Permission
Dissertation Preparation research topic is individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
Contact the Geography Department for more information: 7-5234 / CALLCOTT 127

Note: R = Thursday


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.

©