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Department of Geography

Spring 2018 Courses

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

Section 001  /  T TH 11:40am – 12:55pm  /  CALLCOTT 011  /  Dr. Dwayne Baker (7-1854)
Section 002  /  T TH 1:15pm – 2:30pm  /  CALLCOTT 011  /  Dr. Kirstin Dow  (7-2482)
Section E01  /  M W 5:30pm – 6:45pm  /  CALLCOTT 201  /  Ms. Elizabeth Nelson (7-5234)

This course introduces students to the breadth and relevance of the field of geography. It explores the paradigms of space, place, mobility, and scale in the various subfields of geographic inquiry and shows how geographic expertise can be used in important decision-making and problem solving contexts. This course also demonstrates the applicability of geography to other fields of study and current issues of globalization.

Section 001  /  M W F 10:50am – 11:40am  /  CALLCOTT 201  /  Ms. Mayra Román-Rivera (7-5234)
Section 002*  /  T TH 6:00pm – 9:00pm  /  CALLCOTT 101  /  Mr. Peter Tereszkiewicz (7-5234)

   *Section 002 is a second half of semester course

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 TH 10:05am – 11:20am  /  CALLCOTT 005  /  Ms. Huixuan Li (7-5234)
Section 002  /  M W 3:55pm – 5:10pm  /  CALLCOTT 005  /  Ms. Erika Chin (7-5234)
Section 003  /  M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm  /  CALLCOTT 302  /  Mr. Xiao Huang (7-5234)

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.

No previous technical experience is assumed and only basic Windows operating system familiarity is required.

Section 001  /  M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm  /  CALLCOTT 201  /  Dr. Caroline Nagel (7-4970
Section J10  /  Online Web-based  /  Mr. Samuel Nielson (7-5234)

This course introduces students to diversity, inequality, and interconnectedness in the contemporary world through the lens of regional geography.  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 regions, like ‘Latin America’ and ‘the Middle East’.  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.

Lecture  /  T TH 10:05am – 11:20am  /  CALLCOTT 201 /  Dr. John Kupfer (7-6739)
Lab I  /  W 9:40am – 11:30am  /  CALLCOTT 202
Lab II  /  W 12:00pm – 1:50pm  /   CALLCOTT 202
Lab III  / W 3:55pm – 5:45pm  /   CALLCOTT 202
Lab IV  /  T 2:50pm – 4:40pm  /  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 11:40am – 12:55pm  CALLCOTT 201  /  Dr. Alexandria McCombs (7-5234)
Lab I  / T 2:50pm – 4:40pm CALLCOTT 004/005
Lab II  /  W 12:00pm – 1:50pm CALLCOTT 004/302
Lab III  /  M 1:10pm – 3:00pm CALLCOTT 004/005
Lab IV  /  W 9:40am – 11:30am CALLCOTT 004/005

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 three lecture exams, three 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.

Honors College Permission
Lecture  /  M W   2:20pm – 3:35pm  /  CALLCOTT 112  /  Dr. Gregory Carbone (7-0682)
Lab  /  R 1:15pm – 3:05pm  /  CALLCOTT 004/005

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, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.  The last third of the class is devoted to the study of climate, interannual variability, and long-term change.  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 2:20pm – 3:35pm  /   CALLCOTT 101  /   Dr. Amy Mills (7-5688)

This course provides a thematic introduction to contemporary human geography, a broad geographic subfield directly concerned with human beings and their interaction with their natural and cultural environment.  The course uses spatial approaches and concepts from geography to explore many themes related to globalization and the interactions between people and places amongst diverse societies around the world. Some of the themes addressed in the course are: urbanization, population growth, rural to urban and international migrations, international development, territorial sovereignties, statehood and terrorism, ethnicity and race, and cultural diversity. These themes are linked through geographic perspectives and methods of investigation.

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

An intensive regional analysis of South Carolina. Selected phenomena such as urbanization, industrialization, land use, the physical environment, and their interrelationships. Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:
  1. demonstrate basic factual knowledge of the discipline of geography, its tools, and its terminology;
  2. apply geographic concepts toward identifying the past and current landscapes of South Carolina, including the role of space in shaping patterns of race, ethnicity, economic development, and educational opportunities;
  3. interpret, classify, and map spatial data of both physical and social phenomena related to South Carolina;
  4. identify geographic contexts at a variety of spatial scales that shape human interaction with physical and social phenomena; and
  5. generate and evaluate hypotheses to account for observed phenomena in South Carolina, whether contemporary or historic.

M W 8:05am – 9:20am  /  CALLCOTT 101  /   Dr. Amy Mills (7-5688)

The Middle East is not a true “region”, and its territories lie across Southwest Asia and North Africa: what we see as its boundaries and characteristics are thus defined by our interests and our questions. This course approaches the Middle East from a human geography perspective, and introduces students to geographic ways of thinking about and studying people and places in this area. Students in this course will examine historic and current debates about and within the Middle East as expressions of global processes. A major goal of the course is to understand key issues from the perspectives of the people who live in the Middle East. We will encounter the Middle East through a variety of media, including research, fiction, medieval travelogues, freelance journalism, blogs, and feature or documentary films.

M W 9:40am – 10:55am  /   CALLCOTT 101  /  Dr. Conor Harrison (576-6010)

In an increasingly urbanized world, making cities sustainable is one of the key challenges of the 21st century. Despite the imminent threats posed by environmental and social problems in cities, governments, urban theorists, and everyday people are yet to a come to a consensus over what to do. This course takes an international perspective to examine three key questions related to the social and environmental sustainability of cities: (1) Are cities unsustainable? (2) Is it possible to rethink the relationship between the cities and the environment? (3) What can we learn initiatives currently attempting to produce sustainable cities? In the process of answering these questions, students will develop and apply research methods and critical thinking skills to local, national, and international challenges using concepts and theories from urban studies, geography, and planning.

T R 11:40am – 12:55pm  /   CALLCOTT 101  /  Ms. Sahar Derakhshan (7-5234)

This course introduces you to the nature and impact of as well as the social responses to disasters. We focus on the origin and characteristics of disasters, their spatial distribution, lessons learned from the great disasters, and how society anticipates and responds to disasters. The major goals of the course are to: 1) familiarize you with the range and types of environmental hazards/disasters and their geographic distribution; 2) examine the causes or triggering mechanisms (natural, human, technological) of disasters; and 3) assess the societal impacts to disasters on individuals, organizations, and governments from the local to global scales.

By the end of the semester, you should be able to:
  •  List and explain the causes of disasters
  •  Describe selected historically significant major disasters
  •  Examine and review the societal responses and lessons learned of major disasters
  •  Interpret the geographic variability in disaster agents and impacts

M W 11:40am – 12:55pm  /  CALLCOTT 005  /   Dr. Diansheng Guo (7-2989)

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 creating their own maps. In the latter half of the course, each student completes a final mapping project, based on a topic he or she selects.

M W 2:00pm – 3:15pm  /   CALLCOTT 102  /   Dr. David 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 3:55pm – 5:10pm  /  CALLCOTT 003  /  Dr. Dwayne Baker (7-1854)

This class explores city life in the United States. We begin by examining the historical development of cities in the US, focusing on how industrialization processes, race/class/gender, and changing transportation technologies shape U.S. cities. We will ask, what makes a city a city, what makes urbanism a distinct way of life, and what type of city do we want to live in? This class will draw on cutting-edge research in cultural and urban geography to explore relationships between the urban political-economy and urban social life.  We will look in detail at the experiences of different social groups in cities, especially those defined on the basis of race, class, and/or gender. How do social relationships and identities become inscribed in urban space? And what are the ways in which different groups experience the city and enforce/contest power relations through their uses of space? Topics covered include: the politics of urban planning and zoning, transportation, gentrification, segregation, sprawl, and public space.

T TH 10:05am – 11:20am  /   CALLCOTT 101  /   Dr. Cary 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  /  M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm  /  CALLCOTT 003 (M) and CALLCOTT 005 (W)  /  Dr. Michael Hodgson (7-8976)
Section 003  /  T TH 4:25pm – 5:40pm  /  CALLCOTT 302  /  Dr. Dwayne Baker (7-1854)
Section H01*  /  T TH 11:40am – 12:55pm  /  T – DAVIS 216 & TH –  CALLCOTT 005  /  Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590)
 * 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 TH 1:15pm – 2:30pm  /  CALLCOTT 101  /  Dr. John 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.

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

Department Permission
Contact the Geography Department for more information (7-5234) CALLCOTT 127

M W 4:40pm – 5:55pm  /   CALLCOTT 101  /  Dr. Patrick Barrineau (7-5234)

Coastal regions in the United States are under intense anthropogenic and natural pressures. This course integrates physical, social, and economic principles underpinning contemporary coastal management practices. In this course, students will learn about the competing interests of coastal zone stakeholders, environmentalists, and major industry, including landowners, tourism and recreation, fisheries, and natural resource extraction. Concepts of conservation, preservation, and sustainability related to coastal regions will be discussed. Students will learn the dominant coastal physical processes as a basis for understanding 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.

M W 5:30pm – 6:45pm  /  CALLCOTT 302  /  Dr. Susan Cutter (7-1590)

Examination of the geo-spatial aspects of hazards analysis and planning with specific reference to disaster preparedness, recovery, mitigation, and resilience. This course 1) provides a historical overview of hazards assessment and planning within the United States including the legal frameworks such as the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and its amendments; 2) introduces the conceptual and theoretical background to hazards analysis including scale, geospatial models, and metrics for vulnerability and resilience; 3) introduces analytical tools used in hazards and vulnerability assessments; and 4) illustrates the application of existing hazards research on planning and analysis into contemporary practice.  Using a combination of learning styles ranging from reading, lectures, and in class discussions to more active engagement with online discussions, blogs, GIS labs, and hands-on exercises, the course illustrates how the principles of the geographical sciences tailored to hazards analysis are translated into useful information for practitioners.  Students should already have some of the fundamental knowledge and basic introductory background in hazards and in geographic information systems. 

By the end of the semester students should be able to:
  •  Demonstrate the ability to think spatially, analyze hazards data, and provide a place-based hazard assessment for a community, county, state, or region
  •  Understand the geographical dimensions and information requirements for preparedness, mitigation, and recovery Understand limitations in measuring hazards and vulnerability at different spatial scales
  •  Critically evaluate hazard assessment methodologies including limitations in models and in available data streams
  •  Spatially represent hazards, vulnerability, and resilience at local to national scales 
Prerequisites: GEOG 363 and 530, or equivalents; or permission of the instructor

T TH 11:40am – 12:55pm  /  CALLCOTT 202  /  Dr. Allan James (7-6117)

This course examines watersheds from a geographic perspective. The focus is on physical aspects of environmental systems that generate and receive surface water and sediment and on interactions with humans. Students will learn about physical hydrology, water quality, and pollution. Hydrology emphasizes surface-water processes of runoff generation, flow conveyance, storm hydrographs, and effects of urbanization.  Water quality covers the constituents in water and measurement methods. NPS pollution includes erosion and sedimentation processes. Lab, field, and geospatial methods will be introduced. Examples and projects will be drawn from Rocky Branch Watershed that drains Five Points and most of the South Carolina campus. This course is recommended for Earth science students and environmental resources managers because it develops a broad, intuitive, and analytical understanding of processes interacting within watersheds.

T TH 1:15pm – 2:30pm  /  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 W 3:55pm – 5:10pm  /  CALLCOTT 302  /  Dr. Michael Hodgson (7-8976)

The purpose of the course is to present concepts and approaches for mapping the Earth’s terrain and vegetative surface from photogrammetric and lidargrammetric technologies.  Both technologies are state-of-the-art in practical applications.  The goal of each approach is to correctly determine the geographic position (in x-y-z) of surface features.  Both technologies use fundamental algebraic approaches for determining position. Photogrammetry is fundamentally based on stereography while lidargrammetry is based on position from trilateration of visible/infrared light.  Each week, the concepts and methods using LiDAR will be presented and discussed. Laboratory assignments will then require students to apply these approaches to imagery and data for mapping the location of elevation, vegetative, and buildings.  Graduate students will conduct an independent final project using either lidargrammetric methods.

T TH 2:50pm – 4:05pm  /  CALLCOTT 302  /  Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590)

How to find the centroid, perimeter, or area of a polygon? How can the system tell that two geographical features overlap each other? How to develop your own algorithms to extract information from spatial data? How to automate a series of tasks to solve a complex spatial problem? This course addresses these fundamental spatial questions from a programming perspective. With this course, students will be able to 1) develop fundamental programming skills with Python by working with spatial data in the context of GIS, 2) gain practical experience in designing and developing tools to solve specific spatial problems by programming with ArcGIS and other spatial packages, and 3) understand the 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 be accompanied with most of the lectures to help students gain programming experience as well as enhance the understanding of discussed concepts/techniques.

M W 9:40a.m - 10:55am  /  CALLCOTT 302  /  Dr. Diansheng Guo (7-2989)

This course covers the technical and conceptual bases of Geographic Information Systems.  This includes how GIS is used to perform spatial analysis, analysis of networks, incorporation of remote sensing data, and three-dimensional surfaces.  An integral part of this course is the extensive experience students gain using an operational geographic information system.  This experience allows the exploration of theoretical topics presented as well as examination and formulation of real-world applications areas as diverse as real estate, crime analysis, environmental protection.

A Signed Internship Contract Required and Approved by the Instructor
Dr. Greg Carbone (7-0682) CALLCOTT 327B                                                  

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 is graded on a pass/not pass basis.  Grades are determined by the Internship Director in consultation with supervisory personnel in cooperating agencies.  Grades are based on the performance of internship duties and the preparation of an internship summary report.

Approved by Instructor, Department Permission and Contract Required
Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127

Approved by Instructor, Department Permission and Contract Required
Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127

W  5:50pm – 8:35pm  /  CALLCOTT 112  /  Dr. David Kneas (7-1308)

This advanced seminar is focused on the cultural dynamics through which aspects of nature become conceptualized as natural resources, and the processes through which these elements are drawn into circuits and relations of production and consumption. We will focus, therefore, on the distinct cultural and political processes that go into the making of natural resources (with a focus on oil, coal, and metallic mining) and the various ways these resources influence everyday life. We will also consider other ways that nature is consumed on a daily basis, from associated ‘natural’ products, the varied stamps of green certification, to the circulations of natural imagery on social media. Readings will draw from cultural geography, political ecology, and anthropology

Seminar in research in geography, focusing on refining research questions and writing research proposals. For more information, contact Dr. Cary Mock at

T  8:30am – 11:00am  /  CALLCOTT 112  /  Dr. Allan James (7-6117)

This course will examine impacts of human activities on river systems and how these changes can be mapped using modern geospatial methods in conjunction with field and laboratory work.  A focus of the seminar will be on the collection of large-scale imagery and development of large-scale maps of fluvial channel systems.  By combining aerial imagery acquisition by Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and point-cloud generation by Structure from Motion (SfM) software processing we have entered a new period in which accurate, low-budget, large-scale maps can be rapidly produced.  This seminar will focus on reading and discussing modern scientific literature on the geomorphic systems, the nature of human disturbances to these systems, and new technologies that allow precise mapping of the systems.  Visual geomorphic and geologic interpretations of aerial images—practically a lost art—will be covered.  Readings will include recent literature on data acquisition procedures including establishment of ground control points (GCPs) and flight patterns designed to minimize map distortion.  Field activities will include methods of sediment sampling, topographic surveying, and acquisition of aerial imagery*.  Laboratory exercises will include sediment textural analysis in the biogeomorphic sediment lab, and SfM image processing using Photoscan software by Agisoft.

TH 10:00am – 1:00pm  /  CALLCOTT 302  /  Dr. Cuizhen Wang (7-5867)

This course covers remote sensing modeling techniques in thematic mapping and quantitative information extraction from various types of satellite imagery. Students will learn to build self-designed models and write programming scripts in their preferred platforms such as IDL in ENVI and Spatial Modeler in Erdas/Imagine. Depending on students’ thesis/dissertation topics, we will apply the models to meet the need of studies in geography, forestry, agriculture, hydrology, rangeland, and climate change, etc.

Pre-requisites: GEOG 575 or equivalent

Approved by Instructor and Department Permission
Thesis Preparation research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127

Approved by Instructor and Department Permission
Directed research topics in geographical information processing to be individually supervised by graduate faculty.
(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127

Approved by Instructor and Department Permission
Dissertation Preparation research topic is individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.
(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127

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