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Department of Geography

Spring 2019 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 R 2:50pm – 4:05pm / CALLCOTT 011 / Dr. Kirstin Dow (7-2482)
Section Y01 / T R 6:00pm – 7:15pm / 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 Y1B* / M W 5:00 pm – 8:00 pm / CALLCOTT 003 / Mr.  Peter Tereszkiewicz (7-5234)
* Section Y1B 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 R 10:05am – 11:20am / CALLCOTT 005 / Ms. Yuqin Jiang (7-5234)
Section 002 / M W  8:05am – 9:20am / CALLCOTT 005 / Ms. Huixuan Li (7-5234)
Section Y01 / T R  6:00pm – 7:15pm / CALLCOTT 302 / Dr. John Stewart (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 / T R   1:15pm – 2:30pm / CALLCOTT 201 / Dr. Meredith J. Deboom (7-4605)
Section J10 / Online Web-based / Ms. Holly L. Smith (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 R 10:05am – 11:20am / CALLCOTT 201 / Dr. John A. Kupfer (7-6739)
Lab I
/ T 11:40am – 1:30pm / CALLCOTT 202
Lab II
/ W 9:40am – 11:30am / CALLCOTT 202
/ W 12:00pm – 1:50pm / CALLCOTT 202
Lab IV
/ W 3:55pm – 5:45pm / 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 2:50pm – 4:05pm / WMBB 127 / Dr. April L. Hiscox (7-6604)
Lab I / R 11:40am – 1:30pm / CALLCOTT 004/005
Lab II / M 2:20pm – 4:10pm / CALLCOTT 004/005
Lab III / W 12:00pm – 1:50pm / CALLCOTT 004/005
Lab IV / R 4:25pm – 6:15pm / 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.

Lecture / M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm / CALLCOTT 112 / Dr. Gregory J. Carbone (7-0682)
Lab / W 12:00pm – 1:50pm / CALLCOTT 112/302
Honors College Permission Required

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 102 / 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 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. 

T R 10:05am – 11:20am / CALLCOTT 202 / Dr. Meredith J. Deboom (7-4605)

Building upon a historical understanding of economic and political relationships both within Sub-Saharan Africa and between Sub-Saharan Africa and the rest of the world, this course examines contemporary patterns of social, economic and environmental change in this highly challenged world region.  To better understand the problems and potentials of this world region, this course examines particular local issues (deforestation, desertification, etc.) as complex interactions of local situations with regional and global factors. 

M W 3:55pm – 5:10pm / 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 selected European countries.  Hands-on experience with collecting drone imagery and processing such imagery for mapping. No previous experience with drone operation is required.

T R 11:40am – 12:55pm / CALLCOTT 101 / Mr. Yago Martin Gonzalez (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 12:00pm – 1:15pm / CALLCOTT 101 / 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 2:20pm – 3:35pm / 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 / Lecture/Lab: T R 2:50pm – 4:05pm / CALLCOTT 005 / Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590)
Section 003 / Lecture/Lab: M W 9:40am – 10:55am / CALLCOTT 302 / Mr. Xiao Huang (7-5234)
Section H01* / Lecture: M 2:20pm – 3:35pm / CALLCOTT 003 / Dr. Michael E. Hodgson (7-8976)
Lab: W 2:20pm – 3:35pm / CALLCOTT 005

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.

* Honors College Permission Required

T R 1:15pm – 2:30pm / 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.

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

Credits: 1

Service learning experience in conjunction with designated Geography courses. Direct, hands-on service experience with an agency, voluntary organization, or community-based project. May be repeated, as content varies by title.

Corequisite: Must be taken simultaneously with designated Geography courses, levels 200 and above.

Note: Restricted to: Students enrolled in designated Geography courses
Special Permission: by Instructor

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

T R 8:30am – 9:45am / 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).

M 5:40pm – 8:10pm / CALLCOTT 102 / Dr. C. 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 3:55pm – 5:35pm / CALLCOTT 101 / Dr. Cary J. Mock (7-1211)

This course will examine the main principles and controls of weather and climate as they occur at the regional scale.  Description of the main types of meteorological data commonly used for daily weather forecasting.  Analysis and interpretation of regional (synoptic) scale atmospheric circulation, mid-latitude cyclones, severe thunderstorms, and tropical cyclones by using weather maps, soundings, cross sections, thermodynamic diagrams, computer models, and satellite imagery.  Introduction to techniques used in weather forecasting. The course includes mostly lectures and weather discussions/labs, with grading based on exams, participation in weather discussions and weather forecasting, and exercises/labs.

T R 10:05am – 11:20am / CALLCOTT 302 / Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) 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, Erdas/Imagine, is introduced in labs.

T R 11:40am 12:55pm / 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.

T R 10:05am – 11:20am / 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.

T 10:05am – 11:20am & R 10:05am – 12:10pm / CALLCOTT 301 / Dr. April L. Hiscox (7-6604)

This course examines the nature of the atmosphere and the associated processes close to the earth’s surface on small scales. We focus on interactions between the earth’s surface, vegetation and the lower atmosphere. This 4-credit class includes a lab component where students will learn basic python programming and data processing through working with boundary layer observational datasets. Topics include: energy exchange, turbulences, topographic influences on small scale flows, atmospheric dispersion, and transport processes of energy and mass in the soil-vegetation-atmosphere system.

W 5:30pm – 8:00pm / CALLCOTT 112 / Dr. David M. Kneas (7-1308)

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.

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

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

W 9:30am – 12:00pm / CALLCOTT 228 / Dr. Susan L. Cutter (7-1590)

The seminar this spring focuses on contemporary themes in risk, hazards, and disasters research, especially from the perspective of North American researchers.  Given the recent U.S. experiences with presidentially-declared disasters we will explore some of the theoretical and methodological challenges in understanding:  1) how extreme events (and extreme consequences) are defined; 2) the inequalities in impacts and their specific influence on recovery; and 3) the social roots of injustices in antecedent conditions within affected communities that produce “recovery divides”—places that recover after a disaster and those that lag behind.  How and why disaster recovery divides exist and persist in the face of subsequent hazard events or changing social contexts is the primary focal point for the semester.

The course goals are to 1) increase familiarity with the current literature on hazards and disasters and risk; 2) improve understanding of the theoretical and methodological challenges in understanding extremes, recovery, and driving factors such as vulnerability and resilience; and 3) increase participants’ ability to critically assess literature and the salience of the main arguments in that research.

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

T 4:25pm – 6:55pm / CALLCOTT 112 / 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 doctoral research within the broader disciplinary context. 

Advanced independent research for Ph.D. students on geographical topics to be supervised by a faculty member. This course may be taken for 1-3 credit hours. The specific research project must be defined and agreed upon by the student and the faculty members. Contract required.
Contact the Geography Department for more information: 7-5234 / CALLCOTT 127

F 9:30am – 12:00pm / CALLCOTT 228 / Dr. Jean T. Ellis (7-1593)

This course provides an in-depth exploration of coastal processes, with special attention given to nearshore processes (e.g. nearshore bar formation and shoaling waves) and surf-zone and subaerial beach processes, including beach-dune interactions. At the conclusion of the semester, students will have a comprehensive understanding of coastal geomorphology. Before enrolling in this course, students should be familiar with airy wave theory, orbital motion, shallow versus deep water waves, wave energy and power, tides, and the fundamentals of sediment transport.

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



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