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Academics: Courses in Geography

100 level

110 World Regional Geography 

(4). F and S. An analysis of Earth’s principal culture regions from a geographic perspective: Africa, Europe, Russia, North Africa and Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia and Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand, Oceania, Caribbean, and Latin America. These areas will be examined in the light of several foundational geographic themes: the locational organization of physical and cultural features; society-land relationships; cultural landscapes; and patterns of spatial interaction among and within regions.

120 Earth Systems 

(4). F and S. This course includes an introductory study of physical systems and historical processes that shape the surface of Earth. Topics include: 1) The physical nature of Earth’s surface based on composition of Earth materials and the forces that create landforms, 2) weather and climatic systems and their effect on the global distribution of soils and ecological communities, and 3) the oceans. Understanding of Earth systems is applied to concepts of stewardship, resource use, and energy consumption. Laboratory. Also listed as Geology 120. Not open to students who have completed Geology 112 or 151.

191 Introductory Meteorology

(4). S. This course is a study of the atmosphere and the complex processes that control weather and climate. Special attention is given to: The different forms of energy that are operative in the atmosphere and how these control temperature; the various optical phenomena that are observed in the atmosphere; the hydrologic cycle and the mechanisms of cloud formation and precipitation; air pressure and the winds that result from its differences at the surface and aloft; and the formation of air masses and their movement as frontal systems. Human interactions with atmospheric processes will be examined, including the topics of air pollution, hurricanes, tornadoes, ozone depletion, global warming, acid rain, and photochemical smog. Laboratory. Also listed as Interdisciplinary 191. Prerequisite: high school chemistry or equivalent.

200 level

210 Human Modifications of the Global Environment 

(3). F and S. As population and affluence have increased and technology’s role has grown, human activities have transformed natural environments around the globe. This course surveys and examines how a wide variety of human enterprises such as agriculture, industry, recreation, and urbanization have had and continue to have far-reaching environmental consequences everywhere on Earth. These impacts are assessed by standards such as ecological well being and sustainability, human habitability, and quality of life. Not open to first-year students. Also listed as Environmental Studies 210.

221 Cartography 

(2). F and S. Map design and interpretation with an emphasis upon computer cartographic methods. Course includes portrayal of spatial data and the use of remotely sensed data for cartographic purposes. Lab exercises will focus on practical applications of cartographic principles. Note: *Geography 221 and 222 are taught as two six-week segments in the same semester.

222 Geographic Information Systems 

(2). F and S. Focus on geographic information systems (GIS) and science for spatial analysis. Vector and raster data forms will be explored, as well as a variety of methods for exploring spatial relationships. Topics include those of the physical world and landscape, social justice, poverty, and a significant project on atlas creation for developing countries. Lab work will give practical experience to students using the ArcGIS suite. Students will complete a semester GIS project tailored to their disciplinary interest. Note: *Geography 221 and 222 are taught in sequence as two six week segments in the same semester. Prerequisite: Geography 221 or permission of the instructor based on previous training or experience commensurate with Geography 221.

230 The Geography of the Global Economy 

(3). S, alternate years. This course traces the geographical and structural evolution of the global economic system. Includes analysis of human interaction with Earth’s resources, the impact of distance and relative location on various economic activities, exchange and interaction patterns among places, and theories of uneven development. Prerequisite: Geography 110 or an economics course.

240 The Geography of Latin America 

(3). F, alternate years. A survey of the geography of Latin America with an emphasis on the region’s physical, cultural, and economic diversity and with a particular focus on issues of development and poverty. Emphasis is put on historic migrations, physical resources, and relative location in the understanding of the formation of regional patterns.

241 The Geography of the United States and Canada 

(3). F. This course provides an overview of the geographic forces that shaped this region of North America. These forces include natural processes and the distribution of resources, structures of the market economy, relative location of resources and markets, and the history of migration. These processes are used as a framework for the analysis of the regional economic and cultural patterns of North America with an emphasis on worldview as a formative agent in the creation of this regionalization. Not offered in 2009-2010.

242 The Geography of Africa

(3). S. A survey of the geography of Africa with a focus on the region’s physical, cultural, and economic diversity. Featured emphases include the historical experience of colonialism, challenges of environmental degradation, spatial patterns of forced and voluntary migration, intensification of poverty under structural adjustment programs, and the quest for successful development practices.

251 Oceanography 

(4). F alternate years. This survey course includes: The history of marine exploration; the nature of the ocean floor, including submarine volcanoes, oceanic crust, sea-floor spreading, and marine sediments; coastal geomorphic processes; the properties of seawater; the nature of tides and currents; ecological marine biogeography, including marine plankton, deep-water biota, coral reef communities and estuarine and intertidal marine communities; and stewardship of marine resources. Laboratory; field trips. Also listed as Geology 251. Prerequisites: high school chemistry and sophomore standing.

295 Special Topics in Geography 

(2-3). F. Environmental Law and Policy. S. Climate Change and the Biosphere. Prerequisite: sophomore standing.

300 level

310 Urban Geography 

(4). F, alternate years. A study of the spatial organization of cities and systems of cities. Both the internal structure and external relations of cities receive attention. The historic and present-day spatial organization of infrastructure, economic life, social activities, ethnicity, institutions, and politics are examined. Prerequisite: Geography 110 or one social science course.

311 Geomorphology 

(4). F. The investigation of landforms and the processes which cause them. This course studies the erosional and depositional features resulting from rivers, glaciers, and wind, as well as coastal, gravitational, and weathering processes. Landforms are described and classified from field observations, topographic maps, and aerial photographs. Explanations of the landforms are offered through quantitative modeling of the processes. Laboratory, field trips. Also listed as Geology 311. Prerequisite: Geology/Geography 120 or Geology 151.

320 Introduction to Cultural Geography 

(3). F, alternate years. An examination of the interactions between culture and nature in pre-agricultural, agricultural, and urbanindustrial societies. The course explores the origins, character, content, organization, perceptions, and meanings of cultural landscapes, past and present, large and small. Prerequisite: Geography 110 or permission of the instructor. Not offered in 2009-2010.

322 Coastal Geomorphology

(4) S, alternate years. This course examines the nature and development of coastal landforms and the processes responsible for change in the coastal zone. Topics include waves, currents, tides, wind, changing sea levels, and the coastal environment of beaches, dunes, estuaries, and rocky coasts. Coastal land use and hazards, shoreline protection, and coastal stewardship will be discussed. Great Lakes coasts are emphasized. Laboratory and field trips. Prerequisite: Geography/Geology 311. Not offered in 2009-2010.

351 Introduction to Urban and Regional Planning 

(3). F, alternate years. A survey of the practice of urban and regional planning including its theory, history, techniques, issues, and careers. Land use planning and zoning, housing and community development, environmental planning, recreation planning, health care systems planning, transportation planning, historic preservation and urban design, and other subfields are examined within neighborhood, downtown, suburban, regional, and Third World contexts. Prerequisites: Two 200-300 level social science and/or geography courses or department approval. Not offered in 2009-2010.

361 Advanced Geographic Information Systems 

(4). S, alternate years. This course introduces advanced themes in Geographic Information Systems including spatial database design, spatial algorithms, implementation and design, and advanced GIS applications including designs for community development and service tailored to individual students’ major field of study. Prerequisites: Geography 221 and 222 with the grade of C or better. Not offered in 2009-2010.

380 Seminar in the History and Philosophy of Geography

(3). S, alternate years. This course includes a study of significant episodes and crucial issues in the history and philosophy of geography with an emphasis on present- day human geography. The philosophical underpinnings of geography’s domains and paradigms are critically examined. This seminar requires geography majors to reflect on integrating their geographical knowledge and fitting this into a Reformed worldview. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing in the geography program.

385 Internship in Geography

(3). F, S, or SS. This course is an internship involving professional application of the concepts and principles learned as part of the geography program. A student is placed in a government agency, a private firm, or a not-forprofit organization, which builds on previous instruction in the program in an area of applied geography, such as urban and regional planning, mapping, and geographic information systems. Students are assigned a specific project and work under the direct supervision of an employee of the outside agency or firm as well as under the supervision of the instructor. Prerequisites: senior standing in the geography major or permission of the geography faculty.

390 Independent Study.

F, I, and S. Prerequisite: permission of the department.

395 Research in Geography

(2). F, I, and S. Field or library research on an approved geographical problem and presentation of the results of this research in a seminar. Open to qualified students by permission of the department.