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Geography - Fall 2014

GEOG 101S  01                                 Cultural Geography
4 Credits
Limoges, Lance

Pre-requisites:  None
The objective of this course is to introduce the student to the breadth of human geography and in particular how populations influence the way the environment is developed and utilized by people and the subsequent patterns they create on the landscape.  Topics will include: the spatial organization of human activities, ways in which social processes and structures can be understood through a geographic lens, geographic perspectives of human/environment interactions, patterns of economic activity, the relationship between political States and cultures, and the impact of globalization.  The course will follow a lecture/discussion format to enhance critical thinking and writing abilities.  In addition, the class will also require some out of class, off campus collection of data to complete exercises. The overall aim of the course is to provide the student with the analytical skills necessary to think critically about contemporary geographical patterns and processes while also cultivating the student’s own geographical imagination. 

 

GEOG 220N 01                                 Physical Geography
4 Credits
Lenz, Ralph
Pre-requisites:  Math Placement 22
Climate, vegetation, soils, and landform formation processes all influence human activity in any region; they are the focus of this process-oriented study of the physical environment. Heat and water budgets and their influence upon ecosystem development as well as fluvial, glacial, and coastal land shaping processes will be studied. Relationships between human activity and various physical environments of the world provide a central theme. Evaluation will be based on four exams and numerous in-class lab exercises.

 

GEOG 230S 01                                  Urban Geography
4 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites:  Minimum Math Placement 22, Permission of instructor
World urbanization has increased dramatically in the course of the 20th century. More people in the world live in urban areas than in rural setting.  Developing countries, with large portion of their population yet in rural areas, face an extremely fast rate of urbanization, and lead the world in number of mega-cities, often surrounded by shanty towns.  Is this development sustainable?

Developed countries are facing urban sprawl that drives demand for energy resources further. Is ‘smart growth’ a solution for addressing this problem? What is the origin of urban growth and decline in general, and how Midwestern cities are affected by de-industrialization? How spatial organization of North American cities is different from European, Latin American or Asian cities? All these questions and many more will be a focus of this course. A lecture/discussion format is anticipated, combined with field and computer lab assignments.

 

GEOG 240S                                       Economic Geography
4 Credits
Limoges, Lance

Pre-requisites:  None
Geography 240S introduces students to the study of economic geography. In particular, this course will explore how geographic and economic conditions affect the products, industries, commerce and resources of the world in general, and the United States in particular. The course begins with an examination of population and resources, followed by a thorough study of basic location theory for primary, secondary and tertiary industries. Then we will move on to study
the role of geography in the modern global economy, particularly as it relates to spatial patterns in local, regional, national, and international economic growth and business development.

 

GEOG 250C/S 1W                            Southeast Asia
4 Credits
Lenz, Ralph

Pre-requisites:  None
Southeast Asia is an enormously interesting region.  Set between South Asia and East Asia, and influenced by each, it retains its own unique heritage.  Among its nations is Indonesia, noted for its physical beauty and cultural distinctiveness, and home to the world’s largest Muslim population.  Thailand, with its predominantly Theravada Buddhist religious orientation, has been greatly impacted by global economic integration.  Now Vietnam, a cultural contrast because of its historical connection with China, is experiencing the same transition.  On the other hand, Myanmar (Burma) has sought isolation, so serves as an example of a place that has resisted globalization.  We will look for evidence of impacts of globalization historically and more recently among the people of Southeast Asia.  Evaluation will be based on several exams, quizzes, and a paper.

 

GEOG 250C/S 01/02W                     Russian and Central Eurasian Geography
4 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites:  None

For the first time in all Russian history geography speaks for itself.  After the disintegration of the Soviet Empire regions became exceedingly important in this highly centralized state. The current government is trying to reestablish control over the regions. Who will win in this geo-political game? Will Russia become a democratic state or it will pull back to the dictatorship? Will newly independent states like Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakhstan gravitate to Russian economic and political domain or create new alliances with other bordering countries?

We will discuss it throughout the course.  The class will be focused on changing space economy, environmental and population issues, national identity problems, political orientation in different regions of the post-Soviet space. This course has a lecture-discussion-project format. Students are expected to complete several map assignments, participate in class discussions, and to write a final paper on major topics. 

 

GEOG 290S 01                                  Business Geographics
4 Credits
Medvedkov, Olga

Pre-requisites:  None
Geography plays in increasingly important role in many business decisions.  In fact, a surprisingly large amount of information is geographical in character.  It is related to such features as zip codes, street addresses, company or school locations, census tracts, cities or states.  Micro marketing is gaining in importance because supply and demand is structured geographically.  Until recently, business examined geography with colored pencils on legal pads or by pushing pins into wall maps.  There is a better way.  Business Geographics allows students to have hands-on experience in handling data and maps in a computer lab.  This course brings the power of visualization into solutions of real world problems such as marketing, direct customer targeting, finding potential customers, site selection, and international trade.  During the course, students will conduct several projects analyzing spatially business data, handling database conversion, geocoding, managing GPS, and mapping.  The final project is centered on local business or public issues.

 

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