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Department of Geography


Note that Fall 2022 courses — as well as times and meeting places — may change. While the information here will be updated as necessary, please consult the registrar's listing of spring courses for the most complete information.

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

Fall 2022 Courses

R = Thursday

Dr. Robert A. Kopack
Section 001: M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 201 
Section 002: M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 201 

This course introduces students to the breadth and impact of geography through exposure to core concepts, sub-disciplinary approaches, basic cartography, and field research. The course content requires students to think about how their lives are connected to global systems and to reconsider the production and meaning of the landscapes they encounter every day.

Section 001: M W F  12:00 PM – 12:50 PM  |  Callcott 005
Section 002: T R  04:25 PM – 05:40  PM  |  Callcott 005 
Section 003: M W F  08:30 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 005
Section 004: T R  08:30 AM – 09:45 AM  |  Callcott 005
Section H01 HNRS: T R 06:00 PM - 07:15 PM  |  Callcott 005 *
Section J01: Online — asynchronous

This course will explore how geographic data is collected, visualized, and analyzed in various digital formats (e.g. maps, aerial images, infographics, etc.). Our exploration will include learning about the basics of cartography (map interpretation and mapmaking), problem solving through spatial thinking, and geospatial technologies. Though the subject matter is technically oriented, this course will focus on the basic concepts and applications. 


Dr. Meredih DeBoom
T  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Online — synchronous (T) & asynchronous

This course introduces students to diversity, inequality, and interconnectedness in the contemporary world. 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 regional geographies. 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 and differences.

Dr. Jean Ellis
Lecture: T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  | Callcott 201 
Lab 001: T  11:40 AM – 01:30 PM  |  Callcott 202 
Lab 002: T  02:50 PM – 04:40 PM  |  Callcott 202 
Lab 003: R  11:40 AM – 01:30 PM  |  Callcott 202 
Lab 004: R  02:50 PM – 04:40 PM  |  Callcott 202 

Landforms are physical features on the Earth’s surface such as valleys, mountains, hill slopes, beaches, and stream channels. The study of landforms (geomorphology) is one of the oldest of the natural sciences from which many classic scientific premises and methods were born. This course focuses on the principles of geomorphology and examines relationships between processes and landforms at a variety of scales in space and time. In particular, we will cover geomorphological theories, weathering and slope processes, erosion and deposition, and other factors responsible for shaping physical features on the Earth's land surface, emphasizing soils, hydrology, and processes of landform creation by water, wind, ice, and gravity. 

Dr. Greg Carbone
Lecture: T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 003
Lab 001: W  08:30 AM – 10:20 AM  |  Callcott 004
Lab 002: W  10:50 AM – 12:40 PM  |   Callcott 004

Lecture:  T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 003 
Lab 003:  R 08:30 AM – 10:20 AM  |  Callcott 202
Lab 004:  F 10:50 AM – 12:40 PM   |  Callcott 004

This course provides students with a general understanding of the processes which influence weather and climate patterns. 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. 

Dr. April Hiscox
Lecture: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 228
Lab H01 HNRS: W  03:30 PM – 04:20 PM  |  Callcott 004*

This course provides students with a general understanding of the processes which influence weather and climate patterns. 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. 

*Honors College permission required

Dr. Jesssica Barnes
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 102  

The Middle East is more than camels and sand dunes, mosques and oil rigs. It includes diverse environments, from deserts to deltas, snow-topped peaks to seashores, fields to forests. It is occupied by people of many different ethnic, cultural, and religious backgrounds. In this course, we go beyond the dominant media coverage of a region characterized by social protest, religious fundamentalism, and conflict to explore the everyday lives of the diverse peoples living in this region. We start by considering boundaries and representations of the Middle East. In the second section of the course, we unpack geographical distinctions between desert, countryside, city, wilderness, and the sea. The third section of the course examines some key threads of social life – religion, gender, kinship, and popular culture. The concluding section of the course focuses on the politics of rule, tracing politics across scale, from the local through to the global, and concluding with a look at the social movements of the Arab Spring. 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, travelogues, journalism, blogs, and documentary films. 

T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 302

This course is an introduction to the use of small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) in collecting/processing imagery for mapping/information analysis. Course content includes UAS characteristics, small camera considerations, project planning and processing, and legal requirements in the United States and selected European countries. 

Dr. Austin Crane
M W 03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 102

Dr. Robert Kopack
T R  04:25 PM – 05:40 PM  |  Callcott 101

Why are dictatorships a common feature of post-Soviet geography? Why has Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine? Why has he said on numerous occasions that neither Ukraine nor Kazakhstan are "real countries?" The break-up of the Soviet Union in 1991 marked one of the most auspicious moments in geopolitical history as it signaled the end of the Cold War. Underwritten by the promise and philosophy of liberal democracy and free market economics, over the last 30 years authoritarianism and despotism have come to define common systems of governance in the Russian Federation, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan, among others. Why? In this course we will foreground the key geographic concepts of space, place, and landscape for a deep dive into the geographies of autocratic regimes, focusing on wars, protest, political-economic corruption, and globalization in the post Soviet realm.

Ms. Sarah Jackson
T R  08:30 AM – 09:45 AM  |  Callcott 102

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 

Dr. Kirstin Dow
Section 001: T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 101 
Section 002: T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 101

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, such as frontier wilderness and biodiversity, and analyze the ways ideas of nature have influenced national identity, urban planning, 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 and solutions. 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. 

Dr. Caroline Nagel
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 102

This class explores urban development and city life in the United States. We begin by examining the role of industrialization, government policies, immigration, and changing technologies in shaping 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 classic and current research in urban geography to explore relationships between the urban political-economy and urban social life. We will look in detail at the ways different social groups experience the city and use urban space to enforce or undermine structures of power. Topics covered include urban planning and zoning, real estate practices, public housing, suburbanization, gentrification, segregation, and public space. 

Dr. Cuizhen Wang
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 302

Theory and use of basic photo interpretation instruments and methods. Practice in acquiring and interpreting data from aerial photography for use in the physical and social sciences.

Dr. Cary Mock
M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 101  

This course explores interrelationships between climate systems and human activities and asks how climate changes can impact social, economic, and political life. Selected case studies will cover past climatic changes, contemporary global warming, climate determinism, and climatic hazards such as hurricanes, fire, and severe drought. 

Dr. John Kupfer
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 003

Biogeography involves mapping and understanding the distributions of plants and animals today and reconstructing those in the past using a range of analytical techniques, including geographic information systems, genetic analysis, dendro-chronology (the study of tree rings) and palynology (the study of pollen to reconstruct past climates). Biogeographers also conduct research on how physical and biological factors control distributions of plants and animals and study how geographic distributions affect the evolution and extinction of species. In recent years, biogeographers have been involved in applying their knowledge to the protection of rare and endangered species and the conservation and management of threatened ecosystems. This course is broken down into 3 modules. The first module focuses on ecological concepts; the second module deals with the importance of evolutionary processes and biogeographic changes in geologic time, and the final module examines the development of modern distributions of plant and animal species and contemporary issues in biogeography such as conservation and land management. 

Section 001: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM   |  Callcott 302 
Section 002: M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 302

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) represent a major advancement in the management and analysis of geographical data. These systems are used extensively throughout all levels of government, private industry, and academia to provide support for place-based 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; collecting geographical data using modern techniques such as GPS; mapping information; and analyzing spatial patterns and 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. There are no prerequisites for this course. 

Dr. Cary Mock
M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 101

The purpose of the course is to present the basic concepts and processes as they relate to tropical climatology and hurricanes. It covers weather basics both at large geographic scales encompassing climate processes that relate to the entire tropics, progressing to smaller regional spatial scales such as those dealing with monsoon climates, followed by tropical climate forcings such as the El Nino– Southern Oscillation. Other topics include the structure and characteristics of tropical cyclones and hurricanes, hurricane forecasting techniques, and various aspects of hurricane climatology. Tropical weather forecast discussions, following a format routinely used by the National Hurricane Center and utilizing real-time weather information, will reinforce important concepts learned in lecture.

Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required for undergraduate students.

Dr. Caroline Nagel
T  04:25 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Callcott 112

This is a capstone course for undergraduate Geography majors and is a requirement for Geography majors for graduation. It is taught only during Fall semesters. A significant portion of the course is devoted to group-based research activities designed to integrate geographic knowledge and to apply geographic skills to real-world problems. Students will learn about crafting research questions, designing a methodology, and carrying out a research plan. Students’ geographical knowledge and skills will be demonstrated through presentations and papers. In addition, students will learn professional development skills, including resume preparation and interview techniques. Tips for obtaining post-graduate jobs in the private, public, and non-profit sectors and for applying to graduate school will be discussed. 

Research on a significant geography problem in the local environment. Emphasis will be on the development of relatively individualized experiences in scientific investigation.

Senior research thesis on a problem of fundamental geographic significance, supervised by faculty member; must include a written final project report. 

Dr. Susan Cutter
M W  08:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 101

Most parts of the world are at risk from environmental hazards, although to differing degrees. This course introduces you to the nature, impact, and social responses to environmental hazards from local to global scales. We will focus on the relationship between society, technology, and nature in trying to understand what makes people and places vulner-able to hazards, and which characteristics make them resilient. We will also examine hazards man-agement and relevant public policies covering pre-paredness, post-disaster recovery, and mitigation. The major goals of the course are 1) to examine the impacts of hazards on society over time and space; 2) to assess various responses to disasters (relief, recovery, reconstruction, mitigation) by individuals and society; 3) to understand the evolution of and current status of hazards policy; and 4) to analyze hazard data and evaluate the. relative hazardousness of places. Grades are based on exams and written assignments .

Dr. Jessica Barnes
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 102

This course will examine the political, social, and cultural landscapes of food and farming around the world. In the first part of the semester, we will trace global food systems from production to consumption. We will start at the point of agricultural production, exploring current controversies over 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, race, and identity. We will then turn to questions of food access and assistance, considering inequalities in food availability and various programs designed to help people meet their food needs. 

Dr. Jerry Mitchell
T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 101

Geography defines itself not by its subject matter, but rather by its perspective or worldview. Geography is content-driven, graphically rich, technologically sophisticated, and applicable to other subject areas. This course helps teachers and prospective teachers acquire geographic knowledge and skills needed to understand the spatial characteristics and interactions of important physical, demographic, cultural, political, and economic systems. Students enrolled in this course will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge of geographic philosophy and methods and will be able to use geographic knowledge and methods in pedagogic contexts. 

Dr. John Kupfer
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 101

Geography of public land, water, and related public trust resources (wildlife, timber, minerals, fuels, recreation, wetlands, coastal zones, wilderness); historical geography of policy; spatial aspects of current research and management.

Dr. Cuizhen Wang
R  04:25 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Callcott 302

Introduction to digital image processing techniques and applications. Image correction, enhancement, spatial and spectral transformation. Land use/land cover classification, and change detection. 

Dr. Cuizhen Wang

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 and a signed Internship Contract required. 

Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty. May be repeated for credit.

Dr. David Kneas
M  09:40 AM – 12:10 PM  |  Callcott 228

Review of recent geographic literature on nature-society interactions with an emphasis on identifying research themes and methodologies employed by contemporary geographers. 

Dr. April Hiscox
R  01:15 PM – 03:45 PM  |  Callcott 228

Major theories, measures of climatic change and variability, climate models, statistical analysis, and climate impacts.


Advanced directed research by a PhD student on geographical topics to be individually supervised by graduate faculty. This course may be taken for 1-3 credit hours of independent study by a student working closely with a faculty member on a specific research project to be defined and agreed upon between the student and a supervising faculty member. 



Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.