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Department of Geography


Note that Spring 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.

Spring 2022 Courses

R = Thursday

Dr. Robert A. Kopack
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.

Dr. Jean T.  Ellis
T R  04:25 PM – 05:40 PM   |  Online — synchronous & asynchronous

Have you ever been curious as to why the sky is blue? How hurricanes work? Or how tree ring records can provide insight into past climates? Physical geography synthesizes many aspects of various Earth and life sciences but expresses them in a way that emphasizes patterns of interaction between the environment and humankind. You will learn about the intricate workings of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere; how these spheres operate as individual systems and how these systems interact collectively to make the planet we live on today. 

Section 001: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 005
Section 002: M W  08:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 005 
Section 003: M W F  08:30 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 302 
Section 004: Online — asynchronous
Section 005: M W F  12:00 PM – 12:50 PM  |  Callcott 005
Section: 006: M W 03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 005 
Section H02 HNRS: M W F 12:00 PM – 12:50 PM  |  Callcott 302 *

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. 

*Honors College permission required

Dr. Meredih DeBoom
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Online — synchronous & 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. John Kupfer
Lecture: T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  | Callcott 201 
Lab 001: T 11:40 AM – 01:30 PM  |  Callcott 202 
Lab 002: W 12:00 PM – 01:50 PM  |  Callcott 202 
Lab 003: W  03:55 PM – 05:45 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. April Hiscox
Lecture: T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 003
Lab 001: T  02:50 PM – 04:40 PM  |  Callcott 005 
Lab 002: W  09:40 AM – 11:30 AM  |   Callcott 005 

Lecture: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 003 
Lab 003: W 01:10 PM – 03:00 PM  |  Callcott 005 
Lab 004:  R 08:30 AM – 10:20 AM   |  Callcott 005

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. Austin Crane
M W F  09:40 AM – 10:30 AM  |  Callcott 101

This course offers a geographic perspective on environmental, economic, cultural, political, urban and population issues, highlighting the connections between these issues and providing a deeper understanding of our world. Our focus will be on human-environment interactions, with special attention given to urbanization and development, environmental hazards, population growth and mobility, resource consumption and waste, climate change, pollution, habitat loss, and food and water (in)security. We will analyze the relationship between environments, places and people through the lens of environmental justice, bringing into focus the causes and consequences of social and geographical inequalities. We will examine case studies from North America and around the globe to consider how different human geographic subfields (political geography, economic geography, feminist geography, Black geographies, political ecology, etc.) are addressing some of the major challenges facing the world today. Finally, we will learn how geographical concepts like globalization, neo- colonialism, neoliberalism and relational poverty can shed light on complex relationships between environments and livelihoods in different places. 

Dr. Susan Cutter
M W  08:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 102

This course examines the geography of North America with particular reference to the connections between and among physical, environmental, economic, political, social, and cultural systems. We use the perspective of regions to examine the geographic diversity, commonalities, and differences in North America landscapes. The emphasis in the course is on geographic processes and relationships rather than place names per se, but you need to know these in order to understand the context. The primary goal of the course is to explain the why of where of North America—why cities are located where they are; why the depopulation of the Great Plains is economically significant; why ethnic diversity has transformed the border lands; why firms are located where they are; why are there different names for soft drinks depending on where you are, and much more. Grades are based on quizzes and fun interactive projects shared with the class.

Dr. Jesssica Barnes
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  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. 

Dr. Robert Kopack
T R  04:25 PM – 05:40 PM  |  Callcott 112 

How does where you live influence who you are? How do our understandings of the world – our beliefs, values, dreams, and memories – influence the environments of everyday life? What can we learn about cultural identity and belonging by examining the landscapes and places we think are important to who we are? How does society reinforce or challenge issues such as social, economic, or political inequality through planning and organizing physical and social space? This course will introduce students to spatial ways of thinking about culture, including the interrelation- ships between power, meanings and values, ways of life, and the material things we create and use in ordinary life. By the end of this course students will be able to: define and use the concepts of space, place, and landscape to examine current social and cultural issues; demonstrate a geographic understanding of how identity and inequality are produced in society; and use 
spatial concepts and geographic methodologies to research a local cultural or social topic. 

Dr. Caroline Nagel
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 112

Geopolitics refers to statecraft—that is, the ways states maneuver and operate within an interstate system in order to maximize their economic and political advantages. This course examines statecraft from a critical perspective, focusing on the ways state actors imagine and articulate threats to their sovereignty and power. How do states see and talk about the world, and how do particular understandings of the world translate into actual state practices? This course considers how states convey particular geopolitical imaginaries to ordinary citizens, and how citizens themselves have a role in reinforcing or destabilizing these imaginaries. As well, the course explores how citizens of both powerful and weak states are affected in their everyday lives by the technologies and techniques of statecraft. Topics covered include the classical geopolitical theories, Cold War geopolitics, the War on Terror, the emerging second cold war between the U.S. and China, soft power and diplomacy, tensions between nationalism and globalism/cosmopolitanism, and the role of humanitarianism and women’s rights as objectives of statecraft and military intervention. 

T R  08:30 AM – 09:45 AM  |  Callcott 112

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 

Section 001: Dr. Kirstin Dow
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 101 

Section H01: Dr. David Kneas *
M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 102 

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. 

*Honors College permission required

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. 

Section 001: Dr, Zhenlong Li
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 302 

Section 002: Dr. Michael E. Hodgson
M W  02:20 PM – 03:10 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. John Kupfer
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 101 

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. 

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

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. Meredith DeBoom
T  04:25 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Callcott 202

If we live in a globalized world, why do borders still exist? Why should we care who James Bond and Captain America are battling? What is nationalism, and why is it in on the rise? Why has addressing climate change proven so difficult? And why in the world is there a Russian flag under the North Pole? Political geography — a subfield of human geography that asks “who gets what, when, how, why, and where?” — can help us answer these questions and more. Through a series of case studies, we’ll explore how power operates across space and place and why that power is unevenly distributed at local, national, and global scales. Along the way, we’ll discuss a variety of pressing global issues, including nationalism, state-building, conflict, natural resource governance, climate change, and geopolitics.

Dr. C. Patrick Barrineau
M W  05:30 PM – 06:45 PM  |  Callcott 003 

Coastal regions in the United States are regularly stressed due to increasing rates of development as well as climate change. This course investigates the physical, social, and economic principles under- pinning contemporary coastal management practices, and how these are used to mitigate anthropogenic as well as ‘natural’ stresses. Students will learn about the competing interests of coastal zone stakeholders, interest groups, and industry. Perspectives covered include those of regulators, landowners, tourists, business leaders, political representatives, and resource managers. Concepts of conservation, preservation, and sustainability related to coastal regions will be discussed in detail. In order to provide a diverse set of perspectives, guest lecturers from regulatory agencies, private companies, and research centers will provide in-class presentations on their backgrounds and specializations. Students will learn coastal physical and ecological processes as a basis for understanding effective 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. 

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

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. A commercial image processing software, Erads/Imagine, is introduced in labs. 

Dr. Tara Plewa Remington
M  04:40 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Online —synchronous

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. 

Dr. Michael E. Hodgson
M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 302 

This course presents geographical and temporal modeling concepts using GIS modeling languages and techniques. Practical laboratory experience with state-of-the-art software and hardware will be used. Material covered will include the cartographic model- ing language concepts by Tomlin, deterministic and statistical models, coupled/embedded approaches for modeling implementations, and calibration/validation techniques. By the end of the course, students should be able to make informed decisions about the appropriate conceptual model, scale of analysis, and GIS implementation strategy for geographical model- ing problems. Students will also be able to implement a variety of embedded models using ArcGIS and Python/Model Builder. Application examples in the course includes physical processes (e.g., hydrology, toxic-releases, flora mapping, animal behavior) and human-environment interaction (e.g., hazards, facility siting, accessibility, and attitudes-behavior). 
Prerequisites: GEOG 363 or equivalent and some experience with a scripting language (e.g. HTML, JavaScript, Python). 

Dr. Kirstin Dow
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 112

Climate changes are taking place now. Climate adaptation planning is becoming ever more pressing. This course will cover the processes of climate adaptation planning and management starting with central concepts in adaptation to issues such as projecting impacts, vulnerability assessment, equity considerations, coping with uncertainty, and decision making. This course will focus on adaptation in the United States to allow us to consider some issues in more depth. We will consider case studies that reveal the diverse issues, approaches, and challenges in other communities large and small, and those well or poorly resourced. 

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

An understanding of past environmental changes is imperative to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic variability. This course provides an overview of the tools and databases used to study past climatic changes and associated environmental responses in the biosphere, hydrosphere, and litho– sphere. An emphasis will be placed on 1) the past 2000 years since high resolution annual changes at this timeframe are important for planning schemes and impacts; and 2) the late Quaternary (last 125,000 years), particularly as it covers the last major ice age and interglacial 
cycle. Specific topics also include an overview of different proxy data types, climatic impacts on the environment, reconstruction of natural hazards, paleo- droughts, past human impacts and the Anthropocene, and paleoclimatic implications on future global warming. 

Dr. David Kneas
W 04:40 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Callcott 112 

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. Cross-listed with ANTH 581. 

Dr. Caroline Nagel

The internship in geography helps students acquire valuable "on the job" experience and develop marketable job skills as well as learn about employ- ment 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 compat- ible with his/her interests, abilities, and career aspi- rations. 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. Zhenlong Li
T  02:50 PM – 05:20 PM  |  Callcott 228

Theory and application of modern automated approaches to handling geographic data. Includes computer oriented procedures for the input, analysis and display of spatial data. Areas covered range from census address matching to statewide natural resource systems. 


Dr. Susan Cutter
W  02:20 PM – 04:50 PM  |  Callcott 228

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 research within the broader disciplinary context.

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.