Geography and Earth Sciences

Department of Earth, Environment, and Physics

Geography is a science that examines physical and social processes and their interrelationships through the integrative concept of space. Earth systems science analyzes the systems and processes that shape the earth’s surface including weather, climate, landforms, and hydrology. Human geography analyzes social processes such as globalization, demographics, urbanization, and construction of cultural identities. Environmental geography examines the interactions between social and physical systems. Geographers explore these processes using such tools as maps, geographic information systems, and remote sensing techniques.

Membership in Gamma Theta Upsilon, the international geography honor society, is available to distinguished students. Prospective members must have completed a minimum of 3 geography or earth science courses, have a GPA of at least 3.3 overall in those courses, and have completed at least 3 semesters of college course work. A prospective member is not required to be a geography major or minor.

Requirements for a Major

Minimum requirement for the major is completion of a six-course (20 credit) core curriculum and one of four concentrations. Students will declare a concentration in either General Geography, Environmental Studies, Geographic Information Systems, Earth System Science, or Earth Science Education. Study Away/Study Abroad is strongly encouraged for geography majors.

 

Faculty

Patricia A. Benjamin, Associate Professor (2001), B.A. University of Oregon; M.L.S. University of Maryland; Ph.D. Clark University

Timothy L. Cook, Associate Professor (2012), B.S. Brown University; M.S. University of Delaware; Ph.D. University of Massachusetts

Allison Dunn, Associate Professor (2007), B.A. Oberlin College; M.A.,Ph.D. Harvard University

William J. Hansen, Department Chair, Professor (2005), B.A. State University of New York Albany; M.A. Hunter College; Ph.D. City University of New York Graduae Center

Douglas E. Kowalewski, Associate Professor (2012), B.S. Virginia Polytechnic Institute; Ph.D. Boston University

Nabin K. Malakar, Assistant Professor (2017), M.S., Ph.D., University at Albany, State University of New York (SUNY)

Alexander R. Tarr, Assistant Professor (2016), B.A. University of Southern California; Ph.D. University of California Berkley

GE-102 Human Geography

LASC Categories: GP, HBS

Introduction to human geography, emphasizing globalization, human-environment relations, and spatial patterns of population, development, economics, politics, urbanization and culture.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

GE-110 World Regional Geography I

LASC Categories: GP, HBS

This survey examines characteristics of land and peoples of Europe and Asia.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-111 World Regional Geography II

LASC Categories: GP, HBS

This survey examines characteristics of land and peoples of Africa, Australia, Oceania and the Americas.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-130 Introduction to Energy Studies

Foundation concepts in energy studies. Overview of environmental and societal implications of energy systems - past, present and future.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-193 Special Topics in Geography for First- Year Students

LASC Categories: FYS

Introductory level course covering topics of special interest to first-year students. Offered only as a First-Year Seminar.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-195 Special Topics

Introductory course to be offered on a trial basis. Topic to be announced in advance.

Every 2-3 years. 1-6 Credits

GE-200 Geographic Literature Seminar

Prerequisites: GE-102 and GS-101 and GS-140 and GS-165

Geography majors will attend research seminars, conduct literature searches; identify relevant primary literature; read and take notes on primary literature; compile annotated bibliographies; create written syntheses.

Every year. 1 Credit

GE-210 Geography of North America

Prerequisites: one GE/GL-102, GE/GL-111, hi-111, HI-112, SO-100, UR-101.

Analysis of the physical and human geography of North America

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

GE-240 Energy Conservation

Concepts, technologies and policies for energy conservation. Inefficiencies of current systems; technical and social changes for energy efficiency.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-250 Urban Geography

LASC Categories: HBS

Prerequisites: GE-102 or GL/GE-102 or UR-101

World urbanization, location, and central place concepts, economy of cities, land use patterns, urban, physical, and societal environmental problems.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

GE-255 Geography of Africa

LASC Categories: DAC, GP

Prerequisites: GE-102 or GE-111 or GL/GE-102 or GL/GE-111 or GL-150 or SO-100 or SO-110 or UR-101

Analysis of the physical and human geography of Africa.

3 Credits

GE-258 Global Environmental Change

Prerequisites: GE-102 or GL/GE-102 or GS-101 or GL-150 or NS-150 or UR-101 or CH-106

An introduction to the science, political economy and ethics of global environmental change.

3 Credits

GE-285 Sustainable Communities

LASC Categories: HBS, USW

Prerequisites: GE-102 or GL/GE-102 or GL-150 or EC-110 or EC-120.

Exploration of changes in U.S. and global economic landscape, 1970 to present. Approaches to sustainable economic development.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

GE-299 Special Topics

Intermediate level course to be offered on a trial basis. Topic to be announced in advance.

1-6 Credits

GE-307 American Public Lands:Environmental Issues

Prerequisites: GE-258 or permission of instructor.

Exploration of the environmental management issues on U.S. public lands such as national parks, national forests BLM lands.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-308 Environment and Development

Prerequisites: GE-258

The global ecology of rich and poor environmental implications of poverty, economic development, mass consumption, globalization and demographic change.

3 Credits

GE-312 Sustainable Food Systems

Prerequisites: GE-102 or a 200 level GE, GS, SO or UR course.

Overview of the structure, evolution, costs and benefits of the global food system. Exploration of local and global alternatives.

3 Credits

GE-341 Fundamentals of Renewable Energy

Prerequisites: GE-130 or GE-240

Analysis of renewable energy concepts, policy and politics. technologies and methods for renewable energy capture, storage and distribution.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-342 Sustainable Housing And Techniques

Prerequisites: GE-130 or GE-240

Principles of green design with an emphasis on building construction. Material and energy flows, choice of materials, designing for sustainability.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-400 Geography Seminar

LASC Categories: CAP

Prerequisites: GE-102, GS-101, GS-140, GS-216, and GE-212 or GE-315

Capstone course for geography majors. Students prepare a comprehensive term paper and present on the topic. Course includes portfolio and career development.

Every year. 3 Credits

GE-408 Directed Study: Geography

Directed study offers students the opportunity to complete an existing course with an established syllabus under the direction and with the agreement of a faculty member.

3 Credits

GE-410 Independent Study: Geography

Opportunity for advanced students to pursue a topic of special interest involving extensive reading, experimentation, and research.

Every year. 1-6 Credits

GE-420 Advanced Geoscience Research and Fieldwork

Lab and or field-based research on a specific geoscience topic under supervision of a faculty member. [Permission of instructor.]

Fall and Spring and every year. 1-6 Credits

GE-450 Readings and Directed Research

Directed study on selected topics; open to senior majors.

Fall and Spring and every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

GE-460 Internship: Geography

Students assigned to various government and private agencies under joint supervision of agency and faculty.

Fall and Spring and other or on demand. 1-6 Credits

GE-470 Selected Topics: Geography

Prerequisites: GE-102 or GL/GE-102

Topic or subject to be announced in advance; topic to be relevant to student needs and interests and availability of professor.

Spring only and every 2-3 years. 1-6 Credits

GS-101 Physical Geography

LASC Categories: NSP

Geographic principles of location; characteristics of landforms, soil, climate, minerals, water, flora, and fauna. [Formerly GE101.]

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

GS-110 Meteorology

LASC Categories: NSP, QAC

Weather elements, frontal storms, air mass characteristics, winds, temperature, precipitation, and presssure patterns throughout the world; weather instruments, forecasting.

Every year. 3 Credits

GS-140 Physical Geology

LASC Categories: LAB, NSP, QAC

Introduction to geological science: rocks and minerals, internal and external geologic processes, topographic map and air photo analysis, local field study. Three hours lecture and two hours laboratory per week. [Supersedes GS120 and GS121.]

Fall and Spring and every year. 4 Credits

GS-150 Humans and the Cold Regions

LASC Categories: NSP

Winter intersession. Examines eath's cold regions, including physical geography, cryosphere's role in earth systems, human adaptations. Includes outdoor activity.

Every year. 3 Credits

GS-165 Geographic Information Systems I

LASC Categories: NSP

Introduction to the digital production of maps using ArcGIS software.

Every year. 4 Credits

GS-193 First Year Seminar in Geography

LASC Categories: FYS

Introductory level course covering topics of special interest to first-year students. Offered only as a First-Year Seminar.

Every year. 3 Credits

GS-195 Special Topics

Introductory course to be offered on a trial basis. Topic to be announced in advance.

Every 2-3 years. 1-6 Credits

GS-210 Geomorphology

LASC Categories: NLL, QAC

Prerequisites: GS-101 or GS-140 and an accuplacer score of 3 or one college level Math course.

The study of landforms and the processes that form them. labs focus on interpretation of maps and aerial photographs. Three hour lecture and two hour laboratory.

Every year. 4 Credits

GS-218 Introduction to Remote Sensing

LASC Categories: NSP

Prerequisites: GS-101 or GS-140 or NS-150 or EV-150 or BI-101 or BI-140

Introduction to the use and analysis of remotely sensed images such as aerial photographs and satellite imagery.

Every year. 3 Credits

GS-225 Oceanography

LASC Categories: QAC

Prerequisites: GS-101 or GS-140 or GS-110 or NS-150

The principles of physical, chemical, biological, and geological oceanography.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

GS-230 Biogeography

Prerequisites: GS-101 or GS-110 or BI-101 or BI-140

The distribution patterns of plants and animals, processes affecting this distribution, and how these patterns change in space and time.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

GS-235 Contemporary Climate Change

Prerequisites: GS-101 or GS-110 or NS-150 or CH-106.

The global climate system, factors influencing climate, recent climate change and the role of human activity.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

GS-240 Coastal Environments

Prerequisites: GS-101 or GS-140

Summer session course examining the physical geography of coastal environments including human impacts. Includes field trips.

Every year. 3 Credits

GS-245 Planetary Geology

Prerequisites: GS-140 or PY-101

Solar system formation and evolution with emphasis on planetary interiors and surface features.

3 Credits

GS-250 Hydrology

Prerequisites: GS-101 or Gs-140 or GS-110 or NS-150

Hydrologic processes, their estimation and measurement. Includes precipitation, evaporation,runoff, groundwater and water resources management.

Other or on demand. 3 Credits

GS-260 Introduction to Soil Science

Prerequisites: GS-101 or GS-140

The study of the formation, processes, classification and composition of soils with emphasis on environmental applications, including watershed delineation.

Every year. 3 Credits

GS-270 The Sedimentary Record

LASC Categories: NLL

Prerequisites: GS-140 and GS-101 or GS-110

Theoretical, laboratory, and field investigations of modern sedimentary processes, depositional environments, the sedimentary record of earth history, principals of stratigraphy. 3 hours lecture and 3 hours lab.

Every 2-3 years. 4 Credits

GS-299 Special Topics

Intermediate level course to be offered on a trial basis. Topic to be announced in advance.

1-6 Credits

GS-318 Geographic Information Systems II

Prerequisites: GS-216

Advanced production of digital choropleth maps on PCs using a GIS vector oriented software.

Fall and Spring and every year. 3 Credits

GS-335 Hydrogeology

Prerequisites: GS-140 or GS-250 and an accuplacer code of 3, or a college level math course.

Underground water and its movement. Aquifer identification and test; wells, contamination and remediation, ground water as a geologic agent.

Fall only and other or on demand. 3 Credits

GS-365 Climate Change Over Earth History

LASC Categories: WAC

Prerequisites: EN-102 and either GS-140 or GS-235.

A record of change climate on Earth, methods used to reconstruct past climates relevance of past changes to the current climate.

Every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

GS-370 Lakes & Environmental Change

LASC Categories: WAC, NLL

Prerequisites: GS-140 Take one earth science course at the 200-level or above.

Modern physical, biogeochemical, and sedimentary processes in lakes. Lake sediments as archives of past climate and environmental change. Includes fieldwork.

4 Credits

GS-400 Geography Seminar

LASC Categories: CAP

Prerequisites: GE-102 GS-101 GS-140 GS-216 and GE-212 or GE-315 and senior standing

Capstone course for geography majors. Students develop research projects and present their findings. Includes career preparation.

Spring only and every year. 3 Credits

GS-408 Directed Study: Geography

Directed study offers students, who because of unusual circumstances may be unable to register for a course when offered, the opportunity to complete an existing course with an established syllabus under the direction and with agreement from a faculty member.

3-4 Credits

GS-410 Independent Study: Geography

Opportunity for advanced students to pursue a topic of special interest involving extensive reading, experimentation, and research.

Every year. 1-4 Credits

GS-420 Advanced Geoscience Research and Fieldwork

Lab and or field-based research on a specific geoscience topic under supervision of a faculty member. [Permission of instructor.]

Fall and Spring and every year. 1-6 Credits

GS-450 Readings and Directed Research

Directed study on selected topics; open to senior majors.

Fall and Spring and every 2-3 years. 3 Credits

GS-460 Internship: Geography

Students assigned to various government and private agencies under joint supervision of agency and faculty.

Fall and Spring and other or on demand. 1-6 Credits

GS-470 Selected Topics: Geography

Prerequisites: GS-101 and one coursze from GS-210, GS-225, GS-230, GS-235, GS-250, GS-260, GS-290 or GS-310

Topic or subject to be announced in advance; topic to be relevant to student needs and interests and availability of professor.

Spring only and every 2-3 years. 1-6 Credits