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Geography Course Descriptions

Quotation Mark

Don't let hesitation cloud your ability to ask questions. Inquisition is a skill that must be present in every Geography course.

Alexander Jarossy - Class of 2015
  • GEG 010 Elements of Physical Geography (Gen Ed C1)

    Physical geography examines spatial elements of the physical environment--weather, climate, vegetation, soils and landforms.  Students analyze the nature and characteristics of these elements, the processes involved in their development, their distribution over the earth, and their interrelationships.  Students also examine the interrelationships between these elements and human activities.  They use maps and other geographical data to locate, analyze, interpret, and solve geographical problems of a physical nature.  This course is useful to students seeking to better understand geographical aspects of environmental issues.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 020 Elements of Cultural Geography (Gen Ed B)

    A study of the interaction of man and his environment and the influences of geographical factors on human culture.  Population, settlement, economic activity, social and political organization will be considered.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 040 Descriptive Oceanography

    A course to familiarize the non-scientific students with the marine environment and current developments in the marine sciences.  Topics for study will include: the Physical Parameters of the Ocean; Ocean Basin Topography; Life in the Sea; and Resources in the Oceans.  Students will be encouraged to participate in field activities at the Wallops Island Marine Center at Wallops Island, Virginia.  This course is unacceptable for the Earth-Space Science major requirement.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours

  • GEG 101 World Regional Geography (Gen Ed B)

    This introductory course is designed to give the student a broad overview of the world--its peoples, cultures, economic and social systems, and the physical environment over which all of these are superimposed and interact.  The course is intended as a General Education social science elective.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 110 Geography of the United States and Canada

    This introductory course is designed to give the student an understanding and appreciation of the Anglo-American culture area.  Canada and the United States will be analyzed from both topical and regional viewpoints.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 112 Geography of Pennsylvania

    Cultural and economic development in relation to the factors of the physical environment are analyzed in land use study of Pennsylvania.  The areal extent, value and rise of the state's resources and related problems are studied as well as the need for a well-directed, coordinated program.  Field trips are an integral part of this course.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 120 Geography of Sub-Saharan Africa

    A comprehensive course of study of the physical and cultural geography of the African continent south of the Sahara Desert. Topics will include, but are not limited to: pre-colonial societies, slavery and colonialism, development issues, environmental problems, the geography of disease and health care, population, and current political geography issues

  • GEG 140 Geography of Europe

    A regional course emphasizing the economic problems of European nations, it affords an opportunity to study the geographic relationships underlying land utilization, boundary disputes, economic organization, and the dominant international relations of Europe.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours

  • GEG 204 Meteorology Lecture and Laboratory

    A systematic study of the laws and underlying principles of atmospheric changes.  Opportunity is afforded the student to become familiar with the common weather instruments, to observe and record weather data, to read and interpret weather maps.  The emphasis her is upon conceptual understanding rather than a rigorous mathematical approach to the subject.  This approach is employed to develop an appreciation of the atmospheric system from an applied viewpoint.  4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 210 Environmental Conservation

    This course offers an opportunity to analyze current problems growing out of the distribution and utilization of our physical and cultural environments.  Emphasis is placed upon suggested methods  which will enable man to live in harmony with his environments and reduce waste to a minimum.  Field trips are an integral part of this course.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 212 The Geography of Natural Hazards

    The geography of natural hazards examines human landscapes, in areas prone to damaging environmental conditions, i.e., floods, droughts, earth-quakes, severe agricultural frosts, etc.  Upon the identification of geographic areas where notable disasters have occurred, a study is made of (1) the individual and societal human responses and decisions, and (2) the resultant land use patterns which have evolved.  The student will then examine and evaluate current plans and options designed to reduce future loss of life and property in hazard-prone regions.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours

  • GEG 220 Economic Geography

    The course will introduce the basic concepts and processes underlying the spatial distribution of economic activities.  Natural resource distributions, population patterns and growth, and general development disparities will be examined.  The evolution of different types of economic activities over time and space will be considered within the context of technological change, particularly in transportation and communications.  Contrasts and comparisons will be made between urban and rural economic activities, and both inter-urban and intra-urban patterns in different regions of the world will be examined.  Industrial location will be considered, ranging from the small firm to the multinational organization.  International trade and factor movement and world trading patterns will be examined, as well as problems resulting from the globalization of economic activity.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 223 Introduction to Transportation Geography

    Transportation and its role in the development of the economic and geographic landscape are analyzed at the national, regional and urban levels.  This will be accomplished by considering the questions of how, where and why movements occur through geographic space.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 225 Spaces of Globalization

    This course examines the complex array of economic, cultural, and political forces known as globalization.  Topics will include the historical roots of globalization, as well as the positive and negative impacts of this diverse phenomenon on cultural, political, environmental, and economic geographies.  Emphasis will be not only on the geographic effects that globalization has at the global level, but also the implications that it has for the geography of local places.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 230 Map Reading and Interpretation

    This course examines how maps locate, represent, summarize and communicate geographic information.  Students develop an appreciation for using maps to learn about physical and cultural landscapes.  Emphasis is on the interrelationships of map design, symbolization, and visual communication; functions of map projections; use of coordinate systems of maps; techniques for measuring and calculating scale, distance, direction, slope, elevation, area, volume, and object height from maps; and analysis of spatial trends and landscape change using maps.  Students also use the magnetic compass with maps to solve problems of direction and scale.  Map critiquing and writing assignments challenge them to evaluate potential misuse and misinterpretation of maps.  Laboratory exercises involve analysis of topographic, road, weather, air photo, historical, land use, and zoning maps.  This course provides a basis for advanced techniques courses in geography.  It is also helpful to education majors in fields dealing with either physical or human-built environments.  PREREQUISITE: Either GEG 010, or GEG 020, or GEL 100, or permission of instructor.  4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 274 Introduction to GIS Lecture and Laboratory

    Geographic information systems (GIS) are a major tool for the analysis of spatial data.  This course introduces the student to the theoretical, conceptual and practical aspects of the collection, storage, analysis and display of spatial data.  Emphasis will be placed on the applications of geographic information systems by geographers, environmental scientists, planners, and businessmen.  Laboratory projects involving student use of computers are required.  4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 304 Weather Analysis Lecture and Laboratory

    This course introduces the practice of observing and diagnosing synoptic- and meso-scale weather systems and the theories behind the development and movement of these systems.  The course culminates on an application of these diagnostic techniques on the various components of the mid-latitude cyclone; including but not limited to, cyclone lifecycles, fronts, and jet streams.  PREREQUISITES: GEG 010 and GEG 204/205, or permission of instructor.  4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 310 Urban Geography

    Urban Geography is concerned with instilling in students a working knowledge of the development, structure, functioning, and distribution of centers of human social, economic, and political activity, cities, through the application of spatial theories and models of human behavior.  To this end, the onset of urbanization is discussed with emphasis on the necessary conditions and on the locations of the earliest urban settlements.  Also traced is the spread of urbanism through time and the evolution of urban form.  Theories of urban/economic development are discussed to document the dynamic nature of the discourse on Urban Geography and to provide a basis upon which students may interpret subsequent issues covered in the course and to evaluate their own urban experiences.  Trends in urbanization in the "Third World," or less developed countries, are compared and contrasted with those in the "First World," or advanced capitalist countries.  The roles of economic conditions and patterns of investment, colonialism, and transportation are emphasized.  Modern Urban Geography must also examine the environmental impacts associated with urban development.  By viewing cities as points in space, students are made aware of the ways in which cities organized their tributary areas and how they are themselves arranged in space.  Finally, by viewing cities as space, the overriding role of land value in the determination of land use and ultimately the internal organization of economic and housing functions and of ethnic groups is demonstrated.  Each topic is examined in terms of positive and negative ramifications and with an emphasis on planning and solution identification.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 322 Climatology

    The climatic regions of the world, and the advantages and limitations of each for man's occupancy will be studied.  The physical aspects of the atmosphere and the regional characteristics of climate will be examined.  The course is valuable background material for World Problems in Geography.  PREREQUISITE: GEG 010 or 204.   3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 323 Global Warming and the Science of Climate Change

    This course concentrates on the climatological and spatial aspects of global warming and the growing importance of the science of global warming to policymakers. The aim is to introduce the causes, methods of analysis, and policy implications of global warming. This course is a general education, natural science elective. PREREQUISITES: GEG 010 or GEG 204, or GEG 322.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 330 Cartography

    In this course students will become proficient in the collection, manipulation, generalization, and visual presentation of geographic data.  Emphasis is placed on the proper use of the Visual Variables and in appropriate means of data manipulation.  Students study the nature of cartography, the coordinate system, map scale, map projections, map design, symbolization, data manipulation, isarithmic mapping, choropleth mapping, and map reproduction.  Students are evaluated via examinations, several mapping projects, and a major final project.  This course is laboratory intensive and features the use of industry leading Geographic Information System (GIS) software.  4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 333 Advanced GIS

    Geographic information systems (GIS) are a major tool for the analysis of spatial data.  Based on the material covered in Introduction to GIS, this course considers in depth the theoretical, conceptual and practical aspects of the collection, storage, manipulations, analysis and display of spatial data.  Laboratory projects involving student use of vector-based GIS systems to develop, implement and analyze geographic databases are required.  PREREQUISITES: GEG 274 or permission of instructor.  4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 335 Political Geography

    Current world and national problems are analyzed within the framework of systematic political geography.  Attention will be focused on world trouble spots, elections, boundary friction, resource allocation, population pressure, and military strategy from a geographical standpoint.  Elements of Cultural Geography or a basic Political Science course would be valuable preparation for this course, but are not prerequisite.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 338 Geography of Population

    This course is designed to give the student a basic, systematic background in population geography with in-depth analysis of certain selected demographic factors as they specifically relate to areal phenomena. Special attention will be given to selected areas and their current population problems and the geographic factors which have produced or modified these problems.

  • GEG 341 Environmental Planning

    Emphasis on the concepts and techniques used to study and evaluate the air and water environments, solid waste, noise pollution, and toxic wastes for the purpose of achieving environmental quality.  Predominant attention will focus on planning and management principles, but administrative, economic and legal constraints will also receive due consideration.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 343 Land Use Planning

    An examination and application of the methods associated with land use planning, especially in the small town and rural context.  Emphasis is placed upon the tools and techniques associated with land use planning such as interpretive maps, soil surveys, remote sensors, and computers.  Legal aspects of land use planning will also be presented.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 347 Remote Sensing of the Environment Lecture and Laboratory

    Remote Sensing of the Environment is a course devoted to the relatively new study of the earth from space.  The primary focus will be on the variety of remote sensing techniques, the types and characteristics of imagery derived from the various techniques, and applications of the techniques.  A lecture and laboratory format will provide ample opportunity for students to examine and interpret earth images.  PREREQUISITES: Junior status and GEG 010 or GEL 100 or permission of the instructor.  4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 371 Independent Study in Geography

    Students who meet minimum qualifications and who can demonstrate a need or purpose will be permitted to pursue study topics within the field of geography at their own pace, but under direction of a member of the geography staff.  Topics which parallel current offerings are not acceptable; however in-depth studies of any area or topic can be considered.  Minimum qualifications: junior or senior standing, and the completion of 12 semester hours of geography.  Permission of the department is required.  3 semester hours.

  • GEG 372 Selected Topics in Geography

    This course is designed to permit the department to offer a course of study based on the timeliness of the topic.  The course content will vary with the topic and instructor, but a research paper or equivalent will be required.  The course may not be repeated for credit.  PREREQUISITES: GEG 010 and 020, and permission of the instructor.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 375 Research Methods in Geography

    An examination of the research methods of current importance in the discipline of Geography.  Topics to be emphasized include: the nature of scientific research; the development and implementation of geographic research design; the acquisition and analysis of data; and the preparation of written reports.  PRE- or CO-REQUISITE: MAT 140 or 150, or POL/PSY/SOC 200.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 380 Senior Seminar in Geography

    The major student activity in this course will be discussing, proposing, researching, and writing a Senior Thesis.  The successful completion, and acceptance of the thesis by the Department of Geography Faculty, will provide the student with experience in the several areas noted above.  As well as being the culminating undergraduate experience for the student, it will satisfy the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences' Comprehensive Examination requirement.  PREREQUISITES: GEG 375 and twenty-seven (27) or more credits in geography.  3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

  • GEG 394 Internship in Geography

    The student will be placed in a supervised professional work environment with cooperating public or private organizations such as consulting firms as well as local, regional, state, and federal agencies. Periodic conferences with the intern will provide orientation and opportunity for review of issues and procedures relevant to the internship experience. PREREQUISITES:  Junior or Senior status; the completion of a minimum of 24 hours in geography; a 2.5 or better cumulative GPA in Geography as of the semester or summer session prior to registering for the internship and permission of the Department of Geography.

  • GEG 398 Honors Supplementary Research

    Supplementary research conducted by an Honors student in an upper division (or 300 or 400 level) course in which the student is enrolled.  The research is related to a topic in the course, but in addition to the standard requirements of the course, the research should exhibit advanced inquiry or investigation into the topic.  The Honors student earns 1, 2, or 3 credits in addition to the credits for the course itself.  The number of additional credits depends on the amount and intensity of the supplementary research.  Each department in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has a specific course number which uses the departmental prefix, but all courses will use a common number (398).  The course title will read "Honors Supplementary Research" and will have a variable credit value from 1 to 3 credits.