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Geography Course Offerings

GEOG 120 Global Physical Environments (Core: PN)
This course addresses the spatial dimensions of our planet, including energy transfer, air, water, weather and climate, landforms, vegetation and soils. Understanding of the interrelationships between these systems – and of human interaction with them – is key to forming an integrated understanding of the physical landscape and its significance to humankind. The course addresses issues of the environment and of natural hazards and includes a substantial laboratory component. Infrequently offered.

GEOG 140 World Regions and Issues (Core: BB)
This course introduces geographic themes and critical issues of relevance in our global society and will enhance awareness and appreciation of other peoples and places. Through this regional survey of lands and life, students gain a grasp of differences and commonalities among the world’s physical and human landscapes and how they impact life in these regions – as well as connections to our own lives. Regional profiles include the analysis of varied issues of the physical environment, population distributions, cultural landscapes, and select historical, political and economic issues primarily via the spatial point of view. This regional approach consistently emphasizes map work.

GEOG 155 Ethnic Geographies of the U.S. (Core: DD)
This course provides an overview of the geographic diversity of population in the United States. Ethnic groups such as Native Americans, African Americans, Hispanics and Asians will be included in our discussion of the ethnic complexity of the United States. Case studies of ethnic groups from various places and regions, including Wisconsin, will be examined via text and outside readings, online sources and film. NOTE: This course is offered in a hybrid format: eight face-to-face class meetings and the balance online.

GEOG 225 Social Geography (Core: DD)
This course provides an introductory survey of geographic themes and concepts of social and cultural relevance in our fast-changing world, with a particular emphasis on the United States. The course offers an opportunity to raise understanding of and appreciation for geographic realities in the lives of others – as well as in our own daily existence. Topics include population dynamics, migration, ethnicity, gender, language, religion, urbanization and the political landscape. Geographic/spatial aspects of these issues are examined on a variety of scales in diverse locales. Map work is emphasized.

GEOG 238 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
This lecture/lab course introduces the basic theory, tools and skills of Geographic Information Systems (G.I.S.) in a hands-on computer lab setting. G.I.S. integrates hardware, software and data to capture, manage, analyze and display all forms of spatially referenced information. G.I.S. has revolutionized the ways in which we can question, interpret and visualize data across a wide range of disciplines. Students will be introduced to the spatial thinking upon which G.I.S. is built and how to apply this knowledge to real-world, interdisciplinary scenarios. The course will build students’ ability to understand, visualize, analyze and solve geographic problems.

GEOG 363 Global Urbanizations (Adv. Core: BB)
This course focuses on the development of the present global urban system primarily, but not exclusively, from a geographic perspective. Topics include the origins and evolution of cities in both the developed and developing world (with special attention to U.S. urban growth); aspects and models of the internal structure of cities; and the recent growth of the “world cities” (those power centers that dominate the global economy), and of the developing world’s fast-growing megacities. Both the enduring promise and persistent problems of urbanization are addressed. The functions and meanings of cities and urban change will be explored from various cultural perspectives.

GEOG 489 Special Topics
Examination of selected topics of interest to faculty and students, such as demographics, political geography, maps and map making, advanced Geographic Information Systems, cultural landscapes, in-depth regional analysis or other topics.