Course Descriptions

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Susan's note

Courses Offered:

500 Introduction to Graduate Geography (3)

Prepares the student for graduate work in geography by providing an introduction to research techniques, scientific method and the research frontier in geography. SEM

501 Research Design (1)

The purpose of this seminar is to present and discuss preliminary research proposals for theses and dissertations. The faculty will also participate by presenting current and proposed research activities. As appropriate, off-campus speakers will be invited to present and discuss research topics of interest. SEM

502 Survey Methods For Human Geographers (3)

Designed to acquaint students with contemporary aspects of survey research in human geography, paying particular attention to sampling techniques, bias estimation procedures, survey instrument design, response-rate enhancement, and statistical methods. Special attention is given to research designs that target private business establishments, government organizations and/or public institutions. SEM

503 Geography Seminar. SEM (3)

Topic varies

504 Geography Seminar. SEM (1)

Topic varies

505 Univariate Statistics in Geography (4)

This course covers the statistical analysis of geographic data and techniques for geographic analysis. No prior statistical knowledge is assumed, and basic statistical concepts are covered. LEC/LAB

506 Geographical Information Systems (4)

Introduction to the use of high-speed digital computers in geographic research. Topics include advanced programming, introductory machine architecture, large file handling and data base management systems, computer graphics and digitizing. Students are expected to complete a major applications programming project as part of the course requirement. LEC/LAB

507 Locational Analysis (3)

Survey of the historical development of the central ideas of location theory and an analysis of the origin and development of the major sub- fields of economic geography, spatial economics and regional science. LEC

508 Research Methods in Geography (3)

This course is designed for students who are at the pre-proposal stage of their Masters or Doctoral dissertation. The aim of the course is to help students understand the process of research, academic writing and conference presentations. Students will learn the major dimensions of research design including the development of research ideas, challenging conventional wisdom, generation of hypothesis, evaluation of research rigor and testing of theory. No research methodology will be privileged as the course will highlight Geography's epistemological and methodological pluralism. In addition, students will also be given the experience of paper reviews in journal publication. SEM

509 Multivariate Statistics in Geography (3)

Prerequisite: GEO 505 - Analysis of variance, regression, spatial analysis, factor analysis and cluster analysis. LEC

511 Spatial Data Science (3)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of spatial data science. Students will be introduced to a high-level programming language (currently R) and methods to incorporate spatial data into data science workflows. Students will also learn to generate dynamic, reproducible research output including figures, maps, manuscripts, and websites. Familiarity with basic GIS concepts (e.g., raster data, vector data, geographic projections) will be assumed, but no prior coding experience is required.

512 Geography of Health (3)

This course provides an introduction to a variety of geographic dimensions of health. Readings are taken from the current literature so that students are up-to-date with respect to the latest findings in this rapidly changing field. LEC

514 GIS and Machine Learning (LEC) 3

In this course, we will explore the integration of GIS and machine learning for addressing geographical problems. We will start from the fundamental techniques related to preparing GIS data for machine learning models, and then move to discussing machine learning concepts and how to use machine learning in the context of geography. This course has an emphasis on both theoretical concepts and hands-on skills, and we will use a high-level programming language (e.g., Python) to implement machine learning models. This course is dual listed with GEO 414

515 Conservation Biogeography (3)

What is biodiversity, what are its values, and what factors threaten it? What techniques enable us to effectively manage and protect species, communities and landscapes? Theory is supplemented with case studies, and practical methods are emphasized throughout. Assignments and a fieldtrip explore the protection of local endangered species. LEC

518 Population Geography (3)

Examines recent trends in population redistribution in the United States. Considers methods for producing population estimates and forecasts, and explores application of population analysis to the planning problems of government and business. LEC

519 Transportation (3)

Evolution of the U.S. transportation system; contemporary transportation problems: provision of transportation, transport networks, transport flows, urban transportation, logistics, information technologies; transport and urban forms. LEC

525 Manufacturing Location Theory (3)

Theory and selected case studies of the location of manufacturing activity. LEC

528 Geography and Social Theory (3)

Introduction and critical analysis of the current debates in human geography as they reflect or oppose social theory. Covers approaches such as: Marxist geography, structuralism theory and realism, qualitative methods and methodologies, alternative epistemologies, world systems theory, feminism, and post-modern geographies. SEM

530 Urban Geography (3)

Urban Geography is the study of the spatial structure of urban and metropolitan areas. Among other topics, it includes: (1) a study of the changing form of urban areas over time; (2) the behavior of people that gives rise to particular urban form; (3) the ways in which the internal structure of cities affects behavior and welfare; and, (4) the various ways in which people perceive and interact with their environment. LEC

531 Introduction to International Business and World Trade (3)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the geographic perspective on international business and world trade. We will examine empirical trends and evaluate conceptual frameworks for understanding the global economy at a variety of scales. Topics include: trade and investment patterns, trade agreements, governance regimes, institutional embeddedness, corporate internationalization, and financialization.

534 Graduate Research Problems (1-4) TUT

539 Graduate Tutorial in ITC (1-4) TUT

545 Restoration Ecology (3)

Restoration ecology is the art and science of repairing lands that have become damaged by natural or human disturbance. We first examine ecological and social reasons for restoration. We then focus on how to identify and repair the key physical, chemical and biotic components of damaged ecosystems. Case studies and a field trip help are used to develop the theories and methods. LEC

546 Global Change Ecology (3)

Global environmental change has significant impacts on social and ecological systems around the world.  Global Change Ecology is an emerging field that aims to understand the ecological implications of environmental change (especially anthropogenic climate change) and to assess risks under future global change. The course will include lectures, discussions of important scientific articles, hands-on exercises in conducting scientific research, and a group project to investigate novel scientific questions. In this course, students will review the basics of the earth system and climate change before investigating how organisms in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems respond to climate change. Finally, we will consider the impacts of future climate change and the implications for conservation policy and adaptation management.

549 Fluvial Geomorphology (3)

The course examines the classic themes in fluvial geomorphology including channel hydraulics, sediment transport, dominant discharge, hydraulic geometry, regime theory, channel patterns, river networks, and river channel change, as well as emerging areas of research including models and prediction, riverine habitat and riparian vegetation, and stream corridor rehabilitation. LEC

551 Cartography and Geographic Visualization (3)

This course examines current issues in cartography and geographic visualization (GVIS), focusing on the use of maps and other visual representations to facilitate thinking, problem solving, and decision making in geography. The lectures in this course focus on the history and conceptual background of cartography and GVIS, visual functions and forms, and topics such as interface design, animation, multimedia, hypermedia, color, sound, multivariate displays, terrain, etc. Some instructors may elect to have a laboratory session to provide hands-on experience in constructing basic cartographic visualization tools with various hardware devices and software packages. Currently this is done during class time. LEC

552 Special Topics in Cartography (4)

Topics in cartography in a seminar format. Each semester one or two topics are covered and recent research and developments in this field are discussed. Topics selected may include history of cartography, thematic cartography, map perceptions and communication, analytical cartography, map projections, generalization, cartographic surface representation, etc. Course work includes study of recent literature, a survey paper and/or a major project in the field in question. LEC/LAB

553 Remote Sensing (4)

Principles, characteristics, and applications of remote sensing; practical training in the methods and techniques of interpretation and analysis of aerospace remotely-sensed data. LEC & LAB

555 GIS Algorithms and Data Structures (3)

Examines selected aspects of the design and operation of large, computerized systems for handling spatial data. Detailed case studies of selected systems, e.g., the Canada Geographic Information Systems (CGIS) and the CBF/DIME system of the U.S. Bureau of the Census included. Laboratory sessions serve to familiarize the student with the actual operation of selected systems. LEC

556 GIS Design (3)

Covers full range of considerations necessary to develop a geographic information system in a governmental or other institutional setting. Topics include: 1) concepts of geographic information system development and use; 2) design and implementation processes; 3) review of historical system development and applications; 4) application of these concepts to local needs. SEM/LAB

559 GIS and Environmental Modeling (4)

This course will emphasize GIS applications in environmental research. Methodology design will be the primary focus and discussed under the following four topics: direct application of GIS functions, integrating GIS with statistics, and interfacing GIS and environmental models. The above three sections will be introduced with case studies. The fourth section of the course is the advanced topics in GIS research. The course also offers a series of lab exercises to familiarize students with basic operations of GIS projects. LEC/LAB

560 International Development (3)

This seminar will provide students with an advanced understanding of development theory and practice in the context of both the changing geography of global inequality and the shifting role of multilateral development institutions, states and non-governmental organizations to address this change. Students will explore contemporary development practice in an era of increased reliance on market mechanisms to achieve social development goals in low-income countries. Case studies include food system restructuring, with global health implications, microfinance, and gender mainstreaming.

561 Ecohydrology (3)

This course deals with hydrologic and ecological mechanisms underlying climate-soil-vegetation dynamics and land-water dynamics. The evolution of terrestrial ecosystems depends on the need of vegetation for inputs of light, water, and nutrients. These inputs are variable in time and space, and how they are assimilated depends on plant characteristics and ecosystem structure. Thus, vegetation plays an active role as both cause and effect of the space-time dynamics of soil water and climate. Specific topics will include preferred states in spatial distribution of soil moisture, hydraulic limits to plant water use, ecological optimality, vegetation-hydrology linkages at catchment scales, carbon and nutrient cycling, and vegetation competition. LEC

564 Mobility and Flows (4)

Prerequisites: GEO 519, GEO 506 - The study of spatial problems such as optimal location, logistics, and retail market analysis has long been one of the main areas of geographic research. However, the individual human component, which constitutes one of the main actors in these problems, is commonly missing. This course focuses on the study of the human decision-making process underlying spatial mobility, which results in the creation of patterns and daily routines. It covers the different environments and theories involved in the process, as well as the modeling techniques that have been used with an emphasis on the application of geographic information systems. LEC/LAB

570 Integrated Environmental Management (3)

Advanced seminar course dealing with drainage basic morphometry, dynamics and processes. Particular attention given to hillslope hydrology and its impact on the hydrograph and to statistical properties of channel networks. LEC

574 Transportation and Land Use Modeling (4)

Prerequisites: GEO 519, GEO 554, GEO 564 - Examines the interactions between urban transportation and spatial patterns of land use in cities. The course covers modeling issues related to the development and use of Integrated Transportation Land Use Models, and their relationships to GIS, as well as policy issues advocated to reduce urban congestion, including transit oriented development, congestion pricing, and other travel demand management issues. LEC/LAB

575 GIS Data Science Project Management (3)

Prerequisite: GEO 506 - Utilizes concepts and software tools to appropriately analyze geo-spatial data and model environmental processes. The course uses exercises related to physical processes, but also presents and discusses methods and examples in the fields of environmental science, ecology and human geography. LEC

590 Census Data & Their Use (3)

Census data are a vital source of information for academic researchers as well as governments, businesses, media, and community groups. Knowing what data are available, how to access them, and how to use them in meaningful ways are skills widely applicable across different areas of geographical research and in employment outside universities. Whether the Census data are your main research materials or simply contextual information around other data or case studies, they are useful to nearly everyone.  This course will take a hands-on approach to using the data produced primarily by the US Census Bureau, which cover a wide variety of demographic, housing, and business data. While this course focuses primarily on US data, the lessons are applicable to many other national statistical office data. Students will learn about the many datasets available, several ways of accessing them, how to find and use important dataset documentation, how to handle Census geography and changes over time in surveys and censuses, as well as different approaches to using the data. Final student projects will allow students to apply what they have learned to areas of their own interest.  This course also emphasizes the importance of writing clearly about the data and analysis of the data, as well as clear presentation of summary and analytical statistics though tables, graphs, and maps. Practice in effective written communication of results is a key component of this course.

591 Introduction to Geographic Information Science (3)

This new course will present a survey of Geographic Information Science, the basic field underpinning geographic information systems (GIS). Geographic information science rests in three basic areas: cognitive models of geographic concepts; computational and implementations of geographic models; and interactions between GIS and society. The course will provide overviews of these three research areas. The course will review applications of GIS and sources of geographic data, and include material on spatial data quality and spatial data standards. It will also provide students with an awareness of the history of GIS, the current state of the GIS industry, and trends and projections for the future. Ethical issues and legal dimensions of geographic information will be presented, and current high priority research areas within geographic information science will also be reviewed. LEC

593 Dynamic Modeling (3)

This course will provide hands-on experience in the construction and simulation of dynamic models to represent human and environmental systems. The paradigm case of such systems is diffusion over space and time: diffusion of ideas by word of mouth, diffusion of diseases by contact between individuals, and diffusion of forest fires and invasive species across landscapes. A range of modeling paradigms will be covered, from continuous representations of system dynamics to discrete interactions of individual/agent-based models. Calculus and programming experience are helpful but not required. Exercises and readings will be provided from a variety of sources reflecting current challenges that practitioners face in the multi-disciplinary field of dynamic modeling. LEC

597 Geostatistics (3)

This course is designed to introduce basic concepts and applications of geostatistics. Geostatistics are considered one of the most commonly used spatial interpolation methods in science and engineering research and professional applications. The lecture and discussion emphasize underlying assumptions, statistical principles, and applications of geostatistics. The classroom discussion is in conjunction with several lab sections and bi-weekly assignments to provide students hands-on experience of using the method. LEC

601 Supervised Teaching (1-4) TUT

605 Spatial Statistics (3)

Spatial questions that arise in the analysis of spatial data often have to do with the assessing whether clustering is present in the data - natural applications are to the detection of clusters of crime and disease. Methods for describing and evaluating the significance of clusters spatial data are illustrated with both simple numerical examples and data sets from epidemiology and crime analysis. LEC/REC

625 Global Business Landscapes (3)

This seminar reviews a broad range of empirical and theoretical trends in the recent literature on industrial geography. Topics covered include flexible manufacturing systems, corporate outsourcing, vertical integration/disintegration, collaborative networks, industrial districts and the role of producer services in technological innovation. SEM

631 Project Guidance (1-3 credits) TUT

632 Macro Issues in Trade (3)

Designed to acquaint students with theoretical structure of international trade and multinational location of business enterprises. Attention given to assessing utility of trade and location theories for understanding global patterns of commerce and industry, in view of changing decision-making needs of business firms and public agencies. LEC

633 Critical Urban Issues (3)

In this course, we explore new debates, problems, and issues that are shaping contemporary urban geography. It is assumed that students will have taken GEO 530 (or have an equivalent background in urban geography). This course is designed to consider 7-10 current issues or debates within this area of geography and critically evaluate each one for several classes. This course is designed to consider 7-10 current issues or debates within this area of geography and critically evaluate each one for several class meetings. This strategy allows students to achieve a depth of knowledge and understanding that is not possible in broader "survey" courses. Topics will vary year to year, but possibilities include: urban social policy, housing, employment and labor markets, metro-regions and "megacities," land-use and the (re)construction of urban landscapes, urban politics, race and the city, gender issues in urban geography, the "globalization" debates, and Third World cities. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the professor for information before the start of classes. LEC

634 International Business Cultures​ (3)

Directed principally to students preparing for careers in international business, this course is intended to provide a better understanding of cultural differences among peoples and the geographical relationships underlying them. Emphasizes those aspects most important for designing international marketing strategies and making locational decisions. SEM

636 Spatial Problems of Multinational Operations (3)

Examines geographic aspects and problems of multi-plant, multinational business enterprises. Special attention is given to the growth and spread of MNC manufacturing and service industries, international movement of investment capital, global rationalization of industrial production and the impact of MNC behavior upon host-and home-country growth and development. SEM

639 ITC Special Topics

 SEM Permission of instructor required.

640 The Industrial Organization of the Asia Pacific (3)

The emergence of the Asia Pacific has raised questions concerning the industrial organization of Asian countries that has contributed to their rapid growth and economic development. To understand Asia's industrial development, this course will focus on three broad themes, namely, the nature of Asian capitalism and industrial organization, the role of the state in industrial development, and the diversity of business strategies amongst firms of different national origins in Asia. Countries that will be examined include Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, China and other Southeast Asian countries. SEM

653 Advanced Remote Sensing (3)

This graduate-level course will focus on selected topics on the technique advancement of contemporary remote sensing. These topics include: multi-spectral classification, texture and contexture image analysis, hyperspectral analysis, land cover and land use change detection, LiDAR technique and its applications, spectral unmixing techniques, space-time analyses, accuracy assessments. Course topics may vary and are selected by the students and faculty involved.

655 Advanced Topics in Geographic Information Systems (3)

Seminar dealing with selected and specialized technical topics relating to design, development and technical structure of geographic information systems. Seminar topics vary and are selected by the students and faculty involved. Students should get advisor approval before registering. SEM

666 Geography of Information (3)

This course deals with the geographical impact of new information technologies on society in general, cities and regions in particular. It covers a diverse selection of material ranging from science parks to technopolis policies to the emergence of new electronic networks and new telecommunications. It deals with the transition to postindustrialism set in the context of a history of computing and other media. We deal with changes in manufacturing processes, the provision of services, the use of transportation and telecommunications, and the development of new information infrastructures which form the new media of cyberspace. The course emphasizes that to research the geography of the future, these new technologies will form both the instruments as well as the objects of study. LEC

680 Technology, Globalization, and Development (3)

This course will focus on the theoretical underpinnings of the processes associated with development, and examine their geographic implications. A related objective of this course is to understand the impact of science, technology, and innovation on economic and social development at an international scale. LEC

699 Applied Skills Supervision. TUT

701 Thesis Conference (1-6) TUT

741 International Trade Concentration (ITC) Internship and Research Project (6)

Prerequisites: GEO 531, GEO 632, GEO 634 and GEO 636 - The internship assignment is designed to provide students with the opportunity to apply previously learned skills to day-to-day problems and activities of business firms and service agencies operating at the international level. LAB

742 Geography Graduate Internship. TUT