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Courses

Geography professors offer exciting courses on a range of important issues like global climate change, industrialization, globalization, resource management, agricultural change, urbanization, land use, deforestation and hydrology. Geographers emphasize the study of space, place, pattern and scale within these interconnected topics.

Geographers encourage students to explore the Earth’s human and natural processes through critical thinking, spatial theory and geospatial technology. Our classes stress active learning. Natural science courses feature laboratory components that clarify the complexities of the Earth. Participatory social science classes focus on how humans interact with their surroundings and each other. Theories of space, place, pattern and scale deconstruct processes at the macro, meso and micro levels, helping students understand global connections.

Students will learn advanced geospatial techniques, including Remote Sensing, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and the Global Positioning System (GPS), to prepare them for exciting employment and research opportunities in many different fields across the globe.

Courses
GEOG 210 Geographic Dimensions of Human Development
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSSA)
Description
Introduction to geographic approaches to study of cultural, societal, economic, political, and environmental change. Topics include: spatial analysis techniques and theories; population distributions and migration; cultural geographies; global economic development and its distribution; urbanization; political geography; and human-environment relations. (Same as International Studies 210.)

GEOG 215 Geography of the James River Watershed
Units: 1
Description
Study of the local environments and protected areas within the James River watershed. Explores the natural and human connections that define the resource challenges and opportunities within this urban watershed. (Same as Environmental Studies 215)

GEOG 220 Ecotourism
Units: 1
Description
Ecotourism integrates environmental protection, education, empowerment, local livelihoods, and responsible travel. The study of ecotourism allows students to document and analyze complex interactions between society and nature. (Same as Environmental Studies 220)

GEOG 250 Introduction to Earth Systems and Physical Geography
Units: 1
Fulfills General Education Requirement (FSNB)
Description
Basic concepts of earth systems science and physical geography. Includes earth-sun relationships, weather and climate, environmental hydrology, landforms and geomorphology, climate change, and human-environment interactions. (Same as Environmental Studies 250.)

GEOG 260 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems
Units: 1
Description
Concepts of mapping and spatial analysis using the ArcGIS software package and ArcGIS Online. Includes map analysis, vector and raster data creation and presentation, cartography, and analysis of spatial relationships. In-depth look at concepts including scale, coordinate systems, projections, and metadata. Practice with data acquisition using mobile GPS technology. Demonstration of real-world applications of GIS technology. (Same Environmental Studies 260).

GEOG 279 Middle Eastern Geographies: Patterns of Space and Place
Units: 1
Description
Introduction to geography of the Middle East, increasing understanding of this exciting, dynamic region. Explores the physical and historical geographies of the region, and patterns of language, ethnicity, religion, settlement, and conflict. Includes Orientalism, Post-Colonial theory, identity, and urbanization. The discipline of Geography provides a unique perspective on the Middle East by intergrating an understanding of the people with an understanding of the land.

GEOG 280 Selected Topics
Units: .25-1
Description
May be repeated when topics vary.

GEOG 315 Landscape Ecology
Units: 1
Description
Applied science that focuses on the development, consequences, and management of environmental patterns. These patterns include the spatial distributions of species and the environment resources upon which they depend. Attention is paid to the importance of scale in natural resource management. Landscape ecology also emphasizes the role of humans in the environment.
Prerequisites
GEOG/ENVR 250, ENVR 201, BIOL 207, or permission of instructor

GEOG 320 Power, Space, and Territory: Geographies of Political Change
Units: 1
Description
Analyses of and explorations into the spatial dimensions and geographic characteristics of global, regional, and local political change; and the political economy and ecology of globalization. Topics include: imperialism; world systems theory; nationalism; regionalism; electoral geography; race, class and gender; political economy of trade and foreign aid; and political ecology.
Prerequisites
GEOG 210 or PLSC 240 or 250.

GEOG 325 Latin American Geographies: Transnational and Local Connections
Units: 1
Description
Latin America is a culturally and ecologically diverse region with historical and contemporary connections to locations around the world, including Richmond, Virginia. Documenting the movement of people and flows of ideas, goods, and services, this course analyzes the political economy and ecology of transnational networks in areas such as immigration, security, transportation, communication, energy, and commerce while examining place-based consequences in local communities.
Prerequisites
GEOG/IS 210 or IS 290

GEOG 333 Geographies of Amazonia
Units: 1
Description
Explores the contradictions and connections of Amazonia. Considers the region's importance and relevance to the rest of the world through a study of the ecologies, histories, and geographies of Amazonia. Looks at the Amazon basin as much more than the world's greatest rainforest, richest reserve of biological and cultural diversity, and largest source of fresh water flow.
Prerequisites
IS/GEOG 210 or IS 290 or ENVR 201

GEOG 345 Society, Economy and Nature: Global Perspectives on Sustainable Development
Units: 1
Description
Applies geography's human-environment tradition to examine social, cultural, and economic dimensions of sustainability and sustainable development. Examinations into foundations and theories behind the concept of sustainable development, discussions and debates about its real-world applicability, and explorations into case studies addressing relationships and contradictions between human desires for material well-being, environmental protection, and maintenance of cultural and/or social traditions.
Prerequisites
ENVR 201, GEOG 210, or IS 210.

GEOG 350 Environmental Gradients
Units: 1
Description
Investigation of the approaches, key concepts, and methods of studying environmental gradients. Explores quantitative methods for describing different aspects of climate, water, nutrient, and biotic systems and their interactions. A modeling approach is introduced and different types of conceptual, statistical, and simulation models are used to explore the different systems.
Prerequisites
GEOG/ENVR 250, ENVR 201, BIOL 207, CHEM 110, or permission of instructor

GEOG 360 Environmental Remote Sensing
Units: 1
Description
Concepts of image acquisition, image interpretation, and satellite remote sensing. Includes electromagnetic spectrum concepts, acquisition of image data, visual characteristics of vegetation and landforms, image interpretation, classification and transformation, and integration of remotely sensed imagery into other spatial analysis systems. Student research projects. (Same as Environmental Studies 360.)
Prerequisites
ENVR/GEOG 260 or permission of instructor.

GEOG 365 Advanced Spatial Analysis
Units: 1
Description
Advanced topics in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) theory, application, and analysis. Topics include use of Model Builder, analysis of aerial imagery and LiDAR data, use of 3D Analyst and ArcScene, and use of Network Analyst and topologies. Emphasis on practical and real-world applications of GIS for biological, environmental, and social science issues, culminating in student projects. This course may be repeated as specific course material frequently changes. (Same as Environmental Studies 365).
Prerequisites
ENVR/GEOG 260.

GEOG 370 Geographies of Economic Development and Globalization
Units: 1
Description
Geographic perspectives on economic development and spatial analysis of trends in the global economy. Topics include: natural resource location and distribution; commodity flows and chains; technological change and diffusion; international trade; entrepreneurship and innovation; industrial location theory; social and cultural dimensions of development; geographies of labor; and regional development theories and trends.
Prerequisites
GEOG 210 or ECON 101 and 102.

GEOG 380 Selected Topics
Units: .25-1
Description
May be repeated when topics vary. (Same as International Studies 350.)

GEOG 388 Individual Internship
Units: .25-1
Description
Supervised independent work. No more than 1.5 units of internship in any one department and 3.5 units of internship overall may be counted toward required degree units.
Prerequisites
Permission of supervising instructor.

GEOG 390 Independent Study
Units: .5-1
Description
Topics independently pursued under supervision of a faculty member. May be repeated twice for a total of up to two units.
Students planning to enroll  in an independent study through the Department of Geography & the Environment are required to complete the Independent Study form and return it to the department office.
Prerequisites
Permission of instructor.

GEOG 401 Geography Capstone
Units: 1
Description
Capstone course is the culmination of the Geography major. The primary objective is to further develop students' ability to conduct geographic research through the practical application of geographic methods and theory. Students will synthesize their knowledge of geography with an individual thesis or group project.
Prerequisites
GEOG/IS 210, GEOG/ENVR 260, and two 300-level GEOG courses of permission of instructor

GEOG 406 Summer Undergraduate Research
Units: 0
Description
Documentation of the work of students who receive summer fellowships to conduct research [or produce a creative arts project] in the summer. The work must take place over a minimum of 8 weeks, the student must engage in the project full-time (at least 40 hours per week) during this period, and the student must be the recipient of a fellowship through the university. Graded S/U.
Prerequisites
Approval for summer Arts and Sciences fellowship by faculty mentor