Department of Geography and Regional Planning
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
History of the discipline, great ideas, leading professionals, and unresolved issues are studied.
Develops ability to map and diagram human and environmental phenomena. Special maps, charts, and diagrams will be considered as required by students. Recommended for all master’s candidates.
Develops skill in extracting information and synthesizing data from maps and aerial photographs as applied to geologic, land use, planning, and terrain analysis problems.
Methods of remote sensing such as thermal sensing, multi-spectral scanning, satellite imagery, side-looking airborne radar imagery, and additive color analysis and their applications, particularly as applied to geographic and planning problems, are studied.
Automated methods for creating, maintaining, and analyzing spatial data are presented. Topics include 1) specialized GIS hardware and software, 2) vector vs. raster vs. object-oriented spatial data structures, 3) creation and manipulation of geographic data files, 4) database design and management concepts, 5) spatial analysis, and 6) cartographic design. Prerequisite: GEOG 513 or equivalent or permission of instructor.
A project-based class where students learn the skills to develop and maintain a Geographic Information System. Students will construct functional systems. Designing GIS systems to use specification data collection, data input, project management, and system documentation covered. Prerequisite: GEOG 516.
Provides students with knowledge of the theoretical basis of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications for criminologists and other social scientists. In the process of demonstrating some of the capabilities of GIS, the specifics of selected GIS and database software packages will also be covered. During the course of the semester, students will develop the skills to use GIS packages, manipulate and query geographic data to solve problems, perform simple spatial analysis, and understand how to utilize GIS in law enforcement/social science problem-solving and decision-making processes. Prerequisite: None.
Provides students with knowledge of the theoretical basis of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their applications for environmental scientific analysis. In the process of demonstrating some of the capabilities of GIS, the specifics of selected GIS and database software packages will also be covered. During the course of the semester, students will develop the skills to use GIS packages, manipulate and query geographic data to solve problems, perform simple spatial analysis, and understand how to utilize GIS for environmental analysis and resource management. Prerequisite: None.
Principles and methods for creating, operating, maintaining, and managing data for multi-user geospatial information systems are studied. Each student will customize, document, and operate a multi-department, multi-user geographic information system of his/her design. Prerequisite: GEOG 517 or consent of instructor.
Provides students with knowledge of the theoretical basis and practical applications of Geographic Positioning Systems (GPS). Students will gain hands-on experience using GPS receivers and GPS observables, as well as the ability to determine point and relative position fixes from pseudorange and carrier phase measurements. Students will be exposed to industry standard GPS hardware and software, as well as appropriate techniques for processing GPS data to achieve necessary levels of horizontal and vertical positional accuracy. Integration of GPS and geographic information systems (GIS) will also be discussed.
Spatial variations in numbers, characteristics and dynamics of human population, models, and theoretical constructs relevant to demographic structures and processes are studied.
Analysis of city types, patterns, and functions as influenced by geographic conditions and other factors. City planning techniques and field study are utilized.
Transportation systems and their use: accessibility, circulation, time and distance concepts, and trade patterns. Empirical and theoretical approaches are examined.
Geographic factors and conditions are analyzed as they relate to character and function of states. Political institutions in light of geographic conditions.
Spatial dimensions of the American society are the focus of this course. The distribution of various social groups and their impact on the landscape are considered.
Problems of exploitation and utilization of regional resources (e.g., soils, minerals, forests, and wildlife), in relation to population growth and regional planning and development.
Examines the elements of weather and climate on Earth. The location and causes of global climatic regions are examined in relation to moving pressure and wind systems. The course also considers the climatic history of the planet and recent human modifications of the atmospheric environment.
Focuses on landform types and their spatial distribution. Emphasis is placed on the tectonic forces that build landforms and the weathering and erosional processes that erode and shape surface features. The relationship between human activities and landforms is also considered.
Focuses on surface and groundwater as a resource with unique properties. Fresh water is defined physically by storage in the hydrologic cycle and the values assigned by different cultures. Problems featured relate to consumptive and withdrawal water uses, the problems of water supply and scarcity, water law and its inconsistencies, flooding and floodplains management, sources of contamination and pollution, and wetlands, including case studies of selected river basins.
Introduction to the profession and activity of contemporary American urban and regional planning. Course emphasis is placed on land use control, design, growth management, and development regulation. Legal and institutional bases of planning practice are covered as well.
Research, analytical design, and plan-making techniques in urban and regional planning. Examines basic items necessary to prepare urban and regional comprehensive plans.
Presents concepts of city, subdivision, and transportation design in relation to topography, natural resources, and other physical elements. Prerequisite: GEOG 550.
Introduces students to principles of land use law. The course focus is on federal constitutional principles and key Supreme Court cases, especially as they relate to actions of local units of government and municipal planning practice. Deals with the present state of land use law and with current trends and issues. Prerequisite: GEOG 550 or GEOG 564.
Introduces students to and provides an overview of land use issues at the regional, state, and federal levels. Emphasizes evolution of contemporary policy strategies, constitutional issues, and regional controversies involved in the regulation of metropolitan growth, central city decline, and management of public lands.
Examines process of city planning during ancient, medieval, Renaissance, and modern periods. A review of early planning in America, as well as present city planning, is included. Prerequisite: GEOG 550
Topical courses offered on an experimental basis. Check department schedule for these offerings.
Immerses the student in a regional environment. Helps the student to critically see and to interpret a cultural landscape. The experience is predominantly off campus. Using a combination of structured field exercises, culturally specific readings, primary and secondary data, and standard geographic field techniques, the course strives to develop for the student a deeper affective and cognitive understanding of a cultural region. May be repeated under a different study area title. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor.
Elements and techniques of scientific research, as applied to geographic and planning problems, are studied. A research proposal is developed.
Descriptive and inferential statistical techniques applied to spatial distribution and spatial association of physical and cultural phenomena and testing of spatial theoretical constructs.
Examines the status of current and past thought and philosophy in geography and regional planning, using the literature in planning, geography, and the philosophy of science. Topics examined are regional development, local planning, environmentalism and physical geography, and cultural geography. Prerequisite: GEOG 610.
Field tools and techniques are evaluated and used in the study of a specific area. Interpretation of spatial patterns of phenomena is emphasized.
Takes students with GIS analysis skills to the next level: developing of software to automate methods and processes learned in prerequisite courses. Students will learn to write object-oriented software tools for spatial data transaction processing and analysis. Prerequisite: GEOG 516.
The spatial organization of economic systems is studied. Processes that give rise to these systems and their spatial interdependencies are explored. Topical and regional examples of spatial structure are used as case studies.
Theory and policy implications of the spatial aspects of development in various regions of underdevelopment.
Provides students with information about natural resources, their characteristics, and various techniques that can be implemented for their preservation, conservation, and management. In particular, emphasis will be placed on human-environment interaction and how aspects of the environment can and should be accounted for in planning processes at various spatial scales and levels of analysis. Course material will be presented through lectures, as well as guest speakers, field trips, and student presentations.
Literature and methods of cultural geography. Topics include population, settlements, human ecology, culture areas, and related features.
Settlement patterns and processes; origins, diffusion, classification, pioneer, settlement planning, and agricultural colonization.
Various regions of the world may be dealt with, such as Latin America, Africa, or South Asia, when there is sufficient student demand. Physical, environmental, cultural, and population patterns are considered.
Considers zoning, improvement programs, housing codes, building codes, methodology and application of administrative procedures, federal and local urban renewal programs, site selection, and program administration. Prerequisite: GEOG 550.
Classroom problems and discussion centered about new viewpoints in geography. Individual reports, group discussion, and research included.
A techniques- and project-based course where students learn advanced spatial analysis skills utilizing Geographic Information Systems. Students will learn the concepts underlying spatial analysis techniques and obtain hands-on experience operationalizing methods through use of GIS hardware and software. Prerequisites: GEOG/RGPL 316/516.
Seminars on various topics will be offered occasionally. Topics such as new trends in planning, cartographic theory, or spatial aspects of service industries are the focus of research projects.
Professional learning experience with emphasis on practical applications of academic background. Prerequisites: Twelve academic credits and a 3.00 cumulative GPA.
Independent research and study under faculty direction. Interested students should apply to director of graduate studies.
Registration for thesis must be approved by the department’s graduate coordinator and chairperson ahead of time.
*Indicates dual-listed class
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