Welcome to Adobe GoLive 6
Virginia Tech University Registrar

2013-2014 Undergraduate Course Catalog & Academic Policies

Academic Calendars Colleges & Course Descriptions Governance, Administration & Faculty
Academic Policies Financial Information Publication Information
Admissions Information General Information University Academic Advising Center

College of Natural Resources and Environment

Geography

Geography professor and studentswww.geography.vt.edu

L. William Carstensen, Head
Professors: J.B. Campbell; L.W. Carstensen; L.S. Grossman
Associate Professors: S. R. Brooker-Gross
Assistant Professors: K. M. de Beurs; L.M. Kennedy; K.N. Kolivras;
L.M. Resler
Instructors: J. D. Boyer; D. F. Carroll; R. D. Oliver
Research Associate: P. Sforza
Career Advisors: L. W. Carstensen; J.B. Campbell (231-6886)


Overview

    Geography offers a unique perspective on many of today’s most important issues--from globalization, international development, and culture change to environmental problems, population growth, and climate change. Its theories and methods provide analytical techniques applicable to a wide range of questions significant to a broad spectrum of occupations. The geography major provides a balance between an education focusing on contemporary social, political, economic, and environmental issues and training in advanced computer-based techniques.

    The department offers courses in human geography, physical geography, and geospatial computer techniques. Human geography is concerned with the spatial dimensions of the economy, politics, and culture; the significance of where people and their activities are located; how the movement of people, resources, and ideas creates links between rural and urban areas and between different regions of the world; the relationships between peoples and their environments; patterns of resource use; how differences and inequalities revealed in spatial patterns affect the quality of life; and how the processes of globalization are transforming regions, countries, and localities. Physical geographers study patterns of climate, landforms, vegetation, soils, water, and natural hazards and especially the factors and processes that produce those patterns, including human-environment interactions. Geospatial computer techniques involve Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), computer mapping, and remote sensing. These technologies have led to significant advances in the ways in which geographic information is collected, mapped, analyzed, and integrated in database and decision-making systems. The Department of Geography has excellent technical facilities, including a Geographic Information Systems lab, a remote sensing lab, and a biogeography lab.

    Training in geography provides valuable, marketable skills that are in high demand in business, government, and education. Geography majors obtain employment in such diverse fields as geographic information systems, satellite imagery analysis, planning, transportation, marketing, health care, map making, land and water management, recreation, environmental conservation, and teaching. Employment opportunities are especially strong for students obtaining advanced training in geospatial computer techniques, which are used by both human and physical geographers. Undergraduates in the department have the opportunity to work with several local and county agencies while using their geospatial skills to enhance their education and employment prospects.

Options

    In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the Curriculum for Liberal Education and the core curricula of the College of Natural Resources and Environment, geography majors must also complete 39 hours in geography and related disciplines. Course requirements vary according to the option that a student selects, but all majors must take GEOG 1004, 1014, 1104, 2314 and STAT 3604. Geography offers two options, both of which lead to the B.A. degree.

    Those in the Culture, Regions, and International Development option must complete 15 hours from human geography classes (GEOG 2034, 2054, 2064, 2134, 3104, 3204, 3214, 3224, 3234, 3364, 4054, 4074, 4204, 4244, 4764, and SPIA 2004), of which at least 9 credits must be at the 3000-4000 levels; 3 credits from classes in geospatial analysis and the environment (GEOG 3114, 3304, 3314, 3404, 4044, 4084, and 4354); and 6 credits from geography or specified cognate electives, of which at least 3 credits must be at the 3000-4000 levels.

    Students in the Geospatial and Environmental Analysis option must complete at least 6 credits from GIS and mapping courses (GEOG 3314, 4084, 4314, 4324, 4384, and 4844), at least 6 credits from environmental analysis courses (GEOG 3114, 3304, 3404, 4044, and 4354), and an additional 3 credits from either category; 6 credits from human geography classes (GEOG 2034, 2054, 2064, 2134, 3104, 3204, 3214, 3224, 3234, 3464, 4054, 4074, 4204, 4244, and 4764), of which at least 3 credits must be at the 3000-4000 levels; and 3 credits from geography or specified cognate electives.

Minor Requirements

    To graduate with a minor in geography, a student must complete 21 hours of geography, including GEOG 1004, 1014, and 1104; 3 hours from GEOG 2314 or 3314; plus an additional 9 hours of geography classes, of which at least 6 hours must be at the 3000-4000 levels.

Satisfactory Progress

    To make satisfactory progress towards the geography degree, upon completion of 60 hours, students must have completed 15 hours in geography. Upon completing 90 hours, students must have an in-major GPA of 2.0 or more. Courses for in-major GPA computation include all GEOG courses and SPIA 2004.

Undergraduate Courses (GEOG)

1004: INTRODUCTION TO HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Introduction to geography as a social science.  Development of a conceptual framework for studying and evaluating human-environment relationships.  Examination of selected regional and global issues in terms of human and physical attributes of place. (3H,3C) I,II.

1014: WORLD REGIONS
Human and physical patterns of major regions of the world. Concepts and perspectives of geography as a social science; linkages and interdependence of nations and regions. (3H,3C) I,II.

1104: INTRODUCTION TO PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY
Integrated study of major subsystems of the natural environment of humans: the nature, distribution, and interrelationships of climate, landforms, vegetation, hydrology, and soils. (3H,3C) I,II.

1115-1116 (NR 1115-1116): SEEKING SUSTAINABILITY
Definition of, conditions of, and strategies for achieving sustainability.  1115: History, current conditions, and trends of sustainability from ecological, economic, and social perspectives.  1116:  Detailed conditions and trends, tools for constructing sustainability, integrative project application. (3H,3C)

1504: SURVEY OF METEOROLOGY
An introductory look into the world of meteorology, including the role of forecasters, broadcast meteorologists, current research, and the prediction and response to significant storm events. (1H,1C)

2034: GEOGRAPHY OF GLOBAL CONFLICT
Discussion of geographical dimensions of global conflicts: territorial, environmental, locational, segregational and perceptual.  Explains the background to conflicts, documents the current status of conflicts and discusses the different points of view in conflict.  Analysis of the Holocaust in Europe, conflicts in Middle East, Northern Ireland, and
Central Europe.  Topics in the course will change as the geography of global conflict changes. (3H,3C) II.

2054 (IS 2054) (PSCI 2054): INTRODUCTION TO WORLD POLITICS
An introduction to the prevalent methods and theories in the study of world politics.  Topics include:  historical context of contemporary world politics, global actors and power relations, international conflict and conflict resolution, international systems, interdependence, trade and integration, international law and prospects for global governance. (3H,3C)

2064 (IS 2064) (PSCI 2064): THE GLOBAL ECONOMY AND WORLD POLITICS
An introduction to the interaction of politics and economics, power and wealth, within the world political economy.  Topics include:  the international financial system, the dynamics and principles of trade, and the role of transnational firms, as well as issues of environmental protection, sustainable development, and the distribution of wealth and power. (3H,3C)

2084: PRINCIPLES OF GIS
Principles and applications of Geographic Information Systems, Geographic coordinate systems, georeferencing, data sources, databases, mapping, and spatial applications of GIS for students who do not wish a technical knowledge of GIS.  Requires regular use of Internet server-based automated systems for geographic data analysis. Partially duplicates GEOG 4084.  Cannot be taken for credit after GEOG 4084, and precludes credit for GEOG 4084. (2H,2C)

2134: GEOGRAPHY OF THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
Geographical dimensions of the global economy since World War II. Globalization and the emergence of a new international division of labor.  The relative decline of the United States and the growth of Japan, East Asia and the European Union.  Changing geographies of foreign direct investment location.  Places and regions in geo-economic discourse.  Population and resources issues in the early twenty-first century. (3H,3C)

2214: GEOGRAPHY OF NORTH AMERICA
Regional study of Anglo-American with consideration of relationships between natural environments and social, political, and economic developments. International issues involving Mexico also considered. (3H,3C)

2314: MAPS AND MAPPING
Introduction to mapping and its role in society. Fundamentals of map reading, analysis, and interpretation, as they are required for the solution of spatial problems. Influences of maps on attitudes toward and images of the geographic environment. (3H,3C) II.

2505,2506: WEATHER ANALYSIS I
Introduction to the operational tools and processes in weather forecasting.  Surface data and upper-air sounding analysis, forces producing and directing wind flow, jetstreams, weather chart analysis, and atmospheric moisture including clouds and precipitation. (3H,3C)

2964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

2974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

2984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

2994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

3104: ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS, POPULATION, AND DEVELOPMENT
Environmental problems considered in their social, spatial, and global contexts.  Impacts of globalization, political economy, population, culture, and poverty on environmental crises.  Examination of effects of relations between developed and developing countries on the environment. Focus on selected key environmental issues, such as population growth, pesticide misuse, the development process and the environment, the energy crisis, and environmental justice. (3H,3C)

3114 (GEOS 3114): INTRODUCTION TO METEOROLOGY
A nonmathematical introduction to meteorology including consideration of the structure of the atmosphere, energy balance in the atmosphere, clouds and precipitation, air masses and fronts, global circulation, storms, climatology, catastrophic weather, meteorological optics, and forecasting. (2H,3L,3C)

3204: GEOGRAPHY OF MIDDLE AMERICA
Assessment of human-environment interactions in the region from earliest human habitation to the present.  Includes Pre-Columbian ecological adaptations; change introduced by European conquest and colonization; revolution and land reform; and contemporary geographic case studies. 3 hours of Geography required. (3H,3C) II.

3224: GEOGRAPHY OF APPALACHIA
Appalachia as a region: physical environment, development of internal settlement, cultural, economic, and political patterns.  Human adaptations to environmental change and linkages to external regions. 3 hrs in Geography required. (3H,3C)

3244: THE U.S. CITY
The economic, political, and social forces driving urbanization in the United States.  The American city in historical context with particular emphasis on the rise of manufacturing, deindustrialization, and suburbanization.  Case studies from the manufacturing and sunbelt regions to illuminate key constructs from urban and human geography. "Border" examples of comparative urbanization from the U.S.- Mexican border, the Caribbean, and Canada. Junior standing required. (3H,3C)

3254: GEOGRAPHY OF EAST ASIA
A geographical analysis of several modern states in East Asia, specifically China, Japan and the Koreas. Economic, political, and cultural change since the end of World War II.  Globalization and the emergence of the China as a demographic and economic giant. (3H,3C)

3304 (CSES 3304) (GEOS 3304): GEOMORPHOLOGY
Examines the variety of landforms that exist at the earth's surface. Detailed investigation of major processes operating at the earth's surface including:  tectonic, weathering, fluvial, coastal, eolian, and glacial processes. Field excursion. Pre: 1104 or GEOS 1004 or GEOS 2104. (3H,3C)

3314: CARTOGRAPHY
Science and art of cartography including the conceptual framework of the cartographic method. Development of the skills necessary to create maps to be used in the analysis of spatial phenomena for geographic research. Emphasis on thematic cartography. I (2H,3L,3C)

3404: MOUNTAIN GEOGRAPHY
Physical characteristics of mountains, such as steep slopes, climatic extremes, and sharp environmental gradients, and their influences on the ways in which people, animals, and plants interact.  Physical processes that operate in high-relief environments, including consideration of climate, geomorphology and biogeography.  Influence of physical processes in mountain environments on human culture and activities.  Cultural significance of mountains. Mountains as a resource.  Land use and human-land interactions in mountains.  Course is intended for students with an interest in what makes mountains unique and inspiring landscape elements. Pre: 1104. (3H,3C)

3464 (AHRM 3464) (APS 3464) (EDHL 3464) (HD 3464) (HUM 3464) (SOC 3464) (UAP 3464): APPALACHIAN COMMUNITIES
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiental learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing. (3H,3C)

3504: SEVERE WEATHER
An introduction into mesoscale environments favoring the development of severe thunderstorms and tornadoes, the analysis of moisture, instability and shear parameters associated with severe weather events.  Thunderstorm life-cycles, analysis of thermodynamic diagrams, role of wind shear and associated convective mode, hail production and forecasting, tornadogenesis and research. Pre: 2505. (3H,3C)

3515,3516: DYNAMIC METEOROLOGY
Examination of atmospheric thermodynamics and its role in the movement of air in the atmosphere. Covers the first and second laws of thermodynamics as they apply to the atmosphere.  Topics covered include buoyancy calculations, hydrostatics, and the role of moisture in vertical movement of sir in the atmosphere. Pre: 2506, MATH 2214, PHYS 2206, (PHYS 2216 or PHYS 2306) for 3515; 3515 for 3516. (3H,3C)

3524: METEOROLOGY FIELD METHODS
A field methods course in meteorology.  On-location observation and analysis of temperature, wind fields, pressure, and dewpoint. In-field experiences with radar and satellite data, numerical model output and portable weather stations.  On-location sites and corresponding curriculum may include severe storm analysis in the Great Plains, mountain weather in the White Mountains (NH) or Rocky Mountains (CO), and costal storms along the Atlantic of Gulf of Mexico coastlines. May be repeated for credit, with permission and different content, for a maximum of 9 hours. Pre: 2506, 3504. (3H,3C)

3954: STUDY ABROAD
Variable credit course.

4044 (BIOL 4044): BIOGEOGRAPHY
A survey of the field of biogeography.  A study of the factors influencing the distribution of plants and animals approached from ecological, historical, and cultural perspectives.  Human influence on biotic patterns, such as crop domestication, habitat alteration, species introductions and extinctions, management issues, and environmental change, is a primary focus. Pre: 1104 or BIOL 2804. (3H,3C)

4054: GEOGRAPHY OF WINE
Analysis of physical and cultural forces that shape the production, consumption, and great variety of wine in the world.  Wine as a complex commodity is examined through its economic, social, political, and ideological impacts in different parts of the world throughout history. Particular emphasis will be focused on place as an agent in defining the product. (3H,3C)

4074: MEDICAL GEOGRAPHY
Geographic patterns of disease and health care at various scales. Ecological, holistic approach to health problems emphasizes interrelationships of population-habitat-culture. Mapping of disease patterns and health services delivery and utilization. Field experience included.  3 hours of Geography required. I (3H,3C)

4084 (GEOS 4084): INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Use of automated systems for geographic data collection, digitization, storage, display and analysis.  Basic data in GIS applications. Overview of GIS applications.  Group homework projects to develop proficiency in the use of current GIS software.  Prior experience with personal computers recommended. (3H,3C)

4204: GEOGRAPHY OF RESOURCES
Environmental problems of Industrialized and Third World. Human impact on the environment, population-resource relationships, the relationship between resources and economic development, food production and the problem of world hunger, and energy-related issues. (3H,3C)

4214 (UAP 4214) (WGS 4214): WOMEN, ENVIRON & DEVELOPMENT
Explores intersecting roles of gender, culture, and socio-economic status in people's use of nature, management of environmental resources, and experiences of environmental change. Examines debates on environmental and development initiatives, environmental ethics, and environmental social movements from feminist perspectives. Pre: UAP 3344 or UAP 3354. (3H,3C)

4314: SPATIAL ANALYSIS IN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Theory and application of Geographic Information Systems, with special emphasis on analytical operations, database design, cartographic modeling, and raster GIS.  Spatial data handling and analysis to facilitate decision-making through the communication of geographically referenced data. Pre: 4084. (2H,3L,3C)

4324: ALGOTRITHMS IN GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Computational methods in automated mapping and map analysis. Visual Basic programming and algorithm design for spatial display and analysis under both raster and vector data models.  Requires regular use of the departmental microcomputer and UNIX workstation laboratory. Variable credit course. Pre: 4084, CS 1044.

4354 (GEOS 4354): INTRODUCTION TO REMOTE SENSING
Theory and methods of remote sensing.  Practical exercises in interpretation of aerial photography, satellite, radar, and thermal infrared imagery.  Digital analysis, image classification, and evaluation. Applications in earth sciences, hydrology, plant sciences, and land use studies. (2H,3L,3C)

4374: REMOTE SENSING AND PHENOLOGY
Analysis of spatial and temporal patterns of the vegetated land surface as observed by satellite images.  Application of satellite image time series to derivation of land surface phenology, and analysis of the appearance and development of phenology in the USA and worldwide.  Methods of monitoring of phenology with satellite imagery.  Causes of spatio-temporal changes of phenological events.  Effects of global climate change. Pre: 4354. (3H,3C)

4394: INTRO TO WEB MAPPING
Application of web mapping technologies to geographic data collection, storage, analysis, and display. History and context, spatial data infrastructures, hardware and software architectures, open geospatial consortium standards, mapping APIs, virtual globes, user-centric design, web cartography. Group and individual projects. Pre: 2314 or 3314 or 4084. (3H,3C)

4504: SYNOPTIC METEOROLOGY
Examination of large-scale (1000-5000km) weather systems using both analytical and operational analysis.  Topics include thermal structure of atmosphere & resulting circulation, frontal analysis, lifting mechanisms, barotropic/baroclinic systems, and mid-latitude cyclones. Weather pattern influences of the jetstreams and oscillation of large pressure systems including El Nino/La Nina and the North Atlantic Oscillation. Pre: 3504. (3H,3C)

4524: PHYSICAL METEOROLOGY
A study of the physical processes in the atmosphere, including radiation, energy budgets, temperature and pressure variations, optics, electrical phenomena, cloud physics and precipitation formation. Pre: 3516. (3H,3C)

4554: REMOTE SENSING OF ATMOSPHERE
Remote sensing technologies used in monitoring weather. Evaluation of Doppler radar products, including base reflectivity, base velocity, storm-relative velocity, and vertically integrated liquid imagery.  Could observation through infrared and visible satellite imagery; remote
weather station design, set-up and data retrieval. Pre: 4354. (1H,1C)

4764 (SOC 4764) (UAP 4764): INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY AND PLANNING
Examination of major development theories and contemporary issues and characteristics of low-income societies (industrialization, urbanization, migration, rural poverty, hunger, foreign trade, and debt) that establish contexts for development planning and policy-making.  Junior standing required. I (3H,3C)

4964: FIELD STUDY
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.

4974: INDEPENDENT STUDY
Variable credit course.

4984: SPECIAL STUDY
Variable credit course.

4994: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH
Variable credit course.

TOP

Search Catalog
Virginia Tech 2013-2014 Undergraduate Course Catalog and Academic Policies