Geography & Geosciences

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Geography & Geosciences

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Course Offerings

2014–2015

One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

Bidisciplinary Course

BID 103 Ocean Studies
This is an interdisciplinary approach to studying the ocean realm. The biological and geological processes of the oceans mediate global cycles. This course will present the principles of physical and chemical oceanography as well as a survey of ocean ecosystems. Topics will include plate tectonics and ocean basin formation, sea water chemistry, ocean circulation, nutrient cycles in the ocean, diversity of marine organisms and the environmental issues related to marine systems. This course will provide an introduction to quantitative analysis of oceanographic data sets and oceanographic computer modeling methods. Includes laboratory.

Geography Courses

GEO 102 Earth System Science
Scientific study of the connection between working systems of the Earth, their characteristics, patterns, and shaping processes. Topics include rocks and minerals, theory of plate tectonics, and landforms created by rivers, glaciers, wind, and ocean processes. Tools used include topographic maps, aerial photographs and spatial analysis software. Course includes a brief analysis of landform regions of the United States in a regional approach. Includes laboratory with required materials fee. Also offered in hybrid format.

GEO 105 Introduction to Atmospheric Science
Study of the major characteristics, patterns, and processes of dynamic change that distinguish the Earth's weather and climate and its related influence on the biosphere. Topics include: solar and earth radiation, air temperature, air pressure and winds, precipitation, air masses and fronts, circulation patterns, severe weather occurrences, storms and climate. The impact of human technology on weather and climate and the biosphere is discussed as a major social and ethical issue. Includes labora- tory with required materials fee. Also offered in online format.

GEO 111 Regional Study of the Modern Industrial World
A geographic overview of the distinctive characteristics. patterns, problems, and trends that distinguish life in the modern, industrial areas of the world where Western cultural influence has been pervasive, e.g., United States, Canada, Europe, European Russia, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

GEO 112 Regional Study of the Developing World
A geographic overview of life in the traditional societies of Latin America, Africa and Asia.
The distinctive identities of these regions and the current issues which influence their development are examined in light of major concepts and theories in geography, the cultural heritage of each region, and the global political-economic structure of the world.

GEO 207 Introduction to Spatial Thinking
An introduction to spatial cognition, conceptualization and representation. Students explore physical and cultural landscapes using various mapping and geovisualization techniques and software tools. The geographic perspective is used to examine a broad  range of topics including retail location, crime patterns, access to healthcare and environmental justice. No prerequisite.

GEO 218 Geography of Religion
This course approaches the diversity of practice and belief of the major world religions from a geographical perspective. Key topics include development of religious hearths, processes in the diffusion of religion, the role of place within and among religious systems, their sub-branches and denominations, religious efforts to exert cultural territoriality over secular space, and the meanings and uses of sacred space at various scales. The relationship between religion and place is examined with emphasis on how religions change and adapt to new locales, particularly in the US. Contested religious spaces will be analyzed along with the geographical implications of religious fundamentalism.

GEO 302 Urban Applications of GIS
Examination of urban infrastructure systems, problems, and environmental concerns from a spatial perspective. Urban infrastructure systems include water systems, air pollution concerns, and land issues as well as population migration trends in the form of urban sprawl. Case studies of resources in northeastern Illinois and field trips. Use of GIS methodology is stressed. Pre- or corequisite: GEO 207 or consent of instructor.

GEO 308 Remote Sensing Techniques
Interpretation of the Earth's physical and cultural phenomena from aerial and satellite photogrammical imagery. Air photo measurement techniques and digital processing are introduced. Applications include urban and rural land use analysis; environmental applications; resources exploration; and temporal and spatial detection. Of special interest to biology and urban studies majors. Prerequisites: GEO 102, GEO 105 and GEO 207. Spring Term. 

GEO 309 Introduction to Spatial Analysis
The first portion of the spatial analysis sequence of GEO 309 and GEO 400, this intermediate/advanced GIS course emphasizes real-world applications. Topics include: cartographic communication skills, working with projections, integrating disparate data sources, geometrical operations on discrete and contin- uous data, techniques for proximity and overlay analysis and basic spatial statistical analysis methods. Students will complete a portfolio of exercises demonstrating broad GIS technical skills. Prerequisite: GEO 207 or consent of instructor. Fall Term.

GEO 311 Regional Study of Europe
A geographic analysis of Europe, excluding the former Soviet Union. The analysis includes the physical and cultural characteristics of Europe. Emphasis is placed on the development of cultural spatial patterns, especially the language, religious, political, urban and economic patterns. Fall Term, even-numbered years.

GEO 315 Regional Study of United States and Canada
A systematic/regional analysis of the United States and Canada. Major emphasis on the relationship of the physical environment to the economic, political, and social characteristics, patterns, problems and trends of the region. Spring Term, even-numbered years.

GEO 317 Regional Study of Latin America
A systematic/regional study of Latin America which emphasizes the relationship of the physical environment to economic, political, and social patterns, problems and trends of the region. Latin America's increasing role in Western Hemispheric relations is also examined. Spring Term, odd-numbered years.

GEO 350 Geography of Sexual and Gender Identities
Place and sexuality are mutually constituted. Sexuality has a profound effect on the way people live in and interact with, space and place.  In turn, space and place affect people’s sexuality. This statement underlies the focus of this course which examines the interrelationships, influences and consequences of space and place on the development and experience of sexuality and gender identities in various cultures and at various spatial scales around the world. At a basic level, all social relations including those involving sexuality and gender are spatial. It matters where things are and take place. The uneven distribution of LGBTQ people and identities across space is fundamental to understanding who they are and what being “queer” means. This course examines these themes as well as the political, economic and social landscapes associated with both hetero and non-heteronormative gendered and sexed spaces/places. In addition, the intersectionalities of race, class, ethnicity/nationality and citizenship status as they relate to sex and gender and how they impact the creation and experience of specific gendered and sexed spaces/places will be discussed. Other topics which relate to the relationship between gender, sexuality and space/place that will be examined include sexual citizenship, queer migration, sexual politics, queer gentrification, so-called “pink” economies and gender and sexual rights.

GEO 390 Geography and Geosciences Cultural Study and Off-Campus Experience
Directed field and travel study of geographical topics with a cultural theme determined by faculty experience and student interest. Australia and Hawai’i are course destinations. Experiential learning course if a Study-Away offering. Offered as needed.

GEO 400 Advanced Spatial Analysis
The second portion of the spatial analysis sequence, this advanced GIS course extends the analytical use of geospatial information through basic spatial analysis techniques, including explorative spatial data analysis, global and local analyses of spatial data, spatial regression, point pattern analysis and surface trend analysis. This course exposes students to a variety of spatial analysis applications, including crime mapping, epidemiology and demographics. Students learn the key concepts and principles of spatial data analysis, develop spatial data manipulation and analysis skills, and gain hands-on experience through the use of Geoda, ArcGIS Spatial Statistics and Geostatistical Analyst tools. Prerequisites: GEO 207, GEO 309 and MATH 345 or MATH 346 or consent of instructor. Spring Term.

GEO 411 Urban Geography
This course is a theoretical and practical inquiry into the geographic principles that influence the size, spacing, internal organization and external relations of cities. Specific attention is given to the spatial structure of cities, their transportation systems and to their political and economic roles and organization. This course is of specific interest to urban studies and logistics and supply chain management students.

GEO 412 Political Geography
The study of how geographic factors, concepts, and theories influence political decisions and government policies at the local, national, and international levels. Also, attention is given to how political decisions and policies, in turn, impact people and their environments. This course may be of special interest to political science and international business majors. Spring Term, odd-numbered years.

GEO 413 Economic Geography
An examination of the principles and factors which influence the development and spatial organization of agriculture, mining, manufacturing, and retail activities. Location models are emphasized to help explain contemporary economic land use patterns and practices. Of special interest to business and economics majors. Fall Term, odd-numbered years.

GEO 452/252 Special Topics in Geography and Geosciences
Allows students and faculty to study topics which are not included in the normal course offerings of the department. Topics very from term to term based on the interests of faculty and students as well as current trends in the discipline. Depending on the topic, consent of the instructor may be required. Consult appropriate term schedules for specific topic offerings and possible prerequisites. Prerequisites depend on the course topic. Offered as necessary.

GEO 468 Geography/Geosciences Internship/Field Experience
.50 credit
A geography internship designed to allow junior/senior majors the opportunity for work experience with private or governmental planning agencies. Required of applied geospatial technologies majors. Pass/No Pass only. Prerequisites: major in geography or applied geospatial technologies and consent of department chair. Upon request.

GEO 470 Research Methods in Geography
.50 credit
A course required of all majors in the Department of Geography and Geosciences. In a seminar setting, students will learn to undertake research and use various means to compile information and data required to undertake a formal research project. The student will develop a research project from the initial stages incorporating methods of geographic research and knowledge gained as a geography or applied geospatial technologies major. To be taken in the first term of the senior year. Pre- requisites: major in geography or applied geospa- tial technologies and consent of department chair; senior standing.

GEO 471 Senior Research Seminar Required of all majors in the Department of Geography and Geosciences. Senior capstone project based on research proposal developed in GEO 470. Students are expected to work closely with a department advisor. Final project will be delivered in a format suitable for presentation at a professional conference or publication in an academic journal. To be taken in the final term of the senior year. Prerequisites: major in geography or applied geospatial technologies and consent of department chair; senior standing, GEO 470. Concurrent enrollment in ENG 303 is strongly recommended.

GEO 492/292 Independent Study
.50 or 1.00 credit
An opportunity to pursue additional research in topics of interest raised in any other geography course. The form of this offering is determined by nature of topic, student, and instructor. The student may receive transcript credit for this course more than once, with a maximum of two courses. Prerequisite: consent of the department chair. Upon request.

GEO 495 Honors Independent Research
.50 credit
This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of geography and geosciences culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This course must be taken concurrently with another 300- or 400- level course in the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance. Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

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