Geography

Geography Courses

Geography faculty emphasize integrated teaching and research in their classes. Many upper-level geography courses include practical research or project components. These classes are relatively small, usually in the range of ten to fifteen students. Learning is not restricted to the classroom, though. Faculty regularly mentor students in their own research projects through the Summer Student Research Program, the Honors Program, and the University Research Fellows program. These one-on-one mentoring opportunities build practical problem-solving skills that prove valuable later on the job or in graduate school.

Geog 101GS - Physical Geography I: The Atmosphere - 4 hoursPrereq: none
This course is an introduction to physical geography with an emphasis on the atmosphere and vegetation of the Earth. including solar energy, seasons, the processes of weather and climate, the hydrologic cycle, regional and global climate change, ecosystem functions, and patterns of plant distribution on the physical landscape. The course also considers human impacts on the atmosphere, the oceans, and the land. Three (3) hours of lecture and two (2) hours of lab each week. Offered in Fall.

Geog 102GS - Physical Geography II: The Lithosphere - 4 hours Prereq: none
This course is an introduction to physical geography with an emphasis on the geologic framework of the earth and the various atmospheric/gradational processes which interact to produce the physical landscape. The course also considers weathering, erosional and depositional processes and the landforms produced by running water, glacial ice, wind and waves as well as to the effects of human interaction with these processes. Three (3) hours of lecture and two (2) hours of lab each week. Offered in Spring.

Geog 103GS - The Dynamic Planet: Hazards in the Environment - 3 hoursPrereq: none
This course investigates natural hazards associated with atmospheric, hydrologic, and geologic processes and their impacts on human society. Topics include periodic natural processes that create hazards to human activity, human perceptions of natural hazards, hazard avoidance, disaster prevention, and social mechanisms for coping with natural disasters.

Geog 104GS - World Regional Geography - 3 hoursPrereq: none
This course is an introduction to the world's major regions, using a systematic analysis of physical and cultural phenomena. The aim is to explore the globe: its biophysical environments, and more importantly the patterns of cultural organization that give character to place. By the end of the course, students should be able to locate almost any country in the world, and have a basic understanding of its physical and population characteristics, economic development, agriculture, environmental issues, and predominant religious, ethnic, linguistic, and political divisions.

Geog 106GS - Human Geography - 3 hoursPrereq: none
This introductory course examines the interrelationships between humans, their different cultures, and the natural world. The focus of the course will be on the processes, both natural and cultural, that cause the spatial distribution of humans (where they are and are not) as well as their particular activities on the Earth's surface. These processes include, but are not limited to, the geography of culture, population, language, religion, rural and urban change, plus economic, political, and social imprints.

Geog 188GS - General Studies Portal - 3 hoursPrereq: freshman or sophomore standing
Students analyze critical issues confronting individuals and society in a global context as they pertain to the discipline in which the Portal course is taught. The Portal is intended to help students succeed in their university education by being mentored in process of thinking critically about important ideas and articulating their own conclusions. Students may take the Portal in any discipline, irrespective of their major or minor. Satisfies the General Studies Portal course requirement. Students may take their Portal course in any discipline. Students who transfer 24 or more hours of General Studies credit to UNK are exempt from taking a portal course.

Geog 206GS - Geography of the United States and Canada - 3 hoursPrereq: none
This course focuses on the study of physical, economic, political, historical, and cultural processes within the United States and Canada. Approximately fifteen distinct regions are identified for examination, based on individual natural and social characteristics. This course is in the Social and Behavioral Sciences section of the General Studies Program.

Geog 209GS - Meteorology - 3 hoursPrereq: none
The course considers the basic principles of weather including a study of the atmosphere's origin, composition, circulation patterns, energy budget and its role in the hydrologic cycle. Topics include: instruments for observation, precipitation process, wave cyclones, jet streams, weather forecasting, weather modification and applications of meteorology to air pollution, agriculture and aviation.

Geog 300 - Map Investigation - 3 hoursPrereq: none
A comprehensive introduction to map usage. Aspects to be covered will include: types of maps, map reading and interpretation, and where to acquire maps. This course is designed for students of all disciplines who are interested in maps or would find a knowledge of maps useful in their careers.

Geog 301 - Geography of Soils - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 102GS
An introductory analysis of various aspects of soil science. Topics will include: soil formation, morphology, classification, distributional patterns, and agricultural aspects of soil science.

Geog 305 - Environmental Conservation - 3 hoursPrereq: none
This course introduces students to a variety of real-world environmental conservation practices. Cases are examined from around the world at local, national and global scales. Topics include ecosystem services valuation, river restoration, habitat protection and removing pollutants from the environment.

Geog 306 - Geomorphology - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 102GS
Systematic analysis of the processes interacting on the surface of the earth which produce the variety of landforms and structures of the landscape. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of landforms through the analysis of topographic maps and associated materials.

Geog 310 - Cartography - 3 hoursPrereq: none
This course is designed to develop skills in the conception, design, and construction of thematic maps. Included will be a brief introduction to data acquisition and manipulation. Primarily for the geography major, cartography may be a useful course for certain others as well. Approximately 1 hour of lecture and 5 hours of lab per week.

Geog 315 - Geographic Information Systems - Principles and Concepts - 4 hoursPrereq: junior or senior standing or permission of instructor
This is an introductory course in GIS emphasizing the concepts, basic theory, spatial problem solving, and principles of GIS using both raster and vector data models in a PC environment. It is intended as a foundational course for those who are seeking to: major/minor in spatial analysis or work in the field of GIS. Students should have basic computer skills.

Geog 316 - GIS - Working with GIS and Spatial Analysis - 3 hours Prereq: junior or senior standing or permission of instructor
This is an introductory course in GIS emphasizing a practical understanding of essential GIS and spatial analysis functionality and how they are applied to real-world problem solving across a variety of disciplines. Students will develop a working knowledge of leading GIS software and the associated GIS methods to enable them to apply basic spatial analysis skills to their respective area of study. Students should have basic computer skills.

Geog 317 - Remote Sensing of Environment - 3 hoursPrereq: junior or senior standing or permission of instructor
This course focuses on basic concepts of image formation that are required to understand any remotely sensed or satellite data. Techniques to analyze satellite data using Erdas Imagine software will be discussed and practiced. Students will learn about commonly used satellite data used for monitoring various natural resources. They will also have an opportunity to conduct a small remote sensing project.

Geog 321 - Economic Geography - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 104GS or Geog 106GS
The course is an examination of the geographic elements of economic activity. The course explores the classical geographic models and theories of economic behavior, the factors that influence the location of primary (raw materials), secondary (manufacturing) and tertiary (consumption) activities, and influence of globalization of the world economy locational dynamics and decision-making.

Geog 322 - Urban Geography - 3 hoursPrereq: junior or senior standing or permission of instructor
Urban Geography examines cities and metropolitan areas of the past, present, and future. Spatial structures of urban settlements in North America and elsewhere are studied both theoretically and descriptively.

Geog 323GS - Political Geography - 3 hoursPrereq: none
Political geography looks at the spatial implications of the political process and the impact these policies and processes have on a local, regional, national, or international scale. The rights of individuals form the building blocks of a democratic society. These rights are manifested across space as decisions are made by governments at all levels on behalf of those individuals. This course examines how these decisions are played on a geographical stage through the exploration of topics such as: territoriality, voting and representation, geopolitics, international relations, and the geography of governmental systems.

Geog 340 - Developing Nations - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 104GS or Geog 106GS
This course investigates the causes of underdevelopment and contemporary development issues at the global, regional, national, and local levels. Emphasis is placed on the how (process) and why (explanation) of development. Other processes studied include the making of the third world, agrarian change, urbanization, industrialization, and development policy.

Geog 350 - International Tourism - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 104GS or permission of instructor
A spatial analysis of international tourism in both the developed and underdeveloped world. Emphasis will be placed on the evolution of international tourism, its present character, and its future. Primary consideration will be given to the environmental, cultural, economic, and social impact of tourism.

Geog 400 - Water Resources - 3 hoursPrereq: junior standing
This course is an overview of issues relating to water resources with an emphasis on the United States. Some of the topics will include: the hydrologic cycle, global status of water resources, water conflicts, droughts and floods, irrigation efficiency, water quality, applications of satellite data, precision agriculture, water resources management, and the impact of climate change on water resources.

Geog 410 - Geographical Techniques and Thought - 3 hoursPrereq: junior standing
This course is one of the culminating courses in the Geography major. It focuses on the philosophy, goals, and research of geography as a discipline. The course includes an exploration of the literature of the discipline, research methodology and practice and formalization of written and oral presentations. A portion of the course will be left "open" to cover areas of geography not available in other courses.

Geog 415 - Internship - 1-6 hoursPrereq: permission of department chair
The internship provides upper level Geography majors and minors the opportunity to work in a professional environment in which they can apply their knowledge and skills. Students must secure the permission of their academic advisor or department chair before entering into any internship.

Geog 416 - Applications of Geographic Information Systems - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 315 or Geog 316 or permission of instructor
This is an applied course focusing on selected topic(s) in geography and their GIS application. Students will work quasi-independently throughout the semester in demonstrating their understanding of, and ability to perform the 'GIS Process' through objective formulation, data identification and acquisition, database creation, manipulation/analysis and presentation of findings by applying them to a real-world spatial problem.

Geog 440 - Special Topics in Regional Geography - 1-3 hoursPrereq: Geog 104 or Geog 106 or permission of instructor
Designed for a penetrating analysis of spatial distribution patterns of physical and cultural phenomena of selected world regions. The course will involve seminar presentations based upon library research.

Geog 441 - Special Topics in Human Geography - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 104 or Geog 106
Advanced, in-depth studies of various aspects of Human Geography.

Geog 442 - Special Topics in Physical Geography - 3 hoursPrereq: Geog 101 or Geog 102
Advanced, in-depth studies of various aspects of Physical Geography.

Geog 443 - Special Topics in GIS, Spatial Analysis, and Remote Sensing - 3-4 hoursPrereq: junior standing, permission of instructor
This course looks at a specific methodology, application area, or related geographic subfield of Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Spatial Analysis and/or Remote Sensing.

Geog 499 - Independent Study - 1-3 hoursPrereq: none
Independent investigation of a selected problem in geography under the direction of any Geography faculty member. Requires written report and oral presentation. Permission of department chairman required to enroll.