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Department of Geography and Environmental Planning

Special Topics Courses for Fall 2015


Special Topics Courses for Fall 2015  
Course Number Course Name and Description
GEOG 472-190/572-190 & IDIS 470

Geography of Water Security (Th 6:30-9:10PM)

This course will count as an upper-level elective for geography.

The world is staged for a contemporary water crisis. The availability of water, ownership and cost, distribution patterns, accessibility and quality are likely to have significant effects on human life and environmental health, as well as the global economy and international conflict in the 21st century.

This seminar course surveys the elements of contemporary water security and  examines case studies from around the world in order to examine the state of global water security today and in the coming century. Through readings, in-class discussions, and a significant group research project students will explore the concept of water security, its key components, and contemporary challenges to water security while applying these concepts to an assessment of local water security in Maryland.

*This course has a significant participatory component. Students must be able to work independently, to work closely with others in small and large groups, to follow through on research tasks, and to contribute substantively to class discussions. Regular attendance is required.

Sya Kedzior
GEOG 472-430/572-430

Ethics of Waste & Consumption (MoWe 1:00-1:50PM)

This course will count as an upper-level elective for geography.

When you buy t-shirts and smart phones, do you think about where they are made? Do you think about where they are going when you throw them away? How do your practices of consumption and waste production/disposal connect you to people and places, both locally and around the world? What are the ethical implications of these relationships?

In this course, we explore these questions through a combination of lecture, discussion, video, and research activities. Our key goals are to develop a better understanding of the implications of our practices of consumption and waste production/disposal, and to examine what these practices say about ourselves, our society(-ies), and especially how we attribute value to the world around us. Doing so involves an exploration of culture in the United States and around the world, as we develop into an increasingly globalized, increasingly consumer-oriented, increasingly “throw- away” society. In the end, you will be asked to consider what an ethic of consumption and waste production/disposal might look like, and whether developing such an ethic entails completely rethinking our consumptive practices and what constitutes waste and its disposal.

Note: This is a part online course. One third of classroom meetings are reduced and replaced with online activities.

Sya Kedzior
GEOG 473/673

Film and Place: A Geographical Perspective (Monday 6:30-9:30PM)

This course will count as an upper-level elective for geography.

This course will evaluate the use of film, through thematic and regional approaches, explore the concept of place, as defined by cultural and physical landscapes around the world. Place is essential to understanding the films viewed in this course. Through film, students will explore the importance of geography in local, national, and global contexts. Students will read relevant multi- and inter-disciplinary materials – with the focus on contextualizing the geographical elements of the material, in class discussions, exercises, and course assignments. Each film will illustrate a particular geographical theme and/or a particular world region. Students will engage visually, aesthetically, and theoretically in the discussions of each film.

Alan Marcus
GEOG 474/674

GIS Database Design (Wednesday 6:30-9:30PM)

This course will count as an upper-level elective for geography and GIS minor requirements..

This course provides an introduction into geographic information system database and system design. Students will receive instruction on system design principals, GIS database design, National Spatial Database Infrastructure standards, creation of FGDC compliant metadata, requirements analysis, cost benefit analysis, business process modeling, use case development, and logical and physical data models.

The course is structured in three parts: system design, GIS database design and implementation of the principals introduced in class. The systems design portion will focus on requirements gathering and design principals. Students are required to complete a project applying the knowledge and skills obtained during the course of instruction. Students are expected to be proficient on Environmental Systems Research Institute’s ArcGIS™.

Douglas Adams
GEOG 477/677

The Physical Science of Climate Change (MoWe 3:30-4:45PM)

This will count as an upper-level elective for geography and meteorology minor requirements.

This 3-credit course explores the Earth’s climate system and the various factors that cause it to change. Students will gain an understanding of the complexities of the climate system and climate change by first studying the components of the climate system. They will then study factors that cause the climate to change, including natural factors like solar radiation and volcanic activity and human-related factors like the emission of carbon dioxide and deforestation. This course counts toward Meteorology minor requirements.

Todd Moore
GEOG 478/678

Hydrology (MoWe 2:00-3:15PM)

This will count as an upper-level elective for geography and meteorology minor requirements.

Analysis of the hydrologic and geomorphic impacts of land cover change and an introduction to storm water mitigation, flood control, sanitary sewerage, and stream restoration. This course counts toward Meteorology minor requirements.

Martin Roberge
GEOG 479/679

Spatial Analysis with Python Programming (MoWe 5:00-6:15PM)

This will count as an upper-level elective for geography and GIS minor requirements.


Shou Lu




Department of Geography and Environmental Planning
Liberal Arts Building, Room 2210F (map)
Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Phone: 410-704-2973
Fax: 410-704-4702





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