Introduction to geography as a social science. Development of a conceptual framework for studying and evaluating human-environment relationships. Through examination of selected regional and global issues and through exploring basic concepts like regions, place, location, human-environment interaction, movement, and accessibility, students will discover how power is spatially expressed and explore how culture shapes the production of space and vice versa. Students will also discover and describe how ethical issues manifest spatially.
Human and physical patterns and characteristics of major regions of the world including political systems, religions, economies, and physical settings. Concepts and perspectives of geography as a social science; linkages and interdependence of nations and regions; analysis of media coverage of events or global issues; engagement with current and historical global affairs.
Exploration of innovative geospatial technologies and their impact on the world around us, including how humans interact with the environment and each other. Roles of location-based services, global positioning systems, geographic information systems, remote sensing, virtual globes and web based mapping for environmental applications. Skills and techniques for spatial thinking and environmental decision-making. Ethical implications of the use of geospatial technologies, data, and computational approaches.
Integrated study of major subsystems of the natural environment: the nature, distribution, and interrelationships of landforms, climate and vegetation.
1115: Strategies to promote sustainability through the identification, description, and analysis of the dominant interconnections within and between environmental, social, and economic systems across local to global scales. 1116: Perceptions of, conditions of, and strategies to analyze processes of change within complex systems, and promote sustainability across local to global scales.
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.
Introduction to the foundational properties and processes of Earths atmosphere and the consequential forms and patterns of weather, including atmospheric composition and structure, energy, humidity, clouds and precipitation processes, atmospheric motion, air masses, fronts, and cyclones, and severe weather and hurricanes.
An introduction to Earths climate system, including the physical mechanisms responsible for the global climate as well as its spatial and temporal variation; composition and structure of the atmosphere, radiation budget and temperature, precipitation and hydrologic budget, atmosphere and oceanic circulation, weather systems, paleoclimate, future climate; synergistic human-climate relationships, including global warming, climate change.
Introduction to the hydrologic cycle, water resources, and related environmental issues. Emphasis on ethics and relationships between human needs for and effects upon water including: water quality, water treatment, and wastewater treatment; water for health, energy, and food; water management, laws, economics, and conflict; hydrometeorological hazards and climate change; and potential solutions for these and other critical water issues.
Geographical dimensions of global conflicts, international management of conflicts, conflicts of differences, historical, ideological, failed states and resources will be examined. Background to conflicts, current status of conflicts, different points of view in conflict. Topics in the course will change as the geography of global conflict changes.
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, conflict and conflict resolution, international law, and contemporary global issues.
Introduction to theories and methods in the study of global political economy. Topics include: historical origins, comparative advantage, the factor endowment trade theory, the gold standard, economic nationalism, the Great Depression, the Bretton Woods System, Keynesianism, the Nixon shocks, international organizations, monetary governance, the Great Recession, poverty and underdevelopment, and contemporary challenges of income inequality within and among economies.
Examination and analysis of COVID-19's diffusion through the population at multiple spatial scales, from global to individual, using theories and methods of social science and medical geography. Critical study of the pandemic as a biological and social phenomenon, place within its cultural, historical, economic, political, and geographic contexts. Development of persuasive logical arguments on COVID-related topics through analyzing country, US state, and local level impacts of the COVID pandemic. Critical analysis of responses to the COVID pandemic. Synthesis of interconnected variables that contribute to differential impacts of COVID on different population groups. Identification of factors that may contribute to future pandemics.
Principles and diverse applications of Geographic Information Systems, geographic coordinate systems, Cartesian map projections, spatial data sources, GIS databases, map representations, and illustrated spatial applications of GIS. Requires regular use of computer systems for geographic data analysis.
Environmental security concepts, issues, and terminology. Study of emerging issues at the nexus of environmental and climate change and security risks, including homeland, human, national, energy, food, and water securities. Overview of climate-driven conflicts, displacement and migration, and geopolitical instability. Policy and programmatic solutions. Assessment of case studies using methods such as strategy analysis, scenario development, and simulations.
Introduction to coastal geomorphology (landforms and processes), climate drivers (sea level rise and storms surge), and natural systems that shape coastal regions. Study of human systems including population growth, built environment, and social vulnerability. Overview of coastal zone management and policy. Discussion of the future of coastlines shaped by complexity, emerging challenges, uncertainty, adaptation, and resilience.
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.
Regional study of Anglo-American with consideration of relationships between natural environments and social, political, and economic developments. International issues involving Mexico also considered.
Europe: as an idea, as a place, as a space, and as a political entity. Basic knowledge of Europe’s historical physical environments, political geography, population distribution, varied cultures, and economic development. Cultural variations and their implications on settlement patterns, political divisions, and economic patterns and processes.
Process of urbanization and theories and approaches of urban development. Debates on the meanings of sustainable urbanization and development in cities and how they are measured. Urban sustainability initiatives in the context of urban political economies, land-use practices, urban inequality and diversity, urban nature, and urban policy and politics. Programs and policies designed to enhance sustainable urbanization. Comparative approach and global perspective. Fee $30.
Introduction to maps. Fundamentals of reading, analysis, and interpretation of hard copy and digital maps, as they are required to illuminate spatial problems. Influences of maps on attitudes toward and images of the geographic environment.
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.
Introduction to the operational tools and processes in weather forecasting. Numerical forecast modeling and current operational models, ensemble forecasting and model output statistics, structureand dynamics of fronts and mid-latitude cyclones, development of thunderstorms and tornadoes, and the use of Doppler radar and satellite imagery in short-term forecasting.
Physical and human geographic overview of tea. Biogeography, history, economics, and ceremonial practices of the worlds tea producing regions. Analysis of terroir and processing through tasting exercises and sensory evaluation. Pre: Sophomore standing.
Role of the discipline of geography in the origins, procedures, and history of CIA. Role of the CIA in providing national intelligence at both strategic and operational levels. Origins and changes to the CIA since WWII. Capabilities to support both policy-makers and national security entities. Case studies illustrating the CIAs operations in different regions of the world.
Environmental problems in their social, spatial, and global contexts. Impacts of globalization, neoliberalism, and population growth on the environment. Examination of effects of developed and developing countries on the environment. Focus on conceptualizing development, population dynamics, environmental justice, factory farming, energy and renewable energy, global health, disasters, and intercultural and global awareness.
Strategies to identify, discuss and apply theories of stereotyping, empathy, and scarcity in the context of contemporary Africa. Application of theories to compare and analyze examples of social networks, music, disease, and violence in Africa and the U.S. Pre: Junior standing.
Appalachia as a region: physical environment, development of internal settlement, cultural, and economic patterns. Human adaptations to environmental change, traditions, and connections to and from external regions.
Virginia as a region: its physical environment, settlement, cultural, economic, and political patterns. Human adaptation to environmental change, human modification of environments and linkages to external regions. Climate, Biogeography and Water, and Environmental Hazards related to Natural Resources. Pre: 3 credit hours of Geography.
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.
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.
Introduction to polar regions emphasizing interdisciplinary concepts, a systems approach, and communication of polar science to non-scientific audiences. Developing and defending arguments on the global significance and geopolitics of polar regions. Feedbacks among biophysical and human processes and resources. Strategies to deliver effective oral presentations, and to defend arguments in writing and group debates on topics including multiculturalism, human-environmental interactions, and climate change impacts in polar regions. Foster understanding of indigenous worldviews using native narratives. Pre: Sophomore standing.
Examines the variety of landforms that exist at the earths surface. Detailed investigation of major processes operating at the earths surface including: tectonic, weathering, fluvial, coastal, eolian, and glacial processes. Field excursion.
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. Emphasis on thematic and ethical cartography.
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.
The concept of community in Appalachia using an interdisciplinary approach and experiential learning. Interrelationships among geographically, culturally, and socially constituted communities, public policy, and human development. Pre: Junior standing.
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.
Examination of the physics that govern motion of Earths atmosphere. General atmospheric concepts, atmospheric principles of thermodynamics, hydrostatics, and stability. 3516: Examination of the physics that govern motion of Earths atmosphere. Principles of fluid dynamics, specifically the physics governing horizontal motion, corresponding vertical motions, and synoptic scale systems, as represented in various coordinate systems.
3515: Examination of the physics that govern motion of Earths atmosphere. General atmospheric concepts, atmospheric principles of thermodynamics, hydrostatics, and stability. 3516: Examination of the physics that govern motion of Earths atmosphere. Principles of fluid dynamics, specifically the physics governing horizontal motion, corresponding vertical motions, and synoptic scale systems, as represented in various coordinate systems.
Impact of Geography on European politics and economics. Significance of territorial, identity, networking and environmental geopolitics. Theoretical debates in the fields of political and population geography. Current culture and demographic challenges and geopolitical disputes within Europe and particularly between the European Union (EU) and its neighboring world regions.
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.
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.
Geographic patterns of disease and health care at various scales. Study of interactions between the physical environment and health. Analysis of spatial patterns associated with HIV/AIDS epidemic. Examination of health implications of social and cultural variation in developed and developing contexts. Pre: Junior standing.
Use of automated systems for geographic data collection, digitization, storage, display, modeling and analysis. Basic data flow in GIS modeling applications. Development of proficiency in the use of current GIS software. Senior Standing.
Analysis of issues and ethics related to water resources, water as a hazard upon human (infrastructure, economy) and ecological (rivers, groundwater) systems, water and vector borne disease, climate change, dams, and eutrophication. Development of proficiency in demonstrating the multidimensionality of water resources. Pre: Junior standing.
Physical and cultural systems that influence the spatial distribution of resources and resource use. Emphasis on historical and current contexts of natural resources use and perspectives in the United States, with consideration of worldwide distributions of resources. Environmental cognition and perception, water, public lands, conservation and preservation, food and hunger, human population, and alternative energy. Junior Standing.
Key concepts and critiques related to the intersection of gender, environment, and international development. Development institutions and organizations with relationship to gender and environment. Theoretical and applied perspectives on eco-feminism; bio-diversity; climate change; feminist political ecology; agriculture and natural resources; participatory methods and empowerment. Case studies from Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Pre: Junior Standing.
Multidisciplinary approaches to documenting and understanding past environmental change. Methods used to unravel the physical and human drivers of historical and longer-term changes in climate, vegetation, and fire patterns. Application of environmental change data and insights to improve land and conservation management under changing climates. Pre: Junior standing
Geospatial data analytics using R programming language. Batch-processing capability for analyzing large vector and raster geospatial data including remote sensing imagery and GIS layers. Using R scripts, algorithms, and functions to implement spatial analysis and spatial-temporal modeling. Bridging open source GIS/remote sensing and Machine learning. Linux system and high-performance computing environment.
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.
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.
Analysis of the spatio-temporal patterns of Land Use and Land Cover Change (LULCC) as observed in satellite images. Tropical deforestation, urbanization, and agricultural intensification. Rates and patterns of LULCC linked to biophysical and socio-economic drivers. Impacts of land change with respect to local climate, biodiversity, water yield and quality, and ecosystem services.
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.
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.
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.
Advanced topics in digital and dynamic map production, emphasizing concepts in advanced cartographic design, information visualization, and human-computer interaction. Topics include cartograms, computer aided design, animation, lidar and photogrammetric point cloud visualization, Web Geographic Information Systems, terrain visualization, and virtual geographic environments.
Impacts of climate change on different societies. Concepts of adaptation, vulnerability, and resilience. Notions of complexity, uncertainty, and thresholds related to climate change outcomes. Case study analysis of communities affected by climate change. Understanding future and assessing climate vulnerability across various spatiotemporal scales. Scenario planning, foresight analysis, and interactive digital tools. Pre: Sophomore standing.
Practicum in sustainability. Synthesize and integrate knowledge from undergraduate career and apply to real world problems of sustainability. Topics and projects selected from opportunities to examine specific local and regional sustainability issues on the VT campus, in the New River Valley and the Commonwealth at large. Pre: Senior Standing.
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.
Tropical weather and climate topics: remote sensing and observations; tropical climatology, including regional and large-scale circulations, monsoons, and the El Nino/Southern Oscillation; tropical convection, including the clouds in the subtropics, deep convection in the equatorial region, and tropical cloud clusters and thunderstorms; and tropical cyclones, including their structure, intensity, lifecycle, and formation.
Study of the physics associated with cloud and precipitation development, the emission, absorption, and transmission of solar and terrestrial radiation, meteorological acoustics, and atmospheric electricity.
Scientific basis of numerical weather prediction, including data assimilation, numerical integration, model initialization, physical parameterizations, ensemble methods, and model verification. Overview of numerical errors and their effects on predictability. Current operational forecasting models and the role of models in weather forecasting. Application of knowledge to running a high-resolution numerical weather forecast in a high-performance computing environment.
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.
Elements of 1-dimensional and high-dimensional climate data storage and formatting. Manipulate and query atmospheric reanalysis, global climate model, and gridded observation datasets. Implement efficient research workflows through the development of computer scripts to statistically analyze climate data.
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.