University Catalog 2005-2006

Geography (GEOG)


101 Major World Regions (3:3:0) Patterns, problems, and prospects of the worldÕs principal human-geographic regions. Emphasis on areal differentiation and the role geographic differences play in the interpretation of the current world scene.

102 Physical Geography (3:3:0) Interrelated processes affecting global distribution and character of climate, soils, vegetation, hydrology, and landforms; elements of mapping (natural science credit).

103 Human Geography (3:3:0) Overview of major ideas and approaches to studying spatial aspects of human social and behavioral systems. Survey of distribution and movement of human populations, characteristics and distribution of cultural mosaics, patterns of economic interdependence, and study of forces of cooperation and conflict among people from a global perspective.

110 Maps and Mapping (3:3:0) Introduction to maps and spatial analytic tools and methods, including geographic information systems. Familiarizes students with key geographic concepts and skills through integrating information technology with map-making technology. Includes introduction to computer and web-based geographic applications, databases, and graphics.

300 Quantitative Methods for Geographical Analysis (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 30 credits, including GEOG 102 and 103, or permission of instructor, and permission of department. Comprehensive introduction to quantitative methods employed in spatial analysis with emphasis on solving geographical research problems. Topics include the nature of spatial data; collection of spatial data; preparation of spatial data for mapping, geographic information systems, and statistical analysis; descriptive spatial statistics; areal sampling theory and methods; probability theory and distributions; hypothesis testing; correlation and regression; and areal and point pattern spatial statistics.

301 Political Geography (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits. Distribution and effects of power on the landscape, particularly on national and global scales.

303 Conservation of Resources and Environment (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits. Analysis of spatial aspects of world resources and problems resulting from unequal distribution or unwise use. Population growth, its implications for resource use, and pollution problems are stressed.

304 Geography of Population (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits. Spatial distribution of population, its causes and effects, and the changing patterns resulting from population mobility. Emphasis on spatial characteristics of variables such as age, sex, race, education, and income.

305 Economic Geography (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits. Analysis of the pattern of distribution of world economic activity, the spatial economics behind this pattern, and the influence of this distribution on other spatial systems.

306 Urban Geography (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits. Structure and internal differentiation of cities. Variety of perspectives on the nature of cities and opportunities for intensive use of space. Urban problems and alternatives in their spatial context.

308 Field Mapping Techniques (3:0:6) Prerequisites: MATH 105, GEOG 102 or 101, and 30 credits. Basic techniques for collecting and recording spatial field data, including topographic maps, compass, transit, alidade, and geographic positioning systems. Includes field work.

309 Introduction to Meteorology and Climate (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 102 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Elements of meteorology; analysis of world distribution of meteorological controls as the bases of regional climatic variations (natural science credit)

310 Introduction to Digital Cartography (4:3:2) Prerequisite: grade of C or better in GEOG 300 or permission of department. Origins, principles, and methods of thematic map design and production. Principles of graphic design, data compilation, analysis, and display.

311 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3:3:0) Fundamental concepts and theories for appropriate use of geographic information systems (GIS). Discusses basic GIS functionality and applications in various fields.

315 Geography of the United States (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 6 credits of geography or American studies, or permission of instructor. Diversity of U.S. physical and cultural landscapes.

316 Geography of Latin America (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 6 credits of geography or Latin American studies, or permission of instructor. Regional survey of physical resources, populations, cultural characteristics, and economic activities in Latin America.

320 Geography of Europe (3:3:0) Prerequisite:6 credits of geography or European studies, or permission of instructor. Environmental, economic, social, and political factors influencing the regional structure of Europe.

325 Geography of North Africa and the Middle East (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 6 credits of geography and/or courses related to Middle East or permission of instructor. Environmental, economic, and social factors of differentiation of regional structure and distribution of resources in the North African and Middle Eastern countries.

330 Geography of the Soviet Succession States (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 6 credits of geography or Russian studies, or permission of instructor. Analysis of geographic factors involved in the history, economic development, and geopolitical situation of the former Soviet Union.

333 Issues in Regional Geography (1-6:0:0)Prerequisite: 30 credits. Geographical study of a particular region or relevant regional issue. Content varies. May be repeated.

357 Structures in Urban Governance and Planning (3:3:0)Prerequisite: 30 credits. Review of the spatial, policy, and administration principles that guide planning activity in the United States. Outlines differences between theory and practice and provides a set of tools, methods, and perspectives that are commonly incorporated into the practice of urban and regional policy analysis. Provides an orientation to the public-sector economy in general and to urban administration, planning, and policy in particular.

380 Geography of Virginia (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits. Natural and cultural forces of Virginia. Study of regional makeup and analysis of human and environmental characteristics.

399 Selected Topics in Geography (3:0:0) Prerequisite: 30 credits. Content varies; determined by instructor.

406 Suburban Geography (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 60 credits. Analyzes spatial aspect of social, economic, and political activities in suburbia. Suburbanization viewed as independent force and component of larger urbanization process. Northern Virginia is used as a lab for suburban geographical study and student-initiated field work projects.

411 Advanced Digital Cartography (3:3:0)Prerequisite: grade of C or better in GEOG 310. Design and production of full-color digital maps and information graphics, map cognition and use, and principles of desktop mapping.

412 Aerial Photography Interpretation (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 60 credits and GEOG 102 or 103, or permission of instructor. Methods and techniques of interpreting and using information contained in aerial photography, including applications to various aspects of the physical and cultural landscape.

415 Seminar in Geography (3:3:0) Prerequisites: GEOG 300 and 310. Capstone seminar for geography majors, integrating previous course work into a disciplinary framework. Students produce and present original research papers.

416 Satellite Image Analysis (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 60 credits and GEOG 412, or permission of instructor. Examination of the methods and techniques of interpreting and using information obtained by nonphotographic remote sensing systems, with particular emphasis on space-borne platforms. Includes analysis of imagery for both physical and cultural environments.

420 Physiography of North America (1-3:0:0) Prerequisite: 60 credits, GEOG 102, 3 additional credits of geography or geology, or permission of instructor. Physiographic features of the North American continent, their spatial distribution, and their influence on the cultural, demographic, and economic development of the United States and Canada.

463 Applied Geographic Information Systems (3:3:0) Prerequisites: 2.00 or better in GEOG 300 and 311. Selected applications in geographic information systems (GIS) Topics include automated data capturing and processing, spatial data models and structure, including the object- oriented approach, advanced spatial analytical techniques including raster modeling and network analysis, programming, and algorithm development in GIS. Major purpose of this course is to extend the fundamental theories and concepts in GIS so students are able to conduct research with GIS and on GIS.

480 Internship in Geography (1-3:0:0) Prerequisite: open only to majors with 90 credits and GPA of 2.50 in geography course work. Approved study programs with specific employers. Credit is determined by department. Contact department one semester before enrollment.

490 Practicum in Geographical Applications (1-6:0:0) Prerequisite: open only to authorized majors with 90 credits. Application of geographical research tools and techniques in conjunction with faculty instruction and research. Individualized sections taught by arrangement with full-time faculty.

499 Independent Study in Geography (1-3:0:0) Prerequisite: open only to geography majors with 90 credits and permission of department and instructor. Individual study of a selected area of geography. Directed research paper is required.

503 Problems in Environmental Management (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 6 credits of geography, including GEOG 102. Case studies of the effects of human activities on atmospheric, hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes.

505 Transportation Geography (3:3:0) Prerequisite: 6 credits of geography. Structure, principles, location, and development of world transportation. Critical role of transportation in moving people, goods, and ideas at the international, national, regional, and urban levels.

520 Geography for Teachers (3:3:0) Prerequisite: graduate standing or permission of department. Emphasizes problems and techniques in teaching geography and current developments in research, methodology, and philosophy in the discipline.

525 Economics of Human/Environment Interactions (3:3:0) Prerequisite: EVPP 524/GEOG 524 or equivalent. Advanced topics in environmental, natural resource, and ecological economics for the non-economist. Emphasis on sustainability, intergenerational equity, and economic-ecological feedbacks. Lecture/discussion format with substantial student participation. Problem sets, class presentations, and term paper.

531 Land-use Modeling Techniques and Applications (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 550 or permission of instructor. Survey of literature on spatially explicit empirical models of land-use change. Hands-on experience developing and running simple models. Techniques covered include statistical models, mathematical programming models, cellular automata, agent-based models, and integrated models.

533 Issues in Regional Geography (1-6:0:0) Geographical study of a particular region or relevant regional issue. Content varies. May be repeated.

540 Medical Geography (3:3:0) Prerequisite: course in statistics. Spatial approaches to study of health and disease. Topics include disease ecology, and diffusion, and geographic perspectives on improving health care delivery.

550 Geospatial Science Fundamentals (3:3:0) Introduces students to the geospatial sciences, emphasizing concepts and theories of cartography, remote sensing, especially air photo interpretation, Global Positioning Systems, spatial data structures, and geographic information systems. Lectures accompanied by hands-on exercises. Only available for students without previous course work in cartography.

551 Thematic Cartography (3:3:0)Prerequisite: GEOG 310 or 550. Analysis of the nature of perceptual organization and visual systems in thematic map communication portrayal, graphic handling, and data analysis.

553 Geographic Information Systems (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 550 or course in cartography. Sources of digital geospatial data, and methods of input, storage, display, and processing of spatial data for geographic analysis using Geographic Information Systems. Lectures accompanied by hands-on exercises to familiarize students with current technology.

554 History of Cartography (3:3:0)Prerequisite: graduate standing. History of cartographic portrayal of the Earth from ancient times through the 19th century, with emphasis on interrelation of human culture, technological development, and geographical knowledge as reflected in maps.

562 Photogrammetry (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 412 or permission of instructor. Treatment of photogrammetric problems, including least squares adjustments, image coor-dination refinements, colinearity equation, resection, relative orientation, and analytic aerotriangulation.

563 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (3:3:0)Prerequisites: GEOG 553 or equivalent. Discussion of advanced GIS concepts including spatial data structure, spatial analysis, programming data fusion, internet components, and spatial database management. Hands-on activities demonstrate these concepts and specific applications in both cultural and physical geography.

570 The Hydrosphere (3:3:0) Prerequisite: two semesters of calculus (partial differential equation recommended), or permission of the instructor. The components and transfer processes within the hydrosphere. The hydrosphere consists of the aqueous envelope of the Earth included the oceans, lakes, rivers, and snow, ice, glaciers, soil moisture, ground water, and atmospheric water vapor.

575 Reconstructing Past Environments: Seminar in Geoarchaeology (3:3:0) Prerequisites: permission of instructor and course work in geography, biology, geology, or archaeology. Research seminar examining the intersection of geoarchaeology and paleoecology with cultural ecology. Addresses methods common to these research areas, and the ranges of scales and reliability of evidences used to reconstruct past environments, both natural and cultural. Applied examples cover selected geoarchaeological and paleoecological projects from a variety of geographical regions.

579 Remote Sensing (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 412 or permission of instructor. Examines use of various types and combinations of electromagnetic energy to obtain spatial information. Concentrates on nonphotographic and space-borne remote sensing platforms and sensors. Examines essential operational parameters for existing and future systems and strategies for visual extraction of features.

580 Digital Remote Sensing (3:3:0)Prerequisite: GEOG 416 or 579.Examination of the theory and techniques of using digital remotely sensed data for obtaining geographic information of the EarthÕs surface, including both image enhancement methods and classification strategies for a variety of physical and cultural features.

581 World Food and Population (3:3:0) Prerequisite: graduate standing. Topics include maldistribution of population, regional disparities in growth rates and income distribution, food production, and world hunger. Discussion of population policies with emphasis on Third World countries.

585 Quantitative Methods (3:3:0) Prerequisite: previous course work in statistics, GEOG 310 or 550. Survey of quantitative methods commonly used in geographic research. Emphasis on spatial analysis techniques.

590 Selected Topics in Geography and Cartography (3:3:0)Prerequisite: permission of department. Students analyze topics of immediate interest. Content varies.

Graduate standing is prerequisite to all 600-level courses.

603 Geographic Perspectives of Complex Natural Resource Management Topics (3:0:0) Managing and restoring large and complex natural resource systems have become popular. Students will develop a better understanding of the strengths and limitations of this approach by examining critical aspects of one such effort.

631 Spatial Agent-based Models of Human-Environment Interactions (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 531 or CSS 600 or permission of instructor. Discusses key challenges in spatial modeling of human-environment interactions. Reviews agent-based modeling applications in urban/rural interactions, agriculture, forestry, and other areas. Hands-on development of simple ABM models and investigation of linkages between GIS and ABM.

644 Fundamentals and Interpretation of Imaging Radar (3:0:0) Prerequisites: GEOG 579 or EOS 753, or other basic course in remote sensing. Provides understanding of components, functionality, and use of radar remote sensing for the acquisition of spatial information. Concentrates on operational systems. Includes hands-on assignments.

653 Geographic Information Analysis (3:3:0)Prerequisites: GEOG 553 and 585. Exploration of existing and potential capabilities of geographic information systems in conducting spatial analysis and spatial modeling.

655 Map Design (3:3:0)Prerequisite: GEOG 310 or 550. Advanced examination of principles of map design, including discussions of map design research.

656 Terrain Mapping (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 553 or equivalent or permission of instructor. Covers the fundamental methods of digitally representing terrain data, major technologies, and programs for generating terrain data; methods for quantifying terrain error and assessing terrain data quality; and a variety of applications.

661 Map Projections and Coordinate Systems (3:3:0)Prerequisite: GEOG 310 or 550. Development of various map projections and coordinate systems; analysis of their properties, distortions, and applications.

664 Spatial Data Structures (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 310 or 550. Study of spatial data structures and their application in digital cartography, geographic information systems, and image-processing systems. Raster and vector data structures are examined, as well as attribution schemes and topological models. Data transformation, information loss, data quality, and the role of metadata are included.

670 Applied Climatology (3:3:0) Prerequisite: course in weather and climate or permission of instructor. Application of climatic concepts to natural and human-modified environments. Analysis of climatic change.

671 The Lithosphere (3:3:0) Prerequisite: graduate standing. A global-scale overview of the lithosphere, the solid non-living earth, its materials, cycles, plate tectonic and geomorphic processes, and history, including interactions with and history of the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, and methods of analysis.

674 Environmental Impact Analysis (3:3:0) Scientific and administrative processes involved in environmental impact analysis and environmental impact statements.

680 Seminar in Thought and Methodology (3:3:0) Prerequisite: GEOG 585. Historical development of geographic thought and current philosophy of geography. Analysis of rationale for various subfields. Geographic research techniques and methods of analysis.

690 Advanced Practicum in Geographical Applications (1-6:0:0) Prerequisite: permission of department. Application of spatial technologies in conjunction with faculty instruction and research. Individualized sections taught by arrangement with full-time faculty.

695 Internship (1-6:0:0) Prerequisite: permission of department. Approved study programs with specific employers. Students and employer supervisors must demonstrate relevancy of study program to degree requirements.

698 Directed Readings and Research (1-3:0:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department. Reading and research on a specific topic under the direction of a faculty member. Written report is required; oral exam and report may be required. May be repeated.

750 Advanced Geographical Research Applications (1-6:0:0) Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Advanced research employing geographical tools and research techniques. Content varies. May be repeated.

785 Geographic Field Work (3:3:0) Introduction to the nature, scope, and objectives of geographic field methods and techniques, including use of base maps, acquisition of data, and field research design. Taught as much as possible in field situations with students required to develop and carry out relevant field research projects pertaining to both physical and cultural geography.

791 Colloquium in Earth Systems Science (1:1:0) Introduction in a colloquium format covering the various parts of the Earth systems. Invited talks by Mason faculty and primarily Earth Science experts in the Washington, D.C. area. Students will be graded on written reports demonstrating an understanding of the wide topics covered.

792 Seminar in Earth Systems Science (2:2:0) Prerequisites: 15 graduate credits and courses on the atmosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. For graduate students who have background in EarthÕs major systems. Capstone experience. Seminars presented by faculty and students. Topics vary from semester to semester.

795 Seminar in Regional Analysis (3:3:0) Analysis and synthesis of physical and cultural elements of geography in a selected region. Should be taken near the end of the masterÕs degree program and should provide an opportunity for the student to apply selective knowledge gained in previous systematic courses to a specific region.

799 Thesis (1-6:0:0)Prerequisites: Degree candidacy and departmental approval of thesis proposal. Graded S/NC.