George Mason University 1997-98 Catalog Catalog Index
Course Descriptions

Search the 1997-1998 Catalog:


Geography Courses (GEOG)



Geography and Earth Systems Science

101 Major World Regions (3:3:0). Patterns, problems, and prospects of the world's 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 the global distribution and character of climate, soils, vegetation, hydrology, and landforms; elements of mapping. (Natural Science Credit)

103 Human Geography (3:3:0). Study of relationships between geography and human population distribution, cultural patterns, and economic development.

110 Maps and Map Reading (3:3:0). Developing spatial skills through reading, interpreting, and analyzing a broad variety of maps.

203 Field Mapping Techniques (3:0:6). Basic techniques for collecting and recording spatial field data including the use of topographic maps, compass, transit, alidade, and geographic positioning systems. Includes fieldwork.

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

301 Political Geography (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 30 hours. 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 hours. Analysis of spatial aspects of world resources and problems resulting from their 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 hours. 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 hours. 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 hours. 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.

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 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.

315 Geography of the United States (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of geography and/or American studies or permission of instructor. Diversity of physical and cultural landscapes in the U.S.

316 Geography of Latin America (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours of geography and/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: Six hours of geography and/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: Six hours of geography and/or courses related to Middle East or permission of instructor. Environmental, economic, and social factors of differentiation of the 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: Six hours of geography and/or Russian studies or permission of instructor. Analysis of the 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 hours. 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 hours. A 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 hours. 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 hours. Content varies; determined by instructor.

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

411 Advanced 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 hours 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. A 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 hours 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 spaceborne platforms. Includes analysis of imagery for both physical and cultural environments.

420 Physiography of North America (3:3:0). Prerequisite: 60 hours, GEOG 102, 3 additional hours 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.

480 Internship (3,6:0:0). Prerequisite: Open only to authorized majors with 90 hours. Internships are approved study programs with specific employers. Credit is determined by department. Contact department one semester prior to enrollment.

490 Practicum in Geographical Applications (1-6:0:0). Prerequisite: Open only to authorized majors with 90 hours. 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 hours 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: Six hours of geography, including GEOG 102. Case studies of the impacts of human activities on atmospheric, hydrologic, geomorphic, and biotic processes.

505 Transportation Geography (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Six hours 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. Emphasis on problems and techniques in teaching geography and current developments in research, methodology, and philosophy in the discipline.

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 the study of health and disease. Topics include disease ecology, disease diffusion, and geographic perspectives on improving health care delivery.

550 Mapping Foundations (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing or permission of department. Basic principles of mapping human and physical spatial patterns and of using maps. Includes sources of spatial information such as existing maps, fieldwork, and aerial photographs; techniques of cartographic compilation; map construction and design; and the analysis of spatial data. Only for students without previous course work in cartography.

551 Thematic Cartography (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOG 550 or permission of department. 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 permission of department. Sources of digital geographic information, methods of storage and processing for cartographic display, and geographical analysis.

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

560 Telecartography (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOG 550 or permission of instructor. Examines the emerging linkages between digital cartography, telecommunications, and the digitization of society. Emphasizes new knowledge and skills needed for cartographic practice and collaboration using Internet resources.

562 Photogrammetry (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOG 550 or permission of department. Treatment of photogrammetric problems, including least squares adjustments, image coordination refinements, colinearity equation, resection, relative orientation, and analytic aerotriangulation.

563 Geographic Information Systems Applications (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOG 553 or permission of department. Concentrates on utilization of geographic information systems software and hardware and requires considerable laboratory time to understand the functionality of GIS, its use for various applications, and available digital spatial data.

570 Environmental Hydrology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Course in physical geography (climatology recommended) or geology. To manage water resources successfully, one must understand their nature and occurrence in space and time, and their relationship to earth's other physical and environmental systems. This course aids in that understanding by exploring three areas of water resources geography: climate and hydrology, physical and biological interactions, and water resources planning and management. Both surface and ground water will be studied. Important regional and topical issues will be highlighted. Student will be familiarized with water resources research techniques, analytical tools, and data sources.

579 Remote Sensing (3:3:0). Prerequisite: GEOG 550 or a course in aerial photography or permission of instructor. Course examines use of various types and combinations of electromagnetic energy to obtain spatial information. Concentration on nonphotographic and spaceborne 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 or permission of department. Examination of the theory and techniques of using digital remotely sensed data for obtaining geographic information of the earth's 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.

583 Spatial Dynamics of Political Systems (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Graduate standing. Topics include territoriality, reapportionment, spatial allocation of public facilities, perception of boundaries. Emphasis on the spatial impact of political processes upon land use.

585 Quantitative Methods (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Previous course work in statistics; GEOG 550 or permission of instructor. 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.

621 Human Ecology and the City (same as SOCI 621) (3:3:0). Introduction to urban ecology. Origin and development of various types of cities, shape and structure of urban areas, inner and outer city and spatial patterning of urban institutions.

653 Geographic Information Analysis (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GEOG 553 and 585 or permission of instructor. Exploration of existing and potential capabilities of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in conducting spatial analysis and spatial modeling.

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

656 Terrain Mapping (3:3:0). Prerequisites: GEOG 550 and permission of instructor. Advanced methods of relief and landform portrayal, slope mapping, digital terrain models, and other forms of terrain representation.

660 Geodetic Cartography (3:3:6). Prerequisites: GEOG 550 and permission of instructor. Introduction to science of earth measurement, methods of establishing geodetic control for mapping, and geodetic basis of map projections and coordinate systems.

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

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 Applied Geomorphology (3:3:0). Prerequisite: Course in geomorphology or permission of instructor. In-depth examination of interaction among land forming processes, settlement, and land-use patterns. Emphasis on planning and problem solving.

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 or permission of instructor. Historical development of geographic thought and the current philosophy of geography. Analysis of the rationale for the discipline's various subfields. Geographic research techniques and methods of analysis.

684 Applied Economic Geography (3:3:0). Theory and analysis of factors and patterns of location of economic activity and regional systems. Case studies emphasized.

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. Internships are 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). Prerequisites: 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 Fieldwork (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. The course is 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.

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 master's 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.


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