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Disciplinary Minor

Associate Professors – Marcelo Cruz, Laurel E. Phoenix (chair)
Assistant Professors – Adam Parrillo, Rachel Russell

Geography is an academic discipline that systematically studies the location, variation and interrelations of natural and cultural features of the earth. Its study exemplifies the University’s mission to emphasize interdisciplinary, problem-focused education because Geography examines the world and its problems with a view to comprehensive understanding and critical thinking.

Geography students gain a broad education encompassing the sciences and the liberal arts.

Geography offers technical training for students who wish to work as professional geographers in government or industry, and provides background for advanced work in business, economics, history, planning, political science, the humanities, or in the biological and earth sciences, depending upon a student’s individual needs. Students who want preparation to teach should seek advice early from advisers in Geography and Education to make sure they complete all requirements.

Geography minors combine their studies with an interdisciplinary major. Depending on their career goals, students might effectively combine Geography with programs in Business Administration, Environmental Policy and Planning, Urban and Regional Studies, Human Development, Democracy and Justice Studies, or Humanistic Studies.

Students in Geography can expect to become acquainted with current technology in the field through courses introducing them to the concepts and uses of geographic information systems (GIS). In addition, students develop spatial analytical skills that are applied to problem solving projects. In this light, students are encouraged to gain practical experience through internships with local agencies and organizations in the region and through practical course projects.

Students are also encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities offered in the two travel courses offered under Urban and Regional Studies that will satisfy the Geography minor. Students apply what they learn in the classroom to the international experience. Geography minors study urban and regional issues in Ecuador, South America and the Galapagos Islands. Students seeking information on teacher certification should contact the Education Office.

This disciplinary minor also requires:

Completion of an interdisciplinary major


GEOG 102. World Regions and Concepts: A Geographic Analysis. 3 Credits.

Contemporary geography, its viewpoints and methodology; geographic reality of the present-day world is analyzed through case studies using both the regional approach and systematic analysis.
Fall Only.

GEOG 202. Introduction to Cultural Geography. 3 Credits.

The impact of culture through time in creating the earth's contrasting landscapes, using case studies which often focus on North America.

GEOG 210. Human Geography and Concepts. 3 Credits.

This course introduces you to some of the major topics and models studied in human geography. Specifically, this course will examine the global patterns of population, culture, economic and political systems, and the interconnectedness at the international, national, and sub-national scales.
Fall Only.

GEOG 222. Ocean of Air: Weather and Climate. 3 Credits.

Fundamental processes of the atmosphere, the resulting weather and climate, and the effects of the atmosphere on other aspects of the earth's environments and on humans.
Fall and Spring.

GEOG 223. Ocean of Air: Weather and Climate Laboratory. 1 Credit.

Laboratory course to accompany Geosci 222 / Geog 222. Application of physical principles learned in lecture through a combination of data analysis, problem solving, and experimentation.
P: conc enr in Earth Sc/Geog 222 lec.
Fall and Spring.

GEOG 250. Displays of Geographic Information. 3 Credits.

The appreciation, use, and evaluation of maps and air photos as informational sources.
Fall Only.

GEOG 299. Travel Course. 1-4 Credits.

Travel courses are conducted to various parts of the world and are led by one or more faculty members. May be repeated to different locations.
P: cons of instr & prior trip arr & financial deposit.

GEOG 321. Coastal Resources Policy and Management. 3 Credits.

The importance of coastal resources, with an emphasis on Wisconsin's coasts. With field trips to local lakes and Lake Superior, we will study issues of development, overuse, risk, and their consequent environmental, aesthetic and economic impacts.
Fall Only.

GEOG 325. Regional Climatology. 3 Credits.

The elements, controls, and classification of climates; the distribution of climate types over the earth; world patterns of climate.
P: Geosci 222 with at least a C grade or Geog 222 with at least a C grade; REC: Geosci 202.
Fall Only.

GEOG 341. The City and its Regional Context. 3 Credits.

The course will focus on two main interrelated themes in urban geography. It will explore urban places as systems operating as en entity among other cities and the surrounding region. Second, it will explore social construction of urban morphology.
P: jr st.

GEOG 342. Settlement Geography. 3 Credits.

Evolution of major human settlement forms, emphasizing geographical patterns in the United States and including relationships between house form and culture, the arrangement of habitations on the landscape, and the historical geography of urban settlements.
P: jr st and Geog 202.

GEOG 350. GIS in Public and Environmental Policy. 2 Credits.

Uses state-of-the-art software to integrate digitized data maps, transfer data, manage relational data bases, overlay maps, display, query, edit interactive graphics, and geocode addresses. Focus is upon GIS applications tailored to public and environmental policy, e.g., tax base analysis, property mapping, natural resources inventory, crime demography, transportation routing, natural hazards, and emergency management.
P: Pu En Af 250
Fall and Spring.

GEOG 351. Elements of Cartography. 3 Credits.

Principles of basic cartography, including problem identification and clarification, data collection and analysis, compilation, generalization, and symbolization; presentation of data on medium and large scale maps.
P: sophomore standing

GEOG 353. Air Photo Interpretation. 3 Credits.

Techniques for the interpretation of human and natural land use. Wide variety of aerial photo formats and scales are used. Vertical and oblique photos, satellite images, and Internet web sites incorporated into course material.
P: sophomore standing
Fall Only.

GEOG 370. Geography of South America. 3 Credits.

A survey course which will explore the physical features, resources, people, and the political economy of the American southern hemisphere.
P: jr st; REC: Env Sci 102 or Geog 222.
Fall Even.

GEOG 421. Soils and Geology of Wisconsin Field Trip. 1-3 Credits.

Intensive three-day field study tour of the properties, origins and uses of major soils and landscapes of Wisconsin, with follow-up discussions. Cost of tour bus, guidebook, meals and lodging borne by student.
P: Geosci 202 with at least a C grade.
Fall Odd.

GEOG 450. Advanced Geographic Information Systems. 3 Credits.

Project-based course using ArcGIS. Students define a project, develop a database, analyze spatial data, and develop GIS maps displaying results of their analysis.
P: Geog 350 or Pu En Af 350.
Spring Even.

GEOG 470. Quaternary Geology. 3 Credits.

Understanding the extremes in environmental behavior which characterize Pleistocene time. Principles of glaciology and the impact of glaciation on the landscape.
P: Geosci 202 with at least a C grade; REC: Geosci 203.
Spring Even.

GEOG 497. Internship. 1-12 Credits.

Supervised practical experience in an organization or activity appropriate to a student's career and educational interests. Internships are supervised by faculty members and require periodic student/faculty meetings.
P: jr st.
Fall and Spring.

GEOG 498. Independent Study. 1-4 Credits.

Independent study is offered on an individual basis at the student's request and consists of a program of learning activities planned in consultation with a faculty member. A student wishing to study or conduct research in an area not represented in available scheduled courses should develop a preliminary proposal and seek the sponsorship of a faculty member. The student's advisor can direct him or her to instructors with appropriate interests. A written report or equivalent is required for evaluation, and a short title describing the program must be sent early inthe semester to the registrar for entry on the student's transcript.
P: fr or so st with cum gpa > or = 2.50; or jr or sr st with cum gpa > or = 2.00.
Fall and Spring.

GEOG 499. Travel Course. 1-6 Credits.

Travel courses are conducted to various parts of the world and are led by one or more faculty members. May be repeated to different locations.
P: cons of instr & prior trip arr & financial deposit.