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College of Arts
and Sciences (College)
Academic Bulletin

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College of Arts and Sciences (College) 
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Bloomington, IN 47405  
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Major in Geography—B.A.
Major in Geography—B.S.
Minor in Geography
Course Descriptions



Professor William R. Black


C. Sue Grimmond, Daniel C. Knudsen, John Odland, Sara Pryor, Scott Robeson, Hans Peter Schmid

Associate Professors

Tom Evans, Charles Greer, A. Faiz Rahman

Assistant Professors

James J. Biles, Constance Brown, Kelly Caylor, Tony Grubesic

Visiting Scientist

Rebecca Barthelmie

Assistant Scientist

Danilo Dragoni

Senior Lecturer

Roman Zlotin

Adjunct Faculty

David Audretsch (School of Public and Environmental Affairs), Bennet Brabson (Physics), Timothy Brothers (IUPUI), Owen Dwyer (IUPUI), David MacKay (Kelley School of Business), Theodore Miller (School of Public and Environmental Affairs), Emilio Moran (Anthropology, CIPEC), Greg Olyphant (Geological Sciences), Catherine Souch (IUPUI), Philip Stevens (School of Public and Environmental Affairs), Jeffrey Wilson (IUPUI)

Faculty Emeriti

Don Bennett, Dennis Conway, Ernest Wohlenberg

Academic Advising

Student Building 120, (812) 855-6303

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Courses offered by the Department of Geography (GEOG) form an important component of liberal arts and science education and also provide skills and knowledge necessary for careers in geography and related fields. The undergraduate program reflects the breadth of geography and its linkages to other social and physical sciences. Courses are in atmospheric science, the human-environment interaction, international studies, geographic information science, and human geography.

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Major in Geography-B.A.


The B.A. degree is intended to provide a strong liberal arts degree focusing on the major subject areas of geography, while maintaining a great deal of flexibility. The flexibility allows students to focus on particular concentration areas and/or to choose a second major.


Students must complete the following:

  1. A minimum of 25 credit hours in geography, of which at least 9 credit hours must be at the 300 or 400 level and at least 3 additional credit hours must be at the 400 level.
  2. One course each in physical geography (either G107 or G109), human geography (either G110 or G120), and two courses in geographic methodology (to be selected from G235, G237, G250, G336, G338, G350, G436, G438, or G488).

Students must complete the B.A. degree requirements of the College of Arts and Sciences.


Students ordinarily select one of the following concentration areas and identify a faculty member or members associated with that concentration area to be their advisors. Faculty names are listed below with the appropriate specialties.

  1. Atmospheric Science Complete G304 and G350; select from G235, G250, G336, G405, G431, G433, G434, G470, and G475; additionally G450, G460, G477, and G489. (Brown, Caylor, Grimmond, Pryor, Robeson, Schmid)
  2. Human-Environment Interaction Select from G304/G305 and G306/G315 and at least one 400-level course. Courses within this concentration include: G208, G235, G237, G304, G305, G306, G307, G315, G336, G341, G405, G421, G434, G440, G450, G460, and G475. Other recommended courses include: G250, G336, G338, G350, and G488. (Black, Brown, Caylor, Greer, Grimmond, Pryor, Robeson, Schmid)
  3. Geographic Information Science G235, G237, G250, G336, G338, G436, G438, G439, G450, G460, and G488. (Evans, Odland, Robeson)
  4. International Studies Select courses from G210, G235, E302, G306 (when it has a regional focus), G317, G323, G324, G326, G425, G427, G428, G450, and G460.(Greer, Knudsen, Odland)
  5. Human Geography Select courses from G210, G235, G237, G302, G306 (when appropriate), G314, G316, G317, G320, G338, G415, G450, G460, and G488. (Biles, Black, Grubesic, Knudsen, Odland)
  6. Sustainable Systems Select courses from G208, G302, G305, G315, G320, G332, G406, G411, G415, G442, G450, G460, and G489 (Black, Brown, Caylor, Evans, Greer, Odland, Pryor, Robeson)

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Major in Geography-B.S.


The B.S. degree provides additional science requirements that prepare science-oriented students for graduate school and science-related jobs at the bachelor's degree level. Students pursuing a B.S. degree normally would focus on either the atmospheric science or geographic information science concentration areas (relevant courses are listed above).


Students must complete the following:

  1. Same geography requirements as B.A.
  2. Mathematics: M211-M212
  3. Physics: P221-P222
  4. Biology: minimum of 6 credit hours including L111 and L473 or Chemistry C101-C121, C102-C122 or at least 6 credits in computer science at the 200-level or higher.
  5. Statistics: K300 or G488
  6. 6 credit hours of mathematics, physics, biology, chemistry, or computer science at the 300 level or higher
  7. General education:
    1. Writing: English composition (3 cr.) and intensive writing (3 cr.)
    2. Foreign Language: 3 credit hours at the second-year level
    3. Arts and Humanities: two courses.
    4. Social and Historical studies: two courses, including at least one course from geography.
    5. Natural and Mathematical Sciences: fulfilled by major
    6. Topics courses: COLL E103 or E104
    7. Electives to fulfill remaining credits

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Minor in Geography


Students must complete a minimum of 15 credit hours in geography including: (a) one course from G107, G109, G110, and G120; (b) one course in geographic methodology (to be selected from G235, G237, G250, G336, G338, G350, G436, G438, or G488); and (c) at least 6 credit hours at the 300 or 400 level.

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Course Descriptions

G107 Physical Systems of the Environment (3 cr.) N & M Introduction to the physical principles governing the geographical distribution and interrelationships of the earth's physical features (atmosphere and oceans, landforms, soils, and vegetation). The course provides students with the background necessary to evaluate current environmental issues.

G109 Weather and Climate (3 cr.) N & M Introduction to atmospheric processes responsible for weather. Elements of climatology and their variation in time and space. Weather forecasting, weather modification, and severe weather.

G110 Introduction to Human Geography (3 cr.) S & H An introduction to the principles, concepts, and methods of analysis used in the study of human geographic systems. Examines geographic perspectives on contemporary world problems such as population growth, globalization of the economy, and human-environmental relations.

G120 World Regional Geography (3 cr.) S & H Analysis of population, culture, environment, and economies of major world regions. Examination of issues of global importance, including development, demographic change, urbanization and migration, and international conflict.

G208 Human Impact on Environment (3 cr.) N & M Aspects of the human role in changing the earth's environment. Examples of how expanding use of the physical environment has altered the equilibrium of natural systems or accelerated the rate of natural changes in the environment. Environmental changes from a global or world regional perspective.

G210 Introductory Political Geography (3 cr.) S & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Considers geopolitics and geographical political economy. Features the role that geography plays in legitimizing political territories from trading blocs to subnational regions to global cities in the global system as a background to current events.

G235 Introductory Geographical Methods (3 cr.) Introduces geographical methodology in the major fields of study within geography (atmospheric sciences, environmental studies, geographic information systems, global studies, and human geography). Topics include map interpretation, paradigms of inquiry, simple statistical methods, instrumentation, introductory computer methods, fieldwork, and case studies.

G237 Cartography and Geographic Information (3 cr.) N & M Use of computers in the management of geographic information, including data storage, database construction, creation and production of maps and related representation of geographic data. Computer cartography laboratory, experimentation and interactive experience using GIS and mapping software.

G250 Computer Methods in Geography (3 cr.) N & M P: M118 or M119 or M211, or consent of instructor. Introduction to computing in geography, emphasizing practical applications. Topics include programming concepts, analysis of spatial data, and graphics. Numerous exercises give practical experience with the analysis and interpretation of geographic data. Both high-level programming and software packages are utilized.

G302 Introduction to Transportation Analysis (3 cr.) S & H Examination of movement of people, goods, and information over space using spatial analysis and planning techniques.

G304 Physical Meteorology and Climatology (3 cr.) N & M P: Any introductory science course or consent of instructor. Fundamental atmospheric properties and interrelationships. Radiation theory, components of energy and moisture balance, atmospheric circulation, upper air-surface relationships, and global weather systems.

G305 Environmental Change­Nature and Impact (3 cr.) N & M P: G107 or G109 or consent of instructor. An integrated systems approach to examining the forcing, system response, and impacts of environmental change. Specific case studies will be presented in addition to methods of documenting change and identifying natural variability versus change due to anthropogenic forcing.

G306 The Geography of Current Issues (3 cr.) P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. An examination of current problems from a geographical perspective. The specific topic to be considered will vary from semester to semester. May be repeated once with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

G307 Biogeography: The Distribution of Life (3 cr.) N & M For Bloomington campus only, P: G107 or G109 or G185, or G208. A survey of the present and past distributions of the world's plants and animals, emphasizing ecological explanation of species distributions. Topics include evolution and distribution of major plant and animal groups, world vegetation, plant and animal domestication, introduction of plant and animal pests, destruction of natural communities, and extinction.

G314 Urban Geography (3 cr.) S & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Study and interpretation of urban spatial structures, policies and problems with an emphasis on geographic perspectives. Topics include urban housing markets, racial segregation, homelessness, and urban crime.

G315 Environmental Conservation (3 cr.) S & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Conservation of natural resources, including soil, water, wildlife, and forests as interrelated components of the environment emphasizing an ecological approach. Current problems relating to environmental quality.

G316 Economic Geography (3 cr.) S & H The course familiarizes students with the global pattern of economic endeavor, and teaches basic economic geographic theory and how location decision making occurs.

G317 Geography of Developing Countries (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Analysis of spatial processes in the Third World with emphasis on the processes of migration, urbanization, and resource development. Examination of alternative theories of the development process.

G320 Population Geography (3 cr.) S & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Study of population growth, compositional change and redistribution at regional, national and global scales. Topics include population pressure, fertility control, aging of societies, AIDS epidemiology, immigration, and population policies.

G323 Geography of Latin America (3 cr.) S & H, CSA A geographic introduction to Latin America: the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, South America. Focus is on elements that give coherence and identity to geographic space in Latin America. Topics include the natural environment, settlement, the agrarian sphere, urbanization and industrialization, regional development issues, and geopolitical themes.

G324 Geography of the Caribbean (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Geographic introduction to the Caribbean, stressing global and regional political and economic relationships, physical, and natural environments, human activities and human-environmental relationships which give coherence and identity to the diversity of Caribbean landscapes, peoples, and cultures.

G326 Geography of North America (3 cr.) S & H Continental and regional variations in terrain, climate, and economic and social life of the United States and Canada, with emphasis on geographical principles, sources of data, and techniques of investigation.

G332 Geographical Globalization (3 cr.) S & H P: G110 or G120 or consent of instructor. The importance of the geopolitical and geo-economic/ecological nature of the global reorganization of the world's systems. Course moves from the treatment of geographies of global change to a critical examination of the many dimensions of today's globalizing world­ economic, technological, social, political, cultural, a state of affairs that is unruly and unprecedented.

G336 Remote Sensing (3 cr.) N & M P: Consent of instructor. Principles of remote sensing of the earth and its atmosphere, emphasizing satellite data in visible, infrared, and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum. Emphasis on practical applications and digital image analysis.

G338 Geographic Information Science (3 cr.) N & M P: G237 or consent of instructor. Overview of the principles and practices of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). The course will deal with issues of spatial data models, database design, introductory and intermediate GIS operations, and case studies of real-world GIS applications. Laboratory exercises will provide significant hands-on experience. Lecture and laboratory.

G341 Environmental Values and Attitudes (3 cr.) S & H Environmental values and attitudes as phenomena of human societies which are instrumental along with technological and organizational constructs in shaping society habitat relationships. Study of Western and non-Western traditions provides background for understanding recent attempts to develop ideas compatible with globalizing industrial society.

G350 Instrumentation and Field Methods in Atmospheric Science (3 cr.) N & M P or C: G304 or consent of instructor. Sampling, instrumentation, measurement, analysis, and interpretation of data concerning features and processes of the atmospheric environment. Use of field and laboratory equipment within the context of research and standard projects. Practical application of climatological and meteorological principles.

G405 Hydroclimatology (3 cr.) N & M P: G304. Hydroclimatic processes at a range of spatial scales. Topics include cloud and precipitation processes, soil water physics, runoff and evaporation. Lecture and laboratory.

G406 Sustainable Transportation (3 cr.) An examination of sustainability and of non-sustainability in the transport sector. Problems of petroleum depletion, air quality and its impact on human health, carbon dioxide emissions and their impact on global warming, transport accidents, and congestion are examined along with planning, policy, and technological solutions to these problems.

G411 Sustainable Development Systems (3 cr.) S & H P: G208 or consent of instructor. An examination of the notion of sustainable development and its meaning as well as the manner in which it has been implemented in the areas of resources, agriculture, water, transport, cities, and tourism. How such systems can be implemented in developing and developed countries will also be examined.

G415 Sustainable Urbanism (3 cr.) S & H P: G314 or consent of instructor. In-depth examination of "green urbanism" and sustainable urban development. Sustainable urbanism is viewed as an integral part of, and not distinct from, global environmental sustainability. Lessons from European cities inform the assessments of North America's urban future.

G421 Environments of Tropical Lands (3 cr.) N & M A geographical analysis concerned with developing countries and focusing on issues related to development and the environmental consequences. Concern for the natural environment is expressed with regard to how it is affected by population pressures, economic advancement and urbanization. An understanding of the people and their cultures in these regions is presented.

G425 Africa: Contemporary Geography Problems (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Examines contemporary geographic problems confronting the countries of sub-Saharan Africa. Primary focus on urbanization, rural-urban migration, unemployment, agriculture, and health care. Also analyses of terrain, resource base, and other aspects of the natural environment.

G427 Russia and its Neighbors (3 cr.) S & H, CSA Geographic problems and prospects of the former republics of the Soviet Union with an emphasis on political geography, environmental issues, population, urbanization, energy, and the location of economic activity.

G428 Geography of Europe (3 cr.) S & H, CSB Emphasizes two interrelated topics within western Europe: common themes across the countries of Europe, and the distinctive cultures that make up the region. The course begins with a discussion of the physical landscape of Europe, then takes up the cultural and economic landscape of the region. The course ends with a discussion of the various cultural regions within Europe.

G431 Dynamic Meteorology (3 cr.) N & M P: MATH M211-M212, PHYS P201 or P221 (P221 recommended), GEOG G304 or consent of instructor. Introduction to dynamical processes and analysis in the atmosphere. Principles of fluid dynamics and their application to the atmosphere. Basic conservation laws and equations of motion. Circulation and vorticity. Dynamics of synoptic systems: quasi-geostrophic analysis, oscillations and waves, baroclinic instability, and cyclogensis. General circulation. Numerical modeling. Credit not given for both G431 and G436.

G433 Synoptic Meteorology and Climatology (3 cr.) N & M P: G304 or consent of instructor. Analysis and prediction of synoptic scale weather systems, emphasizing the mid-latitudes. Other topics include severe weather and atmospheric/oceanic teleconnections.

G434 Air Pollution Meteorology (3 cr.) N & M P: G304 or consent of instructor. Analysis of the physical laws that govern the transport, transformation, and removal of atmospheric pollutants. Primary emphasis will be on physical and chemical processes, although biological impacts also will be considered.

G436 Advanced Remote Sensing: Digital Image Processing (3 cr.) N & M P: G336 or consent of instructor. Advanced remote sensing theory and digital image processing techniques with an emphasis on environmental applications. Hands-on computer exercises provide significant experience in introductory digital image processing for extraction of qualitative and quantitative information about the Earth's terrestrial environments.

G438 Advanced Geographic Information Science (3 cr.) N & M P: G338 or consent of instructor. Intermediate and advanced topics in geographic information science and spatial analysis techniques using GIS software. This advanced course is for upper-division undergraduates and graduates who seek a greater understanding of this rapidly developing field and to learn how to construct, manage, and analyze their own GIS data and models.

G439 Seminar in Geographic Information Science (3 cr.) N & M P: G336, G338, and G436 or G438. Applications of geographic information science principles in the collection and analysis of spatial data. Integration of GIS, remote sensing, and/or GPS technologies. Review of current literature on techniques, theory, technology, and applications with an emphasis on environmental issues. Discussions, laboratory, and research project. May be repeated with a different topic for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

G440 Topics in Environmental Geography (3 cr.) P: G305 or G315 or consent of instructor. Selected topics focus on the human dimensions of environmental change/conservation. Example focus topics: population-environment interactions, transport-environment interactions, and urban-environment interactions. May be repeated four times with a different topic for a maximum of 12 credit hours.

G442 Sustainable Energy Systems (3 cr.) S & H P: Junior standing or consent of instructor. Examination of energy resources and the socioeconomic and environmental effects of these processes. Reasons for current energy systems being nonsustainable and the potential for developing alternative renewable energy sources and the problems associated with these are examined.

G450 Undergraduate Readings and Research in Geography (1-3 cr.; 6 cr. max.) P: Consent of instructor. Individual readings and research in geography.

G451 Water Dynamics in Semi-Arid Environments (3 cr.) N & M P: G107 or G109 and at least one 300-level physical/biological science course or consent of instructor. Investigates the hydro-micrometeorological and human dynamics of semi-arid ecosystems/ environments.

G460 Internship in Geographical Analysis (1-6 cr.) P: Consent of instructor. Faculty-directed study of geographical problems based on an internship experience. Student's area of placement must be related to major field of study and may involve staff work or research. Maximum of 3 credit hours will count toward major. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Credit not given for both G400 and G460.

G470 Micrometeorology (3 cr.) N & M P: G304, MATH M211-M212, or consent of instructor. Atmospheric processes at the micro and local scale. Topics include energy and mass exchange over simple nonvegetated surfaces, vegetated surfaces, nonuniform terrain, and inadvertent climate modification.

G475 Climate Change (3 cr.) N & M P: At least two undergraduate physical science courses or consent of instructor. Evidence for and theories of climate change over a range of time scales. Sources and interpretation of proxy climate data are presented along with modeling tools for assessing climate response to a range of forcing and paleoclimate perspectives on future climate change.

G477 Topics in Atmospheric Science (3 cr.) N & M P: G304. Selected topics in microclimatology, dynamic meteorology, statistical methods in climatology, climactic change, radiation theory, or other areas of climatology and meteorology. May be repeated once for credit with different topic.

G488 Applied Spatial Statistics (3 cr.) N & M P: 6 credit hours of geography or consent of instructor. Extension of traditional statistical analysis to spatial data. Spatial means and spatial variances, the examination of differences in samples over space, spatial autocorrelation, nearest neighbor analysis, map comparison techniques. Emphasis is on practical applications.

G489 Atmospheric Data Analysis (3 cr.) N & M P: An introductory course in statistics or consent of instructor. Introduction to methods of data analysis used in the atmospheric sciences, emphasizing applications. Topics include statistical forecasting, spatial interpolation, spectral analysis and filtering, vector data analysis, and model evaluation.

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