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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Geography

Fall 2017 Courses

Undergraduates my take 100- through 500-level courses. Graduate students will only receive credit for courses numbered at the 500-level and above.


Section 001        T TH 11:40am – 12:55pm CALLCOTT 011                  Staff (7-5234)

Section 002        T TH 1:15pm –  2:30pm CALLCOTT 011                    Staff (7-5234)

Section Y01        MW 5:30pm – 6:45pm CALLCOTT 201                      Staff (7-5234) 

This course introduces students to the breadth and relevance of the field of geography. It explores the paradigms of space, place, mobility, and scale in the various subfields of geographic inquiry and shows how geographic expertise can be used in important decision-making and problem solving contexts. This course also demonstrates the applicability of geography to other fields of study and current issues of globalization.



Section 001       MWF 10:50am-11:40am CALLCOTT 201                   Staff (7-5234)

Section Y1B*     T TH 6:00pm-9:00pm CALLCOTT 101                      Staff (7-5234)

*Section Y1B is a second half of semester course

Physical geography synthesizes and connects elements of our physical environment as they relate to human beings. It includes many aspects of various earth and life sciences, but expresses them in a way that emphasizes patterns of interaction between elements and with humankind. This means that physical geography, like other branches of geography, examines spatial relationships – not only where things are, but also the processes that underlie the observed patterns. The objective of this course is to provide a systematic introduction to physical geography, including the major components of the earth system (atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and lithosphere) as well as regulatory processes, distribution patterns of important aspects, and impacts of human activity.



Section H01        T TH 11:40am – 12:55pm CALLCOTT 302 Dr. Diansheng Guo (7-2989)

                                Section H01 is restricted to Honors College Students        

Section 001         T TH 11:40am – 12:55pm GAMBRELL 003A              Staff (7-5234)

Section 003         M W 2:20pm  – 3:35pm CALLCOTT 302                   Staff (7-5234)                   

The Digital Earth is an introductory course that focuses on how the earth surface is visualized, explored, and analyzed in digital formats. It provides a systematic introduction of map-based analytical approaches to understanding the Earth environment and human society. The topics cover the basics of cartography (map making and reading), aerial photography and satellite image interpretation, geographic information systems (GIS), and map-based reasoning and communication of spatial data. Through lectures and computer/field exercises, students will learn fundamental concepts of digital geographic data and analysis to understand vast quantities of geographic information in our ever-changing world. Students will be exposed to leading edge trends in mapping technology – with examples from everyday life like web-based maps and smartphone APPs – as their practical experiences.

No previous technical experience is assumed and only basic Windows operating system familiarity is required.



Section 001         M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm CALLCOTT 201                     Mr. Sam Nielson (7-5234)

Section E01         Online Web-based                                                           Ms. Holly Smith (7-5234)

This course introduces students to diversity, inequality, and interconnectedness in the contemporary world through the lens of regional geography.  In terms of diversity, this course highlights the ways that the physical environment, social and economic systems, political relationships, and historical circumstances have produced distinctive regions, like ‘Latin America’ and ‘the Middle East’.  In terms of interconnectedness, this course explores the ways in which global processes—world trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism, geopolitical conflict, and climate change—have integrated different world regions into a complex global system.  In terms of inequality, this course gives special attention to the way that regional and global processes intersect to produce and reinforce social and geographical disparities.


GEOGRAPHY 201-001, 002, 003, 004 - LANDFORM GEOGRAPHY

Lecture:  T TH 10:05am -11:20am   CALLCOTT 201

Lab I:   T 2:50pm – 4:40pm CALLCOTT 202

Lab II:  W 9:40am –  11:30am CALLCOTT 202

Lab III: W 12:00pm – 1:50pm CALLCOTT 202

Lab IV: W 2:00pm – 3:50pm CALLCOTT 202

Dr. Allan James (7-6117)

This course is an introduction to the physical features on the Earth’s land surface emphasizing soils, hydrology, and processes of landform creation by water, wind, ice, and gravity.  Landforms are physical features on the Earth’s surface such as valleys, hill-slopes, beaches, sand dunes, and stream channels.  The study of landforms is one of the oldest of the natural sciences from which many classic scientific premises and methods were born.  Landforms and soils provide evidence of past environmental conditions, how they have changed, and the processes involved, including human actions and natural agents.  The course emphasizes environmental changes in the recent geologic past up to the present.  Three hours of lectures and one 110-minute laboratory per week.


GEOGRAPHY 202-001, 002, 003, 004 - WEATHER AND CLIMATE 

Lecture:  T TH 10:05am – 11:20am PETIGRU 108                                                                 

Lab I:   T 11:40am – 1:30pm CALLCOTT 004/005

Lab II:  T 1:30pm – 3:20pm CALLCOTT 004/005

Lab III: W 12:00pm – 1:50pm CALLCOTT 004/005

Lab IV: W 2:00pm – 3:50pm CALLCOTT 004/005

Lab V: TH 11:40am – 1:30pm CALLCOTT 004/005

Dr. Gregory Carbone (7-0682)

This course provides students with a general understanding of the processes which influence weather and climate patterns on the earth.  It first examines the sources of energy driving atmospheric processes, the importance of atmospheric moisture, and the forces creating the winds.  The second part of the course focuses on storm systems, including mid-latitude cyclones and severe weather.  The last third of the class is devoted to the study of climate, climate variability and change, and the impact of such change on human activity.  The laboratory sections will include experiments, workbook exercises, and analysis of real-time computer weather graphics.  The final grade will be based on three lecture exams, three lab exams, take-home exercises, a weather journal, and regular lecture and lab quizzes.

*4 credit hour course includes a 2-hour laboratory each week.



M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm                   CALLCOTT 011                                                                             

Dr. Amy Mills (7-5688)

This course provides a thematic introduction to contemporary human geography, a broad geographic subfield directly concerned with human beings and their interaction with their natural and cultural environment.  The course uses spatial approaches and concepts from geography to explore many themes related to globalization and the interactions between people and places amongst diverse societies around the world. Some of the themes addressed in the course are: urbanization, population growth, rural to urban and international migrations, international development, territorial sovereignties, statehood and terrorism, ethnicity and race, and cultural diversity. These themes are linked through geographic perspectives and methods of investigation.


GEOGRAPHY 225-001 Geographies of Europe

M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm CALLCOTT 003                                                                                                      

Dr. Caroline Nagel (7-4970)

This course covers a wide range of topics relating to the human geography of the European subcontinent, including human settlement and migration, trade, resource extraction, and commodity production.  The course highlights the mutually transformative relationships between economic production, state authority, social organization, and the physical environment.    How, we will ask, did particular geographical systems come about in Europe, and how and why did they change?  How did innovations in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and governance alter people’s livelihoods and re-shape the geographical landscape?  The class will familiarize students with current events that are affecting Europe: the Brexit vote, the re-emergence of populism, the Syrian refugee crisis, and terrorism.  Throughout the course, we will constantly be asking, what is Europe, and what (if anything) makes Europe a ‘unique’, definable space?



M W 2:20pm-3:35pm CALLCOT 102

Dr. Conor Harrison (576-6010)

This course introduces students to the places and spaces where economic activities are carried out and circulate. The course material, which includes texts, films, newspaper articles, lectures, and in-class activities, will help students to develop an understanding of how economic processes shape the landscape but also how to analyze those processes within their social, cultural, and political contexts. The course will examine how the economic realms of labor, finance, government transportation, technology, natural resources, and corporations shape the world around us, as well as how the world shapes those industries.



This is an online course with Web Based Instructional Method. You will need access to a computer with Internet access. Class is delivered via Blackboard.  

Staff  (7-5234)

This course introduces you to the nature and impact of as well as the social responses to disasters. We focus on the origin and characteristics of disasters, their spatial distribution, lessons learned from the great disasters, and how society anticipates and responds to disasters. The major goals of the course are to: 1) familiarize you with the range and types of environmental hazards/disasters and their geographic distribution; 2) examine the causes or triggering mechanisms (natural, human, technological) of disasters; and 3) assess the societal impacts to disasters on individuals, organizations, and governments from the local to global scales.

By the end of the semester, you should be able to:

- List and explain the causes of disasters

- Describe selected historically significant major disasters

- Examine and review the societal responses and lessons learned of major disasters

- Interpret the geographic variability in disaster agents and impacts



MW 2:20pm-3:35pm CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Kirstin Dow (7-2482)

This course examines the relationship between society and the environment. That is, relations between culture, power, and environmental change. The course not only addresses themes of environmental degradation, but also considers the history and culture of environmental protection. In this regard, we will explore ideas of nature (from frontier wilderness to tropical Amazonia) and analyze the ways ideas of nature have influenced national identity, racial difference, and the branding and consumption of goods. In our approach to issues of environmental degradation we will examine the wider relations of power and economic production that drive environmental change, while critically examining popular framings of environmental problems. In situating issues of environmental degradation and protection in their wider political, cultural, and historical context, this course helps students develop and apply critical thinking skills towards the environment and their place within it.



T TH 1:15pm-2:30pm CALLCOTT 302

Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang (7-5867)

This course introduces the basics of aerial photography including radiant energy, properties of the photographic image, photo geometry, photogrammetric measurement, photo acquisition, and interpretation of aerial photographs.  Emphasis is placed on practical training in an effort to make the student a competent user of air photos for a variety of geographic and multidisciplinary applications. No previous technical experience is needed. Basic knowledge of ArcGIS will help in lab exercises but is not required.



T TH 2:50pm-4:05pm CALLCOTT 102

Dr. Jessica Barnes (7-9945)

This course examines the political, social, and cultural dimensions of water resources management. In the first part of the class we will explore the multiple functions that water fulfills as a resource. It quenches thirst, sustains crops, generates power, cools industry, carries waste, and maintains ecosystems.  For each of these topics we will look at the management issues, problems, and solutions that play out on individual, national, and global scales. The second part of the class will focus on the political dynamics of water distribution, access, and use. We will investigate questions of transboundary water management, climate change adaptation, water-related disasters, water governance, water scarcity, and the threat of water wars.



Section 001         Lecture/Lab:  T TH 10:05am-11:20am CALLCOTT 005          Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590

Section 002         Lecture:  M W 10:50am-11:40am CALLCOTT 003                  Dr. Michael Hodgson (7-8976)

                          Lab for section 002: F 10:50am-11:40am CALLCOTT 005

Geographic Information Systems (GISs) represent a major advancement in computer handling of geographical data.  These systems are used extensively throughout all levels of government, private industry, and academia to provide support for spatial decision making and problem solving. Principles and methods of Geographic Information Systems are presented with an emphasis on modeling the Earth and abstracting geographical data, collection of geographical data using modern techniques such as GPS, mapping information, and analyzing patterns and spatial relationships.

Practical experience with GIS is provided during the lab exercises using a state‐of‐the‐art GIS.  Students are provided free copies of the GIS software.   No prerequisites required.



T TH 1:15pm-2:30pm CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Cary Mock (7-1211)

The purpose of the course is to present the basic concepts and processes as they relate to tropical climatology and hurricanes.  It covers weather basics at large geographic scales encompassing climate processes that relate to the entire tropics, and then progressing to smaller regional spatial scales such as those dealing with monsoon climates, followed by tropical climate forcings such as the El Nino-Southern Oscillation.  Tropical cyclones and hurricane topics include the structure and characteristics, followed by hurricane forecasting techniques and then various aspects of hurricane climatology.  Tropical weather forecast discussions, following a format routinely used by the National Hurricane Center and utilizing real-time weather information, will reinforce important concepts learned in lecture.



Independent Study Contract and Department Permission Required 

Contact the Geography Department for more information (7-5234) CALLCOTT 127



M W 9:15am-10:30am CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Kirstin Dow (7-2482)

This is a capstone course for undergraduate Geography majors and is a requirement for Geography majors for graduation.  It is taught only during Fall semesters. A significant portion of the course is devoted to group-based research activities designed to integrate geographic knowledge and to apply geographic skills to real-world problems.  Students will learn about crafting research questions, designing a methodology, and carrying out a research plan.  Students’ geographical knowledge and skills will be demonstrated through presentations and papers.  In addition, students will learn professional development skills, including resume preparation and interview techniques. Tips for obtaining post-graduate jobs in the private, public, and non-profit sectors and for applying to graduate school will be discussed.



Dr. Caroline Nagel  (7-4970)

Service-learning opportunity that involves tutoring refugee children (ages 8-18) in Columbia one time per week. Tutoring is organized by Scholastic Soccer, a USC-affiliated organization that aims to improve high-school retention rates among refugee children.  Tutoring takes place on Wednesdays, 4.30-6 pm at St. Andrew's Park.  Students must arrange their own transportation.  In addition to tutoring, students will learn about the refugee resettlement process and will provide feedback to the Scholastic Soccer program.  Students must be enrolled in GEOG 512 to register for service learning.     

Prerequisite:  REQUIRES either successful completion of GEOG 512 or concurrent registration in GEOG 512



Department Permission Required

Contact the Geography Department for more information: 777-5234/CALLCOTT 127



Department Permission                                  

Contact the Geography Department for more information (7-5234) CALLCOTT 127



T TH 11:40am-12:55am CALLCOTT 102

Dr. Caroline Nagel (777-4970)

Migration has been one of the most significant forces shaping modern societies.  Today, no region or country is isolated from the changes wrought by population movement. The scale and diversity of migration flows can be linked to changing patterns of global integration.  But migration is not simply an outcome of globalization; instead migration actively creates ‘the global’ by forging expansive networks of people, commodities, cultures, and political action.  In this course, we will explore historical and contemporary processes driving migration flows, the impacts of migration on places of origin and destinations, and the multiple linkages that exist between migrants and their places of origin.  We will also give special attention to contemporary political debates worldwide on border security, citizenship, and integration.

Students registered in GEOG 512 may opt to enroll in one additional credit hour of service learning (see GEOG 497).



MW 2:20pm-3:35pm CALLCOTT 112

Dr. Susan Cutter (7-1590)

This course investigates the causes and impacts of environmental hazards on society.  Specifically, the course focuses on the relationship between society and nature, especially how people and societies respond to hazardous geologic, atmospheric, hydrologic, and technological events.  In addition to briefly reviewing the physical/technological dynamics of hazards, we will focus most of our attention on hazards mitigation and recovery from disasters.  The major goals of the course are to 1) examine the causes and consequences of hazards on society over time and space; 2) to assess various responses to disasters (relief, recovery, reconstruction, mitigation) by individuals and society; 3) understand the evolution of and current status of hazards policy; and 4) identify gaps in knowledge and policy in the hazards area.  The pre-requisites for the course are GEOG 330 The Geography of Disasters or its equivalent. Grades are based on exams and written assignments.



T TH 11:40am-12:55pm CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Cary Mock (7-1211)

This course will deal with the nature of geographical data sets, and statistical measures and models commonly used by geographers to describe spatial variations and patterns, distributions, and relationships among geographical data. Each student will be given opportunities to apply these techniques to geographical datasets, with practice involving use of computer-based exercises and written examinations. The course assumes knowledge of basic algebra.  The course does not focus on the derivation of equations, but rather focuses on applications.



T TH 1:15pm-2:30pm CALLCOTT 202

Dr. Allan James (7-6117)

This course examines river and floodplain processes, forms, and restoration.  The primary objective is to develop an understanding of how discharges of water and sediment in streams interact with river landforms to affect flooding, sedimentation, erosion, and loss of aquatic biodiversity in fluvial systems ranging from gullies, to tributary streams, and major rivers.  The course emphasizes linkages between erosion and deposition of channel and floodplain landforms, flood hazards, and conventional methods of analysis.  Humans have significantly altered most river systems, so anthropogenic changes and the mitigation of those changes (river restoration or rehabilitation) are essential topics of the course. Tools of analysis and concepts will include channel network topology, basic hydraulics, hydraulic geometry, theories of morphological adjustment, channel classification, river restoration, sediment transport, fluvial sedimentology (lab and field), flood probabilities, and applications of geographic information science (GIS).  Grading of graduate and undergraduate students will be determined separately.  Evaluation is based on two exams, exercises, and (grads only) a term paper.



T TH 10:05am-11:20am CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Jerry Mitchell (7-2986)

Geography defines itself not by its subject matter, but rather by its perspective or worldview. Geography is content-driven, graphically rich, technologically sophisticated, and applicable to other subject areas. This course helps teachers and prospective teachers acquire geographic knowledge and skills needed to understand the spatial characteristics and interactions of important physical, demographic, cultural, political, and economic systems. Students enrolled in this course will acquire theoretical and practical knowledge of geographic philosophy and methods, and will be able to use geographic knowledge and methods in pedagogic contexts.

The student will learn to:

  • Use historical, cultural, and geopolitical contexts to analyze social and environmental issues at all scales
  • Apply the principles of the natural sciences to contemporary issues
  • Use technology to understand spatial relationships
  • Incorporate geographic concepts within the K-12 classroom
  • Complete a lesson plan that engages K-12 students in spatial thinking



Lecture:  T TH 2:50pm – 4:05pm CALLCOTT 302

Dr. Diansheng Guo (7-2989)

This course covers the technical and conceptual bases of Geographic Information Systems.  This includes how GIS is used to perform spatial analysis, analysis of networks, incorporation of remote sensing data, and three-dimensional surfaces.  An integral part of this course is the extensive experience students gain using an operational geographic information system.  This experience allows the exploration of theoretical topics presented as well as examination and formulation of real-world applications areas as diverse as real estate, crime analysis, environmental protection.



MW 3:55 – 5:10pm CALLCOTT 302

Dr. Michael Hodgson – (7-8976)

Purpose of Course:  The purpose of the course is to present geographical and temporal modeling concepts using GIS modeling languages and techniques. Practical laboratory experience with state-of-the-art software and hardware will be used. Material covered will include the cartographic modeling language concepts by Tomlin, deterministic and statistical models, coupled/embedded approaches for modeling implementations, and calibration/validation techniques. By the end of the course, students should be able to make informed decisions about the appropriate conceptual model, scale of analysis, and GIS implementation strategy for geographical modeling problems. Students will also be able to implement a variety of embedded models using ArcGIS and python/Model Builder.  Application examples in the course includes physical processes (e.g. hydrology, toxic-releases, flora mapping, animal behavior) and human-environment interaction (e.g. hazards, facility siting, accessibility, attitudes-behavior).

Prerequisites:  Students entering this course should have the equivalent of an introduction to GIS course and some experience with a scripting language (e.g. HTML, javascript, python).

Course Presentation:  Material will be presented through lectures and hands on work in the computing laboratory. The geographic concepts are first presented in the context of one or more modeling applications. An implementation solution to the concept is next presented. Finally, students conduct an extension of this concept and implementation using a modern GIS modeling approach.



T TH 10:05 am - 11:20 am CALLCOTT 302

Dr. Cuizhen Wang (7-5867)

This course is about information extraction and land use/land cover (LULC) mapping with remote sensing imagery. Emphasis is placed on computer-assisted digital image processing, including image radiometric/atmospheric/geometric correction, spatial and spectral transformation, land use/land cover classification, and change detection. Via lectures, hands-on exercises and class projects, students will gain marketable skills of geospatial applications in agricultural, environmental, forestry, wetland and urban/transportation studies.

Pre-requisite: GEOG551 or instructor consent.



W 5:50pm – 8:20pm CALLCOTT 112

Dr. David Kneas  (7-1308)

This course examines events, processes, and historical moments glossed as “globalization.” We will read key contributions from anthropology, geography, and history to analyze globalization and its pseudonyms (from capitalism to neoliberalism), as well as its discontents (from social protest to fair trade organic coffee). We will explore globalization as a centuries long historical process as well as a defined period of the post-Cold War era. Is globalization, as a cultural concept and political-economic process, useful today? How has the concept and its significance changed since the global recession of 2008? In grappling with these questions, we will examine the relationship between culture, power, and economy.



Instructor Approval and a Signed Internship Contract Required  

Dr. Gregory Carbone (7-0682) CALLCOTT 327B

The internship in geography helps students acquire valuable "on the job" experience and develop marketable job skills as well as learn about employment opportunities and requirements.  Students serve as interns with cooperating government agencies, or commercial and nonprofit businesses.  A special effort is made to assign each intern to a position compatible with his/her interests, abilities, and career aspirations.  The course is graded on a pass/not pass basis.  Grades are determined by the Internship Director in consultation with supervisory personnel in cooperating agencies.  Grades are based on the performance of internship duties and the preparation of an internship summary report.



Instructor Approval, Department Permission and Contract Required   

Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

Contact the Geography Department for more information: 777-5234/CALLCOTT 127



Instructor Approval, Department Permission and Contract Required   

Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

Contact the Geography Department for more information: 777-5234/CALLCOTT 127


GEOGRAPHY 721-001 Seminar in Systematic Geography: Urban Cultural Geographies of the Global South 

W 9:00am – 11:30am CALLCOTT 228

Dr. Amy Mills (7-5688)

Urban studies as taught and researched in the United States has been dominated by theories based on the American/Western European experience of urbanization. The majority of the world’s population, however, does not live in these environments. What can we understand about the relationships between urban environments and ways of understanding the world if we begin with places outside the US and Europe? What role do urban cultures play in relations of power? We will examine how people make meaning of identity and inequality within and in relation to urban contexts. We will read works by a variety of scholars whose empirical foci of study and theoretical interests are grounded firmly in ‘other’ places. 



T 3:30pm-6:00pm CALLCOTT 228

Dr. Gregory Carbone (7-0682)

This readings seminar will explore a body of literature centering on the physical processes associated with climate variability and change. We will explore inter-annual and inter-decadal climate variability from the instrumental record, and assess the performance of climate models used to simulate the climate system. Readings will be selected to accommodate the interests of students and to provide several coherent themes through the semester. The seminar will follow a modified journal-club format. Each week, one or two students will present peer-reviewed papers on a climate topic and lead class discussion. Presenters will summarize the topic by highlighting the key points raised in articles, provide a critical evaluation of the work, and shepherd class discussion. The goal of the presentation and subsequent discussion is to leave all seminar participants with a working understanding of the topic’s most salient issues.



F 10:00am – 12:30pm CALLCOTT 112

Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590)

Massive volumes of geospatial data are being acquired at increasingly faster speeds from a variety of Earth observation platforms. These big geospatial data pose grand challenges for scientists in geography and other related geospatial domains, especially with regard to efficient data management, information extraction, spatial analysis, and visualization. Focusing on the emerging geospatial cloud computing and cyberinfrastructure, this seminar is organized to capture and discuss the latest innovations and cutting-edge technologies in GIScience for tackling data- and computational-intensive geospatial problems. 

Students are expected to have basic training in GIS. Please contact the instructor for more information.

Prerequisites: GEOG 563




Approved by Instructor and Department Permission 

Thesis Preparation research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127



Instructor Approval, Department Permission and Contract Required

Directed research topics in geographical information processing to be individually supervised by graduate faculty.

Contact the Geography Department for more information: 777-5234/CALLCOTT 127



Approved by Instructor and Department Permission

Dissertation Preparation research topic is individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127



M 9:00am – 11:30pm CALLCOTT 112

Dr. Susan Cutter (7-1590) 

This semester the advanced seminar focuses on the current trends in hazards, disasters, and risk research, especially from the perspective of integrated disaster science.  There are many different themes that will be covered during the course of the semester ranging from community resilience, inequality in disaster impacts, long term post-disaster recovery, and the use of hazard loss data for policy purposes.  We will highlight some of the current theoretical debates and considerations, as well as the methodological challenges in understanding and documenting inequalities in preparedness, response, recovery, mitigation, and adaptation to present as well as future risks.