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College of Arts & Sciences
Department of Geography

Spring 2017 Courses

Undergraduates may 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                  Dr. Larianne Collins (7-4973)

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

Section E01         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 002*      T TH 6:00pm-9:00pm CALLCOTT 101                         Ms. Mayra Román-Rivera (7-5234)

*Section 002 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 001         T TH 10:05am – 11:20am CALLCOTT 005                  Dr. Cuizhen Wang (7-5867)

Section 002         MW 2:20pm – 3:35pm   CALLCOTT 005                    Mr. Haiqing Xu (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         T TH 10:05am – 11:20am PETIGRU 108                     Staff (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 3:55pm – 5:45pm                         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:  M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm CALLCOTT 201  

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 9:40am – 11:30am 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.


Honors College Permission

Lecture:  M W   3:55pm – 5:10pm CALLCOTT 101

Lab: T 3:20pm – 5:10pm 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, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and hurricanes.  The last third of the class is devoted to the study of climate, interannual variability, and long-term change.  The laboratory sections will include experiments, workbook exercises, and analysis of real-time computer weather graphics.  The final grade will be based on lecture exams, 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.


MWF 9:40am-10:30am CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Jerry T. Mitchell (7-2986)

An intensive regional analysis of South Carolina. Selected phenomena such as urbanization, industrialization, land use, the physical environment, and their interrelationships. Upon completion of this class, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate basic factual knowledge of the discipline of geography, its tools, and its terminology.
  2. apply geographic concepts toward identifying the past and current landscapes of South Carolina, including the role of space in shaping patterns of race, ethnicity, economic development, and educational opportunities.
  3. interpret, classify, and map spatial data of both physical and social phenomena related to South Carolina.
  4. identify geographic contexts at a variety of spatial scales that shape human interaction with physical and social phenomena.
  5. generate and evaluate hypotheses to account for observed phenomena in South Carolina, whether contemporary or historic.


M W 10:50am – 12:05pm CALLCOTT 102

Dr. Amy Mills (7-5688)

How does where you live influence who you are? How do our understandings of the world – our beliefs, values, dreams, and memories – influence the environments of everyday life? What can we learn about cultural identity and belonging by examining the landscapes and places we think are important to who we are? How does society reinforce or challenge issues such as social, economic, or political inequality through planning and organizing physical and social space? This course will introduce students to spatial ways of thinking about culture, including the interrelationships between power, meanings and values, ways of life, and the material things we create and use in ordinary life. By the end of this course students will be able to: define and use the concepts of space, place, and landscape to examine current social and cultural issues; demonstrate a geographic understanding of how identity and inequality are produced in society; and use spatial concepts and geographic methodologies to research a local cultural or social topic.


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.  

Dr. Susan Cutter (7-1590)

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 9:15 – 10:30am CALLCOTT 102

Dr. David Kneas (7-1308)

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 11:40am–12:55pm CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Cary Mock (7-1211)

This course examines the interrelationship between climate and human activities. We will study the physical nature of the climate system, climate variability and change; and their climatic impacts on society, including the social, economic, and political factors involved with these impacts. The approach will be based mostly from the examination of selected case studies.  Specific topics that will be covered include past climatic change and society, perceptions and impacts of climate during the historical period in North America, climate determinism, severe drought, climatic hazards which include hurricanes, fire, climate and health, and global warming.   Class sessions will vary between lecture, discussion, and class exercises.  Evaluation will be based on short writing assignments and exams. There are no course prerequisites.


T TH 1:15pm – 2:30pm CALLCOTT 101

Dr. John Kupfer (7-0238)

Biogeography involves mapping and understanding the distributions of plants and animals today and reconstructing those in the past using a range of analytical techniques, including geographic information systems, genetic analysis, dendrochronology (the study of tree rings) and palynology (the study of pollen to reconstruct past climates). Biogeographers also conduct research on how physical and biological factors control distributions of plants and animals and study how geographic distributions affect the evolution and extinction of species. In recent years, biogeographers have been involved in applying their knowledge to the protection of rare and endangered species and the conservation and management of threatened ecosystems. This course is broken down into 3 modules. The first module focuses on ecological concepts; the second module deals with the importance of evolutionary processes and biogeographic changes in geologic time, and the final module examines the development of modern distributions of plant and animal species and contemporary issues in biogeography such as conservation and land management.


Lecture: (Both Sections) MW 10:50am-11:40am CALLCOTT 003

Lab:  Section 001:  F 10:50am – 11:40am; Section 002: F 12:00pm-12:50pm CALLCOTT 005

Dr. Michael E. Hodgson (7-8976)

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) 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, and analyzing patterns and spatial relationships.  Both human, physical, and environmental problems and their study using GIS are presented.

Practical experience with GIS is provided during the lab exercises using a state-of-the-art GI System. Students are expected to be comfortable with the Microsoft windows interface.


M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm CALLCOTT 102

Dr. April Hiscox (7-6608)

Air pollution—at local, regional, and global scales—stands as one of the most important environmental problems of the modern technological age. This course examines the processes and issues that relate to air pollution. Emphasis is on the role of the atmosphere in air quality. Additional topics of enquiry include sources of air pollution, environmental and health effects of air pollution, air quality sampling and monitoring, urban smog, and ozone depletion. 


Independent Study Contract and Department Permission Required 

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


Department Permission   

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


T TH 10:05am – 11:20am CALLCOTT 302

Dr. Diansheng Guo (7-2989)

GEOG 510 introduces the fundamental concepts and technologies of geographic information systems (GIS) to both undergraduate and graduate students, with a focus on applications and case studies for the social sciences and humanities. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, cartography, GIS models, spatial data analysis, and their applications in history, linguistics, social media, crime analysis, political science, public administration, mass communication and journalism, the digital humanities, business analytics, and related fields. For more recent information, please visit:


T TH 11:40 – 12:55pm CALLCOTT 202

Dr. Jean Taylor Ellis Tedesco (7-1593)

Coastal regions in the United States are under intense anthropogenic and natural pressures. This course integrates physical, social, and economic principles underpinning contemporary coastal management practices. In this course, students will learn about the competing interests of coastal zone stakeholders, environmentalists, and major industry, including landowners, tourism and recreation, fisheries, and natural resource extraction. Concepts of conservation, preservation, and sustainability related to coastal regions will be discussed. Students will learn the dominant coastal physical processes as a basis for understanding coastal zone management practices. Coastal zone management practices and policies will be considered at multiple spatial scales: international, federal, regional, state, and local, with a focus on the United States Coastal Zone Management Act and the South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Plan. The physical, social, and policy-based impacts of sea level rise and coastal hazards will also be discussed.


T TH 1:15pm – 2:30pm CALLCOTT 102

Dr. Allan James (7-6117)

This course examines watersheds from a geographic perspective.  The focus is on physical aspects of environmental systems that generate and receive surface water and sediment and on interactions with humans.  Students will learn about physical hydrology, water quality, and pollution.  Hydrology emphasizes surface-water processes of runoff generation, flow conveyance, storm hydrographs, and effects of urbanization.  Water quality covers the constituents in water and measurement methods.  NPS pollution includes erosion and sedimentation processes. Lab, field, and geospatial methods will be introduced.  Examples and projects will be drawn from Rocky Branch Watershed that drains Five Points and most of the USC campus.   This course is recommended for Earth science students and environmental resources managers because it develops a broad, intuitive, and analytical understanding of processes interacting within watersheds.


T TH 2:50pm – 4:05pm CALLCOTT 302

Dr. Cuizhen Wang (7-5867)

This course introduces the fundamental concepts about remote sensing of environment with airborne and satellite systems. Topics include: 1) basics of electromagnetic radiation interacting with earth surfaces; 2) technical backgrounds of image acquisition and common satellite systems; 3) Earth observations with multi-spectral, thermal, LiDAR, and Radar remote sensing; and 4) example applications of remote sensing in vegetation, water, soil and urban developments. Knowledge of photo interpretation (GEOG345) is preferred but not required.

Lab exercises are provided to enhance students’ understanding of remote sensing based upon analog and visual image processing. The commercial image processing software, Erads/Imagine, is introduced in labs.


T TH 4:25pm-5:40pm CALLCOTT 302

Dr. Zhenlong Li (7-4590)

How to find the centroid, perimeter, or area of a polygon? How can the system tell that two geographical features overlap each other? How to develop your own algorithms to extract information from spatial data? How to automate a series of tasks to solve a complex spatial problem? This course addresses these fundamental spatial questions from a programming perspective. With this course, students will be able to 1) develop fundamental programming skills with Python by working with spatial data in the context of GIS, 2) gain practical experience in designing and developing tools to solve specific spatial problems by programming with ArcGIS and other spatial packages, and 3) understand the principles of popular GIS data models and algorithms, and the internal operations of GIS software.

Prior experience with programming languages such as Python, Java, C++, Perl and VBA is helpful but not required.  Hands-on programming exercises will be accompanied with most of the lectures to help students gain programming experience as well as enhance the understanding of discussed concepts/techniques.


M W 2:20pm – 3:35pm   CALLCOTT 302                       

Dr. Michael Hodgson (7-8976)

Objectives and Outcomes of Course

The purpose of the course is to present the concepts and approaches for representing, maintaining, and analyzing geographic data in a geographic information system (GIS) database. Students will create and use GIS databases in desktop and web-site implementations. Real-world examples of government and commercial applications will be often used.  First, a review of the fundamental GIS data models is presented.  The creation, storage, and maintenance of geographic data in the context of a relational database management context are covered. The use of a middleware (e.g. SDE) component for accessing GIS data in the relational database is introduced. The remainder of the course is devoted to the universal concepts of spatially hierarchical geographic data, network data (e.g. transportation), and temporally dynamic data.  Each week, the concepts and implementation methods will be discussed, followed by laboratory assignments that will require students to apply these approaches to GIS applications. 

Learning Objectives.  Students will have a foundation in the theoretical principles and practical experience in the modern geospatial databases. By the end of the course, students will be able to:

● determine the appropriate data model for GIS applications,

● implement a GIS database on a web portal for mapping/querying,

● create a relational database for geographic and temporal varying problems,

● be familiar and have experience with the industry standard GIS data structures,

● have experience with modern GIS middleware for accessing GIS databases.

Prerequisites.   Students entering this course should have knowledge of the fundamental GIS data models, map projection, and datum concepts found in one of the following courses: GEOG 363, GEOG 341, GEOG 551, or GEOG 563.  One of these five courses is a prerequisite to GEOG 565 or the equivalent at another institution. 

Course Presentation.   Material will be presented through lectures (Mondays and some Wednesdays) and laboratories (Wednesdays).  

GEOGRAPHY 566-001: SOCIAL ASPECTS OF Environmental Planning and Management

M W 12:45pm – 2:00pm CALLCOTT 112

Dr. Kirsten Dow (7-2482)

This course will cover the processes of climate adaptation planning and management from central concepts in adaptation to issues such as projecting impacts, vulnerability assessment, coping with uncertainty, and decision making.  We will consider case studies that reveal the diverse issues, approaches, and challenges From New York City, Paris, London, and Venice to Kivalina in Northwest Alaska, South Africa, coastal Bangladesh, the Mekong Delta, and other communities large and small, more and less affluent.


T TH 10:05am – 11:20am CALLCOTT 101

Dr. Cary Mock (7-1211)

An understanding of past environmental changes is imperative in order to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic variability and to assess how global climate changes impact various components of the physical landscape.  This course provides an overview of the tools and databases used to study past climatic changes and associated environmental responses that occur in the biosphere, oceans, and lithosphere.  An emphasis will be placed on 1) the Quaternary (last 2.5 million years), as it is during this timeframe that the global climate system experienced multiple glacial/interglacial cycles and numerous rapid climatic changes (similar as portrayed in movie “The Day After Tomorrow”); and 2) the past 1000 years since high resolution annual changes at this timeframe are important for planning schemes and societal impacts.  Specific topics also include an overview of different data types for paleoenvironmental reconstruction and paleoclimatic implications on future global warming.  


M 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.


A Signed Internship Contract Required and Approved by the Instructor

Dr. Amy Mills (7-5234) CALLCOTT 226                                                                           

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.


Approved by Instructor, Department Permission and Contract Required  

Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127


Approved by Instructor, Department Permission and Contract Required  

Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127

GEOG 730-001: Nature-Society Seminar

TH  2:50pm – 5:20pm  CALLCOTT 228

Dr. Jessica Barnes (7-9945)

How do societies both shape and become shaped by their environments? Human impacts on the environment are now widely recognized, but how are the social and political relations that constitute society themselves influenced by engagements with the environment? How does the nature of this mutual relationship shift depending on the dimensions of society or environment in question? In this graduate seminar, we will explore these questions through the discussion of key themes in contemporary nature-society scholarship, including scale, materiality, infrastructure, gender, knowledge, and expertise. We will pair our discussion of these theoretical ideas with a set of fascinating case studies on topics ranging from coal mining in Wyoming to water politics in India. 


W 9:15am – 11:45am CALLCOTT 228

Dr. Diansheng Guo (7-2989)

This seminar introduces contemporary quantitative analysis methods in geography, concentrating on methods for analyzing geographic phenomena represented by spatial, temporal, and multivariate data. The course will cover: (1) multivariate methods using the Generalized Linear Model (GLM), including those used for pattern searching (such as Principal Components Analysis) and those used for prediction (such as multivariate regression); (2) non-linear methods for prediction (such as decision trees, neural networks) and clustering (such as self-organizing maps, hierarchical clustering,); and (3) space-time scan statics and spatial dependence analysis methods. Students learn to use these methods from lectures, discussion, and practical application to their own data sets.


M 10:00am – 12:30pm CALLCOTT 228

Dr. April Hiscox (7-6604))

Seminar in research in geography, focusing on refining research questions and writing research proposals.    For more information, contact Dr. April Hiscox at


Approved by Instructor and Department Permission

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

(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127


T 5:15pm – 7:45pm CALLCOTT 228

Dr. Conor Harrison (576-6010)

This course examines the contemporary literature in the broad field of geography.  Using a combination of readings, seminar discussions, and short papers, students will critically evaluate current topical areas, methodologies, and prevailing theoretical and conceptual orientations of the discipline.  Students will hear from numerous faculty members and will lead discussions during the course of the semester. The goal is for students to situate their own doctoral research within the broader disciplinary context.  


Approved by Instructor and Department Permission

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

(7-5234) CALLCOTT 127


Approved by Instructor and Department Permission

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

(7-5234) CALLCOTT 12