Department of Geography and the Environment

GRG 301C • The Natural Environment

37165-37205 • Young, Kenneth
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAI 3.02
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The Natural Environment

 

GRG 301C, Spring 2017                         

Dr. K. Young (kryoung@austin.utexas.edu)

 

Lecture: PAI 3.02, TTh 9:30-11 AM (Must also attend one weekly lab section)

 

Office hours: T 11 AM or by appointment, CLA 3.422

                                                                                          

Course description:

            This course will provide an introduction to the study of the Earth, and in particular to the physical and biological factors that create the biosphere in which we live. Physical geography includes aspects of all the earth sciences. As a result, you will be exposed to the vocabulary used by earth scientists and to the processes that control climate, the distributions of plants and animals, and the dynamics and development of landforms and soils of the Earth.

 

Required textbook:

R. W. Christopherson et al. 2016. Geosystems Core. Pearson Education, NJ.

 

This is “Christopherson, Geosystems Core Plus MasteringGeography with e-text -- Access Card Package, 1/e; ISBN: 9780321949554”   Contains: 1) Geosystems Core (bound text), 2) MasteringGeography with Pearson e-text – Value Pack Access Card -- for Geosystems Core

 

Course grade:

Based on 400 total points: three exams worth 100 points each, and the laboratory assignments collectively worth 100 points. The tests will consist of multiple-choice questions and some short essay questions based on the lectures, the textbook, and the laboratories. No makeup exams, except with an excused and documented medical emergency. Final letter grades for the course are assigned by percentages of the 400 possible points: >92%=A; 90-91.99%=A-; 88-89.99%=B+; 82-87.99=B; 80-81.99=B-; 78-79.99%=C+; 72-77.99%=C; 70-71.99%=C-; 68-69.99%=D+; 62-67.99%=D; 60-61.99%=D-; <60=F. Any form of academic dishonesty will be punished severely.

The exams are based on the assigned textbook chapters, but the questions also will be drawn from material covered in class and in the laboratories. So taking good notes is critical, as is reading and understanding the textbook and other materials.

    

Schedule:

 

Date                          Topic                   Textbook chapters       Laboratory

17-19 January      Introduction                      Introduction                 none

24-26 January   Energy & Atmosphere                1                23-27 Jan., Lat./Long.

31 Jan-2 Feb.    Energy & Temperatures            2                 30 Jan.-3 Feb., Maps

7-9 February         Circulation                              3                           none

14-16 February      Water                                    4             13-17 Feb., Water cycle

21 February           Water resources                    5                            none

23 February           EXAM 1                                                               none

28 Feb.-2 Mar.     Global climates                     6 & 14     27 Feb.-3 March, Climates  

7-9 March             Climate change                          7                6-10 March, Adaptation

14-16 March        SPRING BREAK

21-23 March         Tectonics                               8                 20-24 March, Rocks 1

28-30 March         Weathering                            9                   27-31 Mar., Rocks 2

4 April                    EXAM 2

6-13 April               Rivers                                  10                         none

18-20 April             Coasts                                 11                    17-21 Apr., Coasts

25-27 April            Glaciers                                 12                   24-28 Apr., Glaciers

2-4 May                Ecosystems                       13 & 14              1-5 May, Biomes

16 May                 EXAM 3 (9 AM-Noon)

 

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GRG 301K • Weather And Climate

37210 • Kimmel, Troy
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM JES A121A
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Our study of weather and climate is intended for Geography / Environment majors and all others interested in a broad brush examination of the atmospheric and climatic sciences. This study will be introductory in nature with only a very basic use of mathematics. We will start with a study of meteorology. From this foundation, we will go into the different aspects of the atmosphere and then, later, into climatological matters and discuss the various climatic regimes including that of Texas and the local area.

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GRG 301K • Weather And Climate

37214 • Kimmel, Troy
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM
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Our study of weather and climate is intended for Geography / Environment majors and all others interested in a broad brush examination of the atmospheric and climatic sciences. This study will be introductory in nature with only a very basic use of mathematics. We will start with a study of meteorology. From this foundation, we will go into the different aspects of the atmosphere and then, later, into climatological matters and discuss the various climatic regimes including that of Texas and the local area.

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GRG 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

37215-37245 • Meyer, Thoralf
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CLA 0.130
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Surveys the major global environmental concerns affecting the Earth and its residents from the perspectives of the environmental sciences. 

May be counted toward the writing flag requirement. May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement.

Restricted to students in the Liberal Arts Honors Program.


GRG 305 • This Human World: Intro To Grg

37250-37305 • Heyman, Richard
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 0.102
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Course Description

This course focuses on learning why things are where they are and the processes that underlie spatial patterns. These processes are fundamentally cultural: they involve a complex mix of folk culture, popular culture, communication, religion, demography, industry and urbanization, so the course touches on all of these topics. The course also looks at the indications of human-induced environmental changes, including pollution, resource depletion, and the transformation of ecosystems. It concludes with an introduction to the range of career opportunities for people with training in geography.

Grading Policy

Final grades will be based on a combination of three exams (worth approximately 45% of the total grade), three projects (worth approximately 25% of the total grade) and participation (worth approximately 30% of the total grade).


GRG 310C • Spatial Data And Analysis

37310 • Sounny-Slitine, Moulay Moham
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 203
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This is an entry level course that will prepare the student for higher level courses in geographic methods and techniques. The course content consists of a series of modules designed to cover topics common to courses in Cartography, Geographic Information Science, Field Techniques, and Remote Sensing of the Environment.

We will examine quantitative and qualitative methods of sampling, representing, classifying, and analyzing geographic phenomena. We will examine conceptions of temporal and spatial scale, location, distance and direction, and examine a broad range of geographic research methods. Specific topics will include earth shape, gravitational and magnetic fields, map projections, coordinate systems, surveying and navigation, measurements and errors, spatial statistics, and spatial analysis.

Classes will consist of lectures and discussions of the readings. Students will complete ten exercises, a mid-term examination and a final examination.


GRG 319 • Geography Of Latin America

37315 • Knapp, Gregory
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.128
(also listed as LAS 319)
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This course is a general introduction to the environmental, cultural, economic and political geography of Latin America and the Caribbean. There are no prerequisites, and an effort is made to make the material accessible to the broadest possible range of students, as citizens and future leaders. At the same time, more advanced students can also benefit from the exploration of such topics as environmental hazards, indigenous lifeways and resource management, globalization and modernization, population and migration, cities, sustainable development, geopolitics, frontiers, conservation, and cultural survival.

The course examines major environmental zones as defined by geomorphology, climate, and biogeography, in terms of risks and hazards, resources, and human impacts. Students also study social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods, social structures, and cultures, including early migrants to the Americas, the rise of chiefdoms and indigenous civilizations including Aztec and Inca, the European conquest and spread of Iberian colonial culture and economic relationships, and the inception and spread of modernization as related to neoliberal and alternative forms of development including discourses of sustainability in contemporary Latin America. Relationships between regional, national, and global communities are studied by means of a commodity chain project resulting in a written paper. A range of environmental and social science theories and methods are discussed, including plate tectonics, basic climate models, hazards research, circumscription theory, and theories of modernization, dependency, and development. Communication skills are developed through graphical and essay questions on quizzes and exams, the written course project, and discussion in lectures and optional discussion sections.

The class serves as a preparation for travel, business, government service, journalism or volunteer work in Latin America, as well as for teaching. This course can be used toward a major in Geography, Sustainability Studies, or Latin American Studies, and for a Latin American concentration in International Relations and Global Studies. In the Geography major, the course meets the human geography core requirement, and is also appropriate for students taking the Cultural Geography, Sustainability, and General Geography tracks. The course can be used to meet the University's Core Requirement in Social and Behavioral Sciences. The course has a Global Cultures flag. This is also a Bridging Disciplines course (for the Global Studies, Environment, and/or the Social Entrepreneurship & Non-profits BDPs), and can be used for the Native American and Indigenous Studies certificate requirement. 

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GRG 323K • South Amer: Nat/Socty/Sust-Ecu

37320 • Knapp, Gregory
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This Maymester (faculty led study abroad) course examines issues of cultural landscapes, human-environment relations, and sustainable development in South America, taking full advantage of its location in Ecuador. Ecuador is one of the most bio diverse nations in the world, with rain forests, high mountains, and coastal mangrove estuaries. It is also ethnically diverse, with over 40 indigenous nations, a large Afro-Ecuadorian population, and mestizos, as well as European, Middle Eastern, and Asian immigrants. The country’s three largest cities (Guayaquil, Quito, and Cuenca) display a range of issues involving housing, employment, water and food provision, poverty and gentrification, and preservation of historical districts. The nation is rich in agricultural and aquaculural products, including flowers, bananas, shrimp, and cacao, as well as more traditional subsistence crops such as manioc, potatoes, quinoa, and corn. There is a large system of national parks and preserves spanning landscapes from high grasslands (páramos) to tropical forests; the interaction between the goals of conservation, indigenous territoriality, and the (growing) mineral and hydrocarbon extractive industries spurs ongoing debate.

The 2008 Ecuadorian constitution enshrined the protection of mother earth (pacha mama) and cultural diversity while pursuing the culturally appropriate good life (buen vivir, sumaq kawsay). This course will examine ongoing issues in sustainable development in these local contexts, which provide an excellent sample of similar issues in the rest of Latin America.

From 2007 until 2017, Ecuador has been governed by Rafael Correa, a “21st Century Socialist” who has promoted modernization, nationalism, social justice, and the fight against poverty; controversially, he has sometimes combatted environmentalists and indigenous movements who went against his programs. On February 19, 2017, elections will take place and the new president will take office on May 24, 2017, a week prior to our program’s start. Correa’s former vice president, Lenin Moreno, who uses a wheelchair and is a champion of people with disabilities, is his preferred successor and the most likely person to win the election according to polls.

Field trips and site visits will include coastal, highland, and Amazonian destinations illustrative of Ecuador’s natural and cultural diversity. Students will examine selected issues through readings, discussions, site visits and field trips. There will be an extended amount of time in and near Cuenca, Ecuador’s third-largest city (population 730,000 in the larger metropolitan area). Cuenca was a Cañari indigenous settlement before it became first an Inca, and then a Spanish colonial city. Indigenous and colonial monuments explain its listing on the UNESCO world heritage list, while its highland setting (8200 feet above sea level) provides for a diverse hinterland with small farms, national parks, and villages noted for artisanal crafts. It has also become an important destination for ecotourism and residential migration.

This course may be used towards the Geography major (Cultural Track, Sustainability Track) and Latin American Studies major (core requirement and/or concentration), and as part of the Latin American minor in International Relations and Global Studies (IRG). This course may also be used for the environmental track in IRG, and towards the study abroad requirement in IRG. It also meets requirements in the new Sustainability Studies major. The course carries a Global Cultures flag. 

Students must be admitted to summer study abroad program (application deadline November 1) to take this course.

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GRG 327 • Geog Of Former Sov Union

37325 • Jordan, Bella
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM BUR 130
(also listed as REE 345)
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This course is designed to give a deeper understanding of the Post-Soviet space, focusing on the major geographic factors that define this enormous Eurasian realm, including modern and historical cultural landscapes, economy and politics of the region, demography and health, religious cultures, environmental crises, contested territories, and the most recent geopolitical developments in the region.

Readings:

A Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors. By Mikhail S. Blinnikov. 2011, NY: The Gifford Press.

Grading requirements:

1)    Students must take 2 exams, each worth 25% of the totals grade.

2)    Students will prepare an oral presentation on a topic related to the term paper and approved by the instructor. The presentation’s length should not exceed 15 minutes.

3)    Students will write a term paper, worth 30% of the final grade. The paper must be

10-12 pages long, double-spaced, typed in 12-point font. The bibliography should contain scholarly publications, including books and articles from peer-reviewed journals.


GRG 331K • Nature, Society, & Adaptatn

37330 • Knapp, Gregory
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM CLA 0.106
(also listed as ANT 324L)
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This course examines the very long-term human trajectory in gaining control over resources, impacting the environment, and transforming planet earth into a meaningful human home. This trajectory has been related to long-term changes in human integration (reciprocity, trade, and redistribution) at a variety of scales, culminating in recent globalization. These changes have been associated with great achievements in quality of life for some, but with attendant problems of violence, impoverishment, and environmental impacts including, in some extreme cases, collapse. These challenges implicate both culture (learned habitual behavior, concepts, and associated objects and landscapes) and ethics (socialy oriented decisions) as they promote or fail to promote resilience and adaptation with respect for human rights.

The course will discuss major transformations: the origins of the human species, the domestication of plants and animals, the rise of agricultural societies and urban civilizations, global mercantile colonialism, and modernization and urbanization. Attention will be paid to the theories and works of geographers, ecological anthropologists, environmental historians, and others. Lectures and student-proctored discussions examine selected strategies employed by humans to cope with the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented by different natural environments, with special attention to foraging, food, and farming. The course will also provide an introduction to ethical and policy issues surrounding sustainable development and alternative futures. Grading is based on attendance and participation, numerous writing assignments, oral presentations, and proctoring.

The course has a Writing Flag and an Ethics and Leadership Flag. It can be used to meet the core requirements for the Sustainability or the Cultural Geography tracks in the Geography major, and the upper division course requirements in the Anthropology major. It also can be used for the International Relations and Global Studies Major. 

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GRG 333C • Severe And Unusual Weather

37335 • Kimmel, Troy
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.104
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As a continuation of and having a prerequisite of GRG301K/Weather and Climate, this course expands more specifically into a detailed discussion of atmospheric hazards such as severe thunderstorms and their offspring (hail, lightning, tornadoes, damaging winds and flash floods) as well as tropical cyclones. As part of that discussion, we’ll discuss human risk perception as it regards these atmospheric hazards.

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GRG 333K • Climate Change

37340 • Walenta, Jayme
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SZB 524
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With the release of each Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, it becomes more patently clear that climate change poses one of the greatest scientific, political, social, and ethical challenges of our time. This course will investigate these challenges from an interdisciplinary perspective, paying specific attention to how the science of climate change works, the role of humans in accelerating climate change, the implications of climatic change on human populations, and policies aimed at addressing it. Ultimately, we will build towards developing the expertise to critically evaluate future climate scenarios using environmental and socio-cultural approaches. My goal for you is that you view climate change as more than a scientific issue, to be resolved simply through technical means. I want for you to see the challenge of climate change, both the scientific and the policy aspects, from a multi-dimensional and complex perspective.

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GRG 334C • Environ Hazards Lat Amer/Carib

37345 • Ramos, Carlos
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SRH 1.320
(also listed as LAS 330)
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The physical landscape of Latin America and the Caribbean has been shaped by natural processes that have acted over geologic time scales. While some processes, like earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions, originate within the Earth’s interior, others such as floods, landslides and hurricanes are constricted to the Earth’s surface. It is when these processes interact with humans that they become known as natural hazards. Recent documented worldwide increases in the toll associated to natural disasters have been related not necessarily to a higher incidence of geologic or meteorological activity but to increased vulnerability associated to population growth, inadequate development policies, and socioeconomic inequality. This course uses one of the most disaster-prone areas on Earth, Latin America and the Caribbean, as a canvas to discuss natural hazards from an interdisciplinary perspective. Course materials and lectures will expose students to the science that supports hazard risk analyses and to the temporal and geographical distribution of hazards throughout the region. The course will present humans as susceptible to hazards but also as capable of affecting the incidence and degree of damage through direct intervention of the landscape and indirectly through deficient land use planning strategies and climate change. Students will also gain perspective on hazard mitigation strategies being employed throughout the region.


GRG 335N • Landscape Ecology

37350 • Polk, Mary
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM SAC 5.102
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The study of spatial patterns in the earth's biosphere found within landscapes, typically areas measured in square kilometers. Examines the processes that create those patterns, drawing from ecology, biogeography, and many other disciplines. Also explores the practical applications of landscape ecology to the study of natural environments and those managed or altered by human activities. Geography 335N and 356T (Topic: Landscape Ecology) may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and three semester hours of coursework in physical geography or one of the geological or natural sciences.

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GRG 336 • Contemp Cultural Geography

37355 • Heyman, Richard
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.104
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Recent theoretical developments in cultural geography, with a focus on landscapes and the everyday practices that imbue them with meaning; the ways those meanings are contested and are the foci of struggle; and how the relationship between culture and space plays a central role in the social construction of identity. Only one of the following may be counted: Geography 336, Urban Studies 354 (Topic: Contemporary Cultural Geography), 354 (Topic 8).

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

May be counted toward the writing flag requirement. May be counted toward the cultural diversity flag requirement. May be counted toward the independent inquiry flag requirement.

SAME AS URB 354 (TOPIC 8).


GRG 337 • The Modern American City

37365 • Heyman, Richard
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CLA 1.104
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Issues facing residents of United States cities, such as transportation and housing, poverty and crime, metropolitan finance, environmental and architectural design; historical/comparative urban evolution. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

May be counted toward the cultural diversity flag requirement.

SAME AS ARC 350R (TOPIC 1) , URB 352 (TOPIC 1).


GRG 339 • Process Geomorphology

37370 • Ramos, Carlos
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM SZB 286
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Analysis of geomorphic processes and their effects on landform development. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing, and credit or registration for Geography 301C or Geological Sciences 401.


GRG 339K • Envir, Devel, & Food Productn

37375 • Doolittle, William
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CLA 0.128
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This course focuses on "indigenously developed" and what used to be call "traditional" farming methods and techniques. Such practices are those not dependent on either fossil fuels, chemical fertilizers, or other external inputs, and hence have been called "Low extenal-input techonolgies" (LEIT). Based on "indigenous technical knowledge" (ITK), they are typically small in scale, involving for the most part the labor of individuals, families, and communities. Emphasis is placed on those systems most commonly used in various parts of the world today and in times past

Agriculture is treated here as the transformation of biophysical, sometimes referred to inappropriately as "natural," environments, into "cultural" environments. It is assessed in regard to both the plants cultivated (crops), and the soil, slope, moisture, and temperature conditions that exist and those that are either modified or created by farmers. The processes involved in the domestication of both crops and landscapes are discussed. Ecological and systematic approaches are taken in order to understand how different agricultural strategies insure continual long-term productivity and stability similar to that characteristic of environments that are not cultivated. Microeconomics is all-important.

The various "agro-ecosystems" are also discussed as economic activities that have highly visible spatial manifestations that result in distinctive "landscapes," and as activities that are dynamic, changing continuously. Development is treated conceptually as a specific type of change, not necessarily as a goal. It is envisaged as improvement in land productivity.  It is the opposite of land degradation. Agricultural features such as terraces and canals are considered "landesque capital." Social, political, and cultural aspects of agriculture and development are not topics dealt with here.

This is not a "how to" course for tree-hugging, granola-eating acolytes of John Muir who wish to remold the world into some unrealistic utopia. It is not intended for students who, like Kinky Friedman, went to Borneo to teach agriculture to people who'd been farming successfully for 2000 years. This course is not about developing "sustainable agriculture," per se.  It does, however, deal with issues of concern in the field of sustainability science, and is intended for students who wish to gain a better understanding of the complexity of human-environment interactions, particularly as they pertain to people feeding themselves. 


GRG 342C • Sustainable Development

37380 • Walenta, Jayme
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JGB 2.202
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This course examines the powerful, contested, and endlessly debated concept of sustainable development. “Sustainability” has come to mean many things to many different entities. Most identify it through the trifecta of environmental protection, economic equality, and social justice. Similarly, the term “development” carries its own complex and contested meaning. Despite these contestations, sustainable development continues to be the key idea around which environment related development is structured today. While many sustainable development courses take the economy as a starting point, emphasizing economic notions of development, we will depart from this convention, and instead use the environment as our starting point. Discussions of social justice and economic access will reflect back onto environmental issues. After an introductory section of the course where themes such as theories of development, definitions of sustainability, and explorations of ethics, overpopulation, and governance are discussed, we will take on specific sustainable development challenges as they concern climate change, biodiversity and forests, hydrocarbons, water and agriculture. We conclude the course with a consideration of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals and other calls to action to implement and achieve development through sustainable means. 

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GRG 356 • Archaeol Of Climate Change

37390 • Rosen, Arlene
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM BUR 224
(also listed as ANT 324L)
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Course Description: Climate change has impacted human societies over the course of human existence on the planet. It has played a role in everything from hominin evolution to the rise and fall of civilizations through to the present day economic and ethical decision-making. In this course we will examine why climate changes, the methods for recording climate change, and discuss case studies of the varied responses of past human societies to climate change in different geographic regions and time periods with varying socio-political and economic systems. We will explore aspects of resilience and rigidity of societies and issues of environmental sustainability in the past as well as the present. Finally we will compare and contrast modern responses to climate change on a global scale with those of past societies.

Goals: To familiarize students with the evidence for climate change and methods of climate change research; to increase their understanding of the social, economic and technological issues human societies faced in the past when dealing with climate change. To understand what were adaptive and maladaptive human strategies. To help students evaluate the modern politics and social responses to climate change. On successful completion of this course a student should understand how climate change is recorded and the basic climatic record for the period of human occupation of the earth. To be familiar with current debates about how human societies adapt to climate change. To be able to think critically about issues and arguments proposed in the literature, and to write a coherent essay arguing a point of view. 

Climate change has impacted human societies over the course of human existence on the planet. It has played a role in everything from hominin evolution to the rise and fall of civilizations through to the present day economic and ethical decision-making. In this course we will examine why climate changes, the methods for recording climate change, and discuss case studies of the varied responses of past human societies to climate change in different geographic regions and time periods with varying socio-political and economic systems. We will explore aspects of resilience and rigidity of societies and issues of environmental sustainability in the past as well as the present. Finally we will compare and contrast modern responses to climate change on a global scale with those of past societies. 

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GRG 356 • Global Sustainability/Soil

37400 • Beach, Timothy
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM CLA 3.102
(also listed as LAH 350)
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Honors course; restricted to students participating in an honors program.

Soil is our least understood but greatest natural resource and our most biodiverse ecosystem. Despite its importance, soil is being degraded at high rates around the world, which leads to hundreds of billions of dollars of economic and ecosystem service losses.  This course considers soils in the critical zone, including how they form, provide fertility to ecosystems and crops, how their ecosystems function, their distinguishing characteristics in Nature, their taxonomy, and their spatial variability around the globe with one-third of the examples from Latin America. The course also considers how soils change both in negative and positive terms over time, such as carbon and other elemental fluxes, soil erosion, desertification, and soil pollution.  The course then considers how we manage soils for a sustainable planet by sequestering carbon to counter climate change, treat soil and water pollution, conserve soil ecosystems, build soil fertility, and grow more crops with minimal environmental impacts.  Specific topics will include biochar, terra preta, organic agriculture, indigenous soil knowledge and farming systems, the soil science in World Food Prizes (i.e., development), and agroecosystems. Three lecture hours a week for one semester.


GRG 356T • Human Health & Environment

37425 • Elkins, Jules
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CLA 1.108
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Please check back for updates.


GRG 356T • Intl Development In Africa

37405 • Faria, Caroline
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 1.108
(also listed as AFR 372F)
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GRG 356T • Landuse/Landcover Change Pract

37410 • Crews, Kelley
Meets T 4:00PM-7:00PM CLA 1.404
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GRG 356T • Mapping In Storytelling

37413 • Thoren, Thomas
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BMC 3.208
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GRG 356T • Mapping Latin America

37412 • Del Castillo, Lina
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SRH 1.115
(also listed as HIS 363K, LAS 330)
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The main objective of this course is to understand the role of maps in the creation of Latin America as a specific sort of place. As such, the course itself will allow students to become familiar with a broad overview of Latin American history from Pre-Columbian civilizations to the modern period.  By paying particular attention to the maps produced of and in the region within this broad time span, students are challenged to question existing assumptions of what “Latin America” means historically, culturally, and of course, spatially.
Students will have the chance to develop their map-reading skills by using a wide range of graphic representations of the Americas. Students will come away from the course with an understanding of the nature of maps (that is, not only the natural environment they represent, but also how maps work to conjure up particular kinds of natural environments). They will be able to identify the kinds of arguments maps make through the many ways they present and communicate information. Students will learn to identify how and why particular maps are made; the historical changes involved in processes of surveying, map drawing, and map printing; interpret how people have read different kinds of maps under different circumstances; and be sensitive to the implications of map silences onplace formation.


GRG 356T • Maya Art/Architecture-Gua

37414 • Runggaldier, Astrid
(also listed as ARH 347M, LAS 327)
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Introduction to the artistic traditions of the ancient Maya, tracing their development up to the time of European contact. Students will examine various important themes of Maya culture including history, ritual, and cosmology as revealed in sculpture, hieroglyphs, painting, and architectural design. 


GRG 356T • Northern Lands And Cultures

37420 • Jordan, Bella
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM BUR 134
(also listed as EUS 346, REE 345)
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Designed to develop a geographical understanding of the Circumpolar region of the North, an ancient human habitat and a home to distinct, millenia old, civilizations. These indigenous Arctic cultures and livelihoods are being constantly challenged by modern industrial powers, and the clash between two contesting realities is profound. Emphasis is given to a historical geographical perspective on the major processes forming cultural and natural landscapes (including global warming), and influence society, economy, spiritual life and politics. Regions include: Alaska, the Canadian northern territories, Scandinavian North, including Sapmi (Lapland), Iceland, Greenland, the Russian North, and Siberia.


GRG 356T • Vienna: Memory/The City-Aut

37415 • Hoelscher, Steven
(also listed as EUS 346, GSD 360, HIS 362G)
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Please check back for updates.


GRG 357 • Medical Geography

37430 • Elkins, Jules
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 0.104
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The geographic distribution, expansion, and contraction of the infectious diseases that have the greatest influence in shaping human societies today: malaria, AIDS, and others. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.


GRG 360G • Envir Geographic Info Systems

37435-37450 • Arima, Eugenio
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.128
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This course introduces basic concepts underlying geographic information systems and science (GIS), including related or integrated technologies and applications such as global positioning systems (GPS), cartography, and spatial analysis. It combines an overview of the general principles of GIS with a theoretical treatment of the nature and issues associated with the use of spatial environmental information. Although the course has a laboratory component that introduces students to the most commonly used GIS software package, the focus is on the “science behind the software” (eg, types and implications of functions and analysis, rather than just how to do the analysis).


GRG 373F • Field Techniques

37465 • Doolittle, William
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CLA 3.102
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Geographers sitting in their offices frequently find themselves lacking the right type of data to deal with a specific problem at hand. This is the case for practitioners holding a bachelor's degree and working in the private sector as well as for academicians holding doctoral degrees and teaching at comprehensive research universities. For example, a geographer employed by a firm designing a retirement community may be faced with a problem such as assessing a series of possible sites on which to build the swimming pool. Maps and aerial photographs may be available, but do they contain sufficiently detailed information about the soils, geology, slope, vegetation, hydrology, and cultural features such as historic structures, wells, fences or walls? And, how are these items or conditions spatially distributed in absolute terms and relative to each other? Or, consider a scholar investigating the expansion cacao cultivation in the rainforests of southern Brazil. How does she or he distinguish fields from forest? Cacao, after all, is a tree which grows in the shade of taller trees, and, accordingly, farmers do not clear-cut the forest before planting their crop. And, what about the composition(s) of the "natural" environment(s) and that (those) of the fields? What about the sizes and shapes of the fields, and socio-economic characteristics of the farmers? The only way to get these data are to go into "the field," and to use certain techniques.

This course introduces advanced geography students to a number of various techniques used in gathering field data. It does not deal with every technique nor does it go into great detail on any one.  It does, however, offer the basics of certain types of data collection, and, in so doing, it provides a foundation on which more advanced study--either formally through other classes, or informally through self-training--can be undertaken.

The course is divided into two parts, each dealing with different types of techniques, and each with different levels of supervision.  The first part of the course deals with mapping, the most fundamental of geographic activities. Students learn how to collect data with a clearly spatial dimensions. They begin by using some very simple instruments and progress to using the latest electronic surveying equipment. Emphasis is placed on mapping small areas largely because data at this scale are usually what geographers do not already possess, and, therefore, need. Also, working at this scale gives students a first-hand appreciation for, or at least a "taste" of, the processes involved in collecting data portrayed on existing maps of various scales. Instruction during this first half of the semester is very focused; students are closely supervised.

The second part of the course focuses on the collection of various types of environmental data that can be mapped. Emphasis here is placed on both "natural" data used most often, but not exclusively, by so-called "physical geographers," and "cultural" data commonly used by so-called "human geographers." Also, techniques for determining past as well as current conditions are covered in order for students to assess changing geographies. Instruction during the second half of the semester is less supervised than in the first half. Students are given a great deal of liberty to hone their skills at making professional judgements.

The focus of this course is on landscapes, especially those that are material and visible. Instruction includes some classroom lectures and several outdoor exercises. This course involves hands-on experience. Students can expect to be hot, cold, dirty, and wet, and exposed to some health risks. Research methods, project formulation, laboratory data analyses, and cartography are not be part of this course. This course deals exclusively with outdoor data collection techniques.


GRG 374 • Frontiers In Geography

37470 • Walenta, Jayme
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM CLA 0.108
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This upper-level undergraduate capstone level course requires students to successfully complete a research project that assembles and integrates knowledge and skills acquired across your university career. Students are expected to work independently, with minimal supervision by the professor. The topic for the 2017 spring term will be to investigate food access and food security in the Austin, TX area. Final projects are intended to contribute to a multi-dimensional investigation of food access in the area by mapping food deserts, food accessibility, and food security. By mapping, I mean both the literal visual documentation using geo-spatial technologies that you are accustomed to, as well as creating an archive of the area’s food security through interviews with key community members. You will have the option to work in groups or individually. Projects will be customized to account for group numbers. 

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GRG 379L • Pract: Internship In Appl Grg

37485 • Polk, Mary
Meets W 6:00PM-9:00PM MEZ 1.206
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GRG 470C • Advanced Geographic Info Sys

37455-37460 • Arima, Eugenio
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CLA 1.102
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Geographic Information Systems (GIS) modeling capabilities have been used to inform and support decision making in the management of watersheds and parks, in the design of emergency evacuation plans, among others. Advanced GIS will cover a wide range of modeling applications using rasters, including watershed drainage analysis, ecological corridors and least cost path analysis. Students will also be introduced to analytical tools such as spatial data interpolation techniques, fuzzy set analysis, and location/allocation analysis. Hands-on experience will be provided through weekly labs and final project.