Department of Geography and the Environment

Donald J. Huebner


LecturerPh.D., The University of Texas at Austin

Donald J. Huebner

Contact

Interests


American Southwest, Desert and Mountain Environments, Coastal Environments, Surveying, GIS

Biography


Courses


GRG 305 • This Human World: Intro To Grg

37660-37700 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 0.102

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 306C • Conservation

37705 • Spring 2008
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GRG 316

GRG s306C CONSERVATION

Introduction to environmental management, with emphasis on the major causes and consequences of environmental degradation. The course is organized around the premise that people cannot solve environmental problems unless they know how and why they occur; a major objective is to identify and understand the sociocultural forces that drive environmental degradation.

GRG 301C • The Natural Environment

38220-38265 • Fall 2007
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WEL 1.308

Geomorphic processes that shape the earth's surface; origin and evolution of landforms. Groundwater and water resources. Pedogenesis and soil properties. 

Designed to accommodate 100 or more students.

A one-day field trip to be arranged.

GRG F305 • This Human World: Intro To Grg

85400 • Summer 2007
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM WAG 101

GRG f305 THIS HUMAN WORLD: INTRO TO GRG

Introductory survey of human geography, including human-environment relations, cultural patterns and processes, and geography's relation to other fields of study.

May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Additional hour(s) to be arranged.

GRG 360G • Envir Geographic Info Systems

37140-37155 • Spring 2007
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GRG 102

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 360G • Envir Geographic Info Systems

36191-36194 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM GRG 102

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

36195 • Fall 2005
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GRG 316

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 334C • Environmental Hazards

33425 • Spring 2004
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM GRG 316

Earth science processes that affect human activities: soil, erosion, flooding, slope stability, earthquakes, volcanism, and water resources and quality. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

MEETS WITH LAS 330.

GRG 306C • Conservation

34270 • Fall 2003
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM GRG 102

GRG s306C CONSERVATION

Introduction to environmental management, with emphasis on the major causes and consequences of environmental degradation. The course is organized around the premise that people cannot solve environmental problems unless they know how and why they occur; a major objective is to identify and understand the sociocultural forces that drive environmental degradation.

GRG 334C • Environmental Hazards

34330 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GRG 312

Earth science processes that affect human activities: soil, erosion, flooding, slope stability, earthquakes, volcanism, and water resources and quality. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

MEETS WITH LAS 330.

GRG 306C • Conservation

33100 • Spring 2003
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GRG 102

GRG s306C CONSERVATION

Introduction to environmental management, with emphasis on the major causes and consequences of environmental degradation. The course is organized around the premise that people cannot solve environmental problems unless they know how and why they occur; a major objective is to identify and understand the sociocultural forces that drive environmental degradation.

GRG 334C • Environmental Hazards

33157 • Spring 2003
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM GRG 312

Earth science processes that affect human activities: soil, erosion, flooding, slope stability, earthquakes, volcanism, and water resources and quality. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

MEETS WITH LAS 330.

GRG 306C • Conservation

33765 • Fall 2002
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM GRG 102

GRG s306C CONSERVATION

Introduction to environmental management, with emphasis on the major causes and consequences of environmental degradation. The course is organized around the premise that people cannot solve environmental problems unless they know how and why they occur; a major objective is to identify and understand the sociocultural forces that drive environmental degradation.

GRG 334C • Environmental Hazards

33805 • Fall 2002
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GRG 312

Earth science processes that affect human activities: soil, erosion, flooding, slope stability, earthquakes, volcanism, and water resources and quality. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

MEETS WITH LAS 330.

GRG 312 • Maps And Map Interpretation

33100 • Spring 2002
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GRG 102

The purpose of this course is to teach the student to read, analyze, and interpret maps. The course will examine a broad range of maps, viewing the map as a communication system with a symbology and organization operating within a cultural context. The course deals with the physical form and models of the Earth; the history of cartography, locational reference systems, map projections, and techniques for the mapping of landforms, artifacts, themes, and statistical distributions. While this course will emphasize the paper map, we will also discuss alternative map media, surveying, navigation systems, remote-sensing, computer-assisted cartography, and geographic information systems.

GRG 306C • Conservation

34220 • Fall 2001
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GRG 102

GRG s306C CONSERVATION

Introduction to environmental management, with emphasis on the major causes and consequences of environmental degradation. The course is organized around the premise that people cannot solve environmental problems unless they know how and why they occur; a major objective is to identify and understand the sociocultural forces that drive environmental degradation.

GRG 312 • Maps And Map Interpretation

32920 • Spring 2000
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GRG 312

The purpose of this course is to teach the student to read, analyze, and interpret maps. The course will examine a broad range of maps, viewing the map as a communication system with a symbology and organization operating within a cultural context. The course deals with the physical form and models of the Earth; the history of cartography, locational reference systems, map projections, and techniques for the mapping of landforms, artifacts, themes, and statistical distributions. While this course will emphasize the paper map, we will also discuss alternative map media, surveying, navigation systems, remote-sensing, computer-assisted cartography, and geographic information systems.

Curriculum Vitae


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