Department of Geography and the Environment

GRG 301K • Weather And Climate

36190 • Kimmel, Troy
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM JES A121A
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An introductory look at weather and climate, this course will include a thorough discussion of atmospheric processes, clouds, precipitation (types), air masses, frontal boundaries, introductory discussions of severe local storms (and their offspring) and tropical cyclones as well as the climatology of these weather systems. Also included will be a brief introduction to the Koppen Climatic Classification System.

GRG 305 • This Human World: Intro To Grg

36230-36295 • Adams, Paul
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM JES A121A
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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 306C • Conservation

36305 • Walenta, Jayme
Meets MW 8:30AM-10:00AM GDC 4.302
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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 307C • Introduction To Urban Studies

36310 • Heyman, Richard
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLP 0.102
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A multidisciplinary study of cities and complex urban environments; historical and contemporary issues from both national and international perspectives.

May be counted toward the cultural diversity flag requirement.

Meets core curriculum requirement for Social & Behavioral Science (I).

Same-as URB 301

GRG 307C • Introduction To Urban Studies

36314 • Anderson, Gregory
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 101
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A multidisciplinary study of cities and complex urban environments; historical and contemporary issues from both national and international perspectives.

May be counted toward the cultural diversity flag requirement.

Meets core curriculum requirement for Social & Behavioral Science (I).

Same-as URB 301

GRG 309C • Creating Sustainable Socty

36315 • Swearingen, William
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 0.102
E SB (also listed as SOC 309C)
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The course will offer students an overview of sustainability as something human beings must strive to create in an era of global warming and ever greater social inequalities; both between countries and within countries.   The focus of the course will revolve around the core issues of sustainability: what does sustainability mean?  Why do we need to remake human societies in more sustainable ways?  And what does social equity have to do with sustainability?  One of the problems we have in teaching about sustainability today is our focus on two of the "E's" without much attention to the third. We talk mostly about Environment, secondly about Economy, and then tend to pay short shrift to Equity.  This course will address all three, but put a greater focus on Equity than is usual.  The course will be taught from a social sciences perspective, which approaches human relationships with the natural world (Environment) in the context of their relationships with each other (Environment and Equity).  Global warming (environment) is main reason we are talking about Sustainability today, but global warming is both cause and effect of our economies and inequalities.

 Required Texts

 Carolan, Micheal,  Society and the Environment; Pragmatic Solutions to Ecological Issues. Westview Press, 2013.

 Grading Policy

There will be three essay assignments and one group project.  Each will count 25% of the grade

GRG 326 • Regions/Cultures Of Europe

36320 • Jordan, Bella
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM BUR 220
GC (also listed as EUS 346, REE 345)
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This course is a systematic introduction to geography of all regions of Europe, from Iceland to Sicily and European Russia and Finland to Bretagne and Galicia. The course is based on a renowned textbook by Alexander B. Murphy, Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov and Bella Bychkova Jordan and focuses on all the major aspects of the European makeup: its physical, economic, political, and cultural geography, geolinguistics and environmental issues. A special attention is given to such issues as expansion of the European Union and NATO, problems associated with immigration and ethnic tensions, challenges of multiculturalism and integration. A significant portion of the class is dedicated to the analysis of demographic, urban and agricultural patterns. The historical perspective allows the analysis of the evolution of the European civilization during the last two millennia and resulting geographical patterns in modern Europe.


  • Alexander B. Murphy, Terry G. Jordan-Bychkov and Bella Bychkova Jordan.  The European Culture Area: A Systematic Geography, 2009, 5th edition. Rowman and Littlefield: Lanham, Boulder, CO. Available at The Co-Op and

GRG 333C • Severe And Unusual Weather

36330 • Kimmel, Troy
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM JES A215A
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The course examines the principles and techniques of atmospheric science and the applications to the study of severe and unusual weather events and patterns. This course will include a thorough examination (often in real time through the use of the internet) of thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash floods, hailstorms, winter storms, tropical cyclones as well as drought. In addition to study of the events themselves, a look at the climatology of severe and unusual weather across the United States, Texas as well as our own south central Texas region will be undertaken. How these atmospheric events affect human beings and how people respond to these events will also be examined.

GRG 333K • Climate Change

36335 • Young, Kenneth
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM RLP 1.102
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Climate Change

GRG 333K, Fall 2019

TTh 8 AM in RLP 1.102

Dr. Kenneth R. Young

Department of Geography and the Environment, UT-Austin; CLA 3.706; Office hour: Tuesday, 10 AM or by appointment


Course Description:  This course will survey the causes of changes in climatic systems over both short and long time periods and their consequences for landscape dynamics, biogeography, land use, sustainability, and vulnerability. The first part of the course will look at historical and current climate change trends and controls worldwide, including coverage of the different scientific methods used for studies of these processes. The second part of the course will evaluate the study of climates from an Earth-systems approach. Implications of differences in climate for carbon, biodiversity, and humans will be discussed. We will build towards developing the expertise to critically evaluate future climate scenarios using environmental and socio-ecological approaches.

Students are expected to read the assigned readings and participate actively in class. The exams will test knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to explain and apply information. The class projects and writing assignment will work on the ability to synthesize and communicate on scientific issues associated with climate change.


Prerequisites:  Assumes background from GRG 301C/401C, GRG 301K, or an equivalent course.


Required textbooks (all also available as ebooks):

Archer, D. 2016. The Long Thaw: How Humans are changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth’s Climate. Second edition. Princeton University Press, Princeton. ISBN-13: 978-0691169064

Mann, M. E. and L. R. Kump. 2016. Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change. DK Publishing, New York. ISBN-13: 978-1465433640

Wallace-Wells, D. 2019. The Uninhabitable Earth: Life after Warming. Tim Duggan Books, New York. ISBN 978-0-57670-9


Additional resources:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 2014. Climate Change 2013: The Physical Science Basis: Working Group I Contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge. ISBN-13: 978-1107661820 (paperback; a digital version is also available free online).



Two exams (vocabulary, short answer/essay)---200 points (100 points each).

Seven in-class projects/discussions---70 points (10 points each).

One written independent project---50 points


Final letter grades for the course are assigned by percentages of the 320 total 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.

The two exams are based on the assigned readings, the lectures, and the class discussions and projects.

The seven in-class projects are worth a possible ten points each; they require active participation in a group project that is presented to the rest of the class that same day, and submitted as a short paper at the end of the respective class session.

The final 50-point project is to be a five page/double spaced independent essay summarizing one research paper of your choice published in the last three years in the journal Climatic Change (must be labeled as “OriginalPaper”). Note that this essay replaces the final exam, and so should demonstrate your knowledge of materials covered in the entire semester. It should be well written, explaining the methods used and results found by the researcher(s), plus including a discussion of the significance of this kind of research for understanding climate change. Each student chooses one research paper; let the TA know of your choice as nobody else can evaluate the same paper. The essay is due on the last day of class, along with a brief informal oral presentation of findings to the class on either 3 or 5 December (worth 10% of the 50 points). Give the full citation of the article at the end of your essay, along with any other references you may have utilized.


Course schedule:

Dates                      Topics                                    Readings       

29 August            Introduction                               Mann Intro

3-5 Sept.      Global climate systems                Mann Part 1 (IPCC Ch. 1)

10 Sept.              Atmosphere                             Archer Ch. 1-3 (IPCC Ch. 2)

12 Sept.          Class project #1                        Wallace: Cascades (pp. 3-36)  

17-19 Sept.       Oceans, Ice                             Mann Part 2 (IPCC Ch. 3-4)

24 Sept.           Paleoclimate                                  Archer Ch. 4-7 (IPCC Ch. 5)              

26 Sept.          Class project #2                         Wallace: Elements (pp. 39-77)

1 October         Paleoclimate                              Archer Ch. 4-7 (IPCC Ch. 5)

3 October       Class project #3                        Wallace: Elements (pp. 78-108)

8 October            Review

10 October         Exam #1   

15-17 Oct.           Carbon                                   Archer Ch. 8-10 (IPCC Ch. 6)

22-24 Oct.      Clouds, Radiative forcing             Mann Part 3 (IPCC Ch. 7-8)

29 October      Climate predictions                  Archer Ch. 11-12 (IPCC Ch. 9)   

31 October     Class project #4                       Wallace: Elements (pp. 109-140)

5 November        Attribution                              Mann Part 3 (IPCC Ch. 10)

7 November     Class project #5                  Wallace: Kaleidoscope (pp. 143-184)

12 November       Review

14 November       Exam #2

19 November    Future change                      Mann Parts 4 & 5 (IPCC Ch. 11-14)

21 November   Class project #6                  Mann Part 4; Wallace: Kaleidoscope

                                                                                (pp. 185-216)

26 November   Class project #7                  Mann Part 5; Wallace (pp. 219-228)


3-5 December   Independent projects with in-class presentation

5 December      Independent essay due

GRG 335N • Landscape Ecology

36340 • Polk, Molly
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM 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.

GRG 336 • Contemp Cultural Geography

36345 • Heyman, Richard
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 0.106
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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.


GRG 337 • Modern American City

36349 • Heyman, Richard
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM ART 1.110
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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 341K • Landscps Of Mex & Carib Amer

36355 • Groth, Aaron
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM SZB 370
GC (also listed as LAS 330)
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The natural regions and cultural landscapes of Mexico, Central America, and the West Indies.



GRG 350E • Geoprocessing

36365 • Arima, Eugenio
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM RLP 1.404
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Computer programming and scripting applied to geospatial data.

Geography 350E and 356T (Topic: Geoprocessing) may not both be counted.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and Geography 460G.

Offered on the letter-grade basis only.

GRG 350K • Geographies Of Globalization

36370 • Faria, Caroline
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM ART 1.110
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Examines the cultural, economic, political and geopolitical aspects of globalization in the U.S. and the rest of the world. We begin by understanding the rise of capitalism and its evolution into a modern world system and then look into its contemporary reincarnation as globalization. We examine theories and policies of globalization and look into specific issues like, outsourcing of jobs, sweat shops, spread of Wal-Mart, rising income inequality in the US and abroad, conflict and war.

Course will be taught by Dr. Caroline Faria

GRG 356 • Children's Envirnmntl Hlth

36390 • Elkins, Jules
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM RLP 1.108
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Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG 356 • The Healthy, Livable City

36380 • Elkins, Jules
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM GDC 2.210
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Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG 356 • Water Res: Lat Amer/Caribbean

36389 • Ramos, Carlos
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM SRH 1.320
GCII (also listed as LAS 330)
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Please check back for updates.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG 356T • Dig Spatial Tech: App/Ethcs

36395 • Crews, Kelley
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM WAG 420
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Please check back for updates.

GRG 356T • Gis/Rem Sns Archaeol/Paleo

36410 • Reed, Denne
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 1.402
QR (also listed as ANT 324L)
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This course surveys archeological and paleontological applications of remotely sensed data such as aerial photography and satellite imagery for use in locating field sites, planning field logistics and conducting landscape analysis. The remote sensing component of the course covers remote sensing data acquisition, image georectification, image processing and classification. The GIS component of the course builds on the remote sensing component and adds to it the analysis of map features stored in databases. The course introduces databases theory and practice, and moves through the various stages of GIS workflow: the planning and design of GIS projects, building geospatial datasets, various methods of geospatial analysis and a short introduction to map layouts and reports. This course covers GIS and remote sensing from an applied perspective and students are expected to invest lab time in completing tutorials on GIS and RS methods as well as applying these methods to individual projects.

GRG 356T • Human Health & Environment

36420 • Elkins, Jules
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM JGB 2.202
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GRG 356T • Northern Lands And Cultures

36415 • Jordan, Bella
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM JES A303A
GC (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 • Society Of Modern Mexico

36400 • Ward, Peter
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM RLP 1.104
CDGC (also listed as LAS 325, SOC 335, URB 354)
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Mexico “There” and Mexico “Here”: Understanding Mexico and the Hispanic Rise in the USA

 This course seeks to understand Mexico through three lenses. First to introduce students to modern Mexico - its geography, economy, polity and society, and to examine in detail the nature and the forces of change that have impacted so dramatically upon the country during the past three decades (Global Cultures “flag”). Second, we will examine Mexico-US bi-lateral relations both historically as well as in the contemporary sphere. Third, our lens will focus attention upon “Mexico Here”, and will analyze the dramatic Hispanic “rise” in the USA since 1990, with a special emphasis upon the ways in which the majority minority of Mexicans and Mexican Americans are shaping our own society, economy and polity of central Texas (Cultural Diversity “flag”), and to discuss the policy and representation implications arising from their rise. 

 Approximately one half of the course will offer an overview of the modern Mexico – its economic and political opening, challenges of overcoming poverty, and more recently the instability born of the drug cartels. Included here we will also examine the key bilateral issues between the two countries: immigration reform; insecurity; and economic integration.  The other half of the course is designed to analyze the demographic and socio-cultural changes and policy challenges that Mexican-origin populations confront today in here Central Texas: in education, health care, citizenship aspirations, access to housing, justice and human rights and wellbeing. The aim is to gain a more sensitive and nuanced awareness of how Mexican populations specifically, and Hispanic populations more generally, are transforming the cultural and political landscape of Texas and the US, in order to offer a broad-brush introduction that will allow us consider the public policy dilemmas and imperatives that we have to confront today.

As well as contributing to your Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity (flags) learning experience, the course will comprise a substantial writing component built around three essays. In-class participation is important, and an important element of the class assessment will comprise group projects about how Mexicans and Mexican-American identities are shaping politics, society & culture (broadly defined) here in Central Texas. In addition there will be one midterm.


Assessment: Essays and Papers 45%; Participation 25%; Mid-term 15%; Group Project 15%

GRG 366K • Biogeography

36455 • Young, Kenneth
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAR 304
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GRG 366K, Fall 2019

TTh 3:30 PM, PAR 304


Dr. Kenneth R. Young

Department of Geography and the Environment, UT-Austin; 512/232-8311

Office hours: Tuesday, 10 AM or by appointment; CLA 3.706


Course description:

This course introduces biogeography, the discipline that attempts to document and explain the changing distributions of plants and animals. Explanations come from the study of current ecological processes and from historical perspectives on past Earth-system changes in relation to evolutionary processes. In addition, there are many applications for biodiversity conservation and natural resource management. We will put equal emphasis on ecological, evolutionary, and conservation biogeography. 

Students are expected to read the assigned readings and participate actively in class.  The exams will test knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to explain and apply information.  The three essays represent opportunities to develop technical writing skills.



Assumes background from GRG 301C/401C or an equivalent course, for example in the biological or geological sciences.


Required textbook:

M.V. Lomolino, B. R. Riddle, and R. J. Whittaker. 2017.  Biogeography. Fifth edition. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, MA (ISBN-13: 978-1605354729)


Grading and assignments:

Final letter grades for the course are determined using percentages of the 320 possible points, with 200 points from the two exams, 30 points from three in-class projects, and 90 points from three essays. Final letter grades for the course are assigned by percentages of the 320 total 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.

The exams will include vocabulary, and short answers essays. They will be based on the lectures and readings. Note that my lecture notes will not be available if you should miss a lecture, although the powerpoints will be posted. The exams are based on both the assigned textbook chapters and from material covered in class, so taking good notes in class in critical, as is reading and understanding the assigned texts. Attendance is very important---you will not do well if you miss lectures.

There are three essays, which are designed to expose you to journal articles written by biogeographers doing research, while giving you the opportunity to practice your writing skills. In each case, on the due date, there will be an in-class activity on the same day. Articles for the first two essays are on the Canvas website and may also be found through the UT library journal page. Articles for the third essay can be found through the library page, in the journal Diversity and Distributions.

  • Essay #1: Choose either the article by Goring et al. (2016; PLOS ONE 11(12): e0151935. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0151935) or by Pomara et al. (2014; Journal of Biogeography 41: 784-796) and write a one (or two) page, doubled space summary of what was found and what the importance of the findings is for biogeography; this essay is worth a possible 15 points. The same day that this essay is due, in class we will form groups and discuss possible next steps in expanding or continuing the research; this in-class discussion is worth an additional ten points.
  • Essay #2: Choose either the article by O’Connor et al. (2011; Geography Compass 5/6: 329-350) or by Young et al. (2017; Annals of the American Association of Geographers 107: 429-440) and write a one (or two) page, doubled space summary of what was found and what the importance of the findings is for biogeography; this essay is worth a possible 15 points. The same day that this essay is due, in class we will form groups and discuss possible next steps in expanding or continuing the research; this in-class discussion is worth an additional ten points.
  • Essay #3: Choose a research article that interests you from the journal Diversity and Distribution that was published within the last three years. Everybody must choose a different article, so let me know on a sign-up sheet which one you have chosen as nobody else can use that one. Write a six page, doubled space summary of what was done in terms of the research methods utilized, what was found, and what the importance of the findings is for biogeography. Note that this assignment replaces the final exam, so the essay should demonstrate knowledge of the topics covered during the entire semester, it should be well written, and it should refer specifically to the area of Conservation Biogeography, as covered in the last several weeks of the semester. Everybody will give a brief informal presentation on their specific article in the last two class sessions in December; this oral presentation is worth 10% of the 60 points.

The essays will be graded based on quality of the writing, originality, and relevance to the discipline of biogeography. If you include citations, the reference should be given in the text as “Smith (1999) hypothesized that . . .” or “. . . can be hypothesized (Smith 1999)”. All references used should be listed completely at the end of the essay: author, date, title, journal or book chapter, pages, using the style of Diversity and Distribution.


Date                                    Topic                              Lomolino et al. textbook          

29 August                       Introduction                                          One


3-5 September             Plate tectonics & Life                           Two, Eight


10-12 September          Species & Climate                              Four, Seven


17-19 September           Evolution                                           Eleven


24 September       Class project #1; Essay #1 due


26 September           End of the Holocene                                  Nine


1 October                          Review


3 October             FIRST EXAM- Historical Biogeography


8-10 October                     Biomes                                           Three, Five


15-17 October                Landscapes & Islands                          Thirteen


22 October                      Pyrogeography


24 October             Class project #2; Essay #2 due


29-31 October               Species interactions                   Six, Fourteen (pp. 556-583)


5 November                       Review


7 November        SECOND EXAM- Ecological Biogeography


12-14 November     Conservation Biogeography                   Fifteen


19 November              Species of concern                             Sixteen


21 November              Class project #3


26-28 November         Thanksgiving break


3-5 December         Individual Class Presentations, Final essay due

GRG 368C • Spatial Anly/Geograph Info Sys

36460 • Miller, Jennifer
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 1.402
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In this course we will explore in greater depth and breadth spatial analysis concepts introduced in GRG 360G (or similar intro GIS course). The course addresses ‘spatial problem solving’ by focusing on both the theoretical/conceptual and practical aspects of GIS modeling and spatial statistics.

GRG 373F • Field Techniques

36465 • Doolittle, William
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM RLP 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 390K • Issues In Geography

36485 • Adams, Paul
Meets T 5:30PM-8:30PM RLP 1.302A
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Examines the history, philosophy, and ontology of geography, including its various subfields.
Required of all first-year graduate students in geography.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing in geography, or graduate standing and consent of the graduate adviser.


GRG 395D • Lat Amer Culs, Envir, & Dev

36490 • Knapp, Gregory
Meets M 7:00PM-10:00PM RLP 2.606
(also listed as LAS 388)
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This seminar is designed to help Latin Americanist students perform academic research on human-environment relationships, as well as to work for and to critique development agencies, businesses and non-governmental organizations. The class explores the ideas and methods of a number of disciplines and interdisciplinary fields including cultural and political ecology, feminist political ecology, ecological anthropology, environmental history, development and post-development studies, sustainability studies, and cultural geography. The course will address a range of issues including definitions and theories of modernization and development; methods of cultural and political ecology; concepts of householders, livelihoods, and buen vivir; participatory development and theater of the oppressed; identity, territory, and mapping; population and resources; neoliberalism, conservation, and resource extraction; food and agriculture; and the roles of NGOs and academics in understanding discourses and solving problems. Topics and readings are developed in part on the basis of input from students, who typically come from multiple backgrounds and programs across campus.

GRG 395K • Getting And Staying Funded

36495 • Crews, Kelley
Meets M 5:00PM-8:00PM RLP 0.124
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Written, oral, and multi-media skills for improved success in academic and non-academic professional arenas including, but not limited to, grant and thesis proposal writing, CV and job application writing, audience-targeted formal and informal oral presentations, multimedia production (e.g., poster, video), and career timeline planning.

Only one of the following may be counted: Geography 395K, 396T (Topic: Advanced Proposal Writing Bootcamp), 396T (Topic: Strategic Communication/Advanced Proposal Writing).


GRG 396T • Land Change Science

36510 • Arima, Eugenio
Meets TH 12:00PM-3:00PM RLP 3.710
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Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic.

Designed to accommodate 35 or fewer students. Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

GRG 396T • Qualitative Meths For Socl Sci

36515 • Ward, Peter
Meets T 9:00AM-12:00PM SRH 3.124
(also listed as LAS 381, P A 397C, SOC 387L)
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This graduate class is designed to complement existing courses on methods and quantitative techniques of data collection and analysis that already exist at the LBJ School, as well as in the Sociology, Geography and several other departments and programs across campus. A methods course, it also forms part of the extended core curriculum in the Masters’ programs (MPAff. & GPS) at the LBJ School of Public Affairs.  Prospective students should note that the sometimes large class size requires that the class be taught in a lecture rather than seminar format although much of the work will be conducted in small groups. (This has worked reasonably well in the past even when there were as many as 30+ students.)  Specifically the aim of this course is to develop familiarity and expertise in mobilizing and analyzing data and information gathered through a range of more qualitative survey research methods, approaches and designs, ranging from participant observational techniques, ethnography, case studies, content analysis, focus groups, and various forms of interviewing.  The course will address issues of qualitative methods’ theory, research project design and targeting, field insertion, IRB requirements, reflexivity and writing and presentation skills.  The final outcome is a final report based upon application of a number of methods to a group research design. Participants will be required to undertake IRB training at the outset.

The class is designed for two principal constituencies: first, for Ph.D. students who are (usually) in the earlier stages of their doctoral programs; and second, for Master students especially those engaged in preparation of Policy Reports or theses.  Each class will comprise a lecture and class discussion based upon readings and will require students to work in small groups on a real research design that will be used throughout the semester, and upon which they will apply and gather data using each of the methods in turn. Thus, a primary element of the course is to develop "hands-on" experience in adapting a range of qualitative research techniques to that group’s research design. The research question identified usually will be a project for which no definitive outcome (other than the Report) is expected, other than that of developing the training exercises itself.

Most classes will involve a mixture of formal lecture and pre-circulated lecture notes that are designed to both cover the ground as well as foster class discussion. This year I propose to request that you NOTopen computers, tablets and handhelds during the lecture part of class. You will be expected to look over the lecture notes and your readings beforehand.

The latter part of the class will involve in-group work and preparation to apply the various techniques.  Thus, there will be a substantial practical component to this course outside of class hoursas each group develops and applies each technique as part of its own mini-research design agenda.  Please note that the 9:00-12:00 time slot has been selected deliberately in order to allow participants to occasionally continue their group work through the lunch period (or beforehand!), so to the extent possible, please allow for that flexibility as you prepare your fall schedules.

 All students will need to log onto CANVAS, since this will be the principal mechanism for information dissemination, and group liaison.

GRG 396T • Soil Geomorphology Seminar For

36520 • Beach, Timothy
Meets TH 4:00PM-7:00PM RLP 3.102
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Soil Geomorphology Seminar Formation, Sustainability, and Landscape Interactions

Prerequisite: Graduate standing; additional prerequisites vary with the topic.


GRG 462K • Intro Remote Sensing Of Envir

36445-36450 • Meyer, Thoralf
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 201
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The use of electromagnetic energy to sense objects in the natural environment; interpretation and recognition of patterns detected by sensors. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street, A3100
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712