Department of Geography and the Environment

Thoralf Meyer


LecturerPh.D., University of Virginia

Thoralf Meyer

Contact

  • Office: RLP 3.402, also SAC 4.160
  • Office Hours: by appointment
  • Campus Mail Code: A3100

Biography


Dr. Meyer’s general research interests lie in the field of dryland ecology. Before joining the University of Texas in 2010, he was heavily involved in a variety of research projects in the country of Botswana. In his position as a manager of an environmental consultancy, he worked with private individuals, companies and with local and regional governments on numerous projects throughout the Southern African region.


Here at UT, Dr. Thoralf Meyer teaches introductory and advanced environmental science and management courses at the undergraduate level. He also co-teaches two study abroad courses in Botswana where savanna ecology and human environmental interactions form the main focus. His current scientific research focuses on vegetative response to various forms of disturbance, such as fire, herbivory and land use land cover change in the Kalahari and Texas.

His expertise is in the use of field spectral, structural and species-specific measurements to validate and inform satellite and GIS-derived measurements for the purpose of sustainable ecosystem management.

 

Courses


GRG 462K • Intro Remote Sensing Of Envir

36905-36910 • Spring 2020
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM ART 1.120
QR

The use of electromagnetic energy to sense objects in the natural environment; interpretation and recognition of patterns detected by sensors. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG 373F • Field Techniques

36920 • Spring 2020
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:30PM RLP 3.102

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 462K • Intro Remote Sensing Of Envir

36445-36450 • Fall 2019
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 201
QR

The use of electromagnetic energy to sense objects in the natural environment; interpretation and recognition of patterns detected by sensors. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG 462K • Intro Remote Sensing Of Envir

37235-37240 • Fall 2018
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM RLP 1.106

The use of electromagnetic energy to sense objects in the natural environment; interpretation and recognition of patterns detected by sensors. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG F356T • Clim Chg/Vegtn: Kalahari-Bot

82195 • Summer 2018
GCQR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG F356T • Envir-Cul Dynamics-Bot

82200 • Summer 2018
GCQR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

36795-36825 • Spring 2018
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GEA 105
EQRWr N2

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 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

37275-37305 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM PAI 4.42
EQRWr N2

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 462K • Intro Remote Sensing Of Envir

37495-37500 • Fall 2017
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM ART 1.120

The use of electromagnetic energy to sense objects in the natural environment; interpretation and recognition of patterns detected by sensors. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG F356T • Clim Chg/Vegtn: Kalahari-Bot

82590 • Summer 2017
GCQR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

37215-37245 • Spring 2017
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CLA 0.130
EQRWr N2

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 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

37065-37095 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GEA 105
EQRWr N2

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 462K • Intro Remote Sensing Of Envir

37280-37285 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 8:00AM-9:30AM CLA 0.128

The use of electromagnetic energy to sense objects in the natural environment; interpretation and recognition of patterns detected by sensors. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG F356T • Clim Chg/Vegtn: Kalahari-Bot

82875 • Summer 2016
QR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

36455-36470 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 0.112
EQRWr

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 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

36346-36351 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM CLA 0.128
EQRWr N2

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 F356T • Clim Chg/Vegtn: Kalahari-Bwa

83535 • Summer 2015
GCQR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG F356T • Envir-Cul Dynamics-Bwa

83540 • Summer 2015
GCQR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

36535-36550 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM CLA 1.106
QRWr

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 462K • Intro Remote Sensing Of Envir

36760-36765 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 1.106

The use of electromagnetic energy to sense objects in the natural environment; interpretation and recognition of patterns detected by sensors. 

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG 336C • National Parks/Protected Areas

37565 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM CLA 1.108

The history, purpose, and meaning of national parks (and preserves, refuges, and other publicly protected natural areas), from their inception at Yellowstone in 1872 to their present global distribution. Emphasis is on key management issues and dilemmas in the parks today; and the adoption and modification of Western notions of nature preservation within non-Western cultural settings.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

GRG F356T • Clim Chg/Vegtn: Kalahari-Bwa

84230 • Summer 2014
GCQR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG F356T • Envir-Cul Dynamics-Bwa

84235 • Summer 2014
GCQR

GRG f356T CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-BWA

 

Prerequisite: Varies with the topic and is given in the Course Schedule.

May be counted toward the quantitative reasoning flag requirement. May be counted toward the global cultures flag requirement.

Course number may be repeated for credit when the topics vary.

Topic title: Climate change and vegetation response in the Kalahari. Res tricted enrollment; contact Study Abroad for permission to register for this class. Class meets May 28-July 10. Faculty-led Abroad Program taugh t in Ghanzi, Botswana. Students must consult with Study Abroad Program C oordinator as travel and orientation dates may be in addition to these d ates.

GRG 366C • Comparative Ecosystems

37860 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 1.108

The important ecosystem processes that affect the distributions, characteristics, and management of natural environments at landscape, regional, and continental scales. Ecosystem functions, including nutrient cycling, water balance, and the role of natural disturbances in a wide range of ecosystems, from the tundra to the rain forests and grasslands of the tropics. Geography 356T (Topic: Comparative Ecosystems) and 366C 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 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

37705-37720 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 0.128

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 F356T • Clim Chg/Vegtn: Kalahari-Bwa

84510 • Summer 2013

GEG GRGf356T- CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-

Climate change is a subject of critical importance for both scientists and global citizens. Botswana profiles a wonderful example of developing world issues set in pristine environments where these debates still have the potential to support both people and the environment. The Botswana Kalahari is a remote and relatively undisturbed desert environment that provides an ideal natural laboratory for exploring climate change issues such as carbon storage, food production and the interactions between humans and the environment.

 Safaris in the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve expose students to both wetland and savanna ecosystems while visits to a local school and cooperative education center provide insights into the region's bush culture. The program is based out of a camp and the lectures, program activities, and daily living take place outdoors.

ENVIR-CUL DYNAMICS-BWA

Climate change is a subject of critical importance for both scientists and global citizens. Botswana profiles a wonderful example of developing world issues set in pristine environments where these debates still have the potential to support both people and the environment. The Botswana Kalahari is a remote and relatively undisturbed desert environment that provides an ideal natural laboratory for exploring climate change issues such as carbon storage, food production and the interactions between humans and the environment.

 

Safaris in the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve expose students to both wetland and savanna ecosystems while visits to a local school and cooperative education center provide insights into the region's bush culture. The program is based out of a camp and the lectures, program activities, and daily living take place outdoors.

GRG F356T • Envir-Cul Dynamics-Bwa

84515 • Summer 2013

GEG GRGf356T- CLIM CHG/VEGTN: KALAHARI-

Climate change is a subject of critical importance for both scientists and global citizens. Botswana profiles a wonderful example of developing world issues set in pristine environments where these debates still have the potential to support both people and the environment. The Botswana Kalahari is a remote and relatively undisturbed desert environment that provides an ideal natural laboratory for exploring climate change issues such as carbon storage, food production and the interactions between humans and the environment.

 Safaris in the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve expose students to both wetland and savanna ecosystems while visits to a local school and cooperative education center provide insights into the region's bush culture. The program is based out of a camp and the lectures, program activities, and daily living take place outdoors.

ENVIR-CUL DYNAMICS-BWA

Climate change is a subject of critical importance for both scientists and global citizens. Botswana profiles a wonderful example of developing world issues set in pristine environments where these debates still have the potential to support both people and the environment. The Botswana Kalahari is a remote and relatively undisturbed desert environment that provides an ideal natural laboratory for exploring climate change issues such as carbon storage, food production and the interactions between humans and the environment.

 

Safaris in the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve expose students to both wetland and savanna ecosystems while visits to a local school and cooperative education center provide insights into the region's bush culture. The program is based out of a camp and the lectures, program activities, and daily living take place outdoors.

GRG 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

37385-37400 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.128

A Changing World GRG 304E

GRG F356T • Envir-Cul Dynamics-Bwa

84705 • Summer 2012

DESCRIPTION

 

Climate change is a subject of critical importance for both scientists and global citizens. Botswana profiles a wonderful example of developing world issues set in pristine environments where these debates still have the potential to support both people and the environment. The Botswana Kalahari is a remote and relatively undisturbed desert environment that provides an ideal natural laboratory for exploring climate change issues such as carbon storage, food production and the interactions between humans and the environment.

 

Safaris in the Okavango Delta and Central Kalahari Game Reserve expose students to both wetland and savanna ecosystems while visits to a local school and cooperative education center provide insights into the region's bush culture. The program is based out of a camp and the lectures, program activities, and daily living take place outdoors.

 

STUDY ABROAD: CLIMATE CHANGE, ECOSYSTEMS, AND HUMAN DYNAMICS - GHANZI, BOTSWANA

 

More information here.

GRG 304E • Envir Sci: A Changing World

37220-37235 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM GRG 102

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.


  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street, A3100
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712
    512-471-5116