GEography and Earth Science
(GEO/ESC)

College of Science and Allied Health
Department Chair: Georges Cravins
2020 Cowley Hall, 608-785-8333
e-mail: cravins.geor@uwlax.edu


Professors: Ahmed, Chu, Cravins,
Wilder, D., Wingate;
Associate Professors: Reeder, Stoelting; Assistant Professors: Aritan, Berlin.


Geography Major
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 36 credits, including ESC 101, GEO 110, 201, 250; ESC 221 or 222; one course in physical geography elected from GEO/ESC 323, 343, 422, 425, 426, 427, 460; two courses in cultural geography elected from GEO 202, 300, 306, 307, 309, 324, 329, 409; one course in techniques elected from GEO/ESC 345, 390, 440, 451; two courses in regional geography elected from GEO 204, 304, 311, 312, 315, 318, 328, 331; and electives from those listed above plus 200, 334, 401, 470, 450, 490, 495 and 499.

Geography Major: Applied Geography Concentration
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 55 credits, including ESC 101; GEO 110, 201, 250; three courses from ESC 221, 222, GEO/ESC 323, 343, 422, 425, 426, 427, 460; one course from GEO 300, 309, 409; three courses from GEO/ESC 345, 390, 440, 451, 455, 481, 485; one course taken from GEO 450, 490; MTH 145 or 250, 151, 305; C-S 120, and 220 or 224; three credits of GEO 499 may be applied to the major.

Geography Major: Environmental Science Concentration
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 56-60 credits, including ESC 101, GEO 110, 201, 250; five courses from ESC 221, 222, GEO/ESC 422, 323, GEO 324 or 200; GEO/ESC 343, 425, 426, 427, 460, 490; three courses from GEO/ESC 345, 390, 440, 450, 481, 485; MTH 145 or 250, 305; C-S 101 or demonstrated skills; and either BIO 101, 204, and 210, or CHM 103, 104, 301; three credits of GEO 499 may be applied to the major.
Geography Major
(Teacher Certification programs) — 36 credits, including ESC 101; GEO 110, 201, 204, 250, 300, 306, 309, 401, and electives in geography. GEO 200 (if GEO 324 is not taken), EFN 200, and C-I 381 are statutory/administrative code requirements that must be taken in addition to the above sequence; three credits of GEO 499 may be applied to the major.

Geography Minor
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 26 credits, including ESC 101; GEO 110, 201; at least one course in physical geography elected from ESC 221, 222; GEO/ESC 323, 422, 425, 426, 427, 343, 460; one course in cultural geography elected from GEO 202, 300, 306, 307, 309, 324, 409; one course in techniques elected from GEO/ESC 345, 390, 440, 451; one course in regional geography elected from GEO 204, 304, 311, 312, 315, 316, 317, 328, 331; and electives.

Geography Minor
(Teacher Certification programs) — 24 credits, including ESC 101; GEO 110, 201, 204, 306, 309 and electives in geography. GEO 200 (if GEO 324 is not taken), EFN 200 and C-I 381 are statutory/ administrative code requirements that must be taken in addition to the above sequence.

Geographic Information Science Minor
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 21 credits, including
GEO/ESC 250, 345, 481,  GEO 485; at least six credits from GEO/ESC 390, 440, 445, 451, 455, 499. (undergraduate research, must be with GIS topic); at least three credits from ESC 101, GEO110, 200, 201, 300, 307, 309.
Students in this minor are required to take MTH 145 or 250. Students who cannot demonstrate fundamental skills in personal computer operations will be required to take C-S 101. Not open to GEO/ESC majors and minors.

Earth Science Minor
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 24 credits, including ESC 101; three courses from ESC 221, 222; GEO/ESC 323, 343, 422, 425, 426, 427, 460; one course from GEO/ESC 250, 345, 390, 440, 451, and electives in earth science.
Geography majors who select the earth science minor must take 18 credits in the courses listed above in addition to the 36 required for the major.


Earth Science Minor
(Teacher Certification programs) — 24 credits, including ESC 101; three courses from ESC 221, 222; GEO/ESC 323, 343, 422, 425, 426, 427, 460; one course from GEO/ESC 250, 345, 350, 390, 440, 451, and electives in earth science.
     GEO 200 (if GEO 324 is not taken) and C-I 381 are statutory/administrative code requirements that must be taken in addition to the above earth science sequence.


Note:
The earth science minor may be used as partial fulfillment of the requirements for a middle/secondary broadfield science major. See p. 71.

Geoarchaeology Minor
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 22 credits, including ARC 200, ESC 222, ARC 310, GEO/ESC 323, 343, 426 and one course from ARC 403 or 404. Geography majors who select the geoarchaeology minor must take 18 credits in the courses listed above in addition to the 36 required for the major. Archaeological studies majors who select the geoarchaeology minor must take 19 credits in the courses listed above in addition to the 36 required for the major.

Social Studies Major (Broadfield)
(Middle Level/Secondary Education) — 
See description of this broadfield major
on p. 71.

Geography/Earth Science Department Honors Program
I. Admission
A. Junior standing
B. 15 completed credits in the major
C. 3.25 grade point average in the major and a 3.00 cumulative grade point average
D. Recommendation by two faculty members in the department
II. Program
A. Completion of the major program in Geography and Earth Science
B. Geography/Earth Science 495 — Seminar in Geography/Earth Science (Honors Seminar), 1 cr.
C. Geography/Earth Science 490 — Independent Study, 2-3 cr.
III. Evaluation
A. Cumulative 3.50 grade point average in the major and a cumulative grade point of 3.00 at graduation
B. Distinguished performance on a paper/project in GEO 490
C. Presentation of paper/project to
the faculty and students in the
department.


+ above a course number indicates a General Education course.

+
ESC 101 Cr. 4
Earth Environments
This course concentrates on understanding the earth's dynamic environments through the study of processes and physical and human interactions related to the lithosphere, hydrosphere and atmosphere. A scientific approach is used to examine fundamental concepts in earth and environmental science related to topics such as plate tectonics, landform development, atmospheric processes, global climate, and water resources, in order to provide an understanding of how the earth system functions and the human role in these phenomena. Lect. 3, Lab. 2.

+
GEO 110 Cr. 3
World Cultural Regions
This course provides an understanding of the global distribution of world cultures. The cultural, economic and natural patterns and their interrelationships are examined on a global and regional scale. The development and distribution of cultural regions within countries are included when
appropriate.
+
GEO 200 Cr. 3
Conservation of Global Environments
Introduction to natural resources, resource management, environmental and land use ethics, environmental impacts of resource utilization and strategies to resolve environmental conflicts. Course examines the relationships between society and the environment from the global to the local scale.

GEO 201 Cr. 3
Geography of United States and Canada
Physical and cultural characteristics of United States and Canada. Changing patterns of land use and the accompanying economic and cultural development of the various regions.

+
GEO 202 Cr. 3
Contemporary Global Issues
This course will offer a contemporary multi- disciplinary perspective regarding the major issues and trends confronting the global society as it enters the 21st century. Emphasis will be given to a critical review and assessment of the origin and present condition of the plethora of situations and problems affecting modern global society. The student will also learn to critically evaluate current and future events. The course will incorporate the views and approaches of the following disciplines: sociology/anthropology, economics, geography, political science and history. (Cross-listed with SOC, ANT, ECO, GEO, POL, and HIS 202; may only earn credit in one department)

GEO 204 Cr. 3
Geography of Wisconsin
Geographic patterns in Wisconsin. Physiographic regions, climate, population distribution, resources and their use, agriculture, industry, transportation, and urban growth. Offered occasionally.

ESC 221 Cr. 4
Introduction to Climate Systems
An introduction to physical principles and the dynamic processes that govern the behavior of the atmosphere at global and regional scales. Spatial and temporal variations of energy, moisture, circulation, and weather systems; and the patterns of the world climate systems are discussed. Lect. 3,    Lab. 2. Prerequisite: ESC 101.

ESC 222 Cr. 4
Landforms: Process and Regions
An introduction to the processes that are dominant in forming the landscapes that are exhibited on the earth’s surface. The spatial variation of these phenomena will be studied in light of various classification systems in use today. Lect. 3, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: ESC 101.

GEO/ESC   250 Cr. 3
Fundamentals of Cartography
Methods for the collection of geographic information from various sources. Techniques of representation on maps. Emphasis on the theoretical/fundamental aspects of display of cartographic data, symbolization, map design and planning, and map evaluation through lectures and exercises.

GEO 300 Cr. 3
Population Geography
A systematic analysis of the populations of the world and the geographic factors influencing human existence. A study of the origin and distribution of populations and the cultural features with which they are associated.

GEO 304 Cr. 3
Geography of Europe
Geographic factors in the changing physical, political, cultural and economic patterns in Europe. Emphasis on northwestern, central, and southern Europe and their importance in world affairs. (See GEO 311 for former Soviet Union.)

GEO 306 Cr. 3
Economic Geography
This course introduces students to the global economic patterns which have shaped and conditioned the world of the 1990s, and the salient economic geography models and approaches which help to explain such patterns. Elements emphasized include the evolution of social and economic organization; the globalization of economic activity since the late 1400s; the interconnectivity of development and underdevelopment; and the relationship between development and social environmental problems. Prerequisite: GEO 110 or GEO/ECO/POL/ANT/SOC/HIS 202 or ECO 110 or HIS 101.

GEO 307 Cr. 3
Political Geography
A real differentiation and analysis of relationships between geographic factors and political entities. This includes physical environment, organization of space, cultural influences, and economic capabilities.

GEO 309 Cr. 3
Urban Geography
Geographical study of cities, their form, function, site and situation. Classification of cities, urban land use patterns, and the role of the city within its region.

GEO 311 Cr. 3
Geography of the Former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe
Investigation of the physical and cultural geographical factors of the former Soviet Union and its satellite nations. Past and present geographical factors are discussed and analyzed in looking to the future of the many new nations that rose out of the ashes of the former Soviet Union. Geographical analysis is based on the nations as separate entities and their relationships and interaction with the region and the world community.

GEO 312 Cr. 3
Geography of Africa
Cultural, physical and economic characteristics including the bases of problems in socio-economic development are investigated from a geographic perspective. Resources, regions, and world-ties are studied.

GEO 315 Cr. 2
Geography of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania
Physical and cultural geography of Australia, New Zealand, and the Southwest Pacific. Emphasis on Australia and its changing economic and cultural development.

GEO 318 Cr. 3
Geography of Latin America and the Caribbean
The cultural and physical characteristics of Latin America and the Caribbean region are systematically examined and explained. This includes an examination of diverse physical and “built” environments that encompass this region, from the borderlands of northern Mexico to the Tierra Del Fuego of the south; from the lush tropical environments of the Amazon, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico, to the Altiplano and arid regions of the west; from disparate lowlands to the startling mountain zones of the Andes. Indigenous civilizations which developed out of unique arrangements with these complex environments as well as those imposed and imported since 1500 will be explored in depth. Not open for credit to students who have completed GEO 316 or 317. Offered every other semester.

GEO/ESC   323 Cr. 3
Geomorphology
A systematic analysis of surface processes that shape the origin and evolution of the earth’s topographic features. Emphasis is placed on the fundamental principles and methods of geomorphology. Prerequisite: ESC 222 and junior standing. Offered Sem. I, odd-numbered years.

GEO 324 Cr. 3
Conservation of Natural Resources
Treatment of resources such as water, forests, grasslands, soils, minerals, wildlife, and scenery. Philosophy of conservation. Nature and utilization of the resources which sustain the world’s population. Prerequisite: junior standing.

GEO 328 Cr. 3
Geography of East and Southeast Asia
The geography of China, Japan, the Koreas, and Mongolia; the geography of the 10 states of Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Burma. Contemporary geopolitical problems and prospects; East Asia and the world; primordial and historical factors contributing to identity and conflict. The course emphasizes human-cultural patterns, salient physical characteristics, and the relationship between these. Offered every third semester.

GEO 329 Cr. 3
Historical Geography of the United States
Reconstruction and portrayal of the geography of the United States at selected times. Geographical factors operative as the frontier of European settlement progressed across the continent. Prerequisite: junior standing. Offered occasionally.

GEO 331 Cr. 3
Geography of the Middle East, Central and South Asia
Cultural, physical and economic elements of this predominantly Islamic domain are examined from a geographic perspective for a better understanding of this region of the world. Cultural and socio-economic impact of these regions on other regions and cultures of the world, including their resources, are investigated.

GEO/ESC   334 Cr. 2-6
Field Geography
A study of real landscapes. Experience in
observation, study, and evaluation of human use regions and how people adapt and use differing natural environments. Conservation of natural resources, geographic understandings of historical events, and geographic factors affecting changing economics are stressed. Prerequisite: one semester of geography or earth science.

GEO/ESC   343 Cr. 3
Geoarchaeology
A pro-seminar on the contribution of earth
sciences to the interpretation of archaeological contexts. Emphasis is placed on the methods of geoarchaeology and the applications of selected earth science fields to archaeological problems. Prerequisite: ESC 222 or GEO/ESC 323 or 426; or ARC 205 or 310 or 455. Offered Sem. II, odd-numbered years.

GEO/ESC   345 Cr. 3
Remote Sensing of the Environment
Introduction to remote sensing, emphasizing satellite multispectral observations of the earth applied to such fields as agriculture, forestry, water resources, urban and regional planning, and environmental assessment. Upper Midwest and selected areas worldwide are explored with visual and digital image processing techniques.

GEO/ESC  390 Cr. 3
Field Methods
Training in sampling techniques, interviewing procedures, and field surveying methods. Includes reconnaissance and detailed surveys using the altimeter, compass, and plane table. Prerequisite: junior standing.

GEO/ESC   401 Cr. 1
Focus on Geography: A Capstone Course
A seminar-style course designed to prepare students for graduate school and/or a career in geography/earth science. This course will cover the basic concepts of interviewing, graduate school application, oral presentation of a topic, and the writing of professional abstracts. The development of the field will be studied by the reading and discussion of landmark articles in geography and earth science. Students are expected to actively participate in the assessment of their major. Prerequisite: senior standing. Pass/Fail grading.

GEO 409 Cr. 3
Geographic Elements of Land Use Planning
A study of the spatial organization of land as determined by the physical limitations placed by the environment, the social needs of the people as expressed by the population on the land, and the economic forces acting to change land use. The course focuses on the application of land use planning processes to a specific case study area wherein students are asked to demonstrate their ability to integrate geographic determinants in planning land use. Prerequisite: ESC 222, GEO 309.

GEO/ESC   422/522 Cr. 3
Meteorology and Weather Forecasting
Various principles and laws which govern the behavior of the atmosphere are investigated. Laws of gases and radiation, energy exchange between the earth and the atmosphere, laws of motion, various forces governing atmospheric motion, atmospheric moisture and psychrometry, condensation, preciptable water and precipitation, atmospheric stability/instability, thermodynamic characteristics of the atmosphere, vorticity, and synoptic meteorology are discussed. Surface and upper-air charts, synoptic patterns, thermodynamic charts, radar and satellite images, and weather patterns are analyzed for weather forecasting. Prerequisite: ESC 101 or equivalent. Offered    Sem. II.

GEO/ESC   425/525 Cr. 3
Biogeography
A systematic analysis of the geographic distribution of organisms from historical, ecological and regional perspectives. Emphasis is placed on the principles and the methods of biogeography. Special reference is made to biogeographic regions, the distribution of organisms in space and time, and ecological biogeography. Prerequisite: ESC 221 and junior standing. Offered Sem. II, even-numbered years.


GEO/ESC   426/526 Cr. 3
Soil Morphology and Genesis
A systematic analysis of soil morphology, weathering, factors of soil formation and soil-forming processes. Emphasis is placed on soil landscapes and the field study of soils. Special reference is made to current systems of soil classification. Prerequisite: ESC 221 or 222 and junior standing. Offered Sem. I, even-numbered years.

GEO/ESC   427 Cr. 3
Water Resources
A study of the applied principles of hydrology, including aspects of water's role in the earth system, relationships between physical geography and the hydrosphere, and the management and utilization of water as a resource. Class activities will include hands-on analysis of water samples, as well as computer modeling and simulation. Prerequisite: ESC 221 or 222. Offered every third semester.

GEO/ESC   440/540 Cr. 3
Geographic Interpretation of Aerial Photographs
Systematic applications of aerial photographs in the interpretation and analysis of geographic problems. Emphasis is placed on drainage, landforms, vegetation, soils, urban and rural land use and transportation. Lect.2, Lab 2. Offered Sem. I, odd-numbered years.

GEO/ESC   445/545 Cr. 3
Advanced Remote Sensing
Techniques of digital image processing emphasizing computer-assisted processing of satellite/airborne, digital data applied to natural resource, agricultural, land use, archaeological, and environmental problems. Study of data sources, acquisition, data integrity, manipulation, formatting, storage and retrieval; integration with a geographic information system for spatial analyses and decision-making. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: GEO 345. Offered Sem. I.

GEO/ESC   450 Cr. 3-12
Geography Internship
Practical experience with a variety of organizations where the student’s geographic background and training can be utilized to advantage. Students are placed in carefully selected positions screened by the department. Actual work supervision is accomplished by personnel of the selected agency and the department staff coordinator. A maximum of five credits may be counted toward the non-education major. Prerequisite: geography major, junior standing, overall grade point of 2.25 with a minimum of 2.75 in geography. Pass/Fail grading.

GEO/ESC   451/551 Cr. 3
Multimedia Cartography and Internet Geographic Information Systems
Application of digital methods of Multimedia Thematic Cartography and Internet based Geographic Information Systems (GIS); emphasis on the production of web-based interactive maps, mapping on the Internet, spatial data acquisition and integrity issues, delivery of GIS databases through the Internet, Metadata issues, and thematic mapping through the querying of spatial information. Prerequisite: GEO/ESC 250 and MTH 145 or 250. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Offered Sem. I.

GEO/ESC    455/555 Cr. 3
Applied Map Design and Production in Cartography and GIS
This course explores both manual and digital methods in cartographic design and production, map design theory, perceptual aspects of map symbols, methods of production for small format and large format maps, cost efficiency factors, design environments in GIS packages, production of both monochromatic and color maps, map publishing. Prerequisite: GEO 250.

GEO/ESC    460/560 Cr. 3
Environmental Hazards and Land Use Planning
Environmental processes are investigated in light of the hazards they might pose for development and how they may be avoided or mitigated by proper land use planning. Prerequisite: ESC 221 or 222.

GEO/ESC   470/570 Cr. 1-3
Special Topics in Geography/Earth Science
Specifically selected topics or skills which may be designed for the interest of special groups will be offered with formalized instruction and methodology appropriate to geography and/or earth science. May be counted as an elective in the geography major or earth science minor at the discretion of the Geography/Earth Science Department. Prerequisite may be required at the discretion of the department. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Pass/Fail grading. Offered occasionally.

GEO/ESC    476/576 Cr. 1-3
Geography/Earth Science Topics for Teachers
Selected topics in geography and/or earth science pertinent to applications in the teachers’ classrooms. Courses are designed to meet the needs of teachers so that they may implement the course material into their classroom teaching. Offered occasionally.


GEO/ESC    481/581 Cr. 3
Introduction to Geographic  Information Systems (GIS)
An introduction to both theoretical and applied aspects of Geographic Information Systems. GIS software with an emphasis on ARC/INFO will be used to analyze management of resources, environmental assessment, business location, and urban/regional planning. Topics will include: data organization, database structure, input and output, data quality, and geographic analysis of spatial and attribute data. Lect. 2, Lab. 2. Prerequisite: GEO 250 and MTH 145 or 250. Offered. Sem. II.

GEO 485/585 Cr. 3
Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Advanced theories in GIS database structures, advanced applications, database transfers, database management, use of census data, spatial analysis, decision-making. Emphasis on ARC/INFO and its applications. Integration of GIS with Remote Sensing and GPS. Prerequisite: GEO 481. Offered Sem. II.

GEO/ESC   490/590 Cr. 2-3
Independent Study
Individual readings and investigation of selected problems in geography. Open to senior majors and minors with a “B” (3.00) average in geography. Registration with consent of regular adviser, instructor, department chairperson, and the dean of the college in which the student is enrolled. Maximum credit applicable to major— 3; maximum credit from any instructor — 3. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6.

GEO/ESC   495/595 Cr. 1-3
Seminar in Geography/ Earth Science
Investigation into various topics in geography or the earth sciences. Varying topics will be offered at intervals with a specific title assigned to each. Prerequisite: two semesters of geography and/or earth science. Additional prerequisite may be required by the instructor. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Variable topics; check semester timetables. Offered occasionally.

GEO/ESC   499 Cr. 1-3
Undergraduate Research
Individual research by an advanced student under the supervision of a faculty member in the Geography/Earth Sciences Department. The student must present a written report and either have their work published in an appropriate journal or presented either orally or by poster at a conference acceptable to the department chair and adviser. A contract must be signed by the student, the project advisor, the student’s adviser and the Geography/Earth Science Department chair. Repeatable for credit — maximum 6. Three credits may be applied to a major or minor in geography and earth science. Prerequisite: 12 credits of geography and/or earth science with six of the credits numbered 300 or above, or consent of the instructor and department chair.
 

 

Last Modified:August 25, 2008
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