Transportation Economics 3 s.h.
Earth Surface Processes 3 s.h.
This course provides an introduction to soil genesis, soil geomorphology and classification including the basics of soil profile description and soil-landscape, soil-vegetation, and soil-climate relationships. Emphasis is placed on study of soils as the interface between living and non-living Earth systems and the role of soils in sustaining ecosystems and human societies. The course includes a three hour laboratory period that often involves short field excursions. There is also a required weekend field trip. Grades are based on exams, laboratory exercises, and an annotated bibliography. Lectures and lab are taught by a faculty member.
college earth science and chemistry
Planning Livable Cities 3 s.h.
This course explores the development of livable cities within the U.S. It is divided into four main parts that address the following questions: (1) What is a livable city? Differing possible perceptions of livable urban areas are considered, and common elements of livable cities are identified, considering both US and relevant foreign examples. Sources of potential disagreement concerning livability goals and objectives are recognized. (2) What makes cities work? Students examine the historical development patterns of US cities from pre-colonial times, through the industrial revolution, and up to the post-industrial present. Students explore urban economic structures, transportation modes, physical characteristics, and environmental and political forces and movements that have shaped our cities. (3) What maintains our cities? The class examines the legal and social underpinnings of planning, zoning, and subdivision controls and their impact on the physical layout and functioning of US cities. Students learn through examining actual city code documents and by witnessing developers, planners, the public, and City Council or Zoning Board members interacting at a public hearing. (4) What is shaping our future urban areas? Students explore innovative land-use regulation approaches, recent demographic trends, and ongoing urban environmental concerns, such as air quality, energy use, and transportation congestion. Course format includes lectures and class discussions that incorporate the use of maps and graphics, video material, historical and contemporary photographs of urban areas, and artistic interpretations and architectural renditions. This course meets a requirement for the Sustainability Certificate.
This course will focus on questions of who eats what, where and why? The societal and environmental implications of the past, current and future global food supply will be examined from a geographical perspective. Course topics include the transformative history of agriculture, modern agribusiness and alternative food supplies, the geopolitical implications of food production, food scarcity and rising food costs, urban versus rural agriculture, the obesity epidemic versus malnutrition, and the “future” of food. Readings include both scholarly and popular non-fiction sources, supplemented by guest speakers on agriculture, public health, local food movements and student sustainability groups.
Geography of Health 3 s.h.
Geographical analysis of spatial patterns of disease, disease mapping, and tests for spatial clustering of disease are examined as well as applications of geographical information systems to the analysis of disease patterns and to the allocation of health resources. Also covered is improving geographic access to health resources in different socioeconomic and geographical contexts. The course is an introduction to the application of geographic analysis methods in health and to the kinds of problems for which these methods are appropriate. The course is appropriate as an elective for human geography majors and for students in the social or health sciences who may have no background or special interest in geography but who are interested in questions of the health of populations in different geographic contexts.
Ecosystem services—valuable goods and services produced by ecosystems (e.g., flood control, food production, water purification)—from an interdisciplinary perspective centering on geographic techniques used to measure, map, and model ecosystem services; methods used to incorporate ecosystem services into decision and policy making; how human activities alter these services.
We as humans rely on ecosystem services, valuable goods and services produced by ecosystems such as recreational opportunities, flood control, food production, and water purification, for our well-being. Our activities alter ecosystems, however, and may thus alter these services, reducing our quality-of-life or, in some cases, our ability to survive. In this course we will examine ecosystem services from an interdisciplinary perspective centering on the geographic techniques used to understand, quantify, and predict ecosystem service delivery and how these techniques may be combined with those from other fields (e.g.., economics) to enable use to make ecosystem services a part of planning and policy-making. This course will have three main components: (1) an overview of ecosystem services and the processes that influence them; (2) an exploration of the techniques used to quantify, map, and model ecosystem services; and (3) an examination of the methods used to incorporate ecosystem services into decision and policy making. Instruction will consist of a mix of lecture, class discussion, and small-group and individual projects and computer-based laboratories.
Green building and sustainable development trends and theories: water policy, ecosystem services, climate change, and public health; LEED certified building process and each of the associated credit categories (i.e., sustainable sites, energy and atmosphere, water efficiency); how knowledge of green building and sustainable development can help lessen the environmental impact of built environments, improve the bottom line, and better plan for great communities.
Students will learn about green building and sustainable development trends and theories, with a focus on water policy, ecosystem services, climate change, and public health. Students will become familiar with the LEED Certified building process and each of the associated credit categories (Sustainable Sites, Energy and Atmosphere, and Water Efficiency). Students will understand how knowledge of green building and sustainable development can help lessen the environmental impact of built environments, improve the bottom line, and better plan for great communities.
Remote sensing data have become fundamental to many applications in environmental and socioeconomic sciences. Aerial photographs and satellite images are used to examine issues ranging from city planning to global climate change. The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to remote sensing data, methods, and applications with a particular focus on human-environment interactions. This will include topics on data acquisition from aerial and satellite sensors, the development of spatial information commonly used in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and digital analyses of multispectral remote sensing data. The course will include a lecture and lab to provide theoretical understanding and practical experience using remote sensing software. Some example topics include: visual interpretation of aerial photographs; image photogrammetry and geometric correction; digital enhancements and classifications; biophysical analyses of multispectral, hyperspectral, and lidar data; and field methods and applications in the natural and social sciences. The text used for this course will be available on reserve at the library and may be available at significantly discounted prices online.
Geographic Information Systems (GIS) deal with the storage, analysis, and display of geographic information. This course offers an introduction to methods of processing geographic information for environmental studies. Emphasis is placed on the following components of geographic information systems--the nature of geographic information, data models and presentation, and GIS analytical and modeling techniques for environmental studies. The course has two closely combined components--the lectures and the labs. The conceptual elements of the above topics are explained in the lectures. The labs are designed in such a way that students have first-hand experience in GIS operations. The course aims to introduce students to the basic concepts, structures, and theories of GIS; to introduce students to basic analytical techniques in GIS essential for environmental analysis; and to provide students with hands-on experiences with GIS techniques.
Undergraduate Research ARR s.h.
This course will provide an introduction to how geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial statistics are used in the study of patterns of health and disease in space and time. The class emphasizes application-based learning, pairing class lectures and readings on theories underlying geographical modeling with hands-on usage of GIS and other spatial analysis software used by spatial epidemiologists. Both infectious and non-infectious health outcomes will be used to demonstrate topics such as clustering of events, environmental health, neighborhoods and health, etc.
Geographic databases support storing, manipulating and querying spatial data and are an integral part of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Building upon the basic database system concepts, this course presents the fundamental principles of design, implementation, querying and computation (geoprocessing) in geographic databases. The lecture component of the course covers the theories that underpin spatial data acquisition and handling, spatial database modeling, querying, and automation in geographic databases. The laboratory component of the course focuses on the practical skills needed to acquire spatial data; design, construct and query geodatabases; develop Python scripts to perform geoprocessing and automate repetitive tasks in a geodatabase environment. The labs are designed to teach students skills to collect, store, manipulate and query a variety of geographic datasets such as geotagged Tweets, Census units and boundaries, facilities, transportation, land use, cadastral parcel and spatial networks. As an outcome of the course, students will develop their practical skills in creating and managing geodatabases, writing Structured Query Language (SQL) statements for querying non-spatial and spatial data, develop Python Scripts for geoprocessing and automation. The course is concluded by a discussion of advanced topics and future directions in databases and GIScience; and introduce students with the concepts of Big Data, NoSQL, MongoDB and Hadoop.
Environmental Justice 3 s.h.
This course introduces you to environmental justice, which seeks to understand the various processes that lead poor and marginalized communities to face a disproportionate degree of environmental risks and hazards. Beginning with the birth of the environmental justice movement focused on the siting of waste facilities, we will trace the development of the field as it has expanded into examination of health disparities, natural hazards, climate change, the international waste trade, and access to amenities such as healthy food.
Planning Sustainable Transportation 2, 3, 4 s.h.
This course has been designed to provide: (1) a broad, historical survey of how government has applied two major policy instruments, regulation and finance, in the transport sector; and (2) a more detailed, analytical review of recent and proposed changes in regulatory and financial policy as those policy revisions relate to social goals and transport agencies in the U.S. The regulatory emphasis is on transport environmental, social, and safety regulation, but attention also is given to economic regulatory measures. Although the geographic emphasis is the U.S., policies and practices of other countries are discussed for comparison, and international implications of transport change is investigated. It is assumed that students are acquainted in general with institutions and economic relationships in transportation (such as presented in the planning course 102:260), including the government instruments applied to influence market activities in intercity transport. The course builds upon this knowledge to explore recent developments in government investment and promotion practices, such as federal highway cost allocation studies and the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).
The initial portion of the course covers air, highway, and rail transport regulation and the effects of major changes in the economic regulation of those modes. Impacts on service to small communities and to persons with disabilities, the distribution of traffic among the modes, market structure, pricing and price discrimination, and innovation and technological change are discussed. Next students cover safety and environmental regulation, including transport security, environmental impact statements, environmental justice, nonattainment areas, and mitigation measures. An important current topic for investigation is the integration of environmental impact assessment in the transport planning process. In the second portion of the course, students explore finance principles, policies, and operations. Finally, students critically review proposals for change, such as revised transport programs (including state infrastructure banks, block grants, and intermodal trust funds); different methods of infrastructure finance and pricing (including possible roles for intelligent transportation systems); and privatization (including private operation of public facilities, contracts with private firms for facility maintenance, private construction and operation of toll facilities, and public-private partnerships for the joint development of land and transportation).
Students have the opportunity and responsibility for active participation in class discussion; each person should appear at class meetings prepared to contribute to a discussion of the week's readings. During the semester students are assigned to write approximately five policy memos, short research reports, or critiques of publications. A final exam is given, either in class at the assigned time, or as a take-home exam; the form is determined following the instructor's consultation with students. Evaluation of students' level of achievement in the course is based on demonstrated performance as follows: discussion and oral presentations (35%), papers and critiques (40%), and final exam (25%).
Additional instruction relating to Freight Transportation Planning will be added for students taking the 4 s.h. option.
There are no textbooks for this class.