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Division of Natural Sciences & MathematicsDepartment of Geography & the Environment

Degree Programs

Geography & the Environment

Course Descriptions


1030 Phys Geog Natural Regions U.S. (4 credits)

Identification, description, and explanation of landform regions of the United States; associations of landforms, structures, and processes. Includes laboratory.


1200 World Regional Geography (4 credits)

Regional comparative studies of physical and human environments; interplay of forces that give each area its unique character.


1201 Environmental Systems: Weather (0 or 4 credits)

First class in a three-quarter sequence that introduces the fundamental processes that govern the physical environment; introduction to the fundamentals of the environmental system and the various processes that control weather and climate. The student will have a fundamental understanding of the basic components of the environmental system, familiarity with the role of energy in the atmosphere and its control over cycles of air temperature, a sound foundation in the mechanisms governing cloud formation and precipitation, an basic understanding of the atmospheric circulation and the storm systems which develop within it, and an introduction to the regional variation of climate.


1202 Env. Systems: Hydrology (0 or 4 credits)

Second class in a three-quarter sequence that introduces the fundamental processes that govern the physical environment; the role of water in the environment. This course focuses on the matter and energy flows through the hydrologic cycles, together with the resulting spatial distribution and work of water. Various environmental issues concerning water including drought, water pollution, and human impacts on water supplies are included.


1203 Env. Systems: Landforms (0 or 4 credits)

Third class in a three-quarter sequence that introduces the fundamental processes that govern the physical environment; geological phenomena in various places in the world. Topics include maps and air photos; rocks and minerals; plate tectonics and volcanoes; landforms produced by wind, water, earth forces and ice; and biogeography.


1216 Our Dynamic Earth I (0 or 4 credits)

This is the first quarter of a three-quarter sequence devoted to studying natural hazards and their impacts on society. Natural processes become hazards when they have the potential to have an adverse affect on humans and their property, or the natural environment. This first quarter of the sequence introduces students to the physical processes associated with atmospheric natural hazards (tornados, hurricanes, severe storms) and their societal impacts.


1217 Our Dynamic Earth II (0 or 4 credits)

This is the second quarter of a three-quarter sequence devoted to studying natural hazards and their impacts on society. In this course, students investigate the physical processes that result in geologic natural hazards (earthquakes, landslides, volcanoes) and their societal impacts.


1218 Our Dynamic Earth III (0 or 4 credits)

This is the third quarter of a three-quarter sequence devoted to studying natural hazards and their impacts on society. In this course, students investigate the physical processes that result in hydrologic natural hazards (floods, drought, tsunamis) and their societal impacts.


1264 Global Environmental Change I (0 or 4 credits)

First class in a three-quarter sequence for honors students. This course examines the processes and drivers of global environmental change and its consequences for humans and the environment.


1265 Global Environmental Change II (0 or 4 credits)

Second class in a three-quarter sequence for honors students. This course examines the processes and drivers of global environmental change and its consequences for humans and the environment.


1266 Global Environmental ChangeIII (0 or 4 credits)

Third class in a three-quarter sequence for honors students. This course examines the processes and drivers of global environmental change and its consequences for humans and the environment.


1410 People, Places & Landscapes (4 credits)

In this course, students will study the location of people and activities across the surface of the Earth. Describing the locations and patterns of human activity only lays the foundation for exploring how and why such patterns and have developed historically, and how they relate to the natural environment and other aspects of human behavior.


1992 Directed Study (1 to 10 credits)


2000 Geographic Statistics (4 credits)

An introduction to statistics primarily for Geography and Environmental Science students focusing on the scientific method, the nature of data, descriptive statistics, and analytical or inferential statistics.


2010 Map Reading-Use and Analysis (4 credits)

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the basics of map reading and interpretation. Basic map components will be introduced along with additional spatial and geographic concepts including cartographic communication, map projections and map scale, coordinate systems, and the nature of spatial data. In addition, the course looks at how maps can be used to communicate information in a variety of ways. From professionally prepared cartographic data to maps appearing almost daily in newspapers and magazines, a variety of map sources and types are used to illustrate how maps can speak a language of their own.


2020 Computer Cartography (4 credits)

Basic map design and execution using existing maps. Topics include: map projections, symbolizing quantitative data, use of space, layout, compilation, verbal content, and the use o computer technology in design and production of maps.


2030 Field Methods (4 credits)

Part l, outdoor instruction in use of Brunton compass, level, plane table, and alidade; Part 2, data-gathering techniques and preparation for field work in urban problems.


2100 Intro Geog Info Systems (GIS) (4 credits)

Overview of GIS, including background, development, trends, and prospects in this technological field; software package and hands-on exercises used to examine basic geographic concepts and spatial data characteristics associated with automated mapping, projections, scales, geocoding, coordinate referencing, and data structures for computerized land-based data bases.


2200 Air Photo Interpretation (3 credits)

Analysis of aerial photos for purpose of deriving useful information; applications to study of physical and cultural environments. Prerequisite: introductory course in geography.


2300 Cultural Geography (4 credits)

Themes and methods of cultural geography including cultural area, landscape, history and ecology.


2310 Polit Ecol Nat Rsrcs-Guatemala (4 credits)

This class, through the lens of political ecology and action-oriented research, introduces students to the extremes of Guatemala and how one of the most unequal societies in the West has evolved over the past 500 years. With a firm understanding of Guatemala's social reality we then conduct initial community-based research with several communities in the highlands and lowland return refugee frontier communities with the goal of identifying the best options for sourcing and then providing potable water and/or other vital resources. The class also introduces students to field methods in cultural geography and then how to apply them in field in international settings.


2401 The Human Population (4 credits)

This course covers the fundamental concepts of demography with an emphasis on its relevance to inquiry in disciplines including economics, business, geography, environmental science, political science and sociology.


2410 Economic Geography (4 credits)

Economic elements as spatially arranged, distribution of economic activities on the earth's surface; market, resource and transportation factors in location theory.


2418 Environmental Challenges (4 credits)

Environmental issues are the sources of considerable controversy at local, regional, national, and global geographic scales. These issues include social, political, economic, and scientific dimensions. The "facts" supporting various perspectives of positions range from pure propaganda, to unsubstantiated opinion, to interpretations of data collected according to high scientific standards. Students will examine many of today's environmental conundrums by looking at various positions, and sometimes, controversial writings on selected environmental topics and will learn to analyze complex, multi-dimensional issues, such as those pertaining to the environment and human interactions with the environment. Students may be forced to confront their own pre-conceptions concerning environmental issues and perhaps even change their views.


2419 Great American Cities (4 credits)

The purpose of this course is to examine the American City in the last 100 years. In the year 2000, 75% of the U.S. population lived in urban areas; debatable as a proper definition of an 'urban area' might be, what is not debatable is the growing influence of cities on our everyday life: politics, power, knowledge, business, the arts, poverty, crime, pollution, sports, etc, etc, etc, - the list goes on. Irrespective of our feelings about cities, they remain an essential component of our national fabric, and therefore a necessary area of study. In this class, we discuss the historical factors that lead to the growth of cities, the modern city, governments, taxes, economics, urban planning, housing, urban decay, gentrification, immigration, and education.


2420 Geography of Tourism (4 credits)

Major cultural and environmental motivations for tourism; major tourism flow patterns; and predominant domestic and international touristic regions.


2430 World Cities (4 credits)

The study of world cities from a geographical perspective emphasizes the following general topics: 1) worldwide urbanization and globalization processes; 2) the study of cities as nodes within global, regional, and national urban systems; 3) the internal spatial structure of land uses within cities; 4) the spatial dimensions of economic, social, political, and cultural processes in cities; and 5) environmental elements, involving human interrelationships with the natural environment in an urban setting. Urban patterns and processes are examined in each of the world's major regions, including in-depth analysis of focus case study cities.


2500 Sustainability & Human Society (4 credits)

Sustainability has become a catch phrase in discussions concerning the long-term viability of a number of phenomena, from the environment to the economy. Sustainability is commonly defined as meeting the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Students are introduced to issues inherent in discussions of sustainability. The major areas of focus include definitions of ecological and environmental sustainability, economic and political sustainability, and social justice, and various metrics used to assess sustainable behavior and practices. Students study the theory, principles and practices of sustainability, and participate in discussion and writing exercises based on lecture and readings.


2550 Issues in Sustainabilities (4 credits)

The capstone seminar focuses on a particular problem related to sustainability. Seminar topics vary by instructor, but include a combination of readings, discussion, guest speakers, a group project (either service learning or research), and individual research presentations. Prerequisite: completion of all other requirements for the sustainability minor.


2608 Human Dimensions-Global Change (4 credits)

This course documents and explores the transformations of the global environment that have occurred in the last 300 years and relates them to cotemporaneous changes in population and society. Students examine the complexity of human-induced environmental changes by looking at the various social, economical, political, institutional and behavioral components of these forces at work. By using various case studies, students examine the processes and spatial distributions of anthropological changes to the world's lands, freshwater, biota, oceans and atmosphere.


2700 Contemporary Environ Issues (4 credits)

Principles, practices, issues, and status of care of environment; lectures, readings, and discussions focus on causes, effects, and mitigation of a selection of topical regional, national, and international environmental problems including Denver's air pollution, acid deposition, hazardous waste management, global warming, and tropical deforestation.


2810 Geography of Latin America (4 credits)

This course will study the countries and islands of Middle America; the interrelationships of peoples, resources and physical features.


2830 Geography of Europe (4 credits)

A field course that examines relationships between humans and the environment in Europe. We study both urban and rural environments to understand the following questions: What are the elements (climate, vegetation, landforms) that characterize European natural landscapes? How have humans modified these natural landscapes? How have environmental conditions influenced human activities (e.g. agriculture, architecture, economic development)? How are these human activities manifested at the landscape scale, and how are they organized in geographic space? How have humans attempted to preserve natural landscapes? Prerequisites: GEOG 1201, 1202, 1203 and field quarter application process through the Geography department.


2850 Geography of National Parks (4 credits)

Emphasis is on the physical geography and geology of selected national parks; it therefore includes labs and field trips. In general, a national park covers a large area containing features of great scenic and scientific quality. It encompasses sufficient land and water resources for the adequate protection of the natural, historic and cultural resources of the park. Through the study of the natural and human history of selected parks, students become aware of interactions between natural and human landscapes and how these have changed over time. Current environmental and management issues facing the parks are also addressed.


2860 Geography of the Middle East (4 credits)

In-depth study to the physical and human geography of the Middle East. Upon completion of this course, students will be able to think and speak effectively about the Middle East, particularly about relationships between villagers, nomads and city folk; about the history of the region; about management of environmental problems such as desertification and water shortages; about the civilization of Islam, about culture and the role of all religions; about the reasons for war, the need for peace, and the role of terrorism; about oil and more importantly, the oil curse, and finally about the role of US foreign policy.


2870 Geography of India (4 credits)

This course will provide students with a comprehensive idea about India, which is considered as a major emerging power of this century. India is extremely diverse in terms of physical features and cultural practices. It has a very dynamic economic and political system. The long history of the land and its rich cultural heritage has made its lifestyle very different from the people outside the subcontinent. This course deals with all the above issues in brief and helps the students to gain an overall knowledge of the subcontinent. This is a good foundation course for those who participate in the study abroad program in India and also others who are interested in this region of the world.


2910 Honors Seminar in Geography (3 credits)

Individual investigation of some aspect of geography; developmental and research frontiers. Required for geography major in Honors Program.


2992 Directed Study (1 to 10 credits)


3000 Advanced Geographic Statistics (4 credits)

The second in a sequence of two courses that address general statistical applications particular to geography, environmental science and other disciplines dealing with a spatial dimension in the data they work with. The focus of this second course is on the more advanced multivariate statistical techniques. The course has a strong applied orientation as particular attention is given to which technique is the most appropriate to use for a given type of problem and how to interpret and apply the resulting statistics. Extensive use is made of computer statistics packages. Homework exercises involving such statistical techniques as multiple correlation and regression analysis, principle components analysis, discriminate analysis and canonical correlation. Prerequisite: GEOG 2000.


3010 Geog Information Analysis (4 credits)

Reviews many basic statistical methods and applies them to various spatial datasets. In addition, several spatial statistical methods are applied to spatial datasets. This course is an in-depth study of the interface between GIS, spatial data, and statistical analysis.


3020 Advanced Computer Cartography (4 credits)

This course focuses on the design/construction of thematic maps using more complex techniques than mastered in the beginning course, e.g. color and directional time series point symbols.


3030 Advanced Field Methods (4 credits)

Various field methods used by researchers in physical geography; techniques include field mapping, laboratory analyses, geologic field methods. Prerequisite: GEOG 1201 or equivalent.


3040 GPS for Resource Mapping (4 credits)

This course is an introduction to GPS (Global Positioning Systems) concepts, techniques, and applications as they relate to GIS data collection. Lectures focus on satellite surveying, GPS technology, error sources, program planning, data collection design, and Quality Control and Quality Assurance issues for data collection programs. Hands-on lab exercises include navigation, mission planning for a GPS survey, designing a field data collection plan and associated data dictionary, field data collection, differential correction, and data integration into a GIS and map production.


3110 GIS Modeling (4 credits)

This course focuses on the concepts and procedures used in discovering and applying relationships within and among maps. It extends the mapping and geo-query capabilities of GIS to map analysis and construction of spatial models. The course establishes a comprehensive framework that addresses a wide range of applications from natural resources to retail marketing. Topics include the nature of spatial data introduction to spatial statistics and surface modeling in t first five weeks followed by spatial analysis operations and modeling techniques in the second five weeks. The lectures, discussions and independent exercises provide a foundation for creative application of GIS technology in spatial reasoning and decision making.


3130 Adv Geographic Info Systems (4 credits)

This advanced course explores the more technical aspects of GIS functions and data structures. Students have hands-on access to both raster (grid-cell) and vector-based software packages in the form of lab exercises that culminate in a small student-designed GIS project.


3140 GIS Database Design (4 credits)

Designing databases to provide a foundation for GIS functions and applications, including investigating techniques used for designing databases in non-spatial environments and learning the applicability to GIS problems. Building on concepts and techniques introduced in the first half to extend traditional techniques and methodologies to model the requirements of spatial problems. Students learn to translate the conceptual spatial model into a physical implementation specific to GIS products.


3150 GIS Project Management (4 credits)

This course provides graduate students seeking a career in GIS, or anyone managing a GIS project, with the knowledge, skill and abilities to take a GIS project or program past the design and implementation phase and into day-to-day operation. Students evaluate and analyze the role of GIS in an organization's overall information system strategy and communicate the importance of geography in an information system. Data sharing in the organization is examined to determine the benefits and costs of distributing data creation and maintenance activities throughout an organization. Finally, the role of GIS professionals and the skill sets required to manage GIS effectively are examined. Students review case studies of successful and not-so- successful GIS projects in North America. GIS management issues are addressed by a series of case studies focusing on various management aspects. Students are also expected to visit operational GIS programs in the metropolitan area and interview GIS managers. Students prepare case study evaluations for review in the classroom. Required for all MSGIS students because of the critical importance of GIS project management.


3200 Remote Sensing (4 credits)

This course acquaints students with the basic techniques of the collection, processing and interpretation of information about the character of the earth's surface from remote locations. Students become familiar with the use of the visible, infrared, thermal and microwave portions of the electromagnetic spectrum as a means of determining land cover and/or land use. Both manual and computer- assisted techniques and discussed and include hands-on applications.


3230 Advanced Remote Sensing (4 credits)

This course will build on the basic remote sensing concepts presented in GEOG 3200. Students will explore more in-depth concepts relevant to satellite and airborne remote sensing, including radiative transfer and information extraction. In addition, students will be introduced to two cutting-edge sources of data about the Earth's surface: hyperspectral and lidar (Light Detection and Ranging) sensors. Students will study specific applications of advanced digital image processing techniques for environmental monitoring, natural resource management, and land-use planning. Finally, students will integrate remote sensing and other spatial datasets in the context of Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis. Prerequisite: GEOG 3200.


3300 Cultural Geography (4 credits)

Themes and methods of cultural geography including cultural area, landscape, history and ecology.


3310 Cult/Nature/Econ-Human Ecology (4 credits)

Cultural adaptation, livelihood strategies and environmental modification among subsistence and peasant societies: responses of such groups to technological change and economic integration.


3320 Global Change-Human Dimension (4 credits)

This course documents and explores the transformations of the global environment that have occurred in the last 300 years and relates them to co-temporaneous changes in population and society.


3330 Political Geography (4 credits)


3340 Geographies of Migration (4 credits)

This course explores contemporary movement of people across international borders and the social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental repercussions of such movements. The class looks at the global flow of people across national boundaries and the ways in which these dispersed peoples build and maintain social networks across national borders. While do so, we address the role of globalization in international migration processes. What motivates people to move long distances, often across several international borders and at considerable financial and psychological cost? How do migrants change - and how in turn do they bring change, social as well as economic, to new destinations as well as places left behind? This course examines politics and patterns of migration, transnational migration, and immigration to the United States.


3400 Urban Landscapes (4 credits)

Urbanization as a process; national urban systems; internal spatial structure of cities; role of transportation in urban development; location of residential, commercial and industrial activities; agglomeration economies; residential congregation and segregation; environmental justice; urban growth and growth coalitions; decentralization and urban sprawl; edge cities; impacts on the urban environment; world cities; globalization.


3410 Urban Applications in GIS (4 credits)

This course explores several ways to analyze the urban environment using a Geographic Information System. Datasets of points (e.g. residential locations of survey respondents), lines (existing and proposed light rail lines), polygons (e.g. census tracts), and pixels (e.g. air- photos and satellite imagery) are used to perform various analyses. Student interests define what kinds of analysis are performed. Examples include: characterizing the propensity of Denver metro-area citizens to ride light rail - does residential location matter? Is there a quantitative relationship between nighttime light emissions and population density in Colorado cities? Perception and reality: How do Denver-area residents' perceptions of crime in their own neighborhoods relate to actual crime statistics for the location? The sequence of events for the course is question formulation, design of analysis and analysis. If any explorations produce interesting results, students are encouraged to take an independent study course (GEOG 3991) in the following quarter to write and publish their results.


3420 Urban and Regional Planning (4 credits)

Historical evolution of planning theory and practices; comprehensive planning process; legal, political, economic, social, environmental aspects of urban planning; urban design; urban renewal and community development; transportation planning; economic development planning; growth management; environmental and energy planning; planning for metropolitan regions; national planning.


3425 Urban Sustainability (4 credits)

The 21st century is being called the 'century of the city'. Now more than ever, humans across the globe call the city their home. Many of the world's most pressing crises are manifest in cities, including: greenhouse gas emissions, land degradation, high mass production and consumption, widespread poverty and hunger, and expanding socio-economic disparities. As 'sustainability' becomes part of mainstream discourse, this course explores what sustainability means for urban contexts around the globe. Arguably, the city has the potential to be the most efficient, equitable, and environmental form of modern human settlement. Covering all dimensions of sustainability from a social science perspective, this course focuses on theoretical groundings, practices of urban sustainability, and new research agendas. Major topics include: cities and nature; planning and land use; urban form; community and neighborhoods; transportation systems and accessibility; livelihood and urban economies; and social justice and the city.


3430 Land Use:Plan,Policy,Urban Gro (4 credits)

As part of the planning sequence in geography, this course focuses on how land is used in both urban and rural contexts. Emphasis is on the U.S. experience, especially land use issues in the American West. Topics include the historical, political, economic, social and environmental aspects of land use, as well as the relationship of land use planning to the comprehensive urban-planning process.


3440 Urban Transportation Planning (4 credits)

A specialized course in the urban planning sequence focusing on issues, practices and policies of urban transportation planning. Recommended for anyone interested in timely transportation topics, such as the feasibility and impacts of light rail transit, the planning and implementation of highway projects, and the role of freight and passenger transportation companies in transportation planning.


3460 Air Transportation & Tourism (4 credits)

This course delves into the world of commercial air passenger transportation, studying the foundations of the industry, its role in the travel and tourism, and strategies for the future. Foundational topics include the history and geography of air transportation, air travel and tourism, the geography of tourism, airline corporate cultures, the role of government, aviation law, regulation, deregulation, and globalization. Study of the principal elements of airline economics, finance, planning, management, operations, pricing, promotion, cost containment, marketing, and policy provide the opportunity for consideration of strategic options within the contemporary airline industry. Further discussion focuses on the planning and management of airport and airway system infrastructure, the issue of sustainable air transportation, and the role of the airline industry within the context of intermodalism.


3470 GIS & Envrmtl Health Geography (4 credits)

This course is designed to acquaint students with the spatial distributions of populations and their relationships to environmental pollution sources and health outcomes. It utilizes real-life scenarios using population data from the U.S. census, EPA pollution data and various types of vital statistics data. The goal is to implement novel geographic techniques such as spatial analytical techniques and atmospheric modeling of pollutants to assess possible health risks and outcomes. This class requires basic GIS knowledge.


3500 Reconst Quaternry Environment (4 credits)

Nature, magnitude, sequence and causes of Pleistocene and Holocene climatic changes; effects of climatic change on plant/animal distributions and human populations; paleoclimatic research methods. Laboratory and field trips. Prerequisites: GEOG Core, ENVI 3000.


3510 Biogeography (4 credits)

Biogeography focuses on present and past distributions of plants and animals. In this course we consider a number of themes central to biogeography, including plate tectonics and biogeography, the effects of climate change of plant and animal distributions, biogeographic realms, island biogeography, biodiversity, human impacts on plants and animals, and the origins of agriculture.


3520 Geography of Soils (4 credits)

Spatial variation in soil characteristics; soil processes, soil morphology, their application in soil studies. Prerequisite(s): GEOL 2010 or equivalent or instructor's permission. Recommended prerequisite(s): general chemistry.


3530 Groundwater Hydrology (4 credits)


3540 Reclamation of Disturbed Land (4 credits)

A variety of human activities disturb natural environmental systems. The principles and practices used to reclaim disturbed lands to productive uses are the focus of this course. Prerequisites: GEOG 1201, 1202, 1203 or equivalent.


3550 Topics in Physical Geography (1 to 5 credits)

Investigations into various aspects of physical environment.


3560 Fluvial Geomorphology (4 credits)

Examines how water and sediment interact at Earth's surface to create a variety of landforms ranging from small rills to continental-scale river systems. Introduces fundamental fluvial processes or channel hydraulics and sediment transport. Examines common fluvial landforms including alluvial streams, bedrock streams, floodplains and alluvial fans. Combines traditional lectures and in-class discussions with numerous field excursions to rivers in the Rocky Mountains and Great Plains. Prerequisite: GEOL 3540 or instructor approval.


3600 Meteorology (4 credits)

The basic theory and skills of weather forecasting. Topics include through coverage of atmosphere dynamics and thermodynamics, the evolution of various weather types, the mechanics of storm systems (cyclones, severe storms, hurricanes), creation and interpretation of weather maps, and forecasting techniques.


3610 Climatology (4 credits)

Climatology is the study of the processes that result in spatial and temporal variation of weather. This course introduces the student to the processes responsible for the transfer of matter and energy between the earth's surface and the atmosphere and the average weather conditions that result. In addition, topics of global concern, such as greenhouse effect, El Nino, urban heat islands and acid rain, are discussed. Laboratory exercises provide an opportunity to investigate climate variation and climatic change through the use of variety of computer simulations.


3620 Applied Climatology (4 credits)

Climatic impact on environmental systems and human behavior; techniques to investigate climatic characteristics of environmental extremes (floods, blizzards), urban climatology and socioeconomic impacts of climate. Prerequisites: GEOG 1201 required; GEOG 3600 or GEOG 3610 recommended.


3630 Dendroclimatology (2 to 4 credits)

Systematic variations in tree ring width and/or density can be used to reconstruct changes in precipitation or temperature well before humans were around to record the variability. This class utilizes hands on methods to introduce the fundamental principles of dendroclimatology. Through readings and lectures, students will learn how tree ring growth can be correlated to climate change. Students will then undertake several research projects to reconstruct past climate variability in the Denver metro area using tree rings. Prerequisite: permission of instructor.


3700 Environment & Development (4 credits)

Course examines interrelated nature of environmental and development issues in the Third World; addresses the place of environment in development theory and practice. The political ecology of Third World environmental problems and sustainable development approaches.


3701 Topics in Geog. Info. Science (1 to 4 credits)

Topics vary by instructor.


3710 Envi Change E. Mediterranean (2 credits)

We tend to associate environmental problems with modern societies and high technology. However, humans have had impacts on the environment, and have had to cope with challenges brought by the environment, throughout their history. Western cultures are intimately linked to the eastern Mediterranean, where some of the earliest centralized governments arose, agriculture developed, and humans first began living in permanent settlements, so the region has a long history of human-environment interaction. This class focuses on historical, archaeological, and paleoenvironmental records from the region to investigate the impacts of human activities, including deforestation, intensive agriculture, and urban development, on the environment, and the ways in which societies in the region responded to natural environmental perturbations, including drought, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions.


3720 Mountain Environments (4 credits)

Mountain Environments and Sustainability explores the unique physical and cultural aspects of high relief and/or high altitude environments. Covering one quarter of the Earth's land surface, mountains directly or indirectly impact the lives of millions of people. We examine the significance of mountains to climate, water resources, and human activities, and discuss the sustainability of these environments and communities in light of rapid changes in many mountain regions resulting from anthropogenic factors and global change. GEOG 1201, 1202, and 1203 or instructor approval.


3730 Internatl Environmental Policy (4 credits)

This course acquaints students with the global perspective on current problems of environmental protection and resource use. Population growth, food production, industrialization, technology and cultural change are considered, with heavy emphasis on the social dynamics of environmental problems. A variety of political views are studied, and an attempt is made to develop a perspective useful to students in personal and political decisions.


3740 Env. Justice in the City (4 credits)

This course is designed to acquaint students with environmental justice in the urban environment. This class focuses on the City of Denver as a laboratory to explore the disproportionate impacts of social justice issues, particularly urban pollution, healthy food sources, gentrification, light rail, and employment opportunities, on neighborhoods and communities. A variety of views are studied, and an attempt is made to develop a perspective useful to students to explain urban social justice conditions.


3800 Geography of Colorado (4 credits)

This course focuses on the physical and human geography of Colorado, a state that includes the western Great Plains, the southern Rocky Mountains, and the eastern Colorado Plateau. Colorado's varied natural landscapes provide equally varied settings for human settlement and resource use. Prerequisite: GEOG 1201, 1202, and 1203 strongly recommended.


3830 Nat Resrce Analysis & Planning (4 credits)

Natural resources provide the basis for all human agricultural and industrial activities. This course discusses our resource distribution, conservation, management and sustainable use.


3840 Water Resource Analysis (4 credits)

The focus of this course is on complex policy, economic and local, national and international, and political issues surrounding resource use in the western U.S. Issues include exploitation of nonrenewable and renewable energy and mineral resources; and flexible responses to changing public policy.


3850 Renewable Energy Technologies (4 credits)

The discussion of our dependency on fossil fuels has been in the forefront of energy discussions for more than 30 years. Experts currently predict that peak world oil production will be reached near the beginning of the 21st century, and will decline steadily thereafter. The Middle East and OPEC countries, areas associated with frequent political unrest, control most of the world's oil supply. Education in alternative and renewable energy sources is critical to ensuring a good energy usage mix for future generations. This course helps students understand alternative and renewable energy technologies that have been developed and know the positive and negative aspects of each energy source. U.S. energy policy is briefly discussed. A cost-benefit analysis for each form of alternative energy is studied to help students determine which types are practical on a large scale. Particular attention is paid to the efficiency of each energy source, as well as limitations in the extraction of usable energy from each source.


3860 GIS Apps Natural Resources (4 credits)

In this course we will use a case study approach to examine domestic and international natural resources such as oil, coal, timber, minerals, and recycled materials. We will use a case study approach to look at resource distribution, and the environmental impacts of extraction, production, and disposal, as well as the legal and economic context. We will use GIS data and analysis to enhance our understanding of these case studies, and students will do a project and paper using GIS data and image analysis at a local, regional or global scale. Prerequisite: Introduction to GIS or Introduction to GIS Modeling.


3870 Water Resrcs & Sustainability (4 credits)

In this course, we look at water as both a local and global resource and examine what sustainability means for human and ecological realms. After an overview of the physical processes that drive the hydrologic cycle, surface and groundwater hydrology, we examine how we humans have harnessed water for our use and how we both alter and treat its quality. We examine the legal aspects of water allocation in the U.S. and the groups and agencies that are most involved in managing and overseeing water issues. Finally, we examine the most pressing water "issues" related to wildlife, development, scarcity and conflict. We look forward to imagining the power of both the individual and the collective in meeting our future, global water needs.


3880 Cleantech and Sustainability (4 credits)

Cleantech has only recently become part of our vernacular and it refers to the technology that enables us to produce energy in a manner that has little or no environmental impact (solar, geothermal, wind, responsible biofuels). Clean technology will not only offer us a chance to rehabilitate the climate, but should make us more aware of how fundamental our approach to everyday life needs a more sustainable consciousness. As part of the debate, we will examine some of the problems facing civilization, why we are not sustainable, who the major players are, and how a more sustainable existence is not just our moral obligation, but it is also good economics, sound foreign policy, and it will accelerate poverty alleviation.


3890 Ecological Economics (4 credits)

Ecological Economics is an emerging transdisciplinary endeavor that reintegrates the natural and social sciences toward the goal of developing a united understanding of natural and human-dominated ecosystems and designing a sustainable and desirable future for humans on a materially finite planet. In this course we start with a basic overview and summary of the neo-classical economic perspective with a particular focus on the recognized market failures of public goods, common property, and externalities. We begin with a reconceptualization of economic theory by imposing scientific constraints (e.g. conservation of mass and energy, the laws of thermodynamics, evolutionary theory, etc.). Using the ideas developed in this reconceptualization of economic theory we explore the implications for international trade and myriad public policies associated with the ethical, environmental, and economic aspects of sustainability.


3910 Process Geomorphology (4 credits)

The land surface of Earth is continuously altered by geomorphic processes. This class focuses upon the nature of these processes, the work that they perform and the resulting landforms. In addition, students become familiar with various methods of geomorphic analysis through the laboratory component of the class. Prerequisite: GEOG 1202 or GEOG 1217 or instructor's permission.


3920 Remote Sensing Seminar (4 credits)

Special topics in advanced remote sensing.


3930 Cultural Geography Seminar (4 credits)

Topics, methods and current research in cultural geography.


3940 Urban Geography Seminar (4 credits)

International comparison of economic and social, positive and negative aspects of urban systems. Prerequisite: GEOG 3400 or GEOG 3420.


3950 Physical Geography Seminar (2 to 4 credits)


3955 Pollen Analysis Seminar (3 credits)

Pollen grains preserved in sediment provide long-term records of vegetation conditions. Changing proportions of pollen types may reflect climatic fluctuation or human impacts. We review important recent research in pollen analysis (palynology), pollen sampling, laboratory techniques and pollen identification. Students are responsible for counting a number of samples and contributing data for a pollen diagram.


3960 Climatology Seminar (4 credits)

In-depth study of selected aspects of climatology. Topics dependent on instructor. Prerequisite: GEOG 3610 or equivalent.


3970 Int'l Service Learning: (1 to 5 credits)

This is a generic course for service learning with project to vary with different topics. All of the International Service Learning projects will combine academic study at the University of Denver with further academic study and service work in-country. Students will perform at least 60 hours of service, attend lectures by local and international experts, hear from guest speakers, visit sites of environmental and cultural interest, and complete a series of writing assignments. Students will also attend campus classes prior to traveling to their site designed to provide students with background on the history, culture and environment of the country. This course will provide students with an unparalleled opportunity to observe and participate actively in one developing nation's efforts to balance environment, development and social concerns in a manner that is sustainable for present and future generations. This course will also provide students with the opportunity to learn about environmental issues. Through lectures, written work and discussion, students will apply academic knowledge and theories to their actual experience, focusing on issues related to the environment, social and economic development, and culture.


3980 Regional Geography Seminar (4 credits)

Study of part or all of a specific regional division such as Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, South America or North America.


3990 Undergraduate Research Seminar (1 credits)

This course is designed to prepare students who will participate in faculty-supervised summer research projects. Students are introduced to research design, use of the scientific method, research expectations and reporting of result. Preparation of formal research proposal with adviser.


3991 Independent Study (1 to 5 credits)


3992 Directed Study (1 to 10 credits)


3995 Independent Research (1 to 5 credits)


3999 Geographic Internship (1 to 5 credits)

Supervised internship in a government office at local, state or federal level or within private sector. Prerequisites: 15 quarter hours in geography and approval or department. Maximum of 10 quarter hours total.


4000 Fundamental Geog Perspective (3 credits)

A foundation course for persons in the community, without a degree in geography, who want to purse an education in or make use of computer-based geographic technology but who need a foundation in geographic concepts and perspectives.


4010 History and Philosophy of Geog (2 credits)


4020 Geog Research Methodology (3 credits)


4030 Advanced Field Research (1 to 5 credits)


4040 Research Topic Identification (1 to 2 credits)


4100 ApplicationDesign/ProductionI (4 credits)

First of a two quarter sequence designed to be a culminating educational experience. Primarily lab-based with some lecture material, the various application requirements and guidance on how to go about accomplishing Application Design and Production tasks is provided. Prerequisites: GEOG 2000, 2100/3100 or equivalent.


4105 ApplicationDesign/ProductionII (4 credits)

This course places emphasis on programming and producing technical reports and/or papers that will be published in the Geography Department's on-line applications library. Prerequisite: GEOG 4100.


4410 Economic Geography (4 credits)

The study of the location and spatial organization of economic activities at the local, national, and global scales. Concerned with the spatial configuration of firms, networks, industries, and regions within the emerging global economy.


4460 Air Transportation & Tourism (4 credits)

This course will be cross listed with GEOG 3460 Air Transportation & Tourism.


4810 Geography of Latin America (4 credits)

In this course, we examine how past and present cultural preferences and political economies effect changes in Latin American landscapes.


4900 Graduate Colloquium in Geog (1 to 3 credits)

Solid foundation in history and philosophy of the discipline of geography; basis for further exploration of major research specialization.


4950 Advanced Field Research (1 to 17 credits)


4991 Independent Study (1 to 5 credits)


4992 Directed Study (1 to 10 credits)


4993 Capstone or Project (1 to 4 credits)

Includes technical design and development for MA geotechnical track project and MS-GIS capstone project.


4994 Report (1 to 5 credits)


4995 Independent Research (1 to 5 credits)

Includes field research for doctoral dissertation.


4999 Geographic Internship (1 to 5 credits)


5991 Independent Study (1 to 5 credits)


5992 Directed Study (1 to 5 credits)


5995 Independent Research (1 to 10 credits)