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Geography Course Descriptions

Geography 1: Introduction to Physical Geography (3 Units)
Earth's natural environments, with emphasis on spatial characteristics, change over time, interactions between environmental components, and human-environment interactions. Physical processes, techniques, and tools by which Earth's climates, soils, vegetation, water resources, and land forms are linked into integrated global patterns. Effect of natural environments on human activities and how humans modify environments. Field trips may be included.

Geography 1L: Introduction to Physical Geography Lab (1 Unit)
Application of the concepts, techniques, tools, and materials of physical geography. Practical exercises, experiments, observations, data analyses, and computer applications/simulations which augment understanding of geographic processes, interrelationships, spatial patterns and distributions. Use of maps, remotely-sensed imagery, and geographic information systems. Includes locational reference systems, time-space relationships, weather, climate, soils, vegetation, and landforms. Field trips/field projects may be included. Prerequisite: Geography 1 may be taken concurrently. 

Geography 2: Cultural Geography (3 Units)

Spatial analysis of human populations, their cultural traits, and activities. Emphasis on how diverse peoples, through their interactions and through their perceptions and use of the physical environment, create distinctive cultural landscapes. Social, political, and economic elements of geography which contribute to the evolution of these global and regional cultural patterns. Field trips may be included.

Geography 3: Economic Geography (3 units)
An introduction to the world’s major economic systems; their spatial distribution and characteristics; their relative contributions to regional development and global change; and related movements of people, goods, and ideas. Techniques and tools of spatial analysis applied to human-environment interactions, with emphasis on ecological problems associated with specific economic activities. Field trips may be included. 

Geography 5: World Regional Geography (3 units)
Regions of the world and the way humans live within those regions. Includes physical and cultural characteristics of world regions, how they are similar and how they are different, economic patterns, agriculture, industrial development and population dynamics. Emphasis on contemporary major issues and their geographic impact. 

Geography 8: Introduction to Weather and Climate (3 units)
Introduction to weather and climate and their impact on and modification by human activities. Emphasis on weather elements, events, and processes; climate controls; and the techniques, tools, and instruments of atmospheric science. Includes atmospheric optics, weather prediction, severe storms, air pollution, global/regional warming/cooling, ozone depletion, acid rain, El Niño, deforestation, desertification, and other topics related to everyday experience and global climate change. Field trips and observational activities may be included.

Geography 10: Global Environmental Problems (3 units)
Essential concepts of the interaction between human activities and the changing global environment, with emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach. Causes of environmental change, including ecosystem processes, the history of human population growth and demand for natural resources, fossil fuel consumption, land use change, and pollution sources. Economic and public policy issues pertaining to the sustainability of environments. Discussion of the dynamics of participation and leadership in promoting improved stewardship of the environment. 

Geography 12: Geography of California (3 Units)
California’s physical, cultural, and regional elements. The physical geographic base includes: location, geological evolution; geomorphic provinces, natural hazards, and resources; climate, water resources, vegetation, and soils. Historically developed cultural themes include: Native American and Hispanic origins; migration patterns and settlements; population growth and ethnic diversity; land use and economic activities; and Pacific Rim connections. Human-environment interactions and issues are considered throughout the course. Field trips may be included.

Geography 19: GIS for the Social Sciences (3 Units)
An introduction to the techniques, theory, and practi­cal experience necessary to acquire, convert, and create digital spatial data. Hands-on training in the acquisition of existing Geographic Information Systems (GIS) data, metadata, formatting and conversion of GIS data, utili­zation of remotely sensed data, and use of Global Positioning Systems (GPS). Computer-based information technology tools and techniques that analyze spatial relationships between locations and attributes of human activities and behaviors that occur over space. Emphasis is on visualization of geographic relationships to support decision-making in the social sciences.

Geography 20: Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3 Units)
Computer-based information technology tools and techniques that analyze spatial relationships between locations and attributes of physical, cultural, and economic features. Visualization of geographic relationships to support decision-making through interactive linkages of maps, databases, images, and charts. Introduction to GIS theory, principles, concepts, applications, and operations. Field trips may be required.

Geography 21: Spatial Analysis with GIS (3 units)
GIS facilitates visualization of spatial relationships and decision-making by means of interactive linkages between vector and raster data formats. Addresses real-world application of GIS principles, industry-standard software tools and quantitative techniques to multi-layered thematic data. Students will acquire advanced hands-on GIS experience in managing, editing, merging, intersecting, and statistically analyzing spatial data from many diverse sources, and in preparing high-quality cartographic presentations. Field trips may be required. Prerequisite: GEOG 20 (completed with a grade of "C" or higher).

Geography 22: Advanced GIS Applications (3 units)

Practical, hands-on survey of some of the more advanced applications of GIS, integrating vector, grid, and digital image data formats. Emphasizes environmental applications of GIS industry-standard software tools to analyze spatial problems quantitatively, including network analysis, watershed modeling, digital elevation modeling, digital image processing, and digital rectification of multi-layered thematic data. Includes integration of Global Positioning System (GPS) operational characteristics, collection and interfacing GPS data with GIS. Field trips may be required. Prerequisite: GEOG 20 (completed with a grade of "C" or higher).