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Geography Courses

These listings are sourced from Curricunet, and some courses may not be offered every semester. For additional information, contact the academic department, speak with counseling or refer to the current Class Schedule and College Catalog.

GEO 1 - Introduction to Physical Geography    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Assess the usefulness of the technologies of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing in observing and modeling physical processes
  2. Critically differentiate regional similarities and contrasts in climate types, landform styles, biomes
  3. Describe the individuals' role in his/her natural environment
  4. Identify techniques in observation that could be used to recognize and/or classify a roadside landform and rocktype

GEO 10 - Global Environmental Problems    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Assess how human activities, including the use of energy and natural resources, affects the natural environment, and how those activities have changed since the period of the Industrial Revolution
  2. Explain how the maintenance of biodiversity influences the evolutionary process and enhances ecosystem stability
  3. Identify the major globally-applicable physical processes affecting environmental change
  4. List the most significant observed changes in the atmosphere, ocean, and landmasses over the last 50 years

GEO 12 - Geography of California    ( 3.00 Units )
California’s physical, cultural, and regional elements. The physical geographic base includes: location, geologic history, geomorphic provinces, natural hazards and resources, climate, water resources, vegetation, and soils. Historically developed cultural themes include: Native American and Hispanic origins, migration patterns, settlements, population growth, ethnic diversity, land use, economic activities, and Pacific Rim connections. Human-environment interactions and issues are considered throughout the course. Field trips may be included.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Assess how human activities, including the use of energy and natural resources, affects the natural environment, and how those activities have changed since the period of the Industrial Revolution.
  2. Demonstrate place-name recognition and essential skills in interpreting and analyzing information from California maps.
  3. Describe California's contemporary diverse population through analysis of historic sequence occupance of Native American and subsequent immigrant groups, especially in terms of California's economic development history.
  4. Describe the historical evolution of major cultural viewpoints on the relationship between humans and the environment.
  5. Explain how the maintenance of biodiversity influences the evolutionary process and enhances ecosystem stability.
  6. Identify significant spatial relationships and patterns in California society including interactions between humans and their natural environment.
  7. Identify strategies and techniques commonly used in the political participation process in advocating changes in environmental law and regulation.
  8. Identify the major globally-applicable physical processes affecting environmental change.

GEO 13 - Climate Studies    ( 3.00 Units )
Climate Science is a rapidly evolving interdisciplinary field focused on the principles that govern climate, climate variability, and climate change with their implications for society. Elements of the climate system, atmospheric events and processes; factors controlling Earth’s climate types, climate classification, and contemporary technological tools and instrumentation used in atmospheric science. Examination of the climate record, paleoclimates, and climate modeling and forecasting. Real-world investigations of climate change issues through observation, prediction, data analysis, and critical thinking. Emphasis on the influence of human activities on climate change, trends in global and regional climate change, and both the scientific basis and policy implications of air pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, acid rain, deforestation, and urbanization. The economic, social, and political environment that interacts with the everyday experience and potential threats of global climate change. Field trips and observational activities may be included.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. observe, describe, and explain the elements and processes of Earth’s climate.
  2. apply the principles of atmospheric processes in explaining the classification, spatial distribution, and modification of global and regional climates.
  3. apply the principles of atmospheric processes in explaining the classification, spatial distribution, and modification of global and regional climates.
  4. apply the techniques, tools, and instruments of atmospheric science to the observation, statistical evaluation, portrayal, and prediction of climatic variability
  5. evaluate the influences of climate on human activities and critically assess the role of human behavior in affecting long-term climate change.
  6. critically assess the value and potential effectiveness of social and public policy alternatives in mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change.

GEO 1L - Introduction to Physical Geography Laboratory    ( 1.00 Units )
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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Articulate spatial interactions between atmosphere, ocean, and land surface
  2. Critically differentiate regional similarities and contrasts in climate types, landform styles, and biomes
  3. Evaluate the usefulness and value of emerging technologies in observing physical processes and human adaptation to the natural environment
  4. Identify improved skills in observing the world

GEO 2 - Cultural Geography    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Explain the relationship of sustainable environments to changing patterns of population, food production, increasing urbanization, and human-induced environmental change
  2. Identify significant patterns in the spatial organization of society, including interactions between humans, their cultural attributes, and nature
  3. List and/or classify the visable components of the cultural landscape

GEO 20 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Demonstrate a competent level of proficiency in techniques of spatial overlay of themes, design and production of maps layouts, and analyzie of geocoded databases information
  2. Recognize spatial relationships between different tpes of map features: points, lines, polygons, symbols, legends, and scales, evaluate and express the geographic underpinning of GIS, as opposed to other graphical approaches to mapping and locating phenomena
  3. Identify appropriate uses of major GIS display and data-type components: data frames, tables, layout, charts, and manipulate then producting in the presentation of information

GEO 21 - Spatial Analysis with GIS    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Define and identify appropriate uses of major GIS display formats and data types, and  demonstrate within a specific GIS interface (e.g. ArcMap") how to manipulate them productively
  2. Define and produce cell-based grid datasets of georeferenced data and use spatial analysis operators to query, retrieve, and classify continuous data
  3. Formulate geoprocessing and spatial intersection analysis functions appropriate in specific applications;  perform and evaluate the results of such processes (such as buffering, overlay, reclassification, address matching, and statistical analysis)

GEO 22 - Advanced GIS Applications    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Demonstrate proficiency in spatial overlay techniques and themes with digital images, raster grids, and vector data.
  2. Demonstrate advanced skills in designing well-organized presentations, including detailed maps, digital imagery, and graphic charts and diagrams.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in digitizing, and/or georeferencing new data for a GIS project.

GEO 3 - Economic Geography    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Describe how contrasting geographic and economic conditions influence the spatial distribution of specialized economic activities and the availability of resources
  2. Identify geographic factors contributing to the widening gap in economic wealth and power between more developed and developing countries, and how regional disparities are represented by core-periphery relationships
  3. Discuss major location theories for primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy, and how globalizing technologies and information systems have modified traditional locational patterns

GEO 5 - World Regional Geography    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Describe the prominent characteristics of major world regions in terms of relative locations, places, and cultures
  2. Identify significant spatial relationships and patterns in society, including interactions between human and their natural environment
  3. Critically discuss in greater detail and illustrate, with examples, cultural similarities and contrast in a diversifing world

GEO 8 - Introduction to Weather and Climate    ( 3.00 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.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)
  1. Assess the usefulness of the technologies of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing in observing climatic patterns and weather systems
  2. Critically differentiate regional similarities and contrasts in world climate types
  3. Explain the global radiation balance and its influence on patterns of global circulation in the atmosphere
  4. Identify the major globally-applicable physical processes affecting environmental change