237 Graham Building • 336-334-5388 • geo.uncg.edu

Administration
Corey M. Johnson, Department Head
Selima Sultana, Director of Graduate Study

About
The Department of Geography offers the MA in Applied Geography, the PhD in Geography, and Post-Baccalaureate Certificates in Global and Regional Studies Geography, and Urban and Economic Development. The programs focus on the application of theory and methods in geography toward the understanding of problems related to economic development, environmental quality, population change, and social well-being in urban, rural, regional, and international contexts.

Mission statement
The Department of Geography is a student-centered department having a three-fold integrated mission encompassing teaching, scholarship, and service. The Department offers a program presenting an integrative perspective on the relations among social, political, economic, and physical phenomena occurring across space. The Department is committed to teaching the concepts and research methods of the discipline to prepare geography majors for professional careers and/or advanced study. Non-geography majors are presented the geographic knowledge needed to understand the nature of the human and environmental patterns found in the world around them. Graduate student education is focused on preparing our students for advanced professional careers and/or further graduate study. The Department is committed to excellence in both theoretical and applied research. Undergraduate and graduate student involvement in research is encouraged to develop student understanding, reasoning, and technical skills. Through scholarship, teaching, and service, the Department of Geography is dedicated to bettering our community, nation, and planet.

Graduate Programs

  • Accelerated BA to MA Degree Program in Geography
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Global and Regional Studies Geography, (18)
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Urban and Economic Development, (18) (jointly with the Department of Political Science)
  • Master of Arts (MA) in Applied Geography, (34) thesis or internship or 37 hours non-thesis with concentrations in Geosciences Education for Teachers, and Urban Planning and Economic Development
  • Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Geography, (48-54)
Professors

  • Rick L. Bunch, Geographic information systems (GIS), spatial cognition, cartography. (E)
  • Keith G. Debbage, Urban planning, regional development, tourism. (E)
  • Paul Knapp, Biogeography, climatology, dendroecology. (E)
  • Jeffrey C. Patton, Cartographic theory, history of cartography, earth science. (E)
  • Selima Sultana, Urban/transport geography, GIS, quantitative methods, geography of race/ethnicity (Director of Graduate Study). (E)
  • Susan M. Walcott, Regional economic development. (E)

Associate Professors

  • Corey Johnson, Political geography, economic and urban geography, Europe (Head of Department). (E)
  • Michael E. Lewis, Natural resources, environmental management, applied physical geography. (E)
  • Zhi-Jun Liu, Environmental geography, GIS, spatial statistics, hydrologic/ecological modeling. (E)
  • Elisabeth S. Nelson, Cartographic perception and cognition. (E)
  • Phillip Royall, Geomorphology, drainage basin dynamics, soil science, water resources. (E)
  • Roy S. Stine, Remote sensing, GIS. (E)

Assistant Professors

  • Gerald J. Lennartson, Environmental planning, hazards, meteorology.

Emeritus

  • D. Gordon Bennett, Demographic analysis, world population problems. (E)
Application and Admission
Qualified UNCG undergraduate students who are pursuing the B.A. in Geography may apply for admission to the Accelerated Degree Program (Applying for Admission). A cumulative undergraduate GPA of at least 3.5 based on at least 30 hours earned at UNCG is required. Applicants must have completed at least 60 semester credits and may not apply for admission to the ADP before the first semester of the junior year. Applicants will not be required to take the GRE. All applicants must submit the Request for Accelerated Degree Program to The Graduate School and must simultaneously apply for admission to the graduate degree program.

Admitted students may apply a maximum of 12 credits of graduate-level coursework (each course carries 3 credits) from the following course list toward completion of both the undergraduate and graduate degree, provided they earn a grade of “B” (3.0) or better in each course and fulfill graduate-level requirements:
GEO 502 Urban Planning (3)
GEO 504 Political Geography (3)
GEO 510 Biogeography (3)
GEO 511 Advanced Weather and Climate -Synoptic Climatology (3)
GEO 522 Geography of Livable Cities (3)
GEO 557 Advanced Cartography (3)
GEO 559 Advanced Remote Sensing–Imaging (3)
GEO 560 Seminar in Regional Geography (3)
GEO 570 Applied Physical Geography (3)

Degree Requirements
Please consult with an advisor to determine how the courses taken at the graduate level will meet requirements in the bachelor’s degree program. All degree requirements for the B.A. and M.A. degree in Geography remain the same.

Global and Regional Studies Geography, PBC, (18)

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Global and Regional Studies Geography emphasizes knowledge and skills needed to prepare students to work in positions in government, international business, and global non-profit organizations. Courses focus on the contemporary political economy of countries in various global regions from East Asia to Europe.

The program requires 18 semester hours of course work (15 hours of core courses and 3 hours of approved electives).

Application and Admission
For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.

Certificate Requirements
Please consult the department for any prerequisite courses that may be required.

Required Core Courses (15)
GEO 504 Political Geography (3)
GEO 533 Regional Economic Development (3)
GEO 602 Regional Planning (3)
GEO 633 Advanced Topics in European Geography (3)
GEO 635 Geography of Asia (3)

Electives (3)
Select one from the following:
GEO 560 Seminar in Regional Geography (3)
HIS 508 Latin America and Caribbean: Selected Topics (3)
HIS 564 Modern Britain: Selected Topics (3)
HIS 574 Modern Germany: Selected Topics (3)
HIS 575 Modern Russian History: Selected Topics (3)
PSC 610 Public Policy Analysis (3)

Urban and Economic Development, PBC (GEO), (18)

The Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Urban and Economic Development requires 18 semester hours and is offered jointly by the departments of Political Science and Geography. It is designed to meet the training needs of those currently working in or planning to work in urban planning or community and economic development. This certificate requires courses emphasizing the knowledge and skills to prepare students to work in organizations focusing on urban planning and community economic development activities in government and nonprofit organizations.

Application and Admission
For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions. In addition to the application materials required by The Graduate School, applicants must submit a personal statement.

Required Core Courses (12)
Geography (6)–choose two of the following courses:
GEO 502/ENT 502 Urban Planning (3)
GEO 522 Geography of Livable Cities (3)
GEO 602 Regional Planning (3)

Political Science (6)–choose two of the following courses:
PSC 520 Urban Political System (3)
PSC 620 Urban and Regional Development Policy (3)
PSC 630 Community and Economic Development Theory and Practice (3)

Electives (6)
Select two from the following courses:
GEO 502/ENT 502 Urban Planning (3)
GEO 522 Geography of Livable Cities (3)
GEO 602 Regional Planning (3)
GEO 603 Understanding Geographic Information Systems (3)
GEO 622 GIS Applications in Urban Planning (3)
GEO 631 Transportation Planning (3)
PSC 511D Strategic Planning (1)
PSC 511G Grantwriting (1)
PSC 511P Program Evaluation (1)
PSC 520 Urban Political System (3)
PSC 613 Local Government Administration (3)
PSC 620 Urban and Regional Development Policy (3)
PSC 630 Community and Economic Development Theory and Practice (3)

Applied Geography, MA, (34-37)

The MA in Applied Geography offers three options: a thesis or internship option requiring a minimum of 34 credit hours, including a maximum of 6 hours dedicated to thesis or internship work, or a portfolio option requiring a minimum of 37 credit hours plus completion of a significant project. The two non-thesis options result in a terminal degree.

The program leads to the acquisition of research skills and expertise appropriate to geographic analysis in a range of related fields including: Business site selection, environmental assessment, geographic techniques such as cartography, geographic information systems and remote sensing, transportation planning, as well as urban and regional development. Emphasis is placed in application of theoretical constructs in geography to solve real world problems at a variety of scales from the Triad and state to national and global issues.

Application and Admission
For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.

In addition to the application materials required by The Graduate School, applicants must submit a 250-500 word Personal Statement concerning your interest in geography.

Degree Requirements

Required Core Courses (4)
GEO 601 Research Trends in Geography
GEO 620 Spatial Analysis

Electives (24-33)
The student, in consultation with the advisor, will determine the appropriate courses to be taken in that individual’s program, including any cognate courses.

Research Courses (3-6)
GEO 695 Internship
or
GEO 699 Thesis
Research courses and comprehensive examination comprise Capstone Experience.

Formal Review and Examinations

  • Approval of master’s plan of study.
  • *Comprehensive examination (taken after the completion of 24 hours of course work; administered at midterm of the fall and spring terms).
  • Approval of thesis or internship proposal.
  • Final thesis defense, internship presentation of completion of portfolio.
  • Details concerning specific core requirements, the comprehensive examination, admission to candidacy, plans of study, theses, internships, and competency portfolios can be obtained from the Director of Graduate Study.

*Research courses and comprehensive examination comprise Capstone Experience.

Geosciences Education for Teachers Concentration
The Geosciences Education for Teachers concentration is directed towards students and educators interested in expanding their expertise in teaching geosciences. Completing the Master of Arts in Applied Geography with this concentration requires students to combine the core requirements of the M.A. degree with courses emphasizing the knowledge and skills needed to teach geosciences at the middle grades, secondary grades, and community college levels. The required core courses, formal reviews and examinations are the same as for the Master of Arts degree in Applied Geography, non-thesis, course-work option-with a competency portfolio. Within this framework, students will complete 38 credit hours by taking the required courses specified below. Note that GEO 560 and GEO 570 will be field course experiences for the GET concentration and students will present their portfolios as part of GEO 560 and GEO 570. (Students’ competency portfolios will be comprised of self-selected geosciences instructional modules designed while students were enrolled in GEO 607, GEO 608, GEO 609, GEO 610, and GEO 611.

Required Core Courses (38)
GEO 560 Seminar in Regional Geography (3)
GEO 570 Applied Physical Geography (3)
GEO 601 Research Trends in Geography (1)
GEO 607 Earth Science for Educators (5)
GEO 608 Weather and Climate for Educators (5)
GEO 609 Hydrology for Educators (5)
AST 609 Solar System Astronomy for Teachers (3)
GEO 610 Physical Geology for Educators (5)
GEO 611 Natural Hazards and Society for Educators (5)
GEO 620 Spatial Analysis (3)
GEO 560, GEO 570: Field courses

Urban Planning and Economic Development Concentration
The Urban Planning and Economic Development concentration is directed towards students who have an interest in preserving and enhancing the quality-of-life of urban areas and dealing effectively with growth and development issues. Students completing this concentration will combine the core requirements of the master’s degree in applied geography with courses emphasizing the knowledge and skills required to provide effective leadership in urban and economic development for metropolitan areas. The required core courses, electives, research courses, collateral expertise, and formal reviews and examinations are the same as for the MA degree in applied geography. Within this framework, the following 15 hours must be completed.

Required Core Courses (12)

GEO 502 Urban Planning (3) (cross-listed with ENT 502)
GEO 522 Geography of Livable Cities (3)
GEO 602 Regional Planning (3)
GEO 631 Transportation Planning (3)

Elective Courses (3)
Choose one from the following:
GEO 533 Regional Economic Development (3)
GEO 622 GIS Applications in Urban Planning (3)
PSC 620 Urban and Regional Development Policy (3)
PSC 630 Community and Economic Development Theory and Practice (3)

Geography, PhD, (48-54)

The PhD in Geography is an innovative program centered on the research-oriented application of geographical concepts and theories to the solving of real-world problems. The program requires 48-54 semester hours.

Application and Admission
For information regarding deadlines and requirements for admission, please see the Guide to Graduate Admissions.

In addition to the application materials required by The Graduate School, applicants must submit a 250-500 word Personal Statement.

Degree Requirements
At least 27 of the 33 hours in required core and cluster courses (excluding dissertation) must be at the 600 level or higher. Up to nine hours of course work may be transferred from another institution on approval of the Department.

Required Core Courses (9)
GEO 701 History of Geographic Thought (3)
GEO 702 Research Design (3)
GEO 720 Advanced Spatial Analysis (3)

Courses Required from Geography Clusters (24)
Clusters of courses from three broad areas of applied geography form the basis of the doctoral program. These three clusters are: geographic information sciences (GIS), urban and regional economic development and planning, and earth science and natural resource management. Students are required to complete two courses in each of the three clusters and an additional two courses related to the dissertation research cluster.

Dissertation (15-21)
GEO 799 Dissertation

Formal Reviews and Examinations

  • Diagnostic Exam.
  • Approval of doctoral plan of study.
  • Comprehensive preliminary examination (taken after the completion of 33 hours of course work).
  • Dissertation proposal approval.
  • Public dissertation defense.
GEO 502 Urban Planning (3:3)
Fundamental concepts and techniques of urban planning as it relates to enhancing overall quality of life with a primary focus on land use patterns, the environment, business and entrepreneurship.
Cross Listed Courses
ENT-502

GEO 504 Political Geography (3:3)
A systematic overview of relationships among space, place, and politics at multiple geographic scales. Topics include boundaries, geopolitics, nationalism, resource distribution, means of controlling space, and the spatiality of globalization.
Prerequisite
Junior level or permission of instructor

GEO 510 Biogeography (3:3)
Study of the geographic distribution of organisms and the factors/processes accountable. Emphasis on the increasingly important role humans play in influencing biogeographic processes.
Prerequisite
GEO 311 or GEO 314 or BIO 301 or admission to graduate program in geography or permission of instructor

GEO 511 Advanced Weather and Climate—Synoptic Climatology (3:3)
Exploration of atmospheric dynamics and general circulation patterns throughout the world. Emphasis on cyclogensis, surface-upper atmosphere links, tropospheric waves, vorticity, and forecasting.
Prerequisite
GEO 311 or admission to graduate program in geography or permission of instructor

GEO 522 Geography of Livable Cities (3:3)
Advanced study on the processes of urban population and economic growth from the perspective of urban livability. Emphasis on accessing and interpreting data from public or private sources.

GEO 530 Researching Opportunities in Entrepreneurship and Economic Development (3:3)
Students will learn how to conduct research necessary to make informed decisions for an entrepreneurial venture and measure and assess economic development opportunities. No business research experience necessary.
Cross Listed Courses
ENT 530, LIS 530, MKT 530

GEO 533 Regional Economic Development (3:3)
Theories of location of economic activity; techniques to assess impact of types of economic activity; policy and institutional issues related to local, state, and global economic development.

GEO 557 Advanced Cartography (3:3)
Advanced instruction in cartographic production techniques and introduction to cartographic research. Students will learn to evaluate academic literature and to implement research ideas using state-of-the-art technology.
Prerequisite
GEO 357 or permission of instructor

GEO 558 Advanced Geographic Information Systems (3:3)
Advanced concepts and methods in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Emphasis is placed on the analysis and modeling of geospatial data using raster and vector data models.
Prerequisite
GEO 358 or permission of instructor

GEO 559 Advanced Remote Sensing—Imaging (3:3)
Remote sensing of the environment using scientific visualization and digital image processing techniques.
Prerequisite
GEO 359 or permission of instructor
Offered
Fall

GEO 560 Seminar in Regional Geography (3:3)
Case studies of regionalism and the regional method in geography.
Offered
(Occ)
Notes
May be repeated once for credit when topic changes.

GEO 570 Applied Physical Geography (3:1:6)
Applications in physical geography. Topics include field experience in hydrology, dendrochronology, geomorphology, climatology, and mapping.
Notes
May be repeated once for credit when topic changes.

GEO 589 Experimental Course
This number reserved for experimental courses. Refer to the Course Schedule for current offerings.

GEO 601 Research Trends in Geography (1:1)
Overview of major research themes in geography. Student will meet faculty and other professional geographers, facilitating the development of research through field experience, colloquia, and conferences.
Prerequisite
Admission to graduate program in geography
Notes
Grade: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory, S/U

GEO 602 Regional Planning (3:3)
Regional development and planning processes focused on regional planning techniques and law.

GEO 603 Understanding Geographic Information Systems (3:3)
Study and application of geographic information systems for professional problem-solving, spatial analysis, and mapping.

GEO 605 Seminar in Environmental Studies (3:3)
Selected topics of current interest in environmental studies.
Notes
May be repeated once for credit when topic changes.

GEO 606 Environmental Planning (3:3)
Examination and analysis of environmental concepts and their relationship to various planning and management scenarios, including environmental issues, strategies, and plans.

GEO 607 Earth Science for Educators (5:3:6)
Study of the processes that shape Earth’s lithospheric, hydrospheric, and atmospheric realms. Practicum and course content are synchronized with the NC Standard Course of Study for Earth and Environmental Science.

GEO 608 Weather and Climate for Educators (5:3:6)
Examination of Earth’s physical atmospheric processes as they apply to weather and climate systems. Practicum and course content are synchronized with the NC Standard Course of Study for Earth and Environmental Science

GEO 609 Hydrology for Educators (5:3:6)
Examination of Earth’s water sphere, including Earth-Atmosphere interactions, and its importance as a resource. Practicum and course content are synchronized with the NC Standard Course of Study for Earth and Environmental Science.

GEO 610 Physical Geology for Educators (5:3:6)
Study of the materials that comprise Earth, and the processes shaping its near-surface environment. Practicum and course content are synchronized with the NC Standard Course of Study for Earth and Environmental Science.

GEO 611 Natural Hazards and Society for Educators (5:3:6)
Study of the Earth’s near-surface natural hazards, with discussion of anthropogenic influences and societal consequences. Practicum and course content are synchronized with the NC Standard Course of Study for Earth and Environmental Science.

GEO 612 Natural Resource Geography (3:3)
Application of geographical theory to natural resource use and distribution. Emphasis on resource use and constraints to development.

GEO 614 GIS Programming and Design Application (3:3)
Theory and practice in the creation of Geographic Information Systems using logic based programming and database construction tools. Emphasis on modeling of spatial information and logic-based approaches to GIS.
Prerequisite
GEO 558

GEO 620 Spatial Analysis (3:3)
Theory and practice in combining Geographic Information Systems software with statistical analysis software. Emphasis will be on the quantitative analysis and visual display of spatial information.
Prerequisite
GEO 558 and STA 571 or equivalent

GEO 621 Seminar in Geographic Information Science (3:3)
Research in geographic information science. Focus on current research in application of remotely sensed imagery, geographic information systems, and maps in the visualization and analysis of spatial data.
Prerequisite
GEO 359 and GEO 558 or permission of instructor
Notes
May be repeated once for credit when topic changes.

GEO 622 GIS Applications in Urban Planning (3:3)
Theory and practice integrating Geographic Information Systems with land use planning practice. Emphasis on advanced analysis and display of spatial data and information in support of land use planning decision-making.
Prerequisite
GEO 322 (or equivalent) and GEO 603 or permission of instructor

GEO 631 Transportation Planning (3:3)
Theory and practice of transportation planning with an emphasis on urban transportation systems.
Prerequisite
GEO 502 or permission of instructor

GEO 633 Advanced Topics in European Geography (3:3)
In-depth analysis of select advanced topics related to Europe. Combines systematic and regional traditions within geography. Possible themes include European integration, immigration, urbanization and cities, cultural preservation, tourism, the environment. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.
Notes
May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

GEO 635 Geography of Asia (3:3)
Examines dynamic economic, sociocultural, and political changes in Asia by looking at their roots in physical and human resources influencing rapid modernization within an ancient cultural framework.

GEO 641 Earth Surface Processes and Landforms (3:3)
Advanced systematic study of geomorphology with applications to human responses to natural hazards and environmental management.
Prerequisite
GEO 314/GEO 314L or equivalent advanced undergraduate course in geomorphology

GEO 690 Research Problems in Applied Geography
Independent study on a topic of special interest.
Prerequisites
Graduate course on the topic

GEO 695 Internship (1–6)
Practical experience in a professional setting related to the student’s main topic of interest. Includes written paper linking the topic to the experience.
Prerequisite
18 hours in the M.A. in applied geography program
Notes
May be repeated for a maximum of 6 hours credit.

GEO 699 Thesis (1–6)
Prerequisite
Permission of Geography Thesis Committee

GEO 701 History of Geographic Thought (3:3)
Seminar on the nature of geography and what geographers do. Focus on the history of the discipline, approaches to its study, major paradigms, and application of geographic theory.
Prerequisites
Admission to doctoral program in geography or permission of instructor

GEO 702 Research Design (3:3)
Design and execution of applied research projects as practiced by professional geographers.
Prerequisite
STA 571 or equivalent

GEO 711 Experimental Course
This number reserved for experimental courses. Refer to the Course Schedule for current offerings.

GEO 720 Advanced Spatial Analysis (3:3)
Theory and practice in spatial analysis with an emphasis on spatial statistics. Spatial pattern analysis, spatial association and interpolation, spatial data mining.
Prerequisite
GEO 620

GEO 730 Seminar in Earth Science/Natural Resources (3:3)
Directed readings and research proposal development on selected aspects of natural resource policy and management from the perspective of earth science.
Prerequisite
GEO 612 or GEO 641 or permission of instructor
Notes
May be repeated once for credit when topic changes.

GEO 740 Seminar in Urban Planning/Economic Development (3:3)
Directed readings on selected aspects of urban planning/economic development focused on theory and policy issues from a geographic perspective.
Prerequisite
GEO 502 or GEO 533 or permission of instructor
Notes
May be repeated once for credit when topic changes.

GEO 741 Seminar in Regional Economic Development (3:3)
A geographic perspective is applied to analysis of regional economic performance and change in the developed and developing world. Theory is integrated with strategies for development policy and planning.
Prerequisite
GEO 533 or permission of instructor

GEO 771 Doctoral Seminar in Geographic Information Science (3:3)
Advanced seminar in the theory, practice, and technical aspects of Geographic Information Science. .
Notes
May be repeated once for credit when topic changes

GEO 790 Independent Geographic Research (3:3)
Independent study on topic of interest in theoretical geography.
Prerequisite
Graduate course in topic
Notes
May be repeated for credit for up to 6 semester hours.

GEO 799 Dissertation (1–21)
Prerequisite
Completion of all PhD course requirements and examinations
Notes
Required of all PhD in geography candidates. May be taken in two or more semesters.

GEO 801 Thesis Extension (1–3)

GEO 802 Dissertation Extension

GEO 803 Research Extension (1–3)