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Department of Geography


Note that Spring 2023 courses — as well as times and meeting places — may change. While the information here will be updated as necessary, please consult the registrar's listing of courses for the most complete information.

Undergraduates may take 100- through 500-level courses. Graduate students will only receive credit for courses numbered at the 500-level and above.

Spring 2023 Courses

R = Thursday

Dr. Robert Kopack
Section 001: M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 201 
Section 002: M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 201

This course introduces students to the breadth and impact of geography through exposure to core concepts, sub-disciplinary approaches, basic cartography, and field research. The course content requires students to think about how their lives are connected to global systems and to reconsider the production and meaning of the landscapes they encounter every day.

Dr. Jean Ellis
T R  02:50 PM - 04:05 PM  |  Online — synchronous

Have you ever been curious as to why the sky is blue? How hurricanes work? Or how tree ring records can provide insight into past climates? Physical geography synthesizes many aspects of various Earth and life sciences but expresses them in a way that emphasizes patterns of interaction between the environment and humankind. You will learn about the intricate workings of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere; how these spheres operate as individual systems and how these systems interact collectively to make the planet we live on today.

Section 001: M W F 12:00 PM – 12:50 PM  |  Callcott 005 
Section 002: M W 08:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 302 
Section 003: M W F  08:30 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 005 
Section 004: T R  08:30 AM – 09:45 AM  |  Callcott 005 
Section 005: Online — asynchronous
Section H02*: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 005
Section Y01**: Online — asynchronous 

This course will explore how geographic data is collected, visualized, and analyzed in various digital formats (e.g. maps, aerial images, infographics, etc.). Our exploration will include learning about the basics of cartography (map interpretation and mapmaking), problem solving through spatial thinking, and geospatial technologies. Though the subject matter is technically oriented, this course will focus on the basic concepts and applications.

* Honors section
** Winter session course: 12/26/2022 — 01/15/2023

Dr. Catherine C. Studemeyer
Section 001: T R  2:50 PM – 4:05 PM  |  Callcott 003

Mr. James M. (Mike) Mewborne
Section J10: Online — asynchronous

This course introduces students to diversity, inequality, and interconnectedness in the contemporary world. In terms of diversity, this course highlights the ways that the physical environment, social and economic systems, political relationships, and historical circumstances have produced distinctive regional geographies. In terms of interconnectedness, this course explores the ways in which global processes—world trade, colonialism and neo-colonialism, geopolitical conflict, and climate change—have integrated different world regions into a complex global system. In terms of inequality, this course gives special attention to the way that regional and global processes intersect to produce and reinforce social and geographical disparities and differences.

Dr. John Kupfer
Lecture: T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 201 
Lab 001: T  11:40 AM – 01:30 PM  |  Callcott 112 
Lab 002: W  12:00 PM – 01:50 PM  |  Callcott 112 
Lab 003: W  03:55 PM – 05:45 PM  |  Callcott 112 
Lab 004: W  09:40 AM – 11:30 AM  |  Callcott 104

Landforms are physical features on the Earth’s surface such as valleys, mountains, hill slopes, beaches, and stream channels. The study of landforms (geomorphology) is one of the oldest of the natural sciences from which many classic scientific premises and methods were born. This course focuses on the principles of geomorphology and examines relationships between processes and landforms at a variety of scales in space and time. In particular, we will cover geomorphological theories, weathering and slope processes, erosion and deposition, and other factors responsible for shaping physical features on the Earth's land surface, emphasizing soils, hydrology, and processes of landform creation by water, wind, ice, and gravity.

Dr. Greg Carbone
Lecture: T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 003 
Lab 001: T  02:50 PM – 04:40 PM  |  Callcott 112 
Lab 002: W  09:40 AM – 11:30 AM  |  Callcott 112

Dr. April Hiscox
Lecture: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 003 
Lab 003: T  01:15 PM – 03:05 PM  |  Callcott 104 
Lab 004: R  08:30 AM – 10:20 AM  |  Callcott 112

This course provides students with a general understanding of the processes which influence weather and climate patterns. It first examines the sources of energy driving atmospheric processes, the importance of atmospheric moisture, and the forces creating the winds. The second part of the course focuses on storm systems, including mid- latitude cyclones and severe weather. The last third of the class is devoted to the study of climate, climate variability and change, and the im

Dr. Jerry T. Mitchell
T  06:00 PM – 07:15 PM*  |  Callcott 228

This introduction to the geography of Latin America focuses on several interrelated themes: human relationships with Latin America’s varied ecosystems; the long-term impacts of European colonization on indigenous people; demographic shifts, migration, and settlement; the politics of race and ethnicity; patterns of industry, trade and agriculture; and political relationships among states in the Western Hemisphere.

Reading and writing assignments will encourage students to examine regional variations within Latin America and differences and similarities between Latin America and Anglo America.

 * Class meets: 01/09/2023 – 03/13/2023 

Dr. Carl Dahlman
T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 101

This course covers a wide range of topics relating to the human and physical geography of the European subcontinent, including human settlement and migration, trade, resource extraction, commodity production, and geopolitical (re)actions. We will take a “historical-geographical” approach to the course—that is, we will consider key geographic patterns and transformations in different historical periods, specifically the Medieval/Pre-Modern period, the Age of Industrialization and Urbanization (the 17th to early 20th centuries), and the Contemporary Period (the period since WWII). In each period, the course highlights the mutually transformative relationships between economic production, state/regulatory systems, social organization, and the built, cultivated, and natural environments.

How, we will ask, did particular geographical systems come about in Europe, and how and why did they change? How did innovations in agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, and governance alter people’s livelihoods and re-shape the geographical landscape? The class will familiarize students with current realities in and events affecting Europe: a dynamic European Union, the Brexit vote, the re-emergence of populism, the refugee crisis, and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea. Throughout the course, we will constantly be asking, what is Europe, and what (if anything) makes Europe a “unique,” definable space?

Dr. Caroline Nagel
T R  08:30 AM – 09:45 AM  |  Callcott 104

Dr. Robert Kopack
T R  04:25 PM – 05:40 PM  |  Callcott 102

How does where you live influence who you are? How do our understandings of the world – our beliefs, values, dreams, and memories – influence the environments of everyday life? What can we learn about cultural identity and belonging by examining the landscapes and places we think are important to who we are? How does society reinforce or challenge issues such as social, economic, or political inequality through planning and organizing physical and social space? This course will introduce students to spatial ways of thinking about culture, including the interrelation-ships between power, meanings and values, ways of life, and the material things we create and use in ordinary life. By the end of this course students will be able to: define and use the concepts of space, place, and landscape to examine current social and cultural issues; demonstrate a geographic understanding of how identity and inequality are produced in society; and use spatial concepts and geographic methodologies to research a local cultural or social topic.

Dr. Cary Mock
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 101

This course explores interrelationships between climate systems and human activities and asks how climate changes can impact social, economic, and political life. Selected case studies will cover past climatic changes, contemporary global warming, climate determinism, and climatic hazards such as hurricanes, fire, and severe drought.

Dr. R. Dean Hardy
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 101

Water quenches thirst, sustains crops, generates power, cools industry, carries waste, and maintains ecosystems. Each of these functions has its own issues relating to distribution and access that play out locally, nationally, and globally. This course uses cases studies from around the world to explore the political dynamics of water distribution and access, paying particular attention to questions of justice, equity, and sustainability.

Dr. Grayson Morgan
Section 001: M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Online – Synchronous
Section 002: M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Online – Synchronous 

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) represent a major advancement in the management and analysis of geographical data. These systems are used extensively throughout all levels of government, private industry, and academia to provide support for place-based decision-making and problem-solving. Principles and methods of Geographic Information Systems are presented with an emphasis on modeling the Earth and abstracting geographical data; collecting geographical data using modern techniques such as GPS; mapping information; and analyzing spatial patterns and relationships. Practical experience with GIS is provided during the lab exercises using a state-of-the-art GIS. Students are provided free copies of the GIS software. There are no prerequisites for this course.

Dr. John Kupfer
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 102

This course introduces students to the major resource, managerial and recreational components of America’s National Park system. To provide a context for understanding current management issues, we will begin with an examination of the National Park Service’s history, development, mission, and decision-making framework. These will be followed by broad-brush treatments and case studies of current issues facing park system units, including wildfire management, invasive species, species reintroductions, pollution, recreation pressure, and other significant environmental changes.

Contract approved by instructor, advisor, and department chair is required for undergraduate students.

Research on a significant geography problem in the local environment. Emphasis will be on the development of relatively individualized experiences in scientific investigation.

Senior research thesis on a problem of fundamental geographic significance, supervised by faculty member; must include a written final project report.

Dr. Caroline Nagel
T R  04:25 PM – 05:40 PM  |  Callcott 104

Migration has been one of the most significant forces shaping modern societies. Today, no region or country is isolated from the changes wrought by population movement. The scale and diversity of migration flows can be linked to changing patterns of global integration. But migration is not simply an outcome of globalization; instead migration actively creates ‘the global’ by forging expansive networks of people, commodities, cultures, and political action. In this course, we will explore historical and contemporary processes driving migration flows, the impacts of migration on places of origin and destinations, and the multiple linkages that exist between migrants and their places of origin. We will also give special attention to contemporary political debates worldwide on border security, citizenship, and integration.

Dr. C. Patrick Barrineau
T R  06:00 PM – 07:15 PM  |  Callcott 102

Coastal regions in the United States are regularly stressed due to increasing rates of development as well as climate change. This course investigates the physical, social, and economic principles underpinning contemporary coastal management practices, and how these are used to mitigate anthropogenic as well as "natural" stresses. Students will learn about the competing interests of coastal zone stakeholders, interest groups, and industry. Perspectives covered include those of regulators, landowners, tourists, business leaders, political representatives, and resource managers. Concepts of conservation, preservation, and sustainability related to coastal regions will be discussed in detail. In order to provide a diverse set of perspectives, guest lecturers from regulatory agencies, private companies, and research centers will provide in-class presentations on their backgrounds and specializations. Students will learn coastal physical and ecological processes as a basis for understanding effective coastal zone management practices. Coastal zone management practices and policies will be considered at multiple spatial scales: international, federal, regional, state, and local, with a focus on the United States Coastal Zone Management Act and the South Carolina Coastal Zone Management Plan. The physical, social, and policy-based impacts of sea level rise and coastal hazards will also be discussed.

Dr. R. Dean Hardy
W  04:40 PM – 07:25 PM  |  Callcott 101

A discussion-based seminar course that examines nature-society relations in coastal regions globally. The course will use social theory to understand how uneven development processes shaped – and continue shaping – current coastlines. We will explore key topics including coastal capitalism, delta ecologies, and climate justice via several global case studies.

Dr. Susan Cutter
M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 302

This course 1) provides a historical overview of hazards assessment and planning within the United States including the legal frameworks such as the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and its amendments; 2) introduces the conceptual and theoretical background to hazards analysis including scale, geospatial models, and metrics for vulnerability and resilience; 3) introduces analytical tools used in hazards and vulnerability assessments; and 4) illustrates the application of existing hazards research on planning and analysis into contemporary practice. 

By the course’s end, students should be able to:
— Demonstrate the ability to think spatially, analyze hazards data, and provide a place-based hazard assessment for a community, county, state, or region
— Understand the geographical dimensions and information requirements for preparedness, mitigation, and recovery
— Understand limitations in measuring hazards and vulnerability at different spatial scales
— Critically evaluate hazard assessment methodologies including limitations in models and in available data streams
— Spatially represent hazards, vulnerability, and resilience at local to national scales

Students should already have some of the fundamental knowledge and basic introductory background in hazards and in geographic information systems.

Dr. Jessica Barnes
T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 104

This course will examine the political, social, and cultural landscapes of food and farming around the world. In the first part of the semester, we will trace global food systems from production to consumption. We will start at the point of agricultural production, exploring current controversies over international land grabs and genetically modified seeds. We will look at the global trade in food commodities and the inequalities embedded within the global food system. Finally, we will examine food consumption and the links between consumption, class, race, and identity. We will then turn to questions of food access and assistance, considering inequalities in food availability and various programs designed to help people meet their food needs.

Dr. Cary Mock
T R  04:25 PM – 05:40 PM  |  Callcott 101

This course will examine the main principles and controls of weather and climate as they occur at the regional scale. Description of the main types of meteorological data commonly used for daily weather forecasting. Analysis and interpretation of regional (synoptic) scale atmospheric circulation, mid-latitude cyclones, severe thunderstorms, and tropical cyclones by using weather maps, soundings, cross sections, thermodynamic diagrams, computer models, and satellite imagery. Introduction to techniques used in weather forecasting. The course includes mostly lectures and weather discussions/labs, with grading based on exams, participation in weather discussions and weather forecasting, and exercises/labs.

Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 302
This course introduces the fundamental concepts about remote sensing of environment with airborne and satellite systems. Topics include: 1) basics of electromagnetic radiation interacting with earth surfaces; 2) technical backgrounds of image acquisition and common satellite systems; 3) Earth observations with multi-spectral, thermal, LiDAR, and Radar remote sensing; and 4) example applications of remote sensing in vegetation, water, soil and urban developments. Knowledge of photo interpretation (GEOG345) is preferred but not required.

Lab exercises are provided to enhance students’ understanding of remote sensing based upon analog and visual image processing.

Dr. Tara Plewa Remington
M  04:40 PM – 07:10 PM  |  Online — synchronous

This course covers the technical and conceptual bases of Geographic Information Systems. This includes how GIS is used to perform spatial analysis, analysis of networks, incorporation of remote sensing data, and three-dimensional surfaces. An integral part of this course is the extensive experience students gain using an operational geographic information system. This experience allows the exploration of theoretical topics presented as well as examination and formulation of real-world applications areas as diverse as real estate, crime analysis, environmental protection.

Dr. Michael E. Hodgson
T R  08:30 AM – 11:00 AM  |  Callcott 302

This course presents geographical and temporal modeling concepts using GIS modeling languages and techniques. Practical laboratory experience with state-of-the-art software and hardware will be used. Material covered will include the cartographic modeling language concepts by Tomlin, deterministic and statistical models, coupled/embedded approaches for modeling implementations, and calibration/validation techniques. By the end of the course, students should be able to make informed decisions about the appropriate conceptual model, scale of analysis, and GIS implementation strategy for geographical modeling problems. Students will also be able to implement a variety of embedded models using ArcGIS and Python/Model Builder. Application examples in the course includes physical processes (e.g., hydrology, toxic-releases, flora mapping, animal behavior) and human-environment interaction (e.g., hazards, facility siting, accessibility, and attitudes-behavior). 

Prerequisites:  GEOG 363 or equivalent and some experience with a scripting language (e.g. HTML, JavaScript, Python).

Dr. Jean Ellis
M W  05:30 PM – 08:00 PM  |  Callcott 104

Course overview: How many times have you been to the beach? Have you wondered why beaches are different? Have you wondered why the same beach looks different every time you go? If you are curious to find these answers, consider taking GEOG/MSCI 590. In this course, you will learn about the changing beach and dune systems or beach-dune inter¬actions. This class draws on classic and contem¬porary research with a focus on field-based processes from a geomorphic perspective. Topics explored in this course include wave characteristics, tides, nearshore and wind-blown sediment transport, dune characteristics and evolution, and beach-dune models. Throughout the semester, there is an emphasis on acquiring an appreciation of the influence of wind. Students will obtain information from lectures, critiquing scholarly journal articles, generating presentations, and analyzing data.

Dr. Cuizhen (Susan) Wang

The internship in geography helps students acquire valuable "on the job" experience and develop marketable job skills as well as learn about employment opportunities and requirements. Students serve as interns with cooperating government agencies, or commercial and nonprofit businesses. A special effort is made to assign each intern to a position compatible with his/her interests, abilities, and career aspirations. The course must be taken for a grade to receive degree credit. Grades are determined in consultation with supervisory personnel in hosting agency. Grades are based on the performance of internship duties and the preparation of an internship summary report.

Instructor approval and a signed Internship Contract required.

Directed research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty. May be repeated for credit.


Theory and application of modern automated approaches to handling geographic data. Includes computer oriented procedures for the input, analysis and display of spatial data. Areas covered range from census address matching to statewide natural resource systems.


Dr. Conor Harrison
W  09:40 AM – 12:10 PM  |  Callcott 228

A survey of (1) the philosophical and intellectual foundations of geography as a discipline, and (2) contemporary ideas and debates in major subfields of geographic research.

Advanced directed research by a Ph.D. student on geographical topics to be individually supervised by graduate faculty. This course may be taken for 1–3 credit hours of independent study by a student working closely with a faculty member on a specific research project to be defined and agreed upon between the student and a supervising faculty member.

Dr. Susan Cutter
M  09:40 AM – 12:10 PM  |  Callcott 228

A research seminar where students critically evaluate relevant literature, develop a research proposal, and complete a related research project in environmental geography.


Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.