Skip to Content

Department of Geography


Note that Spring 2024 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 2024 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.

Youngjae Kim
Section: 001: M W  08:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 101

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: T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 005
Section 002: T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 005
Section 003: T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 005
Section 004: M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 005
Section H02*: M W 0 8:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 104
Section J10: Online
Section J11:  Online
Section Y02**: Online

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: 12/26/2023 — 01/15/2024

Section 001: M W  08:05 AM – 09:20 AM  |  Callcott 102 | Eleni Econopouly
Section 002: T R  08:30 AM – 09:45 AM  |  Callcott 101 | James M. Mewbourne

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 330
Lab 002: T  02:50 PM – 04:40 PM  |  Callcott 330
Lab 003: R  11:40 AM – 01:30 PM  |  Callcott 330
Lab 004: R  02:50 PM – 04:40 PM  |  Callcott 330

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. Gregory Carbone
Lecture: T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 003 
Lab 001: W  12:00 PM – 01:50 PM  |  Callcott 330 
Lab 002: W  02:20 PM – 04:10 PM  |  Callcott 330 

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 impact of such change on human activity.

Dr. Jerry Mitchell
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 101

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.

Dr. Catherine Studemeyer
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. Conor Harrison
T R  10:05 AM – 11:20 AM  |  Callcott 102


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. Kirstin Dow
M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 101

This course examines the relationship between society and the environment, that is, relations between culture, power, and environmental change. The course not only addresses themes of environmental degradation, but also considers the history and culture of environmental protection. In this regard, we will explore ideas of nature, such as frontier wilderness and biodiversity, and analyze the ways ideas of nature have influenced national identity, urban planning, and the branding and consumption of goods. In our approach to issues of environmental degradation we will examine the wider relations of power and economic production that drive environmental change, while critically examining popular framings of environmental problems and solutions. In situating issues of environmental degradation and protection in their wider political, cultural, and historical context, this course helps students develop and apply critical thinking skills towards the environment and their place within it.

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. Tara Plewa Remington
Section J10: M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Online – Synchronous
Section J11: 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.

Dr. April Hiscox
T R  11:40 AM – 12:55 PM  |  Callcott 202

This course examines the fundamentals of air pollution. The emphasis is on the role of the atmosphere: how air pollution affects surface climate, and how climate and meteorology influence air quality. We will examine historical and current air pollution policies and regulations, as well as the impact of air pollution on society.

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. C. Patrick Barrineau
TR  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. 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. Yuhao Kang
M W  02:20 PM – 03:35 PM  |  Callcott 302

Have you ever been attracted by the dynamic maps on popular websites and wished to create one yourself? Curious about how to build those impactful data-driven dashboards? Join us into the world of powerful dashboards, vivid story maps, wonderful and flexible Leaflet and OpenLayers, and immersive 3D maps using Cesium — we have got it all covered! No prior programming experience? No problem! Plus, explore cloud computing and the magic of JavaScript to create interactive, immersive, and insightful geospatial applications. Secure your spot and journey with us into a world where mapping meets the web!

Dr. Sicheng Wang
T R  02:50 PM – 04:05 PM  |  Callcott 302

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. Kirstin Dow
M W  03:55 PM – 05:10 PM  |  Callcott 104

Climate changes are taking place now. Climate adaptation planning is becoming ever more pressing. This course will cover the processes of climate adaptation planning and management starting with central concepts in adaptation to issues such as projecting impacts, vulnerability assessment, equity considerations, coping with uncertainty, and decision making. This course will focus on adaptation in the United States to allow us to consider some issues in more depth. We will consider case studies that reveal the diverse issues, approaches, and challenges in other communities large and small, and those well or poorly resourced.

Dr. Cary Mock
T R  01:15 PM – 02:30 PM  |  Callcott 101

An understanding of past environmental changes is imperative to distinguish between natural and anthropogenic variability. This course provides an overview of the tools and databases used to study past climatic changes and associated environmental responses in the biosphere, hydrosphere, and litho– sphere. An emphasis will be placed on 1) the past 2000 years since high resolution annual changes at this timeframe are important for planning schemes and impacts; and 2) the late Quaternary (last 125,000 years), particularly as it covers the last major ice age and interglacial cycle. Specific topics also include an overview of different proxy data types, climatic impacts on the environment, reconstruction of natural hazards, paleo- droughts, past human impacts and the Anthropocene, and paleoclimatic implications on future global warming.

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.

Dr. Carolone Nagel
W  09:40 AM – 12:10 PM  |  Callcott 228

An investigation into the concepts of the urban field and the urban region.

Approved by instructor and with department permission.
Thesis preparation research topics individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

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
T  04:25 PM – 06:55 PM  | Callcott 228

The seminar will focus on the concept of “resilience” and its applications for understanding the interactions between nature and society. Most famously used to describe ecosystem functions (adaptive capacities) after disturbance, resilience is also a key term in engineering and medicine. While paying homage to the multidisciplinary nature of resilience and the specific focusing on individuals, buildings, and systems, the class readings and discussions will concentrate on communities. Much of the literature will examine resilience in urban systems, especially in the context of climate change, but the seminar will also address community resilience in rural places especially in response to acute and chronic threats, crises, and hazards.

Approved by instructor and with department permission.
Dissertation preparation research topic is individually assigned and supervised by graduate faculty.

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.