An introduction to the world and its major regions, focusing on traits, processes, and geographical patterns which give regions their distinctive character. These elements are derived from the complex interrelationships between human activity and the environment. Regional case studies may include: Europe, monsoon Asia, sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, and others.
This course introduces environmental geography through an integrative approach that explores how humans have impacted and been impacted by earth’s physical systems. Human linkages with the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and solid earth will be explored. Emphasis will be placed on geographical problems and interaction between humans and environment of varying scales in order to better understand the complexity of our natural world. Where appropriate, case studies will be used to highlight specific methods of geographical analysis.
By developing literacy in core geospatial concepts and reinforcing skills in numeracy, students are given the opportunity to acquire foundational knowledge for geography and related disciplines such as anthropology, biology, environmental science and geology. Students examine map characteristics and interpretation, geographical information systems (GIS), remote sensing, image interpretation, and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS). This course is normally taught online.
This course provides an overview of the physical, social, cultural and economic geographical characteristics of Canada taken as a whole and within its distinct regions. How humans affect and are affected by the physical environment will be a recurrent theme.
Students are provided with an overview of the processes and patterns of urban development and change presented through traditional and contemporary models, underscoring the complex interaction of historical, morphological, environmental, technological, social, political, and economic landscapes occurring throughout urban areas.
Geomorphology is the scientific study of landforms and landscapes. Students explore the basic principles of geomorphology, with an emphasis on Canadian landscapes. In lab exercises, students investigate and apply common techniques of geomorphological data collection and analysis. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week
A geographic study of the physical, environmental, economic and societal aspects of the world’s oceans. Examination of the development of traditional and new uses of the oceans will focus attention on management issues. Regional case studies will be used to illustrate evolving concepts of oceanic management, including marine protected areas, territorial seas, and conflict of use issues.
Weathering and the origin of sedimentary materials. Introduction to sediments and sedimentary rocks. Processes of sedimentation and the origin of sedimentary structures. Interpretation of clastic and carbonate sedimentary rocks in the light of comparison with modern environments in non-marine, marginal marine and marine settings. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
With over half the global population now urbanized, cities play an increasingly important role in the contemporary world. Comparisons are made of the structure and function of cities in each of the global regions, and the benefits and costs are considered for a rapidly urbanizing world.
Students study of the spatial and temporal distribution of plants and animals on Earth. Local to global scale patterns of species distribution in terrestrial and marine environments are explained by examining physical controls, ecological principles, and human impacts. Concepts of speciation, evolution, migration and extinction are explored to examine species changes over space and time. Particular emphasis is placed on the role of humans as agents of change in biogeographical distributions. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
The economy is continuously changing, serving as a catalyst for restructuring and reorganizing. Students will be introduced to the key foundations of economic geography, global-local connections of economic change, patterns and processes of economic change, and economic actors and their interactions. The course is taught from a sustainable development perspective, exploring interactions between interconnected economic, social and ecological systems.
Students investigate weather and climate systems on Earth across a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. Topics include: the atmosphere, energy balances, microclimates, regional weather, and global climate processes. Applied meteorology and climatology will also be covered, including adaptation and mitigation strategies for severe events.
Students are introduced to the core geographic concept of place and critically examine its role in shaping (while in turn being shaped by) significant dimensions of cultural identity, including nationalism, heritage, religion, language, race and ethnicity, gender, sexuality, fashion, food, music and dance.
Students consider the design, conduct, evaluations, explanation, and dissemination of geographic research. Topics include: formulating research plans, conducting literature reviews, developing hypotheses, planning data collection, presenting results, evaluating evidence, and drawing valid conclusions.
Students are introduced to the critical design, compilation and construction of maps as a medium for communication and research. Issues surrounding data acquisition, online data sources and data quality is explored. Fundamental concepts and components of geographical information systems (GIS) are introduced using an experiential learning framework, merging theory and practice. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
Students examine the physical, social, cultural, economic, and political geography. Special emphasis will be given to the nature of past and present internal population movements and emigration patterns, regional variations in economic development, and the effects of membership in the European Union.
Students explore how geography and environmental studies is practiced and applied beyond the classroom. This professional development course is based on the principle of experiential learning while examining how our discipline is applied in the real world. In addition to class discussions and guest lectures, 15 volunteer service learning hours throughout the term outside the classroom will be required with non-profit, for-profit, private sector or government agencies.
Students use an interdisciplinary framework to examine diverse approaches to implementing socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable development initiatives, in Canada and internationally, with emphases on wealth and poverty, consumption, population, and environment. Students examine the geography of international development by looking at a selection of acute development problems and their attempted solutions, with examples drawn primarily from Africa and Latin America.
The physical and human geography of a selected Canadian region will be studied primarily in the field in this experiential learning course. Trip destinations may vary in different years according to faculty interests and collaborative opportunities that may arise. An integrative regional geography perspective will be taken. Students will be required to attend orientation and preparation classes before the trip, and to complete assigned course work after the trip.
Students explore the geographical backgrounds to selected issues of current public interest, through geography's perspective of integrating human and physical environments. Selected issues are analyzed at interdependent scales from the global to the local. Critical perspectives on multi-media are emphasized in relation to a variety of current events.
Students consider geomorphological processes that are of societal significance, including habitat loss and hazards such as flooding, landslides, slope failure and coastal erosion. Approaches to mitigating and adapting to natural and human induced geomorphic changes will be explored using global case studies and local hands-on examples. Students undertake 12 hours of volunteer practicum-service learning hours with local practitioners throughout the term. Classes 3 hrs. and lab/practicum 3 hrs. a week.
Students explore cities; their physical components (e.g. streets, buildings, infrastructure, green spaces), techniques for their evaluation, and theories about how they develop. Students consider how urban landscape influences culture, environment, society, and the economy.
This course provides a framework for effective identification, analysis, and management of environmental systems at different scales. It introduces concepts and methods designed to address real-world problems characterized by complexity, uncertainty, and change. Specific geographical environments and selected management issues (such as water pollution, soil erosion, and waste management), are examined, together with methods of environmental planning and impact assessment, including practical aspects of environmental management standards.
Transition zones connect, while boundaries separate, regions in geographical space. This online course will examine the variety and characteristics of transition zones and boundaries and pursue explanations of gradients across transition zones. A pan-geographic approach will focus on human, plant, and animal responses to, and movements across, boundaries and transition zones.
Examines the nature of rural settlement and land use in various cultural and technological settings. Emphasis is placed on agricultural patterns, and the changing organization of the countryside in modern societies. Topics include frontier settlement; land surveys; village morphology; land abandonment; farm enlargement and fragmentation; forestry, mining, and recreational uses; commuting; and conflicts over multiple land use and scenic preservation.
The North has become increasingly important in the globalized world. Students will identify and explore the Provincial North, the Territorial North, and international northern regions. Perspectives on major geographical challenges in the North are explored, such as the interactions of growing demand for natural resources, migration and mobility, globalization, and the influences of climate change.
The world economy has been reconfigured by an increasingly interconnected global movement of goods, money, information and people. Students are provided with an overview of various aspects of global economic processes with case studies looking at locally specific outcomes. Themes covered include: uneven development and debates around globalization, the changing structures of major industrial/economic sectors, new international division of labour, and the role of geography in the global economic processes.
Students are introduced to methods and problems in the collection, description, and analysis of geographic data. Included are descriptive and inferential statistics for spatial data, regression and correlation, analysis of patterns, and use of statistical software. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
Students explore historical and contemporary conceptions of nature to assess how they shape and are shaped by culturally produced ‘natural’ landscapes. Landscapes to be analyzed will include: wilderness reserves, rural countryside, suburban yards, city parks, urban gardens, and zoos.
This course explores the geographical diversity of the province, with particular emphasis on interrelationships between physical and human patterns. A section on the physical environment is followed by a discussion of settlement, cultural patterns, and economic development. Current issues of resource development, industrial reorganization, environmental management, and land use planning are addressed.
Students are introduced to the geography of Africa south of the Sahara. Economic, historical, political, social, cultural and environmental issues will be examined in the large, diverse region. Students will gain an understanding of the spatial distribution of geographic and environmental phenomena both from a human, economic and physical perspective.
Changes in populations over time have dramatic implications for society and the environment. Students learn the key concepts, theories, and methods of demography. Students examine the current Canadian and international demographic trends, utilizing data from agencies such as Statistics Canada and the OECD.
Students study the acquisition, storage, manipulation, analysis, interpretation, and applications of remotely sensed digital imagery with an emphasis on remote sensing of terrestrial surfaces. A range of sensors and spatial scales of imagery are introduced. Image interpretation and processing skills are developed using current image processing software in the lab. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
Students examine global, regional and sectoral impacts of climate change with an emphasis on geographical, bio-physical and socio-economic factors influencing risk and vulnerability. Students explore how individuals and communities can increase resilience through adaptation using regional and international examples.
Students focus on applied geospatial analyses using ArcGIS and associated extensions. Topics include spatial analysis and geostatistics, 3D surface modelling, visualization, network analysis, predictive modelling and multiple criteria evaluations. Examples are drawn from earth and environment science, geography, environmental studies, anthropology and business. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
Students are introduced to major qualitative research methods utilized by geographers. Topics include: data collection (interviewing, participant observation, textual analysis, focus groups, photovoice) and data analysis.
Students examine processes and landforms associated with rivers. Topics include drainage basin controls, channel processes and morphology, erosional and depositional fluvial landforms, and evolution of fluvial landscapes. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
In this interdisciplinary field course students examine physical, biological and human environments, processes and issues in the Bay of Fundy region from both a historical and a contemporary view. Topics include physical and biological processes such as tides and biological productivity, ecosystems such as tidal flats and salt marshes, settlement patterns, and resource use. Emphasis is placed on current issues and solutions.
Students study the physical and human geography of selected international regions primarily in the field in this experiential learning course. Trip destinations may vary in different years according to faculty interests and collaborative opportunities that may arise. Student take an integrative regional geography perspective. Students are required to attend orientation and preparation classes before the trip, and to complete assigned course work after the trip.
The rapid transformation of Asian societies represents one of the most important shifts of the global economy in recent decades. Students examine Asia Pacific development as the product of global linkages as well as geographically specific socio-economic and political change. Through case studies, students explore various contemporary issues of Asia Pacific development. In particular, students examine the significance of transnational linkages that integrate and implicate Canada in the socio-economic development of the Asia Pacific region.
Students analyze major philosophical and methodological developments that have shaped modern geography in order to explore areas of common ground and divergence within our broad-ranging discipline. Throughout the term students address two fundamental questions: what defines the academic discipline of geography and how is geographical expertise applied beyond academia?
Students examine the evolution of cities from antiquity through the middle-twentieth century, including their morphological and functional characteristics. A focus is placed on the value of historical landscapes in today’s urban fabric, and techniques for their protection and revitalization.
Students examine both the physical processes that operate in the coastal zone, at a range of spatial and temporal scales, and the resulting landforms. The actions of waves, tides, currents, wind, sea level changes, biota, and humans are examined through the lens of ecomorphodynamics and process response models in sandy, cohesive, estuarine, rocky, tropical and permafrost coastal systems. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
Glaciers have profound effects on landscapes and are an important component of global physical systems. Glaciology, causes and records of fluctuations in glacial coverage, glacial processes, glacial landforms, and the legacy of past glacial activity on earth will be examined. Broader impacts of glacial activity and changes on humans and the environment will also be investigated. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
This interdisciplinary course is an examination of the management of natural resource industries such as fisheries, forestry, mining and energy, focusing on interactions between biophysical, ecological, socioeconomic, and technological components. Topics include: sustainable development and environment-economy interactions in the resource sector; approaches to integrated natural resource development; theoretical and practical aspects of managing resources and resource industries; economics of sustainable resource use; methods for analysing the impacts of resource use. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3hrs. per week.
Students explore the scientific foundation for ecosystem management, including its social, biological and ecological aspects. Structure, function, diversity and integrity of ecosystems, and their representation in ecoregional frameworks as units for management of resources are examined. Students study types of management systems, policy processes and the role of natural areas and protected systems in sustaining ecological integrity, including consideration of habitats and habitat diversity and fragmentation in natural areas.
Students are introduced to community and regional development theories, techniques, and approaches. Geographical perspectives of space, place, and scale will guide the discussions of community and regional development in the Canadian context. The course will blend lectures and applied research initiatives to provide students the opportunities to apply their knowledge to ‘real-world’ situations.
The location of residential areas in cities, and the differentiation and segregation of those areas by income, occupation, race, ethnic status, and religion are examined. Emphasis is placed on the historical evolution of social patterns, on the link between social areas and the physical fabric of the city, on competition between groups for amenity locations and facilities, and on the conflicts over noxious facilities.
Students explore the concept of integrated watershed management. This will include assessments of biophysical freshwater systems, implications for natural resource development and land use on water quality and quantity, as well as institutional arrangements and the role of stakeholder involvement in watershed-scale decision-making. Field trips to local watersheds will be incorporated into the course syllabus.
The physical and environmental planning of urban areas, with special reference to current practice in Nova Scotia are examined. Topics include the emergence of modern town planning, the Planning Act, planning process, structure plans, general and partial urban allocation models, municipal plans, zoning, subdivision control, site planning, urban renewal, and new towns. The costs and benefits of planning are appraised.
Natural hazards as a part of human-environment relations characterized by changing geographical patterns are examined. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, landslides, severe weather, floods, coastal hazards, extraterrestrial body impacts are analyzed in a multi-scale perspective, along with their functional relationships. The human impact of natural hazards is discussed, with an emphasis on environmental perception, public awareness and action. Possibilities of forecasting are examined, as well as risk assessment and mitigation strategies.
Students focus on theory and practical methods for characterizing the structural and dynamic features relating to environmental systems. Practical applications include environmental systems related to rivers, lakes, coastal areas, fisheries, forests, ecosystems, underground mineral distribution, atmospheric variables (wind, temperature), and pollution. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. per week.
Students investigate why and how people travel, in the past and today, before examining several prominent tourist landscapes to understand the particular geographies that both shape and are shaped by the tourist imagination. Students will also address ethical questions associated with tourism.
Maps reveal a great deal about the worlds of their makers, communicating the technical proficiencies, economic structures, social relations, political objectives and prevailing belief systems of the societies that call them forth. Students critically examine the map-society relationship in selected historical contexts, as well as in our contemporary society.
This course examines current research on sedimentary rocks and basins and the methods used to understand them. Among the topics to be covered are modern carbonate and evaporite environments, exotic chemical sedimentary rocks and diagenetic cements, volcanogenic sedimentary rocks, sequence stratigraphy in carbonate and siliciclastic successions, applications of ichnology (trace fossils), the use of stable isotopes in the study of terrestrial carbonates, and the use of detrital minerals to interpret basin evolution. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
Students further develop their understanding of geomatics and its applications. Students focus on the use of either geographic information systems (GIS) or remote sensing to address practical problems in areas such as resource management, marketing, regional planning, natural hazards and geomorphology. Students undertake a major research project using various GIS analytical functions, and develop skills relating to data creation, manipulation, quality assessment and presentation. Classes 3 hrs. and lab 3 hrs. a week.
The Honours thesis requires an independent research project to be completed under the supervision of a faculty advisor. The advisor will guide the student in the formulation of the research proposal, methodology to be followed, the collection and analysis of data, and in the writing of the thesis.
These courses will cover topics not represented by other courses in Geography. The subject matter will be selected by the instructor. If appropriate to the material, a class and lab mode of presentation may be used instead of classes alone.
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