Geography

College of Behavioral and Social Sciences
Dean: Joel Kassiola

Department of Geography and Human Environmental Studies
HSS 279
415-338-2049
Chair: Nancy Wilkinson

Undergraduate Advisers: Roger Crawford, Max Kirkeberg, and Hans Meihoefer

Graduate Coordinators: Barbara Holzman, Nancy Wilkinson

Faculty

Professors—Crawford, Foster, Kirkeberg, Meihoefer, Westfall, Wilkinson

Associate Professors—Davis, Foschi, Holzman

Assistant Professor—Guo

Programs

B.A. in Geography
Minor in Geography
M.A. in Geography
M.A. in Geography: Concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning


Program Scope

The program offers a curriculum focusing on the spatial organization of environment and society and the interrelationships between the two. This includes the physical and cultural patterns and processes on the earth and human impacts on the environment.

The undergraduate major program assures a firm foundation in the discipline, an exposure to the diverse aspects of the field and the opportunity to develop individual interests. Four core courses are required of all majors. In addition, a distribution requirement consists of one upper division course in each of: physical environment, human environment, regional studies, and techniques or applied geography. Three or four upper-division courses focused on a coherent theme are selected by the individual student on advisement.

The internship program supplements the regularly scheduled classes. This program offers a wide range of placements as an optional part of the major. Such experiences entail first-hand application of skills and knowledge gained in the degree program.

The Masters of Arts in Geography is broadly based rather than highly specialized, reflecting the department's interests in persons with a variety of general carreer objectives in such areas as planning, resource management or education as well as those intending to pursue doctoral studies. However, opportunities exist for specialization, particularly in these areas: physical and cultural geography, natural resources and environmental studies, regional geography, urban geography, biogeography and geographic techniques. The Master of Arts in Geography: Concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning is designed to provide knowledge and skills necessary to carry out resource assessment, impact analysis, plan formulation, and implementation. It is designed for those seeking advanced training in resource management and environmental planning.

The M.A. program culminates in either a master's thesis or a research project and comprehensive oral examination. The concentration in Resource Management and Environmental Planning typically culminates in a research project and comprehensive oral examination.

Facilities

Research facilities available to students include Geographic Analysis, GIS and Biogeography laboratories, and a map library, as well as campus laboratories and library. The San Francisco Bay Area provides a stimulating and diversified setting for graduate work, especially for persons interested in urban, cultural, or environmental questions. Within the region a wide range of governmental agencies, academic institutions, and nonprofit and private organizations have research libraries, associated documents, and experienced personnel helpful in pursuing research topics. Internships are also sponsored in a variety of organizations.

No fellowships are available. Financial aid is limited to university programs such as work study. The department has some part-time technical staff positions and graduate assistant opportunities for graduate students in residence.

Career Outlook

Depending on the specific curriculum each student pursues, the B.A. or M.A. in Geography provides excellent preparation for a variety of positions in the public or private sector. Graduates have gone on to work for various recreational, water resource, and coastal resource and planning agencies. In recent years, there has been an increase in job opportunities for geographers. Increasing employment opportunities in environmental work and geographic techniques make geography students with appropriate skills highly marketable.

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN GEOGRAPHY

Students are advised that the CR grade is acceptable in any two courses to be counted for the geography major.

Online course descriptions are available.

Required Core Courses Units
GEOG 101 Our Physical Environment 3
GEOG 102 The Human Environment 3
GEOG 103 Geographic Techniques 4
GEOG 690 Proseminar in Geography 3
Total for core 13
Distribution Requirement (Cross-listed courses originating in other departments are not accepted in these categories.)
One course from each of the following four areas:
Physical Environment
300-numbered courses in Geography
Human Environment
400-numbered courses in Geography
Regional Studies
500-numbered courses in Geography
Either Geographic Techniques
601-639 numbered courses in Geography
  or Applied Geography
  640-659 numbered courses in Geography
Total distribution requirements 12-15
Focus of Interest
Twelve units of upper-division geography electives consisting of a minimum of three courses chosen on advisement. These courses will be organized around coherent themes such as those listed below. In addition, alternative concentrations tailored to individual student interest may be developed in consultation with the Geography undergraduate coordinator. On advisement appropriate upper-division courses from other departments and programs may be included.
Cultural Geography
Environmental Studies
Physical Geography
Resource Management
Techniques of Geographic Analysis
Urban Environment and Land Use Planning
Focused individual interest pursued in consultation with the undergraduate coordinator and focus
adviser
Total for focus 12
Total for major 37-40

Foci of Interest

Focus on the Cultural Environment

In addition to serving traditional liberal arts eduation, this option permits systematic study within a defined subfield: urban geography (422, 432, 433, 553), cultural geography (445, 455, 551) or a regional specialization (507, 550, 552, 570). appropriate upper-division courses in other departments are recommended to supplement these basic courses.

Focus on Environmental Studies

The focus on environmental studies is designed to provide students with an opportunity to learn about the processes that keep the environment functioning and the issues and problems that result from humans' use of the planet. GEOG 600 and 652 are required courses and GEOG 422, 427, 651, 606, and 620 are among those recommended.

Focus on the Physical Environment

This option offers the chance to focus on the physical environment. Landforms, climate, biogeography, soils, water and the interactions between the physical and human environmental are the foci (312, 314, 316, 317, 647). Appropriate upper-division courses in Geosciences and Biology to supplement these basic courses are recommended on advisement.

Focus on Resource Management

A central theme in geography is our relationship with the physical environment, specifically our use and abuse of natural resources. Courses central to this specialization focus on natural resource assessment, appraisal and management (425, 427, 600, 647, 648). Additional upper-division courses in Geosciences and Biology to supplement these basic courses are recommended on advisement.

Focus on Techniques of Geographic Analysis

This specialization offers a pragmatic, career-oriented option focusing on skills acquired in the geography program. The methodology includes cartography (606, 607), remote sensing and image analysis (610, 611), as well as geographical information systems (620, 621), quantitative geography (605) and field studies (602). On advisement, appropriate upper-division courses in other departments are recommended to supplement these basic courses.

Focus on Urban Environmental and Land-Use Planning

This specialization in environmental and land-use planning offers the student the opportunity to acquire foundation knowledge to prepare for entry level careers and graduate work. Key courses in geography include: 432, 433, 652, 655, and 658. Upper-division courses in the Urban Studies curriculum are particularly appropriate to this option.

Focused individual interests may be pursued in consultation with the Geography major adviser.

MINOR IN GEOGRAPHY

The Geography Minor consists of a core curriculum of three lower division courses plus twelve (12) units of upper division geography electives on advisement. These courses may be organized around coherent themes such as those described for the major. However, groupings of courses specifically appropriate to majors in other departments or programs such as International Relations, Geo­sciences, or Urban Studies are particularly recommended.

Students are advised the CR grade is acceptable in one course to be counted for the geography minor.

Program Units
GEOG 101 Our Physical Environment 3
GEOG 102 The Human Environment 3
GEOG 103 Geographic Techniques 4
Upper division courses on advisement 12
Total 22

MASTER OF ARTS IN GEOGRAPHY

Graduate Adviser: Nancy Wilkinson

Admission to the Program

For admission to the graduate program, a student must meet the general university requirements as stated in the Bulletin. For unconditional admission to the M.A. program in geography, a student must have completed an undergraduate major in geography with a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the major. An applicant with a GPA of 3.25 or better in a major other than geography may qualify for admission as a conditionally classified graduate student. The conditional status is removed upon completion of core degree courses in physical and cultural geography, and geographic techniques, plus two upper division geography courses on advisement, with a grade of "B" or better in each course. Units earned for remedial or prerequisite course work are not applied toward the graduate degree.

In addition to the general application and grade transcripts which are sent to the Admissions Office, the department requires a detailed Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation. Personal interviews with the graduate adviser and appropriate department faculty are recommended.

Written English Proficiency Requirements

Level One: within two semesters of admission to the program, the student must satisfy the university graduate literacy requirement by submitting to the department's Graduate Literacy Committee three copies of a scholarly paper appropriate to the discipline. The committee may accept the paper or require the student to undertake remedial course work which does not appear on the GAP. Level Two: the second-level university graduate literacy requirement is met by satisfactory completion of GEOG 898 or GEOG 895.

Advancement to Candidacy

In addition to fulfilling all university requirements, students must complete the required curriculum outlined below. All graduate seminars and all courses used on the Graduate Approved Program with the exception of 895 and 898 must be taken on a letter grade basis and have earned a B- or better. Not more than three units of Special Study (GEOG 899) and one unit of Special Study (GEOG 699) may be included on the Graduate Approved Program. Internship (688) units do not appear on the Graduate Approved Program. Each student must consult with the appropriate graduate adviser regularly and design an individual program leading towards the culminating experience requirement (thesis or research paper). For advancement to candidacy, the student must select a culminating experience committee comprised of two or three members, at least two of whom must be from the department.

Online course descriptions are available. Upper-division courses offered by the department may be included with the approval of the graduate advisers. Depending upon a student's background and/or objective, additional courses in geography or related fields may be required on advisement.

Program Units
GEOG 801 Scope and Method in Geography 1 3
GEOG 810 Seminar in Physical Geography 3
GEOG 820 Seminar in Cultural Geography 3
Total 9
Graduate seminars in Geography from the following:
(A seminar may be repeated for credit provided that it covers a different topic area and is offered by a different instructor)
6-12
GEOG 815 Seminar in Geographic Techniques
GEOG 825 Seminar in Economic Geography
GEOG 832 Seminar in Urban Geography
GEOG 850 Seminar in Regional Geography
GEOG 858 Seminar in Environmental and Land Use Planning
Graduate seminars and courses or upper division courses in geography or related fields on advisement 6-12
One of the following: 3
GEOG 895 Research Project and Master's Comprehensive Oral Examination
GEOG 898 Master's Thesis and Oral Defense of Thesis
Minimum total 30

Master's Oral Examination. A two-hour oral examination is required of all students. One hour is devoted to the research topic (GEOG 895) and a second hour focuses on a discussion of six foundation works in the discipline selected on individual advisement. The examination or either of its parts may be repeated only once. Students must have completed all course work prior to taking the oral examination which can be scheduled only during the fall and spring semesters. Examination guidelines are available from the graduate adviser.

MASTER OF ARTS IN GEOGRAPHY: CONCENTRATION IN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND ENVIRONMENTAL PLANNING

Graduate Adviser—Barbara Holzman

Admission to the Program

For admission to the graduate program, a student must meet the general university requirements as stated in the Bulletin. For unconditional admission to the M.A. program in geography, a student must have completed an undergraduate major in geography with a minimum GPA of 3.25 in the major. An applicant with a GPA of 3.25 or better in a major other than geography may qualify for admission as a conditionally classified graduate student. The conditional status is removed upon completion of core degree courses in physical and cultural geography, and geographic techniques, plus two upper division geography courses on advisement, with a grade of "B" or better in each course. Units earned for remedial or prerequisite course work are not applied toward the graduate degree.

In addition to the general application and grade transcripts which are sent to the Admissions Office, the department requires a detailed Statement of Purpose and two letters of recommendation. Personal interviews with the graduate coordinator, the graduate adviser, and appropriate department faculty are recommended.

Written English Proficiency Requirements

Level One: within two semesters of admission to the program, the student must satisfy the university graduate literacy requirement by submitting to the department's Graduate Literacy Committee three copies of a scholarly paper appropriate to the discipline. The committee may accept the paper or require the student to undertake remedial course work which does not appear on the GAP. Level Two: the second-level university graduate literacy requirement is met by satisfactory completion GEOG 895 or 898.

Advancement to Candidacy

In addition to fulfilling all university requirements, students must complete the required curriculum outlined below. All graduate seminars and all courses used on the Graduate Approved Program with the exception of Geography 895 must be taken on a letter grade basis and have earned a B- or better. Not more than three units of Special Study (GEOG 899) and one unit of Special Study (GEOG 699) may be included on the GAP. Internship (688) units do not appear on the GAP. Each student must consult with the appropriate graduate adviser regularly and design an individual program leading towards the culminating experience requirement (thesis or research paper). For advancement to candidacy, the student must select a culminating experience committee comprised of two or three members, at least two or whom must be from the department.

Online course descriptions are available. Upper division courses offered by the department may be included with the approval of the graduate adviser. Depending upon a student's background and/or objective, additional courses in geography or related field may be required on advisement.

Program Units
GEOG 751 Environmental Management 3
GEOG 801 Scope and Method in Geography 1 3
GEOG 810 Seminar in Physical Geography 3
GEOG 820 Seminar in Cultural Geography 3
Additional graduate courses selected from the following on advisement: 3-7
GEOG 858 Seminar in Environmental and Land Use Planning
GEOG 896 Directed Readings in Geography (1-3)
PA 730 Politics of Policy-making and Implementation (4)
PA 782 Seminar in Urban Planning and Public Decision-Making (4)
Additional graduate seminars or upper division courses selected from the following, on advisement, with a minimum of one course from each category below. 8-12
Category I: Resource Management and Environmental Planning
ECON 550 Economics of Energy and the Environment
GEOG 422 Environmental Perception
GEOG 427 Agriculture and Food Supply (4)
GEOG 600 Environmental Problems and Solutions
GEOG 647 Geography of Water Resources (4)
GEOG 648 Management of National Parks and Natural Areas (4)
GEOG 651 San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Issues (4)
GEOG 652 Environmental Impact Analysis (4)
GEOG 658 GEOG 658 Land-Use Planning (4)
GEOL 474 Engineering Geology and Hydrology or
  GEOL 475   Geohydrology
H ED 418 Environmental Health
Category II: Techniques
ANTH 491 Archaeological Methods (4)
BIOL 845 Ecological Methods
GEOG 607 Advanced Cartography (4)
GEOG 610 Remote Sensing of the Environment I (4)
GEOG 611 Remote Sensing of the Environment II (4)
GEOG 620 Geographical Information Systems (4)
GEOG 685 Field Methods in Geography (4)
GEOG 705 Geographical Analysis
GEOG 895 Research Project and Comprehensive Oral Examination or 3
GEOG 898 Master's Thesis and Oral Defense of Thesis
Minimum total 30

Master's Oral Examination. A two-hour oral examination is required of all students. One hour is devoted to the research topic (GEOG 895) and a second hour focuses on a discussion of six foundation works in the discipline selected on individual advisement. The examination or either of its parts may be repeated only once. Students must have completed all course work prior to taking the oral examination which can be scheduled only during the Fall and Spring semesters. Examination guidelines are available from the graduate adviser.


Footnotes

  1. To be taken by the student during the first year after admission to classified graduate standing.


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