Geography

The following courses have been developed by and for the Department of Geography at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Resource Description

Independent Study is an opportunity for students to work with individual direction from a faculty member on a topic of mutual interest in geospatial intelligence. Students must have strong professional experience or have taken courses in the subject matter leading up to the chosen topic. Independent Study is reserved for advanced specialties or for intermediate study in areas in which the department does not normally offer course work. Faculty members are under no obligation to accept Independent Study students, but do so as their teaching load permits.

Independent Study in Geospatial Intelligence

Credit: Computer Laptop by Rudy and Peter Skitterians is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Independent Study is an opportunity for students to work with individual direction from a faculty member on a topic of mutual interest in geospatial intelligence. Students must have strong professional experience or have taken courses in the subject matter leading up to the chosen topic. Independent Study is reserved for advanced specialties or for intermediate study in areas in which the department does not normally offer course work. Faculty members are under no obligation to accept Independent Study students, but do so as their teaching load permits.

GIS for Transportation: Principles, Data, and Applications

Credit: pxhere photo is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Do you know how important GIS is to the transportation industry? The spatial applications to this field are so extensive that they represent an entire sub-discipline within the GIS community. In this course, we'll learn about the primary modes of transportation and explore some of the spatial applications developed to meet the unique needs of each. We'll also take a close look at some key organizations in the industry and learn firsthand from more than a dozen transportation professionals about the role GIS plays for them.

Maps and the Geospatial Revolution

Credit: A. Robinson (c) Penn State University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Resource Description

The past decade has seen an explosion of new mechanisms for understanding and using location information in widely-accessible technologies. This Geospatial Revolution has resulted in the development of consumer GPS tools, interactive web maps, and location-aware mobile devices. This course brings together core concepts in cartography, geographic information systems, and spatial thinking with real-world examples to provide the fundamentals necessary to engage with Geographic Information Science.

Cloud and Server GIS

Credit: Binary One Cyborg Cybernetics-2302728 by Gerd Altmann is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Is your understanding of Cloud GIS a bit hazy? Does thinking about it leave you in a fog? We've designed GEOG 865, Cloud and Server GIS, to help you understand how all of the various pieces of architecture fit together. By the end of the class you'll have a clear understanding of esri's and others' offerings in the space, how to implement ArcGIS Enterprise on Amazon EC2, make online maps with Carto and Mapbox, and engage in some blue sky thinking of your own in our weekly discussions about trends and directions.

Location Intelligence for Business

Credit: Aerial Photography of Cars on Road-intersection 186537/ by Joey Lu is licensed under CC0 | location pins added to original

Resource Description

Do you enjoy the competitive challenge of starting up a new business or expanding into new areas? Are you involved in economic and community development? Are you considering the best place to work and live? Do you like to gain an advantage? Location Intelligence for Business extends the application of geospatial intelligence analytical methods to the business world for competitive advantage.

Resource Description

Geography 431 is designed to further understanding of the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity. Develop awareness and appreciation of the perspectives about water as a precious resource, commodity, and sometimes hazard. Learn how and why water is distributed unevenly around the Earth. Examine how resource management decisions are strongly related to water availability, quantity, and quality.

multiple maps

Maps by Pxhere is licensed under CC0

Resource Description

Maps are powerful visual tools, both for communicating ideas and for facilitating data exploration. In GEOG 486: Cartography and Visualization, you will learn design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools, including ArcGIS Pro. In this lab-focused course, you'll apply cartographic theory to practical problems, with a focus on design decisions such as selecting visual variables, classifying and generalizing data, applying principles of color and contrast, and choosing projections for maps.

Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems

Credit: Ariel view of a flooded neighborhood near New Orleans by Petty Officer 1st Class Matthew Schofield is Public Domain

Resource Description

What factors lead to a natural disaster? What causes a famine? Why do cities flood? According to a recent article in The Atlantic, Houston's flooding during the 2017 Hurricane Harvey was primarily caused by impervious pavement which prevents the absorption of water into the land. This example illustrates how nature and society are interlinked, which is the main focus of Geography 30, Penn State's introductory course to nature-society geography.

Resource Description

Increasingly volatile climate and weather; vulnerable drinking water supplies; shrinking wildlife habitats; widespread deforestation due to energy and food production. These are examples of environmental challenges that are of critical importance in our world, both in far away places and close to home, and are particularly well suited to inquiry using geographic information systems. In GEOG 487 you will explore topics like these and learn about data and spatial analysis techniques commonly employed in environmental applications.

Pages