Courses offered in the past four years. Courses offered currently are as noted.

Course Description

Place and Society: Local to Global
This course is an introduction to how geographers view the world and contribute to our understanding of it. Where do the phenomena of human experience occur? Why are they there? What is the significance? These questions are fundamental for explaining the world at different scales from the global to the local. Throughout, we will focus on the spatial basis of society, its continual reorganization through time, and how various human and environmental problems can be usefully analyzed from a geographic perspective. (Open only to first-year students and sophomores) 3 hrs. lect./1.5 hr. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

DED, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Human Geography with GIS
How do geographers study spatial interactions between people and the environment? How does socio-economic status relate to spatial patterns of settlement, social organization, access to resources, and exposure to risks? How can geographic information systems (GIS) help geographers explain these spatial patterns and processes? In this course we will apply GIS to a wide range of topics in human geography including urban, environmental, political, hazards, and health. We will learn how to gather, create, analyze, visualize, and critically interpret geographic data through tutorials, collaborative labs, and independent work that culminate in cartographic layouts of our results. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

Requirements

DED, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Research Craft in Human Geography
Whether you are planning to do your own research or want to be a more savvy consumer of research produced by others, it is useful to develop an understanding of the process of creating, discovering, and interpreting information about the world. In this course, students will explore quantitative and qualitative methodologies and the ways they can be used in human geography research. Through examples, exercises, and readings, students will learn the types of questions different techniques are designed to answer, how they work, and how to interpret the results. Students will gain hands on experience conducting surveys, generating and interpreting qualitative data, selecting and implementing statistical analyses, and writing research reports, to build competence and critical awareness in the practice and communication of research. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab (formerly GEOG 0339)

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CW, DED

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Mapping Global Environmental Change
How do geographers use geospatial technologies to observe the Earth’s surface? How do geographers use this information to interpret changes in the global environment across space and time? In this course we will learn how to work with large geographic datasets to explore patterns and changes to the Earth’s surface at local to global scales. Case studies will use remotely-sensed images to study land cover, climate, weather, wildfire, and other topics. Students will learn concepts, methods, and ethics for using a cloud-based geospatial analysis platform to process data, critically interpret workflows and results, and communicate findings with web maps and graphics. 4 hrs. lect./1.5 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

DED

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Geographies of Globalization
Globalization has long roots in history. At its core, it involves processes that connect places and people through the flow of ideas, technology, goods, and information, which as they move from place to place and are adopted, disrupts local and indigenous cultures, economies, and even political systems. These processes tend to homogenize cultures and tastes and are therefore a source of conflict over heritage, memory, and power. These clashes over the “nature” of society embody the global-local divide. In this course we will interrogate not only when and how the flow of goods and ideas occur but the where, as well. We will examine the geographical impact of these flows, and question why some people/places are more affected by globalization than others. 3 hr lecture.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Border Geographies
We live in an age of intense globalization with near instantaneous transfers of information and unprecedented movements of goods and people across the world. At the same time, there are more walls constructed between countries today than ever before. How do we explain this paradox of increasingly restrictive borders in an age of globalizing flows? In this course we will trace the history of political borders, critically evaluate theories in the scholarly literature about borders and flows, and investigate strategies, experiences, and imaginaries that produce different border-scapes and representations. Students will be actively engaged in unraveling the paradox of walls and flows through group research projects on specific border regimes around the world. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

The Global Environment
This course will provide an introduction to the study of the physical environment, with an emphasis on how environmental systems interact. The first half of the course will focus on Earth’s climate, specifically, Earth’s energy budget, the greenhouse effect, global wind and weather patterns, and global ocean circulation patterns. The second half of the course will focus on patterns and processes of the Earth’s surface by examining global patterns of vegetation and the creation of landforms by fluvial, glacial, and aeolian processes. We will use this foundation to understand how our rapidly changing climate will alter each of these systems. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

DED

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Land and Livelihoods - From Local to Global
How do flows of money, people, materials, and ideas connect local livelihoods to distant sites and global processes? How do geographers study patterns of poverty and inequality at different scales? How do we define human development and wellbeing, how do we determine who participates, and why does it matter? In this course we will draw from perspectives in fields ranging from development geography and political ecology to post-colonial studies to examine livelihood dynamics in the Global South. We will use texts, interviews, writing assignments, problem sets, and mapping exercises to explore relationships between economy, identity, and place in an increasingly connected world. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2019, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Human Geography of Hazards
Why do storms, earthquakes, and other hazards result in disastrous loss of life in some places, and only minor losses in others? In this course we will study human geographies of population, economic development, politics, and culture to explain the diverse outcomes from biophysical hazards. We will compare hazard geographies at the global, regional, and local scales using diverse approaches, including quantitative analysis, geographic information systems (GIS), and comparative case studies. We will examine how geographic analysis and technologies are used in disaster planning and response. We will practice applying human geography theory and methods to hazards research through practical exercises, exams, and research projects. 3 hrs. lect./lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2021

Requirements

CMP, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Geopolitics and International Development
This course critically examines theories and practices of development in the “global-South,” where in many cases development has been inextricably related to foreign interests of donor countries in the West and of Brazil, India, and China. We will emphasize the importance of territory, security, statehood, and sovereignty in the development process and highlight the evolving nexus between geopolitics and development, with a special emphasis on Africa. We will probe the connections between "development" and "underdevelopment," and ask questions about the possible impact of South-South vs. the historical North-South development. We will focus on the contribution of development to progress, on the one hand, and to its stagnation, on the other, and focus on specific issues like food, population dynamics, resources, and rural- urban relationship. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Urban Geography
Urban landscapes are the expression of economic, political, and socio-cultural processes layered on top of each other in particular time-space contexts. In this course, students will theoretically and empirically examine the complex and dynamic urban landscape. Students will gain a theoretical understanding of the location of cities within a larger global economic system of cities, along with the internal organization of economic, cultural, and social functions within cities. We will also examine the processes behind contemporary urban issues such as homelessness, boosterism, urban renewal, gentrification, poverty, and crime. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2023

Requirements

AMR, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Population Geography
Through a combination of lectures, readings, and exercises, this course provides background and analytical experience in the spatial dimensions of population dynamics. Students will theoretically and empirically examine geographic variations in natural increase, domestic and international migration, infant mortality, disease, and hunger. Topics will include the intersection of settlement-environment-disease, circular migration systems, cultural influences on demographic processes, and linkages between international and domestic migration flows. We will also assess various policy options and their effectiveness in addressing important demographic issues. The exercises will expose students to the vast amount of population data publicly available and introduce them to techniques used to examine and assess population related issues.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2021

Requirements

AMR, DED, NOR, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Rural Geography
This course explores the intersection between demographic, economic, cultural, and environmental forces on the rural landscape in both advanced economies and LDCs. Students will be exposed to theoretical and empirical approaches to rural development in different international and regional contexts, as well as problems associated with these development paradigms. Particular attention will be paid to neoliberal economic policies and their impacts on rural areas, and the course will frequently draw on examples from New England and North America. Additionally, the world is becoming increasingly urbanized, so we will examine the ways people come to know rural areas through the media, literature, and travel. This course includes opportunity for service learning. (Formerly GEOG 0221) 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019

Requirements

AMR, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Geopolitics of the Middle East
This course examines the Middle East from a geographical perspective with emphasis on the historical and political underpinnings of the region. The Middle East, the cradle of civilization, has been, due to its geography, one of the major arenas for political and ideological conflicts. It has been subject to an unequal power relationship with the West, which, together with Islam, has affected the level of its political, social, and economic development. This course will provide an analytical introduction to the historical, political, social, and economic geography of the region and will analyze the major transitions this region has undergone. 3 hrs.lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

CMP, MDE, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Urban Africa
The era of rural Africa is over. Today, 40% of sub-Saharan Africans live in cities – seen as places with social services, economic opportunities, and accessible technology. Yet, African cities are also places of unemployment, social services challenges, and increasing inequality. In this course we will take a cross-disciplinary approach to the study of urban Africa through scholarly readings, media critiques, discussions, and data analysis. We will identify similarities and differences in the process of urbanization in Africa vis-à-vis other world regions. Students will actively contribute to our critical inquiry into African cities through individual research projects and in-class presentations. 3 hrs. lect

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, SAF, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Geopolitics of Europe
The course examines the arguably most influential region in the world from a geopolitical perspective. First, we chart the complex geographic dimensions of Europe. Next, we critically evaluate the legacy of European power and Europe's main political body, the EU. Then we analyze geopolitical challenges and flashpoints that threaten to destabilize Europe. Finally, we assess the current state of “Europeanization” at the grassroots level and investigate transborder initiatives and activities. Students will be actively engaged in this study through a research project that contributes to an end of semester conference on the Future of Europe. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

EUR, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Environmental Change in Latin America
This course examines Latin America from a geographical perspective with emphasis on the social, political and ecological underpinnings of change in the region. Building upon the theme of global environmental change in the context of human-environment geography, we will explore urgent challenges linked to the agricultural and extractive industries, urban expansion, land grabs, land reform, indigenous rights, and rural and urban poverty. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Fall 2021, Fall 2022

Requirements

AMR, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Cartography
How do maps work? What are their intended uses and impacts? How do maps differ across cultures and times? In this course we will explore these questions through a series of practical exercises, readings, discussions, and critiques. We will learn fundamental concepts, principles, and patterns for using graphics to depict geographical ideas. We will practice both manual and digital methods for making maps, including GIS and graphics software, and compare frameworks and paradigms for evaluating map style and use. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Spring 2022, Spring 2023

Requirements

SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

A Black Sense of Place: Black Geographies
Black feminist geographer, Katherine McKittrick, defines Black geographies as “subaltern or alternative geographic patterns that work alongside and beyond traditional geographies and a site or terrain of struggle” (2006, 7).
This Black studies approach structures analyses of geographies across the Black diaspora in this course. Students will explore the relationships between race, racisms, space, and place through an interdisciplinary examination of the intimate, the material, the political, the body, and the collective as “sites of struggle.” We will read from texts such as Clyde Woods’ Development Drowned and Reborn: The Blues and Bourbon Restorations in Post-Katrina New Orleans and Erica Lorraine Williams’ Sex Tourism in Bahia: Ambiguous Entanglements.

Terms Taught

Fall 2022

Requirements

CMP, HIS, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Landscape Evolution
In this course we will investigate processes that shape the Earth's surface, including weathering, mass movements, and the effects of water, wind, and ice. Students will examine how such processes govern the evolution of landforms in differing climatic, tectonic, and lithologic settings. Field and laboratory study will focus on the role of active surficial processes, as well as glaciation and other past events, in development of the landscape of west-central Vermont. We will also discuss implications for human activities and maintenance of natural systems. (GEOL 0112 or GEOL 0161 or GEOL 0170 or by waiver) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2021

Requirements

DED, SCI

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Water Resources and Hydrogeology
Fresh water is the most fundamental resource sustaining life on the continents. This course is an introduction to the study of water and its interactions with the geologic environment. Basic hydrological processes such as precipitation, stream flow, and the subsurface flow of ground water are analyzed by quantitative methods. Climatic and human-induced changes in the hydrological cycle are examined, and current issues and policies are discussed in light of the increasing demands and impacts of a technological society on water resources and associated natural systems. (ENVS 0112 or any 0100-level Geology course) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Spring 2020

Requirements

DED, SCI

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Conservation Planning
Conservation planners try to identify and protect places with natural and cultural values. In this course we will investigate geographical concepts and methods for interpreting landscape change, inventorying natural resources, and evaluating conservation plans. We will examine the contributions and limitations of maps and geographic information systems in conservation planning through a combination of computer-based analyses, field investigations, readings, writing workshops, and discussions. The Town of Middlebury will provide a case study and students will develop independent projects that compare Middlebury to other towns in Vermont. (GEOG 0150). 3 hrs. lect./4 hrs. lab.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Fall 2021, Spring 2023

Requirements

CW, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Open Source Geographic Information Science
In this course we will study geographic information science (GIS) with open-source software and critical GIS scholarship. In labs, we will practice techniques to include: data acquisition and preparation for analysis, spatial SQL database queries, automating analysis, spatial interpolation, testing sensitivity to error and uncertainty, and data visualization. We will read and apply critical research of GIS as a subject and with GIS as a methodology. Spatial data sources for labs and independent research projects may include remote sensing, micro-data, smart cities and open government data, and volunteered geographic information (e.g. OpenStreetMap and social media). (GEOG 0120) 3 hrs. lect./disc./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2021, Fall 2021

Requirements

DED

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Cartographic Design
In this course we will study principles of cartographic design in the digital era. Major topics will include cartography before computing, reference map design, thematic map design, and atlas production. Laboratory exercises will develop workflows for cartographic design with geographic information systems and graphics software. Through authentic projects and group critiques, students will learn to design cartographic products that facilitate spatial thinking and effectively communicate geographic information to specialist and lay audiences. 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020

Requirements

ART, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

GIS Applications in Environmental Science and Management
GIS has become an important tool for supporting spatial decisions in environmental science and management. In this course we will explore applications of GIS related to current ecological and social issues such as biodiversity conservation, invasive species, and watershed management. Students will discuss articles highlighting the benefits and limitations of GIS in conducting meaningful scientific research to inform real-world management problems. Students will gain hands-on experience with GIS in the lab and in the field, collecting environmental data, conducting spatial analyses, and using results to test hypotheses and guide the decision-making process. The course will end with a student defined research project. (GEOG 0120) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

Requirements

SCI

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Practicing Human Geography
Whether you are planning to do your own research or want to be a more savvy consumer of research produced by others, it is useful to develop an understanding of the process of creating, discovering, and interpreting information about the world. In this course, students will explore quantitative and qualitative methodologies and the ways they can be used in human geography research. Through examples, exercises, and readings, students will learn the types of questions different techniques are designed to answer, how they work, and how to interpret the results. Students will gain hands on experience conducting surveys, generating and interpreting qualitative data, selecting and implementing statistical analyses, and writing research reports, to build competence and critical awareness in the practice and communication of research. (At least one course in geography, AP human geography credit, or instructor approval) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2020, Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

CW, DED

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Applied Remote Sensing: Land Use in Sub-Saharan Africa
Satellite images are indispensable for mapping forest cover, agriculture, and other land uses. Off-the-shelf products struggle to capture features in complex landscapes, such as fine-scale forest changes, urban sprawl, or small agricultural fields. In this course we will focus on sub-Saharan Africa to investigate select land uses with remote sensing techniques, discuss their social contexts, and practice novel approaches for generating land use maps. Students will be actively engaged in carrying out analyses and critical interpretations throughout the semester. Their work will culminate in a web-based portfolio, which will provide an opportunity to learn effective communication of research findings. (GEOG150 or GEOL0222 or by instructor permission) GEOG 120 is recommended 3 hrs. lect./3hrs lab.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Spring 2022, Fall 2022

Requirements

DED, SAF, SCI

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Water Resources and Hydrogeology
Fresh water is the most fundamental resource sustaining life on the planet. In this course we examine all elements of the hydrologic cycle, focusing first on precipitation and surface water flow and then on subsurface flow. We study examples from across the globe to understand factors influencing water quality and availability, and apply mathematical approaches to quantify constraints on sustainable use. The consequences of climate change and other anthropogenic impacts to the hydrological cycle are examined, and current issues and policies are discussed in light of increasing demands on water resources and associated natural systems. (formerly GEOL 0255) (ENVS 0112 or any 0100-level Geology course) 3 hrs. lect./3 hrs. lab

Terms Taught

Spring 2022

Requirements

DED, SCI

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Seminar in Human-Environment Geography: Landscapes in Transition
What will Vermont look like in 100 years? What about the Brazilian Amazon, the Albertine Rift, or your home town? In this seminar, we will explore the ways that processes of change discussed in our thematic Geography classes like urbanization, climate change, gentrification, commoditization, 'globalization', and more may interact and play out in the future. We will discuss studies of historic and ongoing landscape transitions and conduct our own studies of student-selected places, focusing both on the changes most likely to occur given existing trajectories, and attempting to imagine and articulate what changes would be desirable. (Open to senior majors only; others by waiver) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2019, Spring 2022

Requirements

SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Seminar in Population Geography: Migration in the Twenty-first Century
On average, 20 percent of the U.S. population changes residence in any given year, yet the scale, geography, motivations, and impacts of these movements are highly variable, making migration an incredibly pervasive and complex phenomenon. Furthermore, international immigration continues to attract considerable academic, political, and media attention. This course will explore contemporary approaches to migration studies emphasizing the important insights and contributions of geographers. How have geographers examined migration, and how have geographical approaches changed over time? In what ways has technology influenced the motivations, frequency, and implications of migration behavior? What are the different impacts of migration on individuals, households, and communities? And, what are the new innovations in scholarly approaches to migration? Through a combination of readings from contemporary migration literature, discussions, and analyses, students in this seminar will gain an appreciation for and understanding of this incredibly rich and complex phenomena of migration. (Open to second semester juniors and seniors only; others by waiver) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Fall 2020, Fall 2022

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Seminar in Political Geography: Radical Geographies
Geography has always been associated with the exercise of power and came into being as an academic discipline because it supported imperialism, nationalism, and war. However, the field of geography also has a lesser-known emancipatory tradition that emphasizes social justice, empowerment, and resistance to oppression. Early radical voices—anarchists, socialists, and pacifists—were silenced and often forced into exile. It was only in the context of the protest culture of the 1960s that radical geographies started to find an audience. In this seminar we will examine how geography and geographers have engaged in revolutionary activism, education for justice, social mobilization, and theorizations of alternative models of society. (Open to senior majors only; others by waiver) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2020, Fall 2021

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Seminar in Geographies of Climate Change Adaptation and Development
Rapid anthropogenic climate change cannot be fully mitigated, requiring humans to adapt to changing climate conditions. How will developing countries with high sensitivity and few resources manage to adapt to a changing climate? Geography is uniquely suited to research social dimensions of climate change by integrating human and physical geography in the traditions of hazards, human-environment systems, and political ecology research. In this seminar we will contrast approaches to three related concepts: resilience, vulnerability, and adaptation. We will review their use in current academic research and literature, international climate negotiations, and adaptation planning and financing in least developed countries. We will culminate the seminar with independent research into a particular case of planned climate change adaptation in a least developed country. (Senior majors only, or by approval)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Spring 2021

Requirements

AAL, CMP, SAF, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Terrorism
Terrorism has taken on new dimensions in an age dominated by technology and mass media. It has continued to cause carnage as terrorists around the globe continue to resist violently real or perceived oppression. In this course we will examine the breeding grounds for terrorist activities and interrogate the global connections behind local and national extremist/terrorist groups. We will explore ethno-national and religious terrorist groups from Asia, Europe, and Latin America, and probe white supremacist groups in the U.S. The aim of the course is to develop critical understanding of the phenomenon of terrorism, the local-global connections, and the challenges associated with terrorism in the 21st century. 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Independent Study
A one-credit intensive research project developed under the direction of a faculty member. Junior majors only. (Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Research
A one-credit intensive research project developed under the direction of a faculty member. Senior majors only. (Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Thesis
Students with a departmental GPA of 3.3 or higher are eligible to complete a two-credit senior thesis. In order to complete a senior thesis, students must have a proposal approved by a primary thesis advisor and a secondary departmental reader prior to registering for the first 0701 credit. Upon completion of the thesis, thesis students will present their work in a public seminar and defend the thesis in front of the departmental faculty. Thesis presentations and defenses will typically take place during the final week of classes or the examination period. Upon completion of the presentation and defense, the primary advisor and secondary departmental reader will be responsible for evaluating and grading the thesis. It is strongly encouraged that students considering a thesis discuss their ideas with an advisor during the semester prior to registering for formal thesis credits. (Approval only)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2019, Winter 2020, Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Winter 2022, Spring 2022, Fall 2022, Winter 2023, Spring 2023

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Visualizing Our Future: Using Mapping Charrettes to Support Local Planning
Municipal participation is part of New England culture and considered unique in land management. This participation is oftentimes spirited; the pressure for planners to answer simple questions arising from stakeholder meetings can be daunting. For instance: how well does public transport serve communities of color? Or: where is residential development likely to happen? These inquiries require immediate visualization—but how do we make results understandable to non-experts? In this course we’ll explore spatial questions confronting planners and produce meaningful graphics quickly. Students will encounter diverse, real-world problems in New England and evaluate the efficacy and efficiency of their mapmaking decisions.

Terms Taught

Winter 2021

Requirements

WTR

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Data Science Across Disciplines
In this course, we will gain exposure to the entire data science pipeline—obtaining and cleaning large and messy data sets, exploring these data and creating engaging visualizations, and communicating insights from the data in a meaningful manner. During morning sessions, we will learn the tools and techniques required to explore new and exciting data sets. During afternoon sessions, students will work in small groups with one of several faculty members on domain-specific research projects in Geography, Linguistics, Political Science, or Writing & Rhetoric. This course will use the R programming language. No prior experience with R is necessary.

GEOG: Students will apply data science tools to explore the geography human-environment relationships around protected areas. We will use household survey and land cover data from locations across the humid tropics where the Wildlife Conservation Society has been tracking human wellbeing and forest resource use in high-priority conservation landscapes. Projects and visualizations will be presented back to WCS to inform their ongoing monitoring and management in these sites.

LNGT: In this section, we will learn how to collect and analyze Twitter data in R. We will focus on social metrics and geographical locations to examine language variation in online communities across the United States. While the emphasis will be placed on linguistics, the statistical and analytical tools will help you work with other types of Twitter corpora in the future.

PSCI: Students will use cross-national data to explore relationships between conflict events and political, social, and economic factors in each nation. What factors contribute to conflict and violence? Our focus will be to find patterns in the data using the tools in R and discuss what those patterns suggest for addressing rising conflict and resolving ones that have already experienced violence.

WRPR: Students will learn to conduct writing studies research through working with "big data” from a multiyear survey of first-year college students about their academic confidences, attitudes, and perceptions. We will explore how educational access, identity, and language background impacts survey responses. Using statistical analysis and data visualizations, as well as writing, we will report our findings.

Terms Taught

Winter 2023

Requirements

DED, SOC, WTR

View in Course Catalog