Department Personnel







GEOG 101/102: Survey of Physical Geography

Have you ever wondered:

  • How human activities have impacted our natural environment?
  • Why rainforests have such high biodiversity?
  • Why the land surface in Illinois is so flat?
  • How beaches form?
  • Why it floods so quickly after a rainfall in urban environments?
  • Why the soils in Illinois are black and the soils in Georgia red?
  • What factors influence the distribution of vegetation globally?
  • How much freshwater is there in the world?
  • How are mountains built?
  • What factors influence the distribution of soils on Earth?  

What General Education Objectives are met in Geography 101/102?

The physical geography perspective integrates information from other fields such as geology, biology, physics, and chemistry. Explore aspects of geography such as water resources, soil and vegetation distributions within a global context. Examples of current research in the field of physical geography expose students to the thought process associated with the scientific method. Learn to think critically about the geographic environment by examining the impact of humans on the physical landscape. Develop written, quantitative, technical, and oral skills through a variety of laboratory exercises in GEOG 102.  

Facts about Geography 101/102:

Course Offered: Both spring and fall semesters: Geog 101, 3 credit hours; or Geog 101 and Geog 102, 4 credit hours

General Education: Fulfills a science/math distributive area requirement and matches the following general education goals: develop communication and technical skills, apply various modes of inquiry, and develop an understanding of integrated knowledge through a combination of lecture material, readings, laboratory assignments, and exams.

Course Goal: To introduce students to processes and interactions within the physical environment including those associated with hydrology, landforms, soils, and vegetation.

GEOG 322: Geography of World Plant Communities (3)
This course aims to explore the spatial and temporal variations of vegetation communities world-wide. It includes a detailed survey of world biomes, and emphasizes interrelationships between vegetation, climate and soil. Students examine long-term changes in biome extent and dominance from the Cretaceous to present, plus more recent changes in vegetation communities. The impact of human actions on plant communities is a continuous theme in this course.

GEOG/BIOS/WOMS 324X: Women in Science (3)

Science and technology permeate our society. Who practices science and the way in which science is conducted is socially constructed. Why is it then that women feel outside of “science” and continue to be underrepresented in many scientific fields? In this course we will examine the history of women in science and address the current status of women in various scientific disciplines. We will spend time examining what we may consider both the “women question in science” and the “science question is feminism”. We will also explore the representation of women of science as they are portrayed in literature and film. The objectives of this class are to discuss issues of science and gender using recent scholarly literature, to critique the various viewpoints, to become familiar with the subject, and to discuss these issues in a constructive manner!

GEOG 413: Forest Ecology and Management (3)
This course focuses on the ecology and management of forest communities world-wide. The regeneration, growth and mortality of various tree species are examined in detail and both past and present systems are studied. Dynamic forest processes in relation to both the environment and disturbance are emphasized through lecture, seminar, and laboratory work. Field trips in the past have been to local sights such as Marengo Ridge Conservation Area and White Pines State Park.

GEOG 422: Plant/Soil Relationships (4)
The objectives of this course, Plant/Soil Relationships, is to explore the dynamic and important relationship between vegetation and the medium within which it grows: soil. This course will examine both the physical and chemical properties of soil and associated plant communities. It is hoped that students will take away an understanding of both typical plant/soil associations and atypical associations.

GEOG 622: Advanced Vegetation Geography (3)
Spatial distributions of vegetation from micro to continental scales. Emphasis on natural processes and controls and human impacts on vegetation dynamics.

GEOG 663: Geographic Research Procedures (3)
Geography in the sciences; logical inquiry; paradigms and models; geographic research strategies