Department Personnel












GEOG 204: Geography of Economic Activities (3)

... Location, Location, Location!

How many times have you heard it said that location is the key to the success of a business, the cost of an apartment or value of a home, or even the wage rate paid by employers? Did you also know that location, not soil, is the primary reason why corn and soybeans are grown in Illinois? Have you ever wondered why older cities like Chicago and New York have such dominant downtown's while the downtown's of newer cities like Los Angeles and Phoenix are hard to find?

  • Discover how economic principles shape the geography of the world around us, and how geography affects our own behavior as consumers.
  • Explore agricultural systems throughout the world, from subsistence to hi-tech.
  • See where current patterns of world population growth are placing the greatest pressure on land and agriculture resources.
  • Learn how culture affects the value of natural resources, regardless of where the resource is located.
  • Understand industry location as the consequence of rational economic decision-making.
  • Discover why competing firms producing similar products might want to locate in close proximity to one another, and why shopping malls are a natural consequence of our own shopping behavior.
  • Learn how the geographic distribution of cities relates to basic consumer behavior and why large cities offer a wider variety of goods and services than smaller cities.
  • See how gender, culture and income influence your day-to-day geography.
  • Understand why international trade is a win-win situation, right down to you the consumer.
  • Learn how nations protect trade interests through organizations like OPEC, NAFTA, and the European Union and whether these institutions really work.
  • Explore the current state of "economic development" throughout the world

What General Education Objectives are met in Geography 204?

Through the use of graphic models, students are introduced to the deductive scientific method and learn critical thinking skills. Lecture material emphasizes cross-national and cross-cultural comparisons, stimulating global awareness and sensitivity to cultural diversity. Understanding the interrelatedness of peoples and nations integrates knowledge from anthropology, economics, political science, and demography as well as physical geography and environmental science.

Facts about Geography 204:

Course Offered: Both spring and fall semesters: 3 credit hours

General Education: Fulfills a social science distributive area requirement and addresses the following general education goals: analytical thinking, multi-culture and gender awareness, applying various modes of inquiry, and appreciation of environmental sensitivity and cultural diversity, through a combination of lecture material, readings, and independent assignments.

Course Goal: To provide non-geography majors with a basic understanding of global resources, agriculture, manufacturing, and trade (markets), and how economic forces influence the geography of human activity.


GEOG 253: Natural Resources and Environmental Quality (3)

Have you ever pondered these questions?

  • Did you ever wonder what happens to the things you throw away?
  • What are the three R's of Conservation?
  • Why is it important to manage our forests?
  • How does water get polluted?
  • How have human activities impacted our natural environment?
  • What is the global distribution of food production and consumption?
  • What types of agricultural systems are used worldwide?
  • Is our present rate of resource consumption sustainable?
  • How are land use decisions made?
  • How does pesticide use impact food production and the food web?
  • Where is the most rapid human population growth occurring'?

Learn the answers to these and other intriguing questions in GEOG 253. We will explore various concepts in environmental geography, current policy debates, and apply this information to our own lifestyles.

What General Education Objectives are met in Geography 253?

  • Explore aspects of environmental geography such as water quality, population dynamics, resource management, and agricultural sustainability within a global framework.
  • Integrate information from other disciplines such as sociology, political science, geology, biology, ecology, and chemistry into a geographic perspective.
  • Reflect on current research in the field of environmental geography to 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 natural resources and environmental quality.
  • Course assignments and discussions will develop written, quantitative, technical, and oral skills through a varied assortment of exercises.

Facts about Geography 253:

Course Offered: Spring and fall semesters
General Education: Fulfills a social science 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, discussions, assignments, and exams.
Course Goal: Students should leave with a basic understanding of the interrelated components of natural environmental systems and the role humans play in global cycles and environmental quality.

GEOG 362: Geography of Urban Systems (3)

Past and current patterns of worldwide urbanization, urban hierarchies and systems of cities, functional metropolitan and regions, the city's role in economic and social development.

GEOG 455: Land-Use Planning (3)

Study of processes and policies in land-use and land development decisions. Mapping and GIS decision-making techniques applied to the analysis of land-use patterns and management conflicts at national, state, regional, and local government scales. Lecture, laboratory, and field experience.

GEOG 459/559: Geographic Information Systems (3)

Study of the conceptual framework and development of geographic information systems. Emphasis on the actual application of a GIS to spatial analysis. Two hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory. PRQ: GEOG 359 or consent of department.

GEOG 463: Urban Geography (3)
Examination of the internal patterns and dynamics of urban areas. Spatial, economic, political, social, and behavioral approaches to the study of cities. Major focus is on U.S. cities.  


GEOG 493/593: Computer Methods and Modeling (3)

Programming topics in geographic or meteorological research problems, computer graphics, simulation techniques, regional modeling, geographic information systems applications, and climate modeling. Lecture and laboratory. May be repeated to a maximum of 6 semester hours as topic varies. PRQ: Consent of department.

GEOG 659: Regional Planning (3)

Geographic basis and practice of regional mapping, GIS, and spatial decision processes applied to land-use, social services, transportation, and environmental management concerns. Problems of integrating land, transportation, and environmental management over a multijurisdictional geography.

GEOG 662: Advanced Urban Geography (3)

Contemporary understanding of the city; its form and structure, population, employment and economy; its relationship to the region and to national/global systems of cities.