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 downtowns while the downtowns 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 563: Geographic Research Procedures (3)

Why do Geographers do what we do, and how do we do it? Why is Geographic Research unique?

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the approaches and processes of doing research in Geography. At the end of the term, students will have a draft of a research project proposal to present to their committee members. This course begins with a discussion of differing Geographic research traditions, and how each has led to modern scientific Geography. Next, we will cover the concept of academic research, how to develop a good research question, hypothesis testing, how to propose a study, design an experiment, and present its results. Outside of these pragmatic discussions, we will also discuss the impact of space on research design and implementation, how Geographic methods and models account for it, and why that makes Geographic research unique amongst the sciences.