About GEOG 1760 A

Introduction to Geography from global, place-based, cultural, and socio-environmental perspectives.


First years and sophomores only during week of registration; Juniors and Seniors register in second week of registration; Junior and senior GEOG majors contact instructor; Open to degree and PACE students

Section Description

Course Overview This course offers an introduction to geography from global, regional, and place-based perspectives. We will examine socio-environmental transformations that arise from interactions between natural systems and human activities through five analytical modules: i) geographical perspectives on biodiversity and protected areas, ii) geographical perspectives on cultivation, land tenure and labor, iii) political ecology perspectives on population, extraction and energy, iv) undersea, arid lands and outer space geopolitics, and v) geographical perspectives on environmental justice and science and technology studies (STS). Within each module, we will review key concepts that are likely familiar to students at this stage of learning, but that we re-examine from critical and diverse perspectives. The course encourages students to think geographically about global processes and their many social, political and environmental impacts. Although this is a required course for geography majors and highly recommended for geography minors, students of all interests and majors are welcome! Learning Objectives This course aims to: • Provide a global comparative framework for understanding political, economic, and environmental systems. • Demonstrate how society and nature are linked through co-productive and co-evolutionary processes. • Describe how individuals, groups or institutions affect and interact with each other. • Identify and demonstrate understanding of theories of human behavior, experience, institutions, or social systems addressed in the course. • Offer foundational perspectives on different meanings and practices of “diversity”. • Offer foundational perspectives on different meanings and practices of “sustainability.” This course reinforces the “Four Sustainability Learning Outcomes”: • Students can have an informed conversation about the multiple dimensions and complexity of sustainability. (Knowledge category) • Students can evaluate sustainability using an evidence-based disciplinary approach and integrate economic, ecological, and social perspectives. (Skills category) • Students think critically about sustainability across a diversity of cultural values and across multiple scales of relevance from local to global. (Values category) • Students, as members of society, can recognize and assess how sustainability impacts their lives and how their actions impact sustainability. (Personal domain) At the completion of this course, students will be able to: • Better understand the planet’s physical and cultural diversity and be able to analyze significant events in terms of that diversity. • Have an informed discussion about the multiple dimensions of political, economic, and environmental challenges. • Recognize and evaluate methods and processes of systematic investigation in one or more case study examples of social science research. • Evaluate sustainability using an evidence-based disciplinary approach and integrate economic, environmental, and social perspectives. • Think critically about sustainability across a diversity of cultural values.

Section Expectation

UVM’s Definition of a credit hour: This is a 3-credit course. The UVM Faculty Senate defines a University of Vermont credit hour as, “One hour of classroom or direct faculty instruction and a minimum of two hours of out-of-class student work each week for approximately fifteen weeks for one semester hour of credit or the equivalent amount of work over a different amount of time…” (p. 425; See this link: https://www.uvm.edu/~rgweb/zoo/archive/catalogue/1718cat_ug.pdf). I have designed this course such that your work outside of and in addition to our scheduled class times (readings, lab assignments and other work) will average out to 6 hours per week over the course of the semester.


Attendance & Participation (15%): Ideally, students should join every class session. You can miss up to 4 classes for the entire semester without penalty to your grade. Attendance will be taken using the free iClicker Cloud App (which can be accessed using a phone or laptop). We will establish expectations for how we will use the features of iClicker Cloud using the free iClicker Student Mobile App (https://www.iclicker.com/students/apps-and-remotes/apps) during the first week of class. We may revisit our iClicker protocols and norms as needed throughout the semester. Short Reading Quizzes (5%): Students will occasionally see short reading quizzes in Brightspace or given as a ‘pop’ quiz question in class using the iClicker App. They are meant to be virtual ‘pop’ quizzes to encourage keeping up with our readings. Altogether, quizzes are worth 5% of your course grade (your lowest quiz grade will be dropped). Exams (75%): There are two midterms (the first is worth 20% of your final grade and the second is worth 25% of your final grade) and a final exam (30%). Exams will be part multiple choice, part fill-in-the-blank, part short response and part essay. You are expected to be in class for all exams; missing an exam means failing the exam. If you cannot take an exam on the scheduled day, you should have your Dean of Students office contact me regarding requests for accommodations. Students with registered learning accommodations through SAS may require coordination with the Exam Proctoring Center to schedule taking the Exams in the Center (you can go ahead an book these dates and times now!). Reflective and Integrative Work (5%): There will be two opportunities to complete a more in-depth assignment throughout the course. Students should submit only one of them.

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw


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