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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

These course descriptions are not being updated as of August 1, 2016. Current course descriptions are maintained in LionPATH.

Geography (GEOG)

GEOG 030 (GS;IL) Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems (3) Introduction to theory, methods, history and contemporary issues in global and regional relationships between human activity and the physical environment.

GEOG 030 Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems (3)

(BA) This course meets the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements.

One of the major themes in the discipline of geography is the study of the relationships between humans and the natural environment. GEOG 030 introduces students to the multiple ways in which people and the environment are interconnected. From a dynamic systems perspective, we refer to this interconnectedness as “coupled social-ecological systems.” The course uses a geographic perspective to understand how differently these linkages are shaped in various ecological and cultural settings around the globe. The course follows an interdisciplinary approach, exploring from multiple angles major environmental and societal challenges such as climate change, genetically-modified food, over-consumption, disease, and environmental service provision in the industrialized North and the Global South. It promotes critical thinking regarding key concepts such as carrying capacity, ecological footprints, feedback, stability domains, and resilience. Students are encouraged to examine their role and responsibilities for the sustainability of the social-ecological systems we inhabit and to take action in their own lives to contribute to a more equitable and sustainable environment. The course will provide students with the opportunity to read, learn, and debate about the ways in which humans value, use, affect, and are affected by small-scale and large-scale human-environment interactions. It will provide them with skills for critically analyzing and evaluating the ways in which humans have transformed the environment in different parts of the world. They will also learn how to assess what future pathways are sustainable and ethically sound. One key goal of the course will be to help students increase their sensitivity to the global and international context of human interactions with nature. A recitation section is crucial because it allows students to explore controversial issues such as biotechnology, nature as a commodity, and global warming, and to develop critical positions on such issues.

General Education: GS
Diversity: IL
Bachelor of Arts: Social and Behavioral Science
Effective: Spring 2012

Note : Class size, frequency of offering, and evaluation methods will vary by location and instructor. For these details check the specific course syllabus.


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