GES Undergraduate Upper-Division Courses

An introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) as a research tool. Students will use ESRI software to complete a series of geographic projects. A basic understanding of cartography and computer use is expected.  Meets with GES 5030.

  • 4 Credits

An introduction to the principles and theory of map-making. The emphasis will be on the design of maps for research and publication using advanced computer hardware and software. The course entails the creation of reproducible, thematic maps using the various computer techniques available to the cartographer. Prereq., GES 2050.

  • 4 Credits

This course addresses the basic principles of image interpretation and analysis and introduces considerations central to the acquisition and interpretation of aerial photography and satellite imagery. Additionally, students are introduced to the range of remotely sensed data products available and explore the benefits and limitations of using remotely sensed data. Lectures are complimented by lab components which are designed to introduce students to basic image analysis techniques. Meets with ENSC 4060 and GES 5060.

  • 4 Credits

Introduces the diverse physical and social geographies of Sub-Saharan Africa. It will examine internal dynamics of the region as related to physical and social geography, and will explore the role of Sub-Saharan Africa within the global context. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity).

  • 3 Credits

Explores the theory of GPS, provides practical experience using GPS units, and explores the interaction between GIS (Geographic Information System) and GPS through use of ESN, and Trimble Pathfinder software. Prereq., GES 2050 or consent of instructor. Meets with GES 5100.

  • 3 Credits

Explores approaches to teaching geography in K-12. Includes discussion of important geographic concepts and their integration into the classroom. Students will develop teaching activities and materials for incorporation into their curriculum.

  • 3 Credits

Examines basic theories, concepts, and people within the sustainability movement and bioregionalism. Through critical readings, group projects, field trips, and applied research, students will apply ideas and techniques they have learned to real-world case studies. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability.

  • 4 Credits

This course allows students to translate what they have learned about sustainability into campus action. Students identify a campus sustainability issue to address and work to effect associated campus change. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Prereq., GES 1000, or GES 3170, or GES 4800, or PHIL 1400, or WEST 4120, or consent of instructor.

  • 3 Credits

An introduction to weather and meteorological phenomena. Topics include radiation balance, atmosphere structure, air masses and fronts, clouds, precipitation, storm structure, mesoscale systems, weather map analysis, forecasting, mountain weather, snow and snowpack processes, severe weather, weather hazards, lightning and landscape interactions, and remote sensing technologies in meteorology. Field trips may be required. Approved for LAS Natural Science area requirement. Meets with ENSC 3200

  • 4 Credits

An expanded application of meteorological principles with emphasis on modern techniques for interpreting and forecasting weather. The course includes a review of basic principles, interpretation of various types of weather charts, and forecast techniques. Lecture sessions will be followed by student preparations of weather analysis and forecast charts. Prer., GES 1000 or 3200.

  • 4 Credits

Students investigate the theory and evidence of climate change from a geographical perspective. The course incorporates the interactions and interrelationships of humans and the environmental system while in the study of global environmental changes in different locations. Students use readings, lectures, discussion, research, computer simulation, and their own critical and analytical thinking skills in the process of forming their own conclusions about the status of climate change in different locations. Written and oral presentation skills will be enhanced as the students present and defend their theory and findings to their peers. Approved for LAS Natural Science area requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability.

  • 3 Credits

Addresses the causes and consequences of global conflict and power distribution from a geographic perspective. Geopolitics looks at how geographic factors such as culture, language, religion, climate, topography, and size influence a state’s population and power capabilities. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity).

  • 3 Credits

This is a cross-disciplinary course bridging creative sound art and music practices with geography, naturalism, and environmentalism through the exploration of local geographies, landscapes, and the natural world. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Navigate. Meets with MUS 3410.

  • 3 Credits

The relationship between nature and society is one of the pillars of geographic inquiry. This course surveys the relationship between nature and society by examining topics including population, energy, conservation, agriculture, and pollution in the context of geographical studies. Prer., GES 1000 or GES 1010 or instructor consent.

  • 3 Credits

Music is ubiquitous in America today. This course will analyze the geographic context of American folk and ethnic music. A variety of geographic concepts and their relationship to the development of American folk and ethnic music will be discussed.

  • 3 Credits

Course addresses topics in urban location, urban morphology and design, urban function, and urban social issues. We analyze why cities look as they do and the role cities play in society. Emphasis is on cities in the United States. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Meets with GES 5610.

  • 3 Credits

A service-learning, community-based research course in which students, professors, and community members work together to reach community-identified goals. Working in teams, students will learn to apply anthropology and human geography research methods in developing effective community outreach programs. Prer., two courses in anthropology, sociology, geography, or education, or permission of instructor. Meets with ANTH 3660.

  • 3 Credits

This course explores the themes, methodology and techniques associated with the spatial aspects of culture, cultural traits and contemporary cultural theory.

  • 3 Credits

This course examines international population processes and patterns. First, past, present, and future dynamics of population growth are investigated. Second, varying perspectives on ?overpopulation? (neo-Malthusian, cornucopian, distributionist) are discussed. Third, we show how in-depth case studies of the population geography of particular places and spaces shape the world around us. Meets with GES 5730.

  • 3 Credits

The major focus is the application of biological and ecological principles to preserve biodiversity. Ultimate sources and current worldwide losses of biological diversity are emphasized. Because conservation biology demands multidisciplinary approaches, historical, legal, economic, and ethical issues are also included. Prer., BIOL 1150, BIOL 3700 recommended. Consent of instructor required. Meets with BIOL 3750 and BIOL 5700.

  • 4 Credits

A regional rather than synoptic approach is taken to the study of two formal regions: the Great Plains and the southern Rocky Mountains, and an informal region to include Colorado Springs, Cripple Creek and the nearby western High Plains.

  • 3 Credits

Study of culture and society, and human relationship to the physical environment of Mexico, the Central American countries, and the Caribbean islands. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity).

  • 3 Credits

Examines the physical, cultural, and economic environments in the state of Colorado. Includes in-depth analysis of physical as well as human components of the state. Field trips required. Prer., GES 1010 or GES 1990 or instructor consent.

  • 3 Credits

Historical geography as a method for study of changing and evolving landscapes.

  • 3 Credits

Examines the physical and cultural environment of the American Southwest. Includes an analysis of landforms, vegetation, climate, prehistoric cultures, modern native American peoples, Hispanic settlement, and modern demographic and social changes.

  • 3 Credits

Traces the historical evolution of the British landscape from prehistoric times to the present day. Particular regions like Wales, Yorkshire, the Lake District and Western Ireland will be examined in detail.

  • 3 Credits

Addresses four geographical topics of food: 1) The political economy of food production; 2) food production and the environment; 3) food and cultures; and, 4) food and nutrition. Students will better appreciate our complex relationship with food. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Meets with GES 5920.

  • 3 Credits

This advanced world regional course uses contemporary film as a vehicle to explore current global geographic issues. It examines cultural, political and economic issues that shape societies, focusing on marginalized ethnic and racial groups, women and the economically disadvantaged. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity). Prer., GES 1980 or consent of instructor..

  • 4 Credits

The application of statistical and other quantitative techniques to geographically organized data, areal distributions, and the solution of geographic research problems. Meets with GES 5000.

  • 4 Credits

Theory and issues in contemporary economic geography. Explores process leading to interregional change, spatial interaction between places, and the homogenization of economies and cultures.

  • 4 Credits

The course provides theoretical and practical experience in qualitative methods commonly used in geography and other social sciences. Methods covered include interviewing, participatory action research, observation, discourse analysis, questionnaires, and historical research. Req., GES 1990 or consent of instructor. Meets with GES 5020.

  • 3 Credits

Students will learn the principles, concepts, methods and applications of geovisualization. Students will have hands-on experience in using highly interactive, dynamic and multidimensional geovisualization systems that offer high levels of user experience. Prer., GES 2050.

  • 4 Credits

Continued application of GIS for spatial analysis. Focuses on ESRI software and complete original research projects. Prer., GES 4050 or consent of instructor. Meets with GES 5080.

  • 4 Credits

A field-based course that introduces students to the multiple techniques used by geographers for data gathering and analysis. These techniques will include elementary surveying, GPS, hydrologic and landform measurements, map and compass use, dendrochronology analysis, and cultural/economic land use mapping. Field trips required.

  • 4 Credits

Students will learn the fundamentals of Internet GIS technology and develop hands-on experience in programming and implementing Internet mapping applications using various tools including ESRI ArcServer, Google Maps, and JavaScript APIs. Prer., GES 4050. Meets with GES 5120.

  • 4 Credits

The fundamental concepts of customizing and programming GIS. Students will develop hands-on experience in creating custom and more usable GIS applications using various tools including ESRI’s Arcgis and GIS programming languages such as Python. Prer., GES 4050. Meets with GES 5130.

  • 4 Credits

Practicum and/or tutorial, by special arrangement only, in the teaching of geography (for example, serving as small-group leaders or proctors in introductory courses, or developing and/or testing curriculum materials). Consent of instructor required.

  • 1 to 4 Credits

Provides multiple opportunities to improve geographic writing skills. Explore, write, map, draw, and photograph. Uses the campus land to develop writing about the “sense of place.” Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability.

  • 4 Credits

The physical processes involved with the development and transportation of weather systems. Selected topics include relationships between upper atmospheric flow and surface weather phenomena, synoptic evaluation of air masses and techniques for environmental analysis. Prer., GES 1000. Meets with GES 5220.

  • 3 Credits

An examination of the distribution of life on the Earth’s surface. The relationship between environmental factors and plant and animal distributions will be the central theme. Changes in distributions through time will also be examined. Required field trip. Prer., GES 1000 or consent of instructor. Meets with GES 5260.

  • 4 Credits

A project-oriented class with students studying the distribution of plants as related to environmental factors. This class will combine lecture, fieldwork, and data processing, resulting in maps and reports. The geographical area of study will be changed each time. Prer., GES 4260/GES 5260 or instructor consent. Meets with GES 5270.

  • 4 Credits

An examination of plant assemblages in the contiguous United States west of the one-hundredth meridian. The distribution of major plant species will be used to illustrate plant community interactions with environmental factors such as climate and landforms. Prer., GES 4260/GES 5260. Meets with GES 5280.

  • 4 Credits

An examination of plant assemblages in Colorado. Major plant communities will be examined in the context of environmental factors such as climate and land forms. Required field trip. Prer., GES 4260 or consent of instructor. Meets with BIOL 4290, BIOL 5290, and GES 5290.

  • 4 Credits

Systematic study of rock weathering, mass-wasting, fluvial, glacial, and aeolian processes and the landforms resulting from these processes. Climatic geomorphology, geomorphometry, and data collection technologies (e.g., lidar) are emphasized. Field trips required. Prer., GES 1010 or GEOL 1010 or consent instructor. Meets with GES 5310, GEOL 4630, GEOL 5630.

  • 4 Credits

Field course emphasizing study of landforms produced by weathering and soils, mass movement, erosional processes under all climatic and altitudinal conditions. Includes Front Range glacial geology and glaciology. Prer., GES 1000 or consent of instructor. Meets with GES 5320.

  • 3 Credits

Covers the nature and distribution of soils through an investigation of the basics of soil genesis and development. It will stress the environmental components involved in soil production and the geographic distribution of soil types. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Prer., GES 1010 or GEOL 1010 or consent of instructor. Meets with GES 5340.

  • 4 Credits

Inventory, policy, and management of natural resources. Nature, significance, distribution, and problems associated with water, forest, wildlife, soils, and recreational resources. Emphasis is on experience in the United States, but other global problems may be included. Meets with GES 5410.

  • 3 Credits

Examines the legacy of public lands in the U.S. and whether management policies have evolved from an emphasis on resource extraction to one focused upon conservation. Topics will include national parks, forests, recreation, and wildlife conservation. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Meets with GES 5420.

  • 3 Credits

Field investigations focused on a specific aspect of the landscape in a selected area. Topic and credit vary from year to year. Field trips required. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Summit. Meets with GES 5170.

  • 1 to 6 Credits

Exploration of the principles of hydrology and their application to environmental investigations. Meets with GES 5510.

  • 3 Credits

Case studies of slow and quick developing disasters will be discussed in a local, national, cross- cultural, and global framework. Issues covered will include technological hazards, the role of environmental perception, risk-taking, decision- making and the impact legislative changes at the local, state, and national levels. Meets with GES 5550.

  • 3 Credits

Considers how ecological conditions and sociopolitical systems are inherently linked. Major topics include environmental narratives, energy development, the role of technology in society, and sustainable development across a range of geographical contexts. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Sustainability; Writing Intensive. Meets with GES 5560.

  • 3 Credits

Considers how military activities shape and influence diverse social and physical settings. The course takes a critical look at militarism at home and abroad, during times of war and peace, and the changing role of sustainability in militarization. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Meets with GES 5570.

  • 3 Credits

Field course emphasizing study of landforms produced by weathering and soils, mass movement, erosional processes under all climatic and altitudinal conditions. Includes Front Range glacial geology and glaciology. Prer., GES 1000 or consent of instructor. Meets with GES 5320.

  • 3 Credits

A geographical perspective of the dynamics and processes of racialization in various U.S. urban contexts. Maps the dynamic relationship between social relationships and the built environment. Meets with WEST 4620.

  • 3 Credits

This seminar provides a global perspective on the nature of urbanization, the forces behind these patterns, and resulting effects on social, political, economic, and environmental organization and governance of the world’s largest mega-cities (cities with a total population of 10 million+ people). Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement.

  • 3 Credits

Examines landscapes of restoration and their environmental, economic, ethical, and practical implications in order to develop a robust understanding of restoration, and its relationship to geography. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Meets with GES 5650.

  • 4 Credits

This course explores the human-environment interactions within urban settings. Special consideration is given to measuring patterns of change, and to social and ecological feedbacks in urbanized lands. This is a field-based course which involves collecting and analyzing primary data. Meets with GES 5660.

  • 3 Credits

This course identifies how inequality is defined, measured, studied, and understood by geographers. Students will analyze quantitative and qualitative data sources to explain inequality in the U.S., and will conduct research identifying spaces of inequality in Colorado Springs. Approved for LAS Cultural Diversity requirement. Meets with GES 5680, WEST 4680, SOC 4680, and SOC 5680.

  • 4 Credits

Geographic perspectives or dimensions of selected areas such as pollution, poverty, world conflict, natural hazards, landscape perception or women’s communities will be presented. Topics vary from year to year.

  • 1 to 4 Credits

Examines the historical geographies of recreation and tourism, and the environmental and cultural impacts of the ski industry in Colorado, international ecotourism, and contemporary trends of recreational values and activities. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Meets with GES 5750.

  • 3 Credits

A reexamination of traditional aspects of cultural and regional geography from a feminist perspective. Understanding the full richness of the human experience in utilizing earth as habitat requires a conscious effort to explore the omissions about where, how, and why women live, work, migrate, perceive their environment, and generally contribute to the intricate mosaic of spatial organization. The geographical origins and distributions of differing roles of women in a number of societies are also explored. Meets with WEST 4760.

  • 3 Credits

The course will focus upon discussions and studies of the development of geographic thought and philosophies. Both past and present literature will be appraised with particular emphasis placed upon the themes and topics significant to the growth of modern geographic philosophy. Meets with GES 5770.

  • 3 Credits

Provides a global perspective on the nature of migration, the forces behind these patterns, and their effects in sending and receiving societies. Students will delve into several literatures, lead weekly sessions, and introduce perspectives on international migration. Meets with GES 5780.

  • 3 Credits

The Capstone course for the Sustainable Development Minor is designed for seniors in the minor to focus on an inquiry-based project. Independent and small group work is emphasized to contribute to sustainable development efforts on campus and in the community. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Prer., Juniors and Seniors only; at least three courses in the Sustainable Development Minor.

  • 3 Credits

Summit (capstone) experience in Geography and Environmental Studies. Includes field-based learning, research proposal writing, and career preparation. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Summit. Prer., GES 1000, GES 1010, GES 1980, GES 1990.

  • 3 Credits

Focus on the physical and cultural geography of the world’s grape-producing regions. Coverage will include the study of terrain, soils, climate, and other aspects of physical geography; the historical geography of viticulture; the procedures and processes associated with growing grapes and making wines; and a detailed analysis of specific regions such as the Bordeaux area, the Napa Valley, and German wine regions. Prer., Must be 21 years of age.

  • 3 Credits

Prer., GES 4050 or GES 4090 and consent of instructor required.

  • 4 Credits

Independent research and thesis for geography majors who have maintained a superior scholastic performance in their overall program and within the department of geography and environmental studies. For superior students who wish to attain honors in the field of geography. May be taken in lieu of GES 4990. Instructor Consent Required. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Summit.

  • 3 Credits

Designed experiences involving application of specific, relevant concepts and skills in supervised employment situations. Instructor consent required. Junior or Senior standing preferred.

  • 1 to 4 Credits

A one semester research project. The student will write a formal research paper drawing on primary sources and pertinent secondary material. The student will work under the direction of a full time member of the department and have a second member as an additional reader. Instructor Consent Required.

  • 3 Credits