Geography and Planning

Courses of Instruction (by number)

GPY 100 Physical Geography. Explores the spatial patterns between landforms, natural systems of flora and fauna, and climate. Designed to increase awareness of the physical environment, its landscape, controls, and processes, and the interrelationships of natural phenomena. Three credits. Offered every semester.

GPY 200 Computer Cartography. Cartography is a major tool that geographers and others use to represent the world. This hands-on course provides an introduction to the art and science of cartography and computers. Students will acquire skills in up-to-date computer cartography and computer graphics design. Three credits. Offered every semester. Fulfills Mathematical Science Foundation.

GPY 220 Cultural Geography. The distinctive spatial patterns of culture around the world will be investigated. Examines the distributions of population language, religion, race, agriculture, industry, urbanization, and development and how these distributions change over time. Three credits. Offered every semester. Fulfills Social Sciences Foundation.

GPY 235 World Regional Geography. A survey of geography followed by an examination of specific geographic concepts. Physical, cultural, economic, and related factors will be given more emphasis than place-name geography. Three credits. Offered every semester. Fulfills Social Sciences Foundation and World Perspectives requirements.

GPY 300 Research Methods. A survey of the principal methods of conducting research in Geography and Planning, focused on the logic and theory of research, formulation and testing of hypotheses, research design, measurement, data collection and analysis, classical and spatial statistics, the presentation of results, and ethical issues involved in research involving people. Offered winter semester.  Prerequisite: STA 215.

GPY 307 Introduction to Computer Mapping/Geographic Information Systems. Basic hands on approach to computer mapping and geographic information systems Class work focuses on natural and social science examples of mapping and geographic information systems. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of instructor. Three credits. Offered fall and winter semester.

GPY 309 Introduction to City and Regional Planning. An introductory course for people interested in careers in planning and public administration. Explores the relationship between the goals of a community and the techniques needed to implement them. Three credits. Offered fall semester. Applies to Theme 17: Cities.

GPY 310 Land Use Planning. Provides students with a practical understanding of how land development and land preservation are affected and controlled by public- and private sector entities in the United States. Prerequisite: GPY 309. Three credits. Offered winter.

GPY 312 Environmental Planning. A survey of environmental planning issues and recent advances in sustainability, environmental sciences, engineering, and geospatial information technologies that have improved the understanding and analytical capabilities of the environmental planner. No prerequisite. Three credits. Offered winter semester of odd years.

GPY 314 Land Use and Planning Law. A survey of federal and Michigan planning statutes that are fundamental to effective and responsible planning practice. Knowledge of these policy frameworks is essential when executing existing land use and planning policies or when altering or proposing new land use and planning policies. No prerequisite. Three credits. Offered fall semester of even years.

GPY 316 Introduction to Transportation Planning. An exploration of the planning, land use, and policy implications of city and regional transportation as it relates it to urbanism, energy use, public health and safety, sustainability and economic development. No prerequisite. Three credits. Offered winter semester of odd years.

GPY 324 Urbanization Examines the process of urbanization and its impact on various cultures. Considers the dynamic growth of urbanization in third world countries and the significant increase in global urbanization, emphasizing the evolution of cities over time, space, and vastly different social, political, and cultural environments. Fulfills World Perspective requirement. Part of Cities Theme. Offered summer semester. Three credits. Offered winter semester. Applies to Theme 17: Cities.

GPY 335 Geographic Patterns-Global Development. Development involves positive and negative social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental changes for people living in a region or a country. GPY 335 explores the complex geography of the processes associated with development and in particular global development. Three credits. Offered winter semester. Applies to Theme 15: Global Change: Integration and Fragmentation.

GPY 345 Geography of Michigan/Great Lakes Region. A study of the physical and cultural features of the Great Lakes region with emphasis on Michigan. Lecture and discussion. Three credits. Offered fall semester.

GPY 350 Geography of Russia and Eurasian Republics. This course introduces trends in physical, cultural, economic and environmental geography of Russia and fourteen Eurasian republics of the former Soviet Union, an enormous and extremely diverse geographic region. Topics include natural environments, ethnic and linguistic patterns, social and economic development, environmental issues, and recent political trends in post-Soviet societies. Cross listed with RST 350. Three credits. Offered winter semester. Fulfills World Perspectives requirement. Applies to Theme 15: Global Change: Integration and Fragmentation.

GPY 351 Geography of Africa. Africa is one of the most fascinating world regions yet paradoxically one of the least known. The focus of this course is on the rich cultural (language, religion, agriculture, cities, health, economy) and physical (climate, vegetation, landforms) geographies of this vast region and how they have changed over time. Three credits. Offered winter semester. Fulfills World Perspectives requirement.

GPY 352 Geography of Latin America. The growth and development of Latin America has a significant impact on most activities in North America. Examines those effects and studies the cultural and physical development of Latin America. Three credits. Offered fall semester.

GPY 353 Geography of Canada and the United States. A study of the physical and cultural development north of the Rio Grande. Followed by a spatial analysis of the area's population, resources, and economy. Three credits. Offered winter semester.

GPY 354 Geography of Asia. Introduction to the physical and cultural geography of Asia: The Indian subcontinent, China, the Koreas, Japan, Taiwan, and Southeast Asia. Three credits. Offered fall semester.

GPY 355 Geography of North Africa and Southwest Asia (The Middle East). Introduction to physical and cultural geography of Southwest Asia and North Africa. Three credits. Offered fall semester. Fulfills World Perspectives requirement.

GPY 356 Geography of Europe. The world has been strongly influenced by European geographic principles and practices. Course will focus on the physical and cultural geographic development of Europe, including a spatial analysis of the area's population, resources, and economy. Three credits. Offered winter semester. Applies to Theme 11: Earth and Environment.

GPY 361 Historical Geography of the Amazon. This course explores natural resource use and human settlement over time in the Amazon Basin, from early tribal societies to the present. Topics include extractive economies, trade in animal and forest products, conservation and development initiatives, and the changing demands for resources in urban centers of Amazonia today. Three credits. Offered fall semester. Applies to Theme 11: Earth and Environment.

GPY 362 Geography of World Agriculture and Farmers. A geography of the world’s agricultural practices and development at different scales, from traditional methods to industrial agriculture with an emphasis on farming societies. Topics include indigenous agriculture and crop domestication, agroforestry and plantation systems, land use and rural societies, export crops, aquaculture and livestock, and drug cultivation. Three credits. Offered fall semester. Fulfills World Perspectives requirement.

GPY 363 World Forests and Their Use. A geography of the world’s forests and their use, from traditional to industrial practices over space and time. Topics include the local, national and international exploitation of forests, forest societies, foods, fuel and medicines, timber, protected areas, and the challenge of sustainable forest use in different regions and environments. Offered fall semester. Applies to Theme 11: Earth and Environment.

GPY 365 / MKT 365 GIS for Economic & Business Geography. Explores the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) technology in business decision making, including market area analysis, geodemographic segmentation, site selection, routing, customer profiling, sales territory management, and location strategies. Emphasis on hands-on activities. Problem-based learning approach. Three credits. Offered fall semester.

GPY 370 Introduction to Remote Sensing. This course provides an introduction to the fundamentals of remote sensing and digital image processing technology. Topics include the remote sensing process, physical principles of remote sensing, major remote sensing systems, remote sensing data formats, image processing, and remote sensing applications in geography and other social sciences. Three credits Offered fall semester.

GPY 380 Special Topics in Geography. Provides an interdisciplinary opportunity for students to pursue advanced study in special topics related to geography. Topics vary each term. May be taken more than once when the topic is different. Three credits. Offered on sufficient demand.

GPY 385 Economic Geography of the United States. Analyzes the location of economic activity, changes in the location of economic activity, and the implications of changing economic location patterns for national, regional and local economic development in the United States. Emphasis on the empirical study of the U.S. economy using GIS and spatial analysis techniques. Three credits. Offered fall semester. Applies to Theme 17: Cities.

GPY 399 Independent Readings. Independent supervised readings in selected topics. Prerequisite: Permission of program coordinator. One to three credits. Offered on a credit no credit basis. Offered every semester.

GPY 407 Advanced Geographic Information Systems. An advanced level GIS course emphasizing decision analysis through applications of spatial statistics and geospatial modeling. Topics include multivariate statistics, error assessment and propagation, fuzzy logic, uncertainty and decision risk in GIS modeling, as well, location analysis, network analysis, intervisibility analysis, and terrain modeling using industry standard GIS software. Prerequisite: GPY 307. Four credits. Offered winter semester.

GPY 410 Landscape Analysis. Landscape analysis is a broadly interdisciplinary study that includes concepts and methods of physical and human geography, ecology, planning. and architecture. It includes the biophysical and societal causes and consequences of landscape heterogeneity, processes and evolution. Conceptual and theoretical core of this course links natural sciences with related human disciplines. Prerequisites: GPY 100 or GEO 111 or BIO 105 or approval of instructor. Three credits. Offered fall semester. Applies to Theme 11: Earth and Environment.

GPY 412 Global Environmental Change. The main theme of this course is the changing nature of our environment and human-environmental interactions. Topics include climatic fluctuations, environmental reconstructions, the interaction between humankind and the environment since prehistoric times, and human-induced environmental change of the last century at the global, continental and regional scales. Prerequisites: GPY 100 or BIO 105. Three credits. Offered winter semester. Applies to Theme 11: Earth and Environment.

GPY 425 Field Research Project. Practical and applied geography carried out as a field research project. Emphasizes methods and techniques useful for professional geographers with application of interdisciplinary knowledge in an intercultural environment. Research skills built through field research in topics of special interest. Three credits. Offered for specific field research. If you are interested please contact the Chair of the department.

GPY 470 Digital Image Processing. Provides theory and applications of digital image processing techniques. Focuses on the methodologies of thematic extraction of environmental information using computer based image processing systems and interface between GIS and remote sensing. Topics include image enhancement, multi-spectral classification algorithms, and model development. Prerequisite: GPY 370 or NRM 250 or permission of instructor. Three credits. Offered every other winter semester.

GPY 490 Internship. Supervised work experience in an area related to geography. Prerequisite: Permission of Chair of the department. One to nine credits. Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Offered every semester.

GPY 495 Senior Thesis (capstone). Working under the guidance of the course instructor, students will conduct original research in a topical area of their choice within the disciplines of Geography and Planning or their subdisciplines, write a senior thesis, and present their findings to a university audience.. Prerequisite: Senior standing in the department and permission of the instructor. Three credits. Offered fall semester. Supplementary Writing Skills (SWS).

GPY 499 Independent Research. Research conducted individually with faculty supervision. Attention given to written and oral presentation of research findings. Prerequisite: Permission of the Chair of the department. One to three credits. Offered on a credit/no credit basis. Offered every semester.

Page last modified September 25, 2013