GGR Geography Courses
Undergraduate seminar that focuses on specific ideas, questions, phenomena or controversies, taught by a regular Faculty member deeply engaged in the discipline. Open only to newly admitted first year students. It may serve as a distribution requirement course; see page 40.
Basic physical geography moulded around a simple systems approach. The atmospheric, biospheric and lithospheric systems and their interactions.
Relations between population growth, agricultural development, urbanization and the natural environment. From the origins of agriculture to the present. From a few million to six billion people. The cost to the environment. The prospect of sustainability.
Introduction to the urban process. From the origin of cities to global urbanization; the evolution of urban systems; uneven growth and the functional specialization of cities; economic restructuring, migration, public policies. Dynamics of urban property markets, population and demography, job location, housing, mobility and neighbourhood change, social structure and spatial inequalities. Planning, politics and policy issues in U.S. and Canadian cities.
An introduction to the principles of geomorphology; earth materials; major features of crustal morphology; landforming processes of water, wind, waves and ice; human impact on earth surface processes. One hour laboratory session approximately every other week; a local field trip.
Introduction to the large scale processes responsible for determining global and regional climate and atmospheric circulation patterns, as well as the small scale processes responsible for determining the microclimates of specific environments.
Introduction to soil science dealing with the chemical, physical, and biological properties of soils; soil formation and development; the classification of soils, and the application of soil science to environmental, agricultural and forestry issues.
An introduction to the hydrologic cycle with emphasis on the terrestrial branch; precipitation, evaporation, runoff, flood prediction; ground water and snowmelt hydrology. Basic hydrological models will be practiced.
With films, fiction and critical theory, this course explores global cities from around the world by looking at their everyday life: the people of these cities; how they got to be there; what they do; and how their lives are being shaped by increasingly globalized political, economic and cultural forces.
This basic course in economic geography introduces the main concepts and models that apply to problems of rural land use, trade and spatial economic interaction, industrial location, and regional development.
Addresses social and biophysical dimensions of problems in sustainable development and the need for environmental action. Encourages integrated approaches to the social origins and implications of environmental change, and the importance of scientific aspects of natural systems in discussions of sustainability.
An introduction to issues in the historical geography of the Americas emphasizing comparisons between North and South. The course begins with the pre-Columbian Americas and the impact of European imperial expansion. It explores the emergence of cultural realms and the development of regional economies and societies into the 20th century.
An historical, topical, and regional introduction to the geography of Canada. Primary emphasis is on the resource base, regional differences and disparities, urbanization, industrialization, social and economic policy and population change.
Conflict between the conservatism of long-established patterns of settlement and land use and the drive for economic development. Agricultural reform; colonization of the interior, emergence of industrial regions; growth of large cities. Case studies of the problems of regional development. Latin America in world trade. Trade relations with Canada. (Offered in alternate years)
The problem of retail location. The spatial structure of consumer demand and retail facilities. Shopping centres and retail chains. Techniques for site selection and trade area evaluation, location strategies, retail planning.
After a brief historical overview, focuses on contemporary issues in American society: economy, politics, race, regional distinctions and disparities, urban development and the U.S. as world power.
Introduction to spatial organization and environmental impact of recreation. Prediction of demand, problems of over-use, ecological risks, conflicts of interests, planning perspectives, Canada’s tourist trade.
Theory and practical application of elementary quantitative techniques in geography emphasizing descriptive, inferential and spatial statistical analysis, probability, and sampling.
Practical course on field methods designed to enable students to carry out their own research projects. Behavioural observation, interviewing, questionnaire design, sampling theory, content analysis of written and graphic material, and data coding focus groups.
Introduction to the theory and use of geographic information systems (GIS) for acquiring, processing, analysing, and mapping environmental and socio-economic data. Map projections, raster and vector data structures, overlay analysis, output design.
Intermediate topics on the theory and application of geographic information systems (GIS). Topics include data acquisition, geocoding, spatial analysis, and interpolation, terrain modelling and landscape analysis. Brief introduction to remote sensing.
Credit course for supervised participation in faculty research project. See page 40 for details.
An introduction to Canada's arctic and subarctic regions 'north of 60', an
examination of the physical processes that have shaped the region, as
well as the environmental, social, economic and political themes covering
topics such as exploration and settlement, aboriginal land claims, wildlife
and resource management, economic development and other current issues.
Elements of drainage basin morphology and hydrology, classification of rivers, stream patterns, and hydraulic geometry. Elements of open channel flow and sediment transport. River channel adjustments to hydrologic change and human impacts on river development. Paleohydrology and paleohydraulics. Exercises include experimentation in a laboratory flume.
Principles underlying use of ice cores, marine sediments, lake sediments, tree rings, coral reefs, and pollen to reconstruct past climates. Exercises involve downloading, plotting, and analysing proxy climatic data that are available over the Internet. (Offered in alternate years)
Interactions occurring between the living component of earth systems and the atmosphere. Terrestrial and oceanic processes will be discussed in connection with biospheric feedback on atmospheric chemistry, air circulation, and global (regional) climate. Examples will be drawn from bother modern and paleo-systems.
Introduction to the spatial and temporal patterns of plant and animal distribution. The first half focuses on contemporary environmental and biological controls. The second half examines past patterns and their causes.
An introduction to physical and chemical processes operating at micro to landscape scale and their effects on soil and water quality. Discussion of anthropogenic impacts and management and conservation issues. Local and international case studies.
The changing relationship between people and the biosphere from the emergence of hominids to the present. Environmental constraints on human evolution, hunter-gatherer societies and their environmental impacts, evolution of agriculture and consequences of increasing population and technology, including deliberate and inadvertent introductions of plants and animals and forest fragmentation. Effectiveness of contemporary approaches to conservation. (Offered in alternate years)
The large scale processes determining regional and global climate, including biogeochemical cycles, radiation, maintenance of general circulation, and sea, ice and snow processes.
A comprehensive examination of the greenhouse warming problem, beginning with economic, carbon cycle, and climate model projections; impacts on and adaptive responses of agriculture, forests, fisheries, and water resources; abatement options; technical and institutional issues.
The idea of wilderness permeates narratives of Canadian national identity, while policy-makers seek to manage and contain natural areas. This course compares and contrasts historical and contemporary wilderness narratives in literature, painting and film with policies in areas such as conservation, urban planning, land claims and tourism.
This course explores Aboriginal views of environment and resource management from pre-European contact times through to the present from an Aboriginal perspective. Emphasis will be placed on the emerging role of Aboriginal people in environmental and resource management in Canada. Topics to be covered include: history of Aboriginal/non-Aboriginal relations, Aboriginal world view and philosophy, Aboriginal environmental ethics and principles and current environmental issues confronting Aboriginal people.
Explores issues in geographies of population at a variety of scales from global to local. Issues include demographic patterns and population change, fertility, families and cohorts, mortality, and migration and immigration. Will draw mainly on the Canadian and U.S. experience, but examples will also be drawn from other regions of the world.
An introductory overview of major issues in interurban and intraurban transportation at both local and national scales. Topics include causes of spatial interaction, graph theory and network analysis, gravity and entropy-maximizing models, urban transportation and land use, congestion, public transit and transport policy.
Examination of industrial location models, industrial behaviour, and the innovation
process. Canadian trade and technological policy and the locational and
policy implications of foreign-owned industry are discussed.
An introduction to the work of feminist geographers. The course will
explore the relationship between gender and space, emphasizing spatial
cognition, architecture of the home, structure of the suburbs, design
of shopping centers and department stores, and layout and safety of the
This course explores changes in the nature of work and the structure
and geography of labour markets. Topics will include globalization, lean
production, flexibility and risk in the labour market, industrial relations,
workfare, the body at work, and gender and work.
Introduction to and critical evaluation of major social theoretical paradigms applied to environmental and natural resource politics and regulation. Topics include: neo-classical approaches, eco-Marxism, political ecology, social constructivism, production of nature, ecological modernization, tragedy of the commons, staples theory, science and administrative rationalism.
This course examines 1) factors affecting the spatial distribution of wastes; and 2) models and policy implications inherent in all aspects of waste management, from waste generation through recycling and waste disposal. Contrasting waste management practices in the developed and the developing world is a central theme.
Examines the technical and economic potential of advanced fossil-fuel-supply technologies, renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal, ocean, hydro), and the potential for more efficient end use of energy in the residential, commercial, industrial, and transportation sectors. Also discusses: innovative energy systems, global scenarios, policy implications. (Offered in alternate years)
Managing demand and supply; linkages between water quality and human health. Case studies from the industrial world and from developing countries, rural and urban. Implications of population growth and climate change for water resource management.
Steadily increasing pressure on biospheric resources (eg. water) and sinks (eg. the atmosphere) requires business to adapt and innovate, while simultaneously responding to globalization and the information revolution. Examples include the financial services sector, as well as energy, transportation, tourism and resource-based industries.
Processes of urbanization; development of urban systems; changing internal patterns: central area, residential districts, housing, transportation, reform and planning movements. Emphasis on the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.
Principles of optical, active and passive microwave remote sensing; satellite orbit and sensor characteristics; image processing and analysis techniques and software; and environmental remote sensing principles.
Describes and analyses a broad range of the key environmental issues currently facing developing countries from geographical perspectives. Emphasis is on air pollution, water contamination and treatment, residential and industrial solid waste collection and management, with multimedia and written examples drawn from throughout the developing world.
The interdependence of political processes and institutions, public policy and urban geography. The political economy of federalism, urban growth, planning and public services as they shape the urban landscape. The spaces of the city as the negotiated outcomes of variously empowered people and the meanings they ascribe to localities and places. Approaches informed by post-colonial, post-modern, and feminist perspectives. Canadian, U.S. and European comparisons.
Deals with the emergence of present day conflicting regionalisms in Canada through a study of the evolution of the provinces and of their urban systems from the 1850’s to the 1990’s. The geographic impact of successive central government policies: British mercantilism, Confederation’s National Policy, Equalization Policies of the welfare state, the National Energy Policy and NAFTA.
Changes in the social, political and economic geography of Southeast Asian countries. Examples drawn from Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines as these emerging newly industrialized countries enter the 21st century. Emphasis on political-economy, urbanization and environment since 1950.
The evolving physical, social, political and economic landscape of China. Focus on development strategies, industry, agriculture, urbanization and the environment since 1949. Special attention paid to the character and impact of China’s on-going transition from a planned to market economy.
Overview of the physical environment and historical geography; changes in population distribution during the Soviet period; current demographic and ethnic problems; the rural economy; urbanization, industrial location, and regional development issues.
An overview of urban planning processes and current issues in planning practice. An introduction to the hands-on work of urban planning within the historical, political, legal, social and environmental contexts that surround and affect it. The focus is on the Canadian experience, with comparative examples from other countries, primarily the United States. (Given by the Department of Geography and Innis College)
Changes in social and economic geography with Japan’s emergence as a modern state. Emphasis on developments in industry, agriculture, urbanization and the environment since 1945.
Physical and human geography of the Middle East and North Africa. Resources, economic and political geographies of the region. Additional topics: regional distinctions and disparities, regional development, trade patterns, geography of petroleum resources, territorial and resource conflicts.
An introduction to housing in context: as a commodity, a political process and social necessity. The analysis of housing markets in an urban and spatial context, emphasizing the allocation mechanism, residential location and tenure choice, the role of the state, social housing and the relationships of housing changes to mobility, neighbourhood transition, and social equity. Case studies of specific policy issues and alternative housing strategies.
Three related themes are discussed: the underlying social, cultural and economic forces that have given cities their form and image; various aesthetic and political philosophies that have been put into practice in constructing the urban landscape; and recent European and North American attempts to control the landscape of the contemporary metropolis by the application of urban policy and planning.
The course examines the connections between urban space and social identity through four related themes: theories of difference; the urban geography of ethnicity, gender, sexuality and other axes of difference; the relationship of identity to the experience of place; and planning and the politics of difference.
This course introduces a diversity of critical perspectives in human geography, spanning anarchism, Marxism, feminism, sexual politics, ‘postcolonialism’ and anti-racism. In so doing it illustrates how such a range of radical ideas about space, society and culture have emerged and affected our thinking.
The creation and survival of ethnic communities in Canada with particular emphasis on rural settlements. Aspects of ethnic territoriality, the stability of ethnic communities, and the adaptation of immigrants to the Canadian environment. Models of ethnic assimilation within the different regions of Canada.
Toronto’s development compared to other large North American cities. Culture, social life, economy, politics, and planning process.
Topics in the distribution and spread of languages and dialects, including dialect atlases, innovation diffusion, measures of dialect distance, and linguistic consequences of urbanization and mobility. Rudiments of phonetics and grammar are integrated in the geolinguistic content.
This course is designed to give students exposure to advanced quantitative techniques including inferential applications of the simple regression model, multiple regression analysis (MRA), data screening for MRA, model building issues in MRA, qualitative independent variable models, discrete choice models, cluster analysis and forecasting methods.
Advanced theory, techniques, and applications in geographic information systems (GIS), including interpolation, geostatistics, modeling, and raster and vector analysis. GIS project design and implementation.
Introduction to field methods in vegetation mapping/analysis, soils, hydrology and geomorphology. The course includes exercises and a project during a one-week field camp early in September, a little preparation during the preceding summer, and complementary practical work and/or seminars during the Fall Term. Each student is required to pay the costs of their transportation and accommodation. Students must register with the Department by April 2003.
A seminar course in which each student prepares a research proposal incorporating relevant theory, published research, existing sources of data, and methods of enquiry and analysis. A proposal prepared in this course may be used to plan research for GGR491Y1.
The design and execution of a small research project using the methods of historical geography. Components include: project design, literature review, data-gathering from primary sources such as Canadian census manuscripts, data analysis and the presentation of a short research paper. (Offered in alternate years)
Environmental impact assessment as a mechanism for avoiding or mediating the costs of development. Emphasis on the historical and institutional development of EIA in Canada, and EIA in the context of environmental regulation under advanced capitalism. Includes case studies of EIA statements and processes at various levels of government.
An instructor-supervised group project in an off-campus setting. See page 40 for details.
Content in any given year depends on instructor. The program in which this course can be used depends on its context. Consult Departmental Office in April.
Introduction to climate and carbon cycle modelling at the global scale with emphasis on 0 and 1 dimensional models and box models. Applications to understanding the present climate, explaining past climates, and predicting human-induced climatic changes.
Exchange of carbon, water and nitrogen/phosphorus/sulphur/ iron between the three major earth systems: atmosphere, oceans, and biosphere. Focus will be placed on the global carbon cycle, including topics related to methods of estimating carbon fluxes and potential effects of future global change.
Content in any given year depends on instructor. Consult Departmental Office in April.
The environmental behaviour and ecotoxicology of inorganic and organic chemical contaminants is discussed in order to understand the scientific basis of pollution concerns. Theory is illustrated with qualitative and quantitative examples and case studies. Facility is gained with simple mathematical models. Application of scientific theory and observations to policy development and the interface between science and policy are discussed throughout.
Modern developments in geomorphology, including form and process models, interactions of hydrology, ecology and geomorphology; the course emphasizes use of computer simulation models of drainage basin processes.
The policy and institutional aspects of resource and environmental planning in Canada. Overview of the evolution of resource and environmental management and the examination of selected planning techniques; community involvement in planning; the ecosystem approach to planning; emphasis on environmental planning in the urban context.
Examines political aspects of the appropriation of natural resources, including policy and regulation, environmental impacts, and social justice. Emphasis is placed on reading contemporary literature on the politics of resource access and control from geography and other social science disciplines.
Review of persistent questions before and after Darwin. The emergence of an academic discipline. (Offered in alternate years)
Theory and analysis of regional economic change with emphasis on North America and Western Europe. Export-base, neoclassical, increasing returns, and political-economic explanations of regional growth and decline, globalization, knowledge-based economy and the role of regions. Geography of investment decisions, technological change, labour-markets and labour relations. Objectives and approaches for local and regional development policy.
Toronto as a case study of methods to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, their costs and benefits, and of the practical problems involved. Seminar format with presentations by students in class and in high schools. (Offered in alternate years)
Travel patterns, economic, political, social and environmental impacts of tourism, tourism demand, supply capability assessment and environmental quality.
Introduction to geopolitical theories. Emphasis on the development of the nation state, theories of land claims and the territorial manifestations of nationalism. Will examine recent theoretical as well as empirical challenges to many of the conventional geopolitical assumptions about scale, space, and power in global politics. Please note that this course is open to students who have taken GGR239H1 (formerly Global Political Geography).
Origins and development. Contributions of major practitioners in Canada, USA, UK and France. Landscape appreciation, political and applied uses of historical geography, other current trends. (Offered in alternate years)
The geography of health and disease. Environmental and behavioural factors in the causes and distributions of diseases. Mapping and modelling disease diffusion. Spatial distribution of health care resources and their utilization.
An exploration of the aspects of health in which place or location matters. Particular attention will be paid to the role of environments (physical, social, etc.) in explaining differences in health between places, the structuring of health-related behaviour in place, and the development of health policy for places.
The changing nature of space and our thinking about it, centering on works of contemporary geographers and spatial theorists such as Lefebvre, Soja, Gregory, Harvey, Massey and challenges to this thinking. Explores changing concepts of spatiality that inform geographic thought and help us understand the ways political, economic and social power is constituted and contested.
Research seminar exploring the reciprocal relations between gender and spatial structures. Feminist geography literature from North America and Britain is employed to illustrate the ways in which ‘gender’ plays an important role in the layout of cities and in the activities of the people that reside in those cities.
The poor, visible minorities, native people, and women suffer disproportionately from environmental destruction. The course examines the evidence for environmental injustice from a spatial perspective of race, class, and gender; reviews justice arguments in environmental advocacy discourses, and considers policy for prevention, mediation, and retribution.
Alternative perspectives on urban form and growth: the processes, logics and tensions underlying metropolitan development; production and consumption spheres; changes in the demographic, political, ethno-cultural and social fabric of cities; economic restructuring and shifts in labour markets; land development and suburbanization; inner city revitalization and decline; conflicts over public goods and services; policy issues and equity questions; quality of life and future urban forms.
Advanced level of GIS; project-based use of GIS for spatially referenced socio-economic, environmental, and planning data analysis; enhanced ability in using GIS for solving practical problems.
Examines the use of GIS and remote sensing technologies in resource management, environmental planning and municipal land use planning. Strategies for the application of specialized software and hardware. Formulation of project objectives. Review of applied case studies and location theory.
Application of operational research and information technology to develop decision support systems for forest land management planning. Basic principles of mathematical programming, simulation and decision analysis, and their application to planning for forest conservation and sustainable development, policy analysis and other land management planning problems.
The design and production of maps using GIS cartographic and graphics software packages. Map perception and map use, principles and elements of cartographic design, data acquisition and manipulation, production and reproduction of maps and atlases. Practical exercises culminate in a major project in thematic map design.
Use of operational research and information technology to develop mathematical models and decision support systems to design and evaluate the performance of emergency response systems. Forest fire management systems are used to illustrate the basic principles of emergency response system planning that can also be applied to urban fire, police, and ambulance services.
Context in any given year depends on instructor and location. Offered in summer session. Consult departmental office in April.
A two-week course emphasizing the use of advanced field methods for analyzing the pattern of variations in vegetation, soils, surface hydrology and geomorphology. Course is offered in August at the University of Calgary’s field station, Kananaskis, Alberta. Students are responsible for the cost of board, lodging and transport to and from the field. Students must register with the Department in March. (Offered in alternate years)
Open to students who have completed 15 courses and who are enrolled in a Specialist or Major Program sponsored by the Department of Geography. Students should enrol by the end of May and are invited to consult with an appropriate supervisor and with the course coordinator.
Students design and implement an independent applied geography/planning project in consultation with an NGO or government organization, who will act as their “client.” Enrolment requires written permission from a staff supervisor. Only open to students who are enrolled in a Specialist or Major program sponsored by the Department of Geography.
An independent research extension to one of the courses already completed in Physical Geography. Enrolment requires written permission from a staff supervisor. Only open to students who have completed 15 course credits and who are enrolled in a Specialist or Major program sponsored by the Department of Geography.
An independent research extension to one of the courses already completed in a social science or humanities branch of Geography. Enrolment requires written permission from a staff supervisor. Only open to students who have completed 15 course credits and who are enrolled in a Specialist or Major program sponsored by the Department of Geography.
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