Geography

The following courses have been developed by and for the Department of Geography at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

Food and Environment

Course Description

The Future of Food is an introductory-level science course that emphasizes the challenges facing food systems in the 21st century, and issues of sustainability for agriculture and other food production activities, as well as the challenges posed by food insecurity and modern diets to human health and well-being.

Unmanned Aerial Systems

Course Description

Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones, are developing aggressively, and many government and non-government agencies are considering acquiring such systems. This course will focus on the geo-spatial utilization of a UAS. It will cultivate students' knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of the UAS and data post-processing systems. It introduces fundamental concepts surrounding operating a UAS such as strategies for selecting the right UAS, assessing its performance, managing resulting products (i.e.

Mapping our Changing World

Course Description

Whether you realize it or not, when you carry a smart phone, use a navigation system in your car, or look up the nearest coffee shop on your computer, you are using geographic information. Geographic data and technologies are embedded in almost all aspects of our lives. GEOG 160, Mapping Our Changing World, explores what geographic information and data are, what makes them unique, how they are created, and how we use them.

Independent Study in Geospatial Intelligence

Course Description

Independent Study is an opportunity for students to work with individual direction from a faculty member on a topic of mutual interest in geospatial intelligence. Students must have strong professional experience or have taken courses in the subject matter leading up to the chosen topic. Independent Study is reserved for advanced specialties or for intermediate study in areas in which the department does not normally offer course work. Faculty members are under no obligation to accept Independent Study students, but do so as their teaching load permits.

Cloud and Server GIS

Course Description

Is your understanding of Cloud GIS a bit hazy? Does thinking about it leave you in a fog? We've designed GEOG 865, Cloud and Server GIS, to help you understand how all of the various pieces of architecture fit together. By the end of the class you'll have a clear understanding of esri's and others' offerings in the space, how to implement ArcGIS Enterprise on Amazon EC2, make online maps with Carto and Mapbox, and engage in some blue sky thinking of your own in our weekly discussions about trends and directions.

Advanced Analytic Methods in Geospatial Intelligence

Course Description

General James Clapper, former United States Director of National Intelligence and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), once said "everything happens somewhere." He stressed that there are aspects of time and place to every intelligence problem. In this course, you will examine how time and place work with general intelligence techniques to create geospatial intelligence. You will learn and apply critical thinking skills, structured analytical techniques, and other intelligence methods in a geospatial context.

Remote Sensing Image Analysis and Applications

Course Description

From satellites gathering imagery from hundreds of miles above the Earth's surface to aerial systems mounted with lasers capable of generating 3D maps with centimeter accuracy, we're gathering more data about our Earth from above than ever before. This course will help you make sense of these complex and exciting datasets. Whether your interest is in natural disasters, environmental assessment, or national security, we'll give you the tools, methods, and techniques to extract actionable and meaningful information from these data.

Geographic Foundations of Geospatial Intelligence

Course Description

A good detective or researcher like Sherlock Holmes knows the fundamental questions that need to be answered to gather facts to solve a problem. So how does geospatial intelligence contribute to answering these questions? While geospatial technology is useful in revealing who, what, when, and where events take place, it is less useful in explaining why events occur.

Mashups

Course Description

Locating restaurants in an unfamiliar place, reporting potholes to the local DOT, obtaining real-time traffic conditions... All of these are examples of geospatial web apps that are revolutionizing how people obtain and share information about the world. In GEOG 863, you will learn how to build apps like these. You'll start with a quick look at the fundamentals of web programming (HTML and CSS) before diving in to using JavaScript and a mapping application programming interface (API) developed by Esri.

GPS and GNSS

Course Description

Today GPS is critical to positioning, navigation, and timing. The smooth functioning of financial transactions, air traffic, ATMs, cell phones and modern life in general around the world depend on GPS. This very criticality requires continuous modernization. The oldest satellites in the current constellation were launched in the 1990s. If you imagine using a computer of that vintage today, it is not surprising that the system is being substantially updated. Global Positioning System (GPS) is now a part of a growing international context-the Global Navigation Satellite System, GNSS.

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Course Spotlight

From Meteorology to Mitigation: Understanding Global Warming (METEO 469) - learn about the fundamentals of climate change and its impact on societal, environmental, and economic policies. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Dr. Richard Alley

Dr. Richard Alley has been with us since the beginning, with one of our first OPEN courses - Geology of the National Parks. See what he has to say about the OPEN.ED effort over ten years later.