Geography

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

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.

Cyber-Geography in Geospatial Intelligence

Credit: Internet 1971621 by TheDigitalArtist is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Curious about how the notion of place and space is affected by Social Media, or how the Web differs from location to location? Cyber-Geography in Geospatial Intelligence looks at the geographies of cyberspace, the geopolitics of cyberwar, and at techniques that might be employed in such conflicts. Wondering how this all relates to censorship on the Internet? This class explores ideas on governance and network architecture, the politics of censorship and hacking, and the politics of grassroots activism enabled by the internet.

Cultural Intelligence

Credit: Justice 2071539 by AJEL is licensed under CC0

Course Description

GEOG 571 explores the relationships between culture and civil security and the process of geographically analyzing social, political, economic, and demographic information to understand human history, institutions, and behaviors. It is an elective course in the Geospatial Intelligence Certificate, the Intercollege Master of Professional Studies (iMPS-HLS), and the Master of Geographic Information Systems degree program that is offered exclusively through Penn State's World Campus.

Course Description

Geography 431 is designed to further understanding of the natural processes of aquatic ecosystems, management of water resources, and threats to sustaining water quantity. Develop awareness and appreciation of the perspectives about water as a precious resource, commodity, and sometimes hazard. Learn how and why water is distributed unevenly around the Earth. Examine how resource management decisions are strongly related to water availability, quantity, and quality.

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.

Independent Study in Geospatial Intelligence

Credit: Computer Laptop by Rudy and Peter Skitterians is licensed under CC0

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.

Planning GIS for Emergency Management

Credit: Helicopter Help First Aide by ThePixelman is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Geospatial perspectives and technologies play a major role in planning for and responding to emergencies. Geospatial tools - from aerial mapping techniques to data acquisition, are changing rapidly as is emergency management as the frequency and magnitude of crises and disasters are increasing.

GIS Application Development

Credit: Jan Oliver Wallgrun, (c) Penn State University, (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)

Course Description

In GEOG 489, you will learn advanced applications of Python for developing and customizing GIS software, designing user interfaces, solving complex geoprocessing tasks, and leveraging open source. The course consists of readings, walkthroughs, projects, quizzes, and discussions about advanced GIS programming concepts and techniques, and a final term project. It complements the material covered in GEOG 485: GIS Programming and Customization. Software covered in the course includes: Esri ArcGIS Pro/arcpy, Jupyter Notebook, Esri ArcGIS API for Python, QGIS, GDAL/OGR.

Course Description

In this data rich world, we need to understand how things are organized on the Earth's surface. Those things are represented by spatial data and necessarily depend upon what surrounds them. Spatial statistics provide insights into explaining processes that create patterns in spatial data. In geographical information analysis, spatial statistics such as point pattern analysis, spatial autocorrelation, and spatial interpolation will analyze the spatial patterns, spatial processes, and spatial association that characterize spatial data.

multiple maps

Maps by Pxhere is licensed under CC0

Course Description

Maps are powerful visual tools, both for communicating ideas and for facilitating data exploration. In Geog 486: Cartography and Visualization, you will learn design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools, including ArcGIS Pro. In this lab-focused course, you'll apply cartographic theory to practical problems, with a focus on design decisions such as selecting visual variables, classifying and generalizing data, applying principles of color and contrast, and choosing projections for maps.

Pages

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.