Curriculum

 


 

Hazard Processes

GEOG 3210 - Global Climate Change

The Earth's physical environment is continually changing, and life has responded to these changes. In the very recent past, humans have emerged and rapidly and dramatically affected Earth's environments. This course examines both natural and anthropogenic (human) change to the Earth's environments during the Quaternary (the last 2.5-2.6 million years). Questions considered include: 1) what evidence exists that climate has changed? 2) what causes climate change? 3) how have ecosystems responded to these changes in the past? 4) how has past climate change affected human evolution and cultures? 5) is recent climate warming the result of humand or natural factors? 6) how would increased temperatures affect Earth's ecosystems?

GEOG 3230 - Pyrogeography: Fire, Humans and the Environment

Fire is an inherently geographical process. Fire can affect landscapes on spatial scales from local to subcontinental and fire can affect, and be affected by processes that occur in our day or over millennia. The past, present and future role of wildland fire is a major concern to scientists, land managers, and the public. Concerns over issues such as forest health and sustainability, especially in light of global change, have added urgency to understanding the role of fire in ecosystems. To understand the interaction of fire and ecosystems the following topics will be covered in this course: the history of humans and fire, fire physics, fire weather, wildlands fuels, fire ecology including the effects of fire on plants and soils, methods of obtaining fire history including historical documents, dendrochronology, and paleoecological proxy, fire regines, how humans have evolved with fire, how humans have modified fire, fire management, fire problems in urban-wildland interface, and future fire regimes.

GEOG 3310 - Introduction to Natural Hazards

Is your house on the Wasatch Fault? Is it likely to be flooded, or buried by a landslide? This course examines the physical principles of naturally occurring geologic processes, methods of investigating hazards, techniques for assessing risk, and methods of mitigation. Course focuses on landslides, earthquakes, floods, and debris flows. Lectures will draw on Utah examples of these hazards, and present current understanding of the magnitude of the hazard, areas at risk, recurrence intervals, and mitigative measures. Field trips and projects will be directed towards identifying local areas where hazards exist.

GEOG 3320 - Geography of Terrorism and Homeland Security

This course examines the geographical dimensions of terrorism and homeland security. The course includes examination of the geographic factors that contribute to creating active regions of terrorism, insurgent states and terrorist target areas. Within the homeland security context, the course examines U.S. policy on homeland security, especially with regard to the use of geospatial technologies (geographic information systems, satellite imagery, global positioning systems) for event mitigation, response and recovery. Issues of surveillance and access to public geospatial information relative to individual freedoms are discussed in a cross-national context.

GEOG 3341 - Technological Hazards

Introduces students to the scope and variety of technological hazards in today's society including the exacerbating role of populations growth, demographics, and geography. Topics include nuclear waste shipment, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction, and the role of Homeland Security in countering these threats. Students will learn the concepts and mechanics of threat and risk analysis in the context of readiness, response, and recovery for technological events.

GEOG 5215 - Climate Change and Its Impacts

Meets with GEOG 3215. Graduate students should enroll in GEOG 5215 and will be held to higher standards and/or more work. One of the most widely discussed issues today is the future change in the Earth’s climate, with predicted increases in global temperature and resulting effects on climate regimes world-wide. These changes will impact both natural and human systems through sea level rise, the displacement of populations, health issues and changing availability of resources, and the economic and social costs of unmitigated climate change are expected impacts of these changes. With this knowledge, we will look at some of the methods that have been proposed to adapt to or mitigate these changes, including management and geoengineering of the Earth System. We will concentrate critically on the knowns of unknowns of future change and our ability to deal with it.

GEOG 5260 - Snow Dynamics and Avalanche Studies

Provides thorough background in technical avalanche forecasting procedures. Study of conditions leading to snow avalanches, broader aspects of snow in all its phases.

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Emergency Management

GEOG 3340 / 5340 - Geography of Disasters and Emergency Management

Well-known natural disasters are examined in terms of threat, risk, vulnerability, impact, human consequence and change. Students monitor global disasters and become familiar with the extremes of nature. Disaster analysis concepts are applied to current and historic disaster situations. Internet laboratories assist students in monitoring global disasters.

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Technical Courses

GEOG 3040 - Principles of Cartography

Fundamental principles of cartography including perception, visualization, topographic and thematic map interpretation, field mapping techniques (including GPS), and creating computer-based maps in weekly labs. Principles include direction, scale, grids, projections, and spatial transformations, spatial data analysis, data manipulation decisions, color theory and application, and principles of cartographic design and critical evaluation.

GEOG 3110 - The Earth from Space: Remote Sensing of the Environment

The extraordinary increase in the number, variety and availability of Earth images from satellites and airborne sensors is generating a growing number of Remote Sensing applications in a diverse set of disciplines. Remote sensing data are currently used in anthropology, civil engineering, environmental sciences, geography, geology, hydrology, natural resources, meteorology, and urban planning. This course adopts an interdisciplinary approach applicable to those fields through various techniques involving the interaction of light with the environment, image processing of satellite and airborne data, and computer-based laboratory activities. "Hands-on" interaction with the data using currently evolving software illustrates the concepts and applications presented in lecture. Local field procedures will demonstrate the concept and necessity of ground truth.

GEOG 3140 - Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

A recent increase in the use of digital geographic information in many fields has created the need for experts with the knowledge to use this information to society's benefit. Geographers, engineers, environmental scientists, planners, social scientists, computer scientists and many other profesionals will encounter digital geographic information in some form in their future careers. This course introduces students to issues that arise in using this information in scientific and decision-making arenas. Topics include: applications of geographic information; modeling geographic reality; spatial data collection; geographic analysis; accuracy and uncertainty; visualization; and legal, economic, and ethical issues associated with the use of geographic information.

GEOG 5100 - Aerial Photo Interpretation

Interpretation of aerial photographs to obtain quantitative and qualitative information about the earth's surface, its physical and cultural landscape.

GEOG 5110 - Environmental Analysis Through Remote Sensing

High-resolution multispectral data, coupled with expanding computing power and increasingly sophisticated image processing software, provides a large set of quantitative, graphic and science visualization tools for solving science-based environmental problems using remote sensing data. The theory and application of image-processing techniques such as: data corrections, enhancements, trnsformations, and classification are aimed at specific environmental problems in the natural and human domains. Hands-on experience is gained through image processing laboratory techniques, field-based measurements and real-world science projects.

GEOG 5140 - Methods in Geographic Information Systems

This course explores the practice of using a geographic information system (GIS) to support geographic inquiry and decision making. Students will strengthen their technical knowledge of the common tasks that a geographic analyst faces in applying a GIS to a variety of spatial problems. The lab sections offer an opportunity to gain hands-on experience using a leading commercial GIS to complete a series of real-world projects.

GEOG 5190 - GIS & Environmental Health

This course covers applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing in public health. Topics include making effective disease surveillance maps, color theory and visualization, global positioning system (GPS), remote sensing data acquisition, visualization, classification, and accuracy assessment. Relevant studies will be presented for students interested in the link between ecology and disease, infectious disease control, cancer cluster detection, enviromental health and justice. Selected case studies will be presented in order to highlight principles, methods, and techniques.

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Interdisciplinary Courses

ATMOS 1010 - Severe and Unusual Weather

Survey of the fundamentals of atmospheric science with an emphasis on severe and hazardous weather including hurricanes, thunderstorms, tornadoes, flash floods, and snowstorms.

FCS 3620 - Environment and Behavior

Effects of built and natural environments on human behavior; how people use and affect the physical environment.

GEO 1000 - Natural Disasters: Hollywood vs. Reality

Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, hurricanes, meteorite impacts, and global climate change are among the natural disasters that can devastate civilizations and alter the course of world history. This course explores the physical causes, effects and social consequences of such events. Several recent natural disasters are examined in depth to analyze the processes responsible for them and how that understanding translates into public policy and governmental response, for better of worse.

GEO 1030 - Earthquakes and Volcanoes

Occurrence, characteristics, and processes of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions on a global scale interpreted in terms of plate tectonics. Scientific and social aspects of living in earthquake and volcano country. Case histories from the western United States and elsewhere.

GEO 5170 - Geohazards and Engineering Geomorphology

Meets with GEO 6170. This course presents an introduction to geological hazards, their essential processes and driving factors, impact on built environments, and what can be done about it all. Special attention is given to hazard identification and evaluation through applied engineering geomorphology, and toward introducing underlying geomorphological principles of the different systems. Topics addressed include: mass wasting (e.g. rockfall, rock avalanches, landslides, debris and earth flows), earthquakes (site effects, liquefaction and slope stability), alpine geohazards (glacial and periglacial), and Fluvial processes such as flooding and erosion. Course meets twice per week for lecture and two mandatory full-day excursions plus one virtual field trip.

H EDU 2720 - Emergency Medical Responder

The Emergency Medical Responder course id designed for people with a duty to respond such as police, athletic trainers and first response team members but do not need EMT level training. This class includes CPR, AED, use of oxygen, bloodborne pathogens and emergency care. The class is designed for those who will have much medical equipment available to them. This class meets current NATA and CAATE requirements.

POLS 5965 - Special Topics: Crisis Management

PSY 3171 - Human Factors and Ergonomics

An introduction to human factors, ergonomics, and engineering psychology. The course examines the history of ergonomics, human-machine relations, displays and controls, human-computer interaction, industrial and aviation systems, physiology of work and anthropometrics, cognitive ergonomics, human reliability, human as manual controller, and human-machine systems design and prototyping.

SOC 3569 - Terrorism, Violence and Aggression

As citizens of an increasingly complex and often terrifying world, we live with daily threats of terrorism, violence, and aggression to greater or lesser degrees. Students of sociology and criminology have long been concerned with these uneasy topics, and continue to pursue some understanding of perpetrators, conditions, societal structures, and political regimes that may encourage such hostility toward one’s fellowman. This course will explore various aspects of these subjects as they relate primarily to contemporary life and society.

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