Introduction to Geography* [CRN 15960]

Discipline: Geography
Instructor: Jolly-Ballantine
Credits: 3
Day: A
Start: 1110
End: 1230
Field Work: Day 2 | February 11, 2020 | Vietnam
Prerequisites: None Download Syllabus

Geography is one of the oldest areas of study and is still vibrant and diverse today. Ancient civilizations used an understanding of people and landscapes to map the world around them and today geo-technology is among the fastest growing careers. In this course, you will learn about both the big ideas of Geography (such as space, place, region, scale, culture, landscape, movement/migration, and human-environment) and how these ideas illuminate your voyage and your life. As examples, we will explore the two monsoon seasons of Malaysia, map coastlines from the ship the way explorers did hundreds of years ago, and examine the way colonial powers changed and exploited countries through transportation networks they built. We will study human cultures, landscapes, and the tools Geographers use in a context that is relevant to your life and our incredible voyage around the world.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the breadth of the discipline of geography
  • Be able to describe the differences and complementarities of human and physical geography
  • Recognize the interconnectedness of people, places, and environment
  • Learn about the tools that geographers use
  • Develop map-reading skills
  • Perceive the role that geography plays in our day‐to‐day lives

*Note: This class is delivered when lunch is served.


Field Work

Country: Vietnam
Day: 2
Date: February 11, 2020

Geography is a broad discipline covering many areas of study and rivers mirror this by expressing natural and human conditions and problems that have been integrated over a broad area. This field class will explore how the physical landscapes, native ecology, cultures, trans-boundary conflict, pollution, agriculture and fishing, etc. that all co-exist within the Mekong River watershed, interact and shape the Mekong as it makes its way to the sea. By observing the river, natural and human uses of the river, and the landscape along the river, we can get a sense for the many factors that shape and impact rivers worldwide.

Learning Objectives:
1. Observe the nature of human and natural influences on the Mekong River
2. Explore the upstream conditions that contribute to the nature of the Mekong near its mouth (dams, pollution, fishing, agriculture, etc.)
3. Explore the native biota of the lower Mekong River
4. Engage with local users of the river to better understand its importance to local communities
5. Participate in a service project to support sustainable agriculture near the river