With facilities and programs rivaling those at larger institutions and a close-knit community you can only find at small colleges, the Carthage Geospatial Science Department offers students a rigorous academic program packed with opportunity and personal attention. Scroll down to read descriptions of the geospatial science courses offered at Carthage, or click on the following links for additional resources.

Internet Mapping and Web GIS (NLAB)

GEO 1210 / 4 credits
The Web GIS (geographic information systems) revolution is radically altering how spatially explicit information about the world around us is consumed, applied, and shared. This course aims to enable students from diverse academic backgrounds and interests to (1) search, retrieve, and visualize geographically referenced data using a wide variety of general purpose, government, and specific-purpose web maps and apps; (2) use ESRI ArcGIS Online, Business Analyst Online, and Community Analyst to find geospatial data, create multilayered thematic maps, and conduct spatial analyses; and (3) build their own web apps, story maps, or geo-enabled mobile apps, through individual as well as group-based projects. Students need no specialized computer skills to enter the course, but they will be expected to manipulate data and maps using the computer methods discussed in class.

Human Geography: An Introduction (SOC)

GEO 1500 / 4 credits
An examination of the evolution of concepts concerning the nature, scope, and methods of Human Geography (population, economic, urban, landscape, etc.) with emphasis on current geographic thought, theory, research themes, and the relationship between people and the environment.

Earth Revealed (NLAB)

GEO 1600 / 4 credits
Earth Revealed examines the earth’s lithosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere, studying the spatial patterns of phenomena at a variety of scales. The course is taught in a studio classroom setting, with lecture/discussion and computer-based analysis of satellite imagery. Environmental issues and sustainability are an integral part of the class.

Introduction to Geographic Information Science: Mapping Your World (NLAB)

GEO 1610 / 4 credits
This course provides an introduction to portraying spatial data and making data maps for a variety of applications. Students work in a hands-on lab/lecture setting while exploring computer mapping production techniques: cartographic design, communication properties of thematic maps, data selection and quality, and the problems of graphic display in print and electronic formats. Students will apply the course material by completing a variety of mapping projects. Students need no specialized computer skills to enter the course, but they will be expected to manipulate data and maps using the computer methods discussed in class.
Offered in Fall/Spring

Natural Disasters (NLAB)

GEO 1700 / 4 credits
A geographic examination of the causes and human consequences of natural disasters, such as floods, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes, and drought. Emphasis is placed on understanding the role that human perception plays in determining the steps that society takes to reduce natural hazard risks and disaster losses.

Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones) in Geosciences (NLAB)

GEO 1770 / 4 credits
Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) in Geosciences is intended for students who are curious about the scientific use of drones in the field. Topics to be addressed include the different forms and functions of UAS, their utility in the field, and the collection and initial analysis of field data in the form of remotely sensed imagery. Specifically, students will learn about UAS technology, develop appropriate flight plans to gather data, and fly missions that acquire remotely sensed imagery. Student missions will be designed to consider various aspects of geosciences, such as meteorology, hydrology, soils, forests, agriculture, and land use.

Great Lakes Basin (NLAB)

GEO 1800 / 4 credits
The Great Lakes hold approximately 20 percent of all surface freshwater on Earth. This large basin gives rise to important spatial variations in hydrology, climatology, glacial history, and biogeography. This class explores these spatial patterns by examining the physical processes that form them. From floods, droughts, and changing lake levels, to rocks that are nearly as old as Earth itself and a variety of forests and prairie grasslands, the Great Lakes offer a wealth of physical geography processes to explore.

Geology of National Parks (NLAB)

GEO 1900 / 4 credits
Geology of National Parks highlights geological features in U.S. National Parks formed by igneous activity, mountain building and uplift, glaciation, weathering and erosion, wave action, and groundwater, as well as human impacts on sustaining national parks. Organized based on key tectonic processes, the course is taught in a studio classroom setting with lecture/discussion, group projects, and computer-based analysis.

Business Geographics and Data Visualization

GEO 2150 / 4 credits
The course focuses on the visual display of quantitative information in a business or organizational context. Students will use advanced software technology to summarize data visually for better business decision-making, increased organizational efficiency, and effective organizational planning.

Biogeography (NLAB)

GEO 2450 / 4 credits
Biogeography investigates spatial patterns in the biosphere to show how Earth history, evolutionary and ecological processes, and contemporary environments have shaped patterns of biodiversity. Using a studio classroom setting, biogeography studies spatial distributions of organisms and the factors influencing those distributions, examining the interactions of the physical environment and sustainability of biological organisms through time.

Meteorology (NLAB)

GEO 2550 / 4 credits
A study of meteorology and weather through the analysis of atmospheric processes and the composition of the atmosphere. Emphasis is placed on dynamic meteorology through understanding the processes responsible for weather, climate change, and related environmental issues.

Advanced Geographic Information Science and Analytical Cartography (NLAB) (QR)

GEO 2610 / 4 credits
This course explores advanced problems and techniques in both raster and vector systems. Topics include scientific visualization of problems, layer overlays, distance measurement and transformation, data management, creation and analysis of statistical surfaces, geographic pattern analysis, and data quality. Students will apply the course material by performing a variety of analyses on different types of geographic data.
Prerequisite: GEO 1610 or consent of the instructor

Satellite Image and Air Photo Analysis (NLAB)

GEO 2700 / 4 credits
This course will focus on the use, analysis, and interpretation of aerial photographs and imagery from satellites to evaluate the environment (vegetation, climate, hydrology, etc.) and land-use analysis (urbanization, agriculture, forestry, etc.). Students will be introduced to various methods for obtaining and interpreting this type of data. The class will also discuss various types of data and formats available. Students need no specialized computer skills to enter the course, but they will be expected to manipulate and interpret imagery using the computer methods discussed in class.
Prerequisite: GEO 1610

Geography of East Asia (SOC)

GEO 2800 / 4 credits
This course provides students with broad exposure to what the “place” East Asia is from physical, cultural, economic, and political perspectives. Emphasis will be placed on dimensions of human geography and human-environment interaction within the specific regional contexts.

Geography and Biology of China (NLAB) (ITL)

GEO 2810 / 4 credits
Throughout China’s history, the relationship between humans and the native plant and animal communities has fueled the growth of civilizations and created new ecological challenges. This course aims to present students with geographical and biological perspectives to help them understand how the Chinese people have been interacting with their environment through time and across a vast country.

Geomorphology (NLAB)

GEO 2950 / 4 credits
Using a studio classroom setting with lecture, computer simulations, and fieldwork, this course is a systematic analysis of the physical and spatial characteristics of Earth’s terrain. The emphasis is on the identification of the formative processes in geomorphology.

Hydrology (LAB SCI)

GEO 3200 / 4 credits
An introduction to the physical characteristics of surface and subsurface waters and the hydrologic cycle, detailing its various components. Emphasis is placed on the nature of water movement, the interrelations of surface and groundwater systems, and modeling various aspects of the hydrologic cycle. Water is viewed as a natural resource and questions of sustainability are addressed.
Prerequisite: GEO 1600, ENV 1000, or consent of instructor

Forest Ecology

GEO 3400 / 4 credits
Forest Ecology explores the development of sustainable forest communities incorporating climate, topography, geomorphology, hydrology, soils, and human land-use history. The course is taught in a studio classroom setting, with lectures, discussions, group debates, use of dendrochronology lab, and field trips to examine the composition, structure, and function of forest ecosystems.
Prerequisite: GEO 1600, ENV 1000 or consent of instructor

Applied Projects in Geographic Information Science

GEO 3610 / 4 credits
This course is designed to reinforce and expand mapping, spatial analysis, and Web GIS skills acquired from GEO 1610, GEO 2610 and/or GEO 1210 in applied settings. It will focus on project design, project management, team building, and communications with the “client.” Students will be expected to create significant GIS applications using real-world data to address actual spatial problems in various settings (such as business, government, and environmental).
Prerequisite: GEO 1610, GEO 1210 or GEO 2210

Climatology (LAB SCI)

GEO 3700 / 4 credits
An overview of atmospheric processes and climatic elements, followed by a more detailed examination of the spatial distribution of climates. Particular emphasis will be placed upon macroscale climates of the global continents and climate change, culminating with microscale applications of the principles and concepts within the local area.a.
Prerequisite: GEO 1600, ENV 1000 or consent of instructor

Soil Science (LAB SCI)

GEO 3800 / 4 credits
Soil Science examines soils as both natural bodies and managed resources, integrating the properties of soil with human alterations of soils worldwide. The course is taught in a studio classroom setting, with computer and field labs to explore the formation, classification, biodiversity, and management of soils for agricultural purposes, and for the foundation of sustainable ecosystem development.
Prerequisite: GEO 1600 or ENV 1000, or permission of instructor

Methods of Field Research

GEO 3900 / 4 credits
Methods of Field Research focuses on outdoor sampling design and spatial analyses of field data in geosciences. Combining outdoor fieldwork with computer data processing, this course generates questions that can be answered with field data, explores project planning to focus field effort, teaches methods and techniques of data collection, and analyzes spatial samples.
Prerequisite: GEO 1600 or ENV 1000 or consent of instructor

Senior Seminar in Geospatial Science

GEO 4000 / 4 credits
This course presents an overview of the history of geoscience and geospatial thought. The material emphasizes problem analysis in applied geospatial science through the application of multiple working hypotheses within the framework of inductive and deductive logic. Students will be completing their capstone project in this course.
Offered in Fall

Science of Global Climate Change (NLAB)

GEO 4150 / 4 credits
This course is designed to provide an understanding of the science of planetary climates for students with a background in physics and/or geography. Emphasis will be placed on the physical processes that control the state of Earth’s climate, which include the roles of energy and moisture, atmospheric circulation, and atmosphere-ocean interaction.
Prerequisite: GEO 3700, PHY 2200 or consent of the instructor

Independent Study in Geospatial Science

GEO 4500 / 1-4 credits
A student can conduct an independent study in a topic of interest in Geospatial Science. It is understood that this course will not duplicate any other course regularly offered in the curriculum, and that the student will work in this course as independently as the instructor believes possible.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor

Geospatial Science Research

GEO 4900 / 1-4 credits
Work on a research project under the supervision of a faculty member. Students may enroll for credit more than once, but only 4 credits can count toward the major.
Prerequisite: Consent of instructor

Senior Thesis Completion

GEO 4990 / 0 credits
Students should register for GEO 4990 during the semester that they plan to complete their Senior Thesis.