The course provides a systematic study of human geography including the following topics outlined in the AP Human Geography Course Description:
Nature of and Perspectives on Geography
What is Human Geography?
What are geographic questions?
Why do geographers use maps, and what do maps tell us?
Why are geographers concerned with scale and connectedness?
What are geographic concepts, and how are they used in answering geographic questions?
How serious a problem is population growth?
Should lowering the world’s population growth rate be a global objective?
How does international migration affect global, national, regional, and local peoples and places on Earth – and should it be controlled by government intervention or not in the post 9/11 era?
Cultural Patterns and Processes
What is the geography of folk and popular culture and languages and how does the study of the patterns and processes of cultural traits and languages contribute to our understanding of the world’s political, cultural, and economic patterns and processes?
What are local and popular cultures?
How are local cultures sustained?
How is popular culture diffused?
How can local and popular cultures be seen in the cultural landscape?
What is identity, and how are identities constructed?
How do places affect identity, and how can we see identities in places?
How do power relationships subjugate certain groups of people?
What are languages and what role do languages play in culture?
Why are languages distributed the way they are?
How do languages diffuse?
What role does language play in making places?
What role does religion play in political conflicts?
An overview of the origin, diffusion, and spatial patterns of each of the world’s major religions:
Traditional and Shaministic religions
Political Organization of Space
The current division of our world into more than 200 individual countries is anything but natural.
Today’s political map of the world, in fact, is the result of only about 400 years of various factions and national groups organizing the Earth into today’s various countries and territories.
Boundary Disputes: Definitional, Locational, Operational, and Allocational.
The ever changing nature of political geography in today’s turbulent world.
Agricultural and Rural Land Use
What is agriculture and where did it begin?
How agriculture changed with industrialization.
What imprint does agriculture make on the cultural landscape?
What is the global pattern of agriculture and agribusiness?
Spatial patterns and organization of agriculture worldwide.
Industrialization and Economic Development
Why do certain countries control most of the wealth and resources on Earth today while others remain poor and powerless?
Barriers to and the costs of economic development in particular places.
Explore issues such as social welfare, political instability, foreign debt, diseases such as malaria, and desertification.
Ways in which governments/politics play a role in creating and sustaining levels of development.
How the world has changed since the advent of the Industrial Revolution – and the way it will continue to change in the future.
Cities and Urban Land Use
When and why humans first began to live in urban places, the design of ancient cities, and processes shaping urbanization on Earth.
How various types of cities diffused on Earth.
Where cities on Earth are located and why these patterns emerged.
How cities are organized and how they function.
How cities are shaped and created and re-created by local residents, policy makers, and larger social and political processes in today’s globalizing world.
Globalization: roles cities play.
The course teaches the use of spatial concepts and landscape analysis to examine human organization of space.
The course teaches spatial relationships at different scales ranging from the local to the global.
The course teaches students how to use and interpret maps, data sets, and geographic models. GIS, aerial photographs, and satellite images.