New geography courses added
The UA Geography Program has announced new courses for the fall and will be bringing a visiting professor to help teach some of them. Terry Slocum (pictured at right), associate professor at the University of Kansas geography department, will spend the coming year in Fairbanks.
Dr. Slocum is an expert in computer cartography, analysis of geospatial data and geovisualization. His research focuses on classroom stereoscopic displays for teaching physical geography. other research includes virtual environments, animation and data exploration.
While at UAF he will teach GEOG/NRM 393, "Methods of Analyzing Geographical Data" for the fall semester (CRN: 79323). This course introduces the benefits and limitations of using quantitative methods to analyze geographical problems. It will cover traditional descriptive (e.g., measures of central tendency) and inferential statistics (e.g., hypothesis testing) but also inherently geographical approaches such as shape and point pattern analysis, and spatial autocorrelation. The laboratory sessions will emphasize using the computer to explore and analyze geographical problems.
For spring semester 2013, Dr. Slocum will teach Geography/NRM 493, "Cartographic Data Handling and Map Symbolization," an analysis of methods for manipulating and symbolizing spatial data. Techniques studied include dot, choropleth, proportional symbol and isarithmic (contour) mapping. Topics covered include data classification, and the use of color and automated methods of interpolation (triangulation, inverse distance, and kriging). Emphasis is on developing maps that can be presented to the general public, although some consideration is given to visualization software that can be used to explore spatial data.
Other new courses for fall:
GEOG/NRM/CCS 454 Comparative Farming & Sustainable Food Systems, Fall 2012 (3 credits)
9:45-11:15am TR O'Neill 305
Instructor: Craig Gerlach
Principles of food systems geography and food security. Cross-cultural examination of dietary traditions, poverty, hunger, equity and food access and distribution. Comparison of multiple varieties and scales of agricultural systems in the context of social, ecological and economic sustainability. Considers Alaskan and other high-latitude food systems, including country food, wild game harvest and rural to urban nutrition transition.
GEOG/NRM 656 Sustainable Livelihoods & Community Well-being, Fall 2012 (3 credits)
1 p.m.- 4 p.m. Mondays O'Neill building
Instructor: Craig Gerlach
Review the basic principles that govern the sustainability of systems and look at the cultural practices and individual behaviors that enhance or degrade sustainable livelihoods and community well-being. Emphasis is on understanding the historical context of ideas about sustainability, on understanding the nature and magnitude of the social, economic and ecological dimensions of contemporary change and the "best practices" currently in place for communities to respond effectively to change.
If interested, contact Cary de Wit, associate professor and chair of the geography department at UAF, 474-7141.