Saturday, February 1, 2014

GEOG 368 to become a geography requirement

Students on GEOG 368 field experience
in NYC, Spring 2012. Photo E. Zeitler.
In the ongoing effort to improve and refine our geography programming and curriculum with the goal of providing our students with the best education and experience possible for a fulfilling life and career as a geographer we have made some changes to the requirements for the geography degree.  

Perhaps most significantly, beginning in Fall 2014, all majors will be required to take GEOG 368, the Geography Field Seminar.  By student and faculty accounts alike, GEOG 368 is a highlight experience for those who participate.   So much so that we have decided it should be part of the experience of all geography graduates and a flagship feature of our program.  In GEOG 368, students get to apply their core geographic training in a field context, exercising their geographic imagination and their analytical and communication skills as they prepare for, conduct, and communicate the results of fieldwork.  

Depending on the faculty leaders and their individual expertise and interests, field experiences vary by semester and emphasis.  Please use the following links to learn from three recent GEOG 368 GEOG Field Seminars:
Other GEOG 368 Field Experience courses have gone to Hawai'i (human-environment), the Galapagos Islands (biogeography), Honduras (biogeography), and the delta region of western Mississippi (cultural geography). This spring, Ryan Weichelt is leading a 368 on Human Environmental interactions in and around Texas Hill Country

Since Fall 2011, we have received generous funding from the Blugold Commitment Differential Tuition (BCDT) to offset students expenses and to increase affordability.  As we prepare to accommodate all our students and each major's unique financial and time circumstances, we shall be trying to balance distant and near locations and are exploring how we can offer the experience in a variety of times and ways in the school year.  Also, since 10-15 students typically participate in any given GEOG 368, we may need to offer the course more than twice a year.  Perhaps GEOG 368 can also be used to build ongoing relationships with specific places. 

Though support from the Blugold Commitment is not guaranteed, we shall continue to make the argument that funding for the GEOG 368 Field Seminar is money will spent. In this way, BCDT support has been invaluable to the success of our program.

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