Two students standing on a rocky terrain

Geography Courses

Our Geography courses are not only designed to provide students with an opportunity to acquire geographical knowledge, but also to improve their critical thinking skills while developing an understanding of issues relating to society and the environment.  All courses are relevant to all students, for much is done to foster proficiency in communication and problem solving — talents employers seek, but far too frequently fail to find among college graduates. A recent report* shows that 45% of students "did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” during the first two years of college and 36% of students “did not demonstrate any significant improvement in learning” over four years of college. Yet those students in liberal arts fields, such as Geography, showed significantly higher gains in critical thinking and complex reasoning than students in other fields. In essence, college graduates with some education in Geography carry skills that fuel their success by enhancing their employability as well as their roles as public citizens. Thus, regardless of their chosen field or career aspirations, GRCC students will find Geography courses valuable.

*Arum, R. & Roksa, J. (2011). Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
 

 

Geography student in a dry climate

Geography Courses Regularly Scheduled in Fall, Winter, and Summer Semesters

GE 132 Physical Geography (4 credits/5 contact hours)
Climate, water resources, soils, landforms, vegetation, and wildlife are discussed with regard to their interrelationships as well as the ways in which they influence people and places. Moreover, human impact on the natural environment also is investigated. Essentially, through an exploration of physical geography, students learn what makes the world tick.

Physical Geography is offered as a hybrid course in which lectures and lab sessions take place during both face-to-face and online sessions during Fall, Winter, and Summer terms. It can be selected as a general education course in either the Natural Sciences or Social Sciences categories. Half of the course is devoted to examining weather, climate, and water resources, while the remaining half of the course pertains to soils, landforms, vegetation, and wildlife. Discussions are held concerning matters such as environmental conservation in Africa and natural hazards in North America. Physical Geography is an ideal Natural Science course for students majoring in Geography, History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, International Business, International Relations, Global & International Studies, International Development, Environmental Conservation, Ecology, Wildlife Biology, Meteorology and Aeronautical Science.

 

Book cover of Michigan's Physical Geography, A Landscape Appreciation

GE 135 World Regional Geography (3 credits/3 contact hours)
World Regional Geography is devoted to an examination of the world’s various regions within the context of globalization. Cultural, political, and environmental phenomena are examined among other traits, which characterize both More Developed Countries and Less Developed Countries. Students are encouraged to view their own culture in a world perspective.

World Regional Geography is normally offered in face-to-face and online forms of delivery during Fall, Winter, and Summer terms. It can be selected as a general education course in either the Social Sciences or Humanities categories. Students explore the people and places that make up different regions of the world through textbook readings and lectures held either in the classroom or online. Throughout the course, discussions are held concerning the role of women in development, and much reading is taken from Kristof and WuDunn’s Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. World Regional Geography is an ideal course for students majoring in Geography, History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Education, International Business, International Relations, Global & International Studies, International Development, Environmental Conservation, Foreign Languages, English, Journalism, Creative Writing and Leadership.
 

Textbook cover of Globalization and Diversity


GE 210 Cultural Geography (3 credits/3 contact hours)
Cultural geography is devoted to the description and explanation of spatial patterns and ecological relationships in human culture.  Various cultural phenomena, both material and non-material in nature, are examined within the context of the cultural landscape.  Some emphasis is placed upon the origin, diffusion, and spatial distribution of religion, language, folk and popular customs, and ethnic groups.  Population patterns, particularly in terms of development and global resources, are explored, as are issues pertaining to migration, gender, political geography, agriculture, industry, and settlement. Environmental perception also is examined.

Cultural Geography is normally offered through an online form of delivery in Fall and Summer terms. It can be selected as a general education course in either the Social Sciences or Humanities categories. Throughout the course, discussions are held concerning how people of different ethnicities, genders, and regions view cultural and natural landscapes in different ways, as well as how “a sense of place” is created and how individuals often develop an affinity for specific places. Cultural Geography is an ideal course for students majoring in Geography, History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Psychology, Education, International Business, Marketing, International Relations, Global & International Studies, International Development, Environmental Conservation, Foreign Languages, Philosophy, Communications, English, Journalism and Creative Writing.

 

Book cover of Human Geography, A Short Introduction

GE253 Geography of the U.S. and Canada (3 credits/3 contact hours)
The Geography of the U.S. and Canada is offered in face-to-face or online forms of delivery in Fall, Winter, and Summer terms. It can be selected as a general education course in either the Social Sciences or Humanities categories. Students explore the people and places that make up different regions of North America through textbook readings and lectures held either in the classroom or online. Throughout the course, discussions are held concerning environmental issues and matters associated with social injustice. Readings are taken from Reisner’s Cadillac Desert: The American West and its Disappearing Water in addition to scholarly articles and government reports devoted to race, ethnicity, and human health. The Geography of the U.S. and Canada is an ideal course for students majoring in Geography, History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Social Work, Education, Business, Marketing, Environmental Conservation, English, Journalism, Creative Writing, Health Care and Leadership.


Geography Courses Offered Infrequently

GE 140 Geography of Michigan (3 credits/3 contact hours)
Michigan’s geography is explored through examinations of its natural environment and people. Economic activities are examined, such as agriculture and manufacturing, as well as cultural phenomena, such as race and ethnicity.

The Geography of Michigan is periodically offered in hybrid or online forms of delivery. It can be selected as a general education course in either the Social Sciences or Humanities categories. Students explore the people and places that make up different parts of Michigan, ranging from urban Flint to the Lake Michigan shore through readings and lectures held in the classroom, on field trips, or online. Throughout the course, discussions are held concerning the state’s natural environment, historical geography, economic geography, and matters associated with social injustice. Michigan is examined through explorations of landscape and literature. The Geography of Michigan is an ideal course for students majoring in Geography, History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Social Work, Education, Business, English, Journalism, Creative Writing and Communications.

GE 281 Immigration and Ethnicity in America (3 credits/3 contact hours)
Immigration and ethnicity in the United States is examined from historical and geographical perspectives. Case studies of various ethnic groups are discussed in detail.

I
mmigration and Ethnicity in America is periodically offered in face-to-face, hybrid or online forms of delivery. It can be selected as a general education course in either the Social Sciences or Humanities categories. Students explore the peopling of the United States for the past 200 years through readings, films, and lectures. Attributes associated with the principal immigrant groups that characterize different regions across the American continent are examined with special reference to culture and food. Immigration and Ethnicity in America is an ideal course for students majoring in Geography, History, Sociology, Economics, Political Science, Anthropology, Social Work, Education, English, Creative Writing and Film Studies.

GE 296 Sustainability in the Face of Globalization: Southern Africa (6 credits/6 contact hours)
This seminar provides an in-depth study of southern Africa, with special focus placed on South Africa. Social characteristics, as well as the region’s history and economic development are examined in addition to its natural environment and cultural geography. Of special importance are matters associated with natural resources, migration, changing indigenous lifeways, political geography, zoogeography, and wildlife conservation, as political, cultural, and economic conflicts emerge during an era marked by globalization. 

Sustainability in the Face of Globalization: Southern Africa is offered periodically as a study abroad course, which also incorporates online instruction. It can be selected as a general education course in the Social Sciences, Humanities, or Natural Sciences categories. Students engage in substantial reading, writing, and asynchronous dialogue prior to the departure to Africa. A two-week field expedition in South Africa includes examinations of indigenous lifeways, urban geographies, and environmental conservation. A wilderness safari experience is a highlight of the expedition. Sustainability in the Face of Globalization: Southern Africa is an ideal course for students in any major seeking to take part in short-term study abroad to Sub-Saharan Africa, which includes a rich safari experience.