2011-2012 Academic Catalog 
    Jul 20, 2024  
2011-2012 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geography Minor

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Undergraduate Program

Geography, along with its links to Clark’s newest majors: Global Environmental Studies and Environmental Science, takes students into the world of integrated science by focusing on the relationships between people and their environments, as well as by offering the lens of geographical information systems to explore these relationships. Students work as such topical issues as: problems of sustainable development, the livability of cities and the causes and consequences of urban sprawl, climate change, local consequences of economic globalization, social consequences of climate change, and politics, gender, and livelihood chances. Due to the university’s special facilities its and accomplished, actively engaged faculty, Geography majors are also encouraged to become experts in the engaging field of GIScience (Geographic Information Science).

Special facilities available to students include the Jeanne X. Kasperson Research Library at the George Perkins Marsh Institute, the Guy H. Burnham Map and Aerial Photograph Library, the Clark Labs for Cartographic Technologies and Geographic Analysis, and an earth-science teaching and research laboratory.

The Clark Advantage

Geography majors, Global Environmental Studies (GES) majors, and Environmental Science (ES) majors concentrating in Earth Systems Science (ESS) have the opportunity to work on research projects with faculty members and graduate students in one of the most prestigious graduate programs of geography worldwide. Summer Fellowships are available for qualified students to participate in the Human-Environment Regional Observatory (HERO) program, an intensive summer academic-year research effort focused on environmental change in New England. Eligible majors also have the opportunity to enter the accelerated M.A. in GIScience program. Other accelerated M.A. programs include International Development and Social Change, Environmental Science and Policy, and Community Development and Planning.

Geography, GES, and ESS undergraduates are served by the Clark University Geography Association (CUGA) and Gamma Theta Upsilon, an international geographic honors society.

CUGA is the voice of Geography, GES, and ESS majors, with student representation on the undergraduate studies committee and the opportunity to attend departmental meetings. CUGA representatives are able to vote at department meetings and give their ideas and opinions on various topics that concern undergraduate majors. They also attend field trips and periodically have group gatherings to discuss topics of interest to geography majors, such as research, internships, courses and future jobs.

Gamma Theta Upsilon is an elite international honor society; initiates must have completed a minimum of three geography courses, have a B+ average in geography, and have completed at least three semesters (or five quarters) of college course work. For more information on Gamma Theta Upsilon please see their official website.

Affiliate Faculty

Robert Kates, Ph.D.


Hilary Laraba: Managing Editor, Economic Geography
Beverly Presley, A.M.L.S.: Map and Geography Librarian


Program Minor

Students wishing to minor in Geography must complete the following components of the regular program of the major (for a total of seven courses in Geography):

Two core courses:

Core courses emphasize core geographic concepts and ways of creating knowledge; courses in the core are designed to help build frameworks for understanding the world.

Each year, several 000- and 100-level courses are designated as core courses in each of these areas. In special cases, a 200-level course may be used to fulfill a core course requirement, subject to the approval of the student’s adviser and either the undergraduate adviser or the director of the school.

Each of the core courses must be selected from one of the following broad disciplinary divisions:

  • Nature and Society
    Analyzes the ways that human societies have used, shaped and constructed nature; impacts of societies, economies and cultures on ecological systems.
  • Globalization, Cities and Development
    Examines the ways that space and location shape economic, sociopolitical, and cultural life; ways that economic, sociopolitical and cultural factors shape space and location; relationships between these processes and the dynamics of urban life.
  • Earth Systems Science
    Examines how Earth systems (ecosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere) naturally function, how these systems interact with one another, and how they are affected by human activities
  • Geographic Information Science
    Geographic Information Science is concerned with the acquisition, analysis and communication of geographic information; principles and techniques important in cartography, remote sensing, geographic information systems and spatial analysis.

Three specialization courses:

Two specialization courses must be at the 200 level and one may be at the 100 or 200 level. The faculty adviser must approve the specialization courses selected.

One skills course:

Each student undertaking the geography minor is required to take at least one geography skills course appropriate to the student’s area of specialization. This course must be approved by the student’s adviser.

One elective geography course:

The seventh course in the geography minor is an elective that can be taken at any level.

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