Professors: Ben Marsh, Karen M. Morin, Paul H. Susman

Associate Professors: Duane A. Griffin, Adrian N. Mulligan (Chair)

Assistant Professors: Nathanael Amador (visiting), Melissa Rock (visiting)

Geography studies the ways people shape and give meaning to their environments and are shaped by them. Human geography (a social science) is concerned especially with the political, economic, social, and cultural processes and resource practices that give definition to particular places, and that, in turn, are affected by them. Physical geography (a natural science) focuses on the Earth systems that create the human environment, such as weather, soils, biogeography, and Earth-sculpting processes. Specialties in geography complement and integrate material from cognate fields such as political science, economics, sociology, women's and gender studies, geology, and biology.

The course of study in geography is designed to provide a strong background in the discipline and a substantial foundation for a liberal arts education. A major in geography is good preparation for those interested in graduate work in geography, environmental and resource fields, urban planning and policy, or in careers in law, journalism, government, international affairs, business, and public service.

The major in geography consists of a minimum of EIGHT courses which must include:

  • Two Human Geography (social science credit) courses at the 200 level.
  • Two Physical Geography (natural science credit) courses.*
    *Some courses in other departments are accepted toward the major: GEOL 106 - Environmental Geology (counts for the physical geography requirement), and others with geography department approval.
  • One Methods/Skills course, usually satisfied by GEOG 204 (Applied Geographic Information Systems), but a substitute is possible with department approval (e.g., statistics).
  • One Culminating Experience course to be taken senior year (or second semester junior year with adviser's and departmental approval). Courses fulfilling this requirement include 300 level or higher (non-methods/skills) Geography courses or an independent study course designed for this purpose. In these courses, paper and/or project topics for the geography majors will be designed to ensure that the students draw upon their broader geographic education, thus providing them a more coherent appreciation of the discipline.
  • Two Geography electives which may be drawn from any 200 level or higher geography courses, but may include up to two 100-level geography courses taken before declaring the major.

The geography minor consists of five geography courses, at least one of which is a geography science course, and no more than one of which may be at the 100 level.



From Earth to Home (II; 3, 0)

Explores how, why, and where humans transform planet Earth to create the distinct places, landscapes, and territories we call home.


Globalization, People, and Place (I; 3, 0)

Investigates the world from a spatial perspective to understand the complexity of places and the dynamic relationship between peoples and the world they inhabit.


World Environmental Systems (I; 3, 3)

Survey of physical geography, organized upon an understanding of how natural systems - climate, landscape evolution, biological community - create the different environments of the world. Laboratory science course.


Human Impact on the Environment (I or II; 3, 3)

Causes and effects of major environmental changes induced by humans, challenges to our future well-being, and opportunities for future sustainability. Prerequisite: open to first-year students only.


Gender, Place, and Culture (I; 3, 0)

Course examines why in most societies women and men inhabit quite different physical and social spaces or inhabit the same space in different ways.


Landscapes of Pennsylvania (II; 3, 0)

Understanding the human landscape as a cultural, historical, ecological, and symbolic system through our observation of the geography of Pennsylvania. Not open to student who have taken GEOG 166.


Landforms of the World (AI; 3, 3.5)

Understanding the pattern of landforms around the world, the processes that created them, and their influence on humans. Laboratory science course for B.A. students. Prerequisite: juniors and seniors by permission only.


Applied G.I.S. (I or II; 3, 1.5)

Introduction to the use of Geographical Information Systems to collect, structure, and display large or complex spatial data sets, using examples from human and physical geography. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Economic Geography (II; 3, 0)

Inquiry into local and global changes in economic activity, location, and spatial organization, especially focusing on implications for the well-being of people in particular places.


Urban Condition (I; 3, 0)

Geographic and sociological inquiry into pressing urban issues of advanced industrialized societies, including inequality, housing, employment, and how cities fit into the American present and future. Crosslisted as SOCI 210.


Political Geography (I; 3, 0)

Considers political processes from a geographical perspective across a range of scales, in particular analyzing the geographical arguments which shape international political relations.


Europe in an Age of Globalization (II; 3, 0)

Examines the geographical mosaic that is "Europe" in the contemporary period marked by conflicting forces of globalization, nationalism, and regionalism.


Environmental Planning (II; 3, 0)

Explores the main approaches to planning theory and their environmental applications. Considers how environmental planning can promote the socio-ecological health and sustainability of democratic communities. Crosslisted as ENST 215.


Borders, Traffic, Statelessness (AII; 3, 0)

Explores the politics of historical and contemporary national borders, debates over trafficking goods and humans across them, and their links to citizenship and statelessness. Crosslisted as IREL 216.


Cultural Geography (I; 3, 0)

Role of culture in shaping places. How cultures are geographically expressed, and how geography is a basic element in the constitution of cultures.


Introduction to American Studies (I; 3, 0)

This course introduces the interdisciplinary field of American studies, emphasizing key texts and methods for understanding American culture, values, peoples, and issues. Crosslisted as UNIV 229.


Place and Region in American Culture (II; 3, 0)

This course examines twin concepts of place and region as they relate to historical and contemporary development of American culture and identity.


Human Ecology (AII; 3, 0)

A general science course in human ecology, to demonstrate the ways humans continue to adapt to their environment through biological, cultural, scientific, symbolic, political, and technical means. Crosslisted as ENST 234.


Third World Development (II; 3, 0)

Socio-cultural, economic, and environmental problems confronting developing countries. Includes such topics as political-economic change in a global and local context, transnational corporations, gender relations, food production/consumption, urbanization, and sustainable development.


Grassroots Development: Nicaragua (S; A; 15, 0)

This service-learning Bucknell in Nicaragua summer program course focuses on local people's efforts to promote sustainable development. Study involves academic, service, and travel components.


Global Environmental Change (I or II; 3, 3.5)

Understanding human and physical systems as they respond to the natural and human-induced changes in the global environment.


Service-Learning in Nicaragua (II; 3, 0)

This course focuses on the connections between Nicaraguan development processes and Brigade-based service-learning. Crosslisted as IREL 292 and LAMS 292.


Topics in Advanced Physical Geography (I or II; 3, 4)

Specialized topics in physical geography. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Topics in Advanced Economic Geography (I or II; R; 3, 0)

Specialized topics in economic geography.


Topics in Advanced Social Geography (I or II; 3, 0)

Specialized topics in social geography. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Topics in Advanced Political Geography (I; R; 3, 0)

Specialized topics in political geography. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Geographies of Health (I; 3, 0)

Seminar considers health across places and society and issues such as inequality, ecological and other risks, political economic changes, and organizing health service provision.


Geographies of Nationalism (I or II; 3, 0)

Explores the topic of nationalism, one of the most important belief systems on the planet, its geographies, histories, interconnected identities, and relationships with globalization.


320. Undergraduate Research (I and II; R) Half or full course.

Supervised research, readings, and/or preparation of a paper on some aspect of geography. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


322. Special Topics in Geography (I and II; R; 3, 0)

Development and growth of geographic thought; investigation, report and/or seminar on currently significant topics in geography. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Gender and Geography (II; 3, 0)

Course develops advanced critical context for analyzing relationships between geography (space/place) and gender (women's and men's socially defined roles and relations). Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.


Nature, Wealth and Power (I or II; 3, 0)

A seminar in political ecology that explores the historical, social political and economic dimensions of environmental change in developing regions. First-year students and sophomores by permission only. Crosslisted as ENST 325.


Conflict and Peace in Northern Ireland (S; 15, 0) 1.5 courses.

Psychological and social aspects of the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland. This is the seminar course in the Bucknell in Northern Ireland program. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor. Crosslisted as PSYC 330.


Evolution, Ecology, and Human Impact (I; 3, 3.5)

This course explores processes shaping the distribution and diversity of life on Earth as a framework for understanding our impact on the biosphere. Laboratory science course.


Food and the Environment (I; 3, 3.5)

Nothing from the environment is more important than food production, nothing affects the environment more; we'll study both environmental and social circumstances. Laboratory science course. Crosslisted as ENST 345.


Classical Marxism (I; 3, 0)

The goal is to develop an understanding of Marx’s analysis of capitalism by reading mainly original texts by Marx and consider its applications to disciplinary thinking. Crosslisted as ECON 350.


Travel, Writing and Place (AI or AII; 3, 0)

Gain experience with, and critical perspectives on, 19th and 20th century American and European travel literature.


Environmental Community Projects (I or II; 3, 0)

Community-based "clinic" course on environmental problems or projects for local stakeholders, based on integrative, interdisciplinary research and design. Preference to senior ENST and GEOG majors. Crosslisted as ENST 411.


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