Courses & Schedules

Field experience is provided in a variety of topical areas. The course titles and contents will vary and may be repeated for credit. Please see the current Schedule of Classes for the particular topic offered. A fee will be charged for this course. Up to 2 units of GEP 313 in total may be counted toward the major

Field Experience outside the United States (2-3). Cultural and physical studies of people and laces through travel, observation and interaction, and oral and written analysis. Destinations include Central and south American countries. Course contents and locations will vary; may be repeated for credit. Check with instructor regarding destination and cost. Offered during Intersession or Summer Session.

Students in the internship program will be given the opportunity to gain practical experience in their area of study by working in a variety of county and city agencies and organizations in the Sonoma State University service area. Credit is given for three hours per unit work per week as arranged with the internship coordinator. May be repeated once for credit.

In this course we dig deep into the field of geopolitics, the struggle for control over territory, transportation corridors, and natural resources. We analyze the origin of the discipline, its historical development, and key contemporary issues, including the Iraq War, the U.S. missile defense shield and the expansion of NATO, the promotion of democracy as a security strategy, Iranian nuclear ambitions, and Chinese military expansion. We will also examine the upsurge of nationalism since the end of the Cold War, and examine ethno-national rebellion from multiple perspectives, including the failure of nation-building, the failure of economic development, and competition over scarce natural resources.

This course critically analyzes the practices and ideas that underlie economic development and the resultant degradation of environments. The class attends to ways that specific people and places have either resisted environmental impoverishment, or alternatively worked together to create different, environmentally and socially sustainable paths to empowerment and well-being.

This class explores the use and management of natural resources. Each year, it focuses on a different set of renewable and non-renewable resources, such as water, oil, diamonds, rangeland, and others. It addresses topics such as distribution, scarcity, substitution, access and use-rights, resource cartels, regulation, and sustainability. It also looks at how these issues are changing under globalization and the rise of transnational corporations.

This course briefly reviews climate change mechanisms and models. It then turns to its main topics: attempts and failures to mitigate greenhouse gas production, specific predicted challenges, and current and future attempts to adapt to the environmental and social impacts related to changing climates. The course compliments GEP 356.

This course explores the development of agriculture from its origins to its modern forms. It discusses the historical development and current structure of five agricultural systems: small and large corporate farms in the development of the world, as well as traditional peasant production systems, plantations, and green revolution forms in the developing world. It then considers issues such as world hunger, food aid, global commodity trade, and the affect of biotechnology in both the developed and developing world.

Students explore various historical and contemporary processes that have created Africa's diverse and complex geography. The course begins with a historical survey of the continent, starting with its great civilizations and continuing through its experiences through colonialism, independence, the cold war, and globalization. This section of the class examines how these major events have played out throughout the different regions of Africa, south of the Sahara. The class then turns directly to thematic issues that are central to a human-geographic perspective of the continent: population, rural/urban dynamics, education and health issues, and human-environment interactions including agricultural systems and conservation issues. Finally, with a deeper understanding of the region, the course addresses present-day political hot spots of post-cold war Africa, and the critical development problems plaguing the continent.

Environmental history offers an earth's-eye view of the past, by addressing the many ways in which humans have interacted with the natural environment over time. How has the environment shaped the course of human history, and how have human actions and attitudes shaped the environment? And how does studying past environments help us understand our present-day challenges? All too often, historians study the human past without considering nature; similarly, all too often, scientists study nature without considering human history. We will explore the value of integrating these different perspectives, and argue that a historical perspective is absolutely crucial if one hopes to understand contemporary environmental issues.