GEOG 30
Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems

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Welcome to GEOG 030!

New to GEOG 030?

Registered students should begin with the Course Orientation.

Not registered? Students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit.

Quick Facts about GEOG 030 (GS)

  • Authors - Petra Tschakert, Assistant Professor of Geography; Karl Zimmerer, Professor and Department Head of Geography; Brian King, Assistant Professor of Geography; Seth Baum, Graduate Assistant and Ph.D. student in Geography and Chongming Wang, Teaching Assistant, Geography; Yooinn Hong, Graduate Instructor and Ph.D. student in Geography
  • Instructor - Yooinn Hong, Department of Geography
  • Teaching Assistants - Jenna Christian, Department of Geography; Li-San Hung, Department of Geography
  • Overview - GEOG 030 is a required course in Penn State's online Bachelor of Arts in Energy and Sustainability Policy. This course introduces the theory, methods, history and contemporary issues in global and regional relationships between human activities and the physical environment. GEOG 030 can be applied toward Penn State's General Education "Social and Behavioral Sciences" (GS) requirement.
  • Learning Environment - This Web site provides the primary instructional materials for the course. The Resources menu at left links to important supporting materials, while the Course Outline menu links to the course lessons. ANGEL, Penn State's course management system, is used to support the delivery of this course as well, as it provides the primary communications, calendaring, and submission tools for the course.

Topics of Study in this Course

Unit 1 - Key Concepts

  • Module 1 - Geographic Perspectives
  • Module 2 - Coupled Human-Environment System
  • Module 3 - Ethics
  • Module 4 - Individual & Collective Action

Unit 2 - Sustainable Development

  • Module 5 - Development
  • Module 6 - Food & Agriculture
  • Module 7 - Cities & Transportation

Unit 3 - Global Environmental Change

  • Module 8 - Natural Hazards
  • Module 9 - Climate Change
  • Module 10 - Biodiversity

Overarching Key Concepts

  • Globalization
  • Scale
  • Governance
  • Sustainability
  • Coupledness
  • Vulnerability
  • Ethics
  • Justice

As the course proceeds and issues are presented you will find that it will be difficult to talk about one concept without mentioning another. While the course modules present contexts or themes for investigating human-environment interactions, the overarching key concepts are the means by which we will analyze and connect concepts across the different themes.

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This course is offered as part of the Open Educational Resources initiative of Penn State's John A. Dutton e-Education Institute. You are welcome to use and reuse materials that appear in this site (other than those copyrighted by others) subject to the licensing agreement linked to the bottom of this and every page.

Only students who register for this Penn State course gain access to assignments and instructor feedback, and earn academic credit. Information about Penn State's Online Energy and Sustainability program is available at the ESP Program Office.