Geographic Perspectives on Sustainability and Human-Environment Systems



Did you complete the Course Orientation?

Before you begin this course, make sure you have completed the Course Orientation (see the Course Orientation menu).

About Module 1

Here you will be introduced to fundamental geographic topics including scale, cartography and GIS and human-environment interactions. These topics are introduced using case studies and specific examples. The central objective of this lesson is for you to understand key concepts in geography and how they apply to this course. You will also be introduced to some key concepts that will be returned to throughout the course.

What will we learn in Module 1?

By the end of Module 1, you should be able to:

  • examine several major themes of geography, particularly scale, cartography and GIS, and human-environment interactions;
  • consider how the links between spatial and temporal scales help explain decision-making and environmental change;
  • examine an energy commodity chain to locate your role within the chain, and also consider your estimated carbon footprint;
  • understand why social science is important to the study of the natural environment;
  • be introduced to topics that will be discussed in greater detail later in the course.

What is due for Module 1?

Module 1 will take us one week to complete. See the Calendar in Canvas for specific due dates.

There are a number of required activities in this module. The chart below provides an overview of the activities for Module 1. For assignment details, refer to the location noted.

Module 1: Lesson Assignments
Requirement Location Submitting Your Work
Reading Assignment: State Department Office of the Geographer Introduction No submission
Learning Activity: Getting to Know You Learning Activity: Getting to Know You Submitted through Canvas


If you have any questions, please post them to our Course Q & A discussion forum in Canvas. I will check that discussion forum often to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate. If you have a more specific concern, please send me a message through Inbox in Canvas.