GEOG 430
Human Use of the Environment



Geography 430: Human Use of the Environment

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Registered students should begin with the Course Orientation, located in the "Orientation" section of the main menu.

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Quick Facts about GEOG 430

  • Instructor - Gabriel Tamariz, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Geography
  • Course Authors - Sara Cavallo, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Geography, Russell Hedberg, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography; Bronwen Powell, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography; Carolyn Fish, PhD Candidate in Geography; Emma Gaalaas Mullaney, PhD Candidate of Geography and Women's Studies; Arielle Hesse, PhD Candidate, Departments of Geography and Women's Studies; Travis Tennessen, Post-Doctoral Scholar of Geography; Jennifer Titanski-Hooper, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography; Chongming Wang, PhD Candidate, Department of Geography; Karl Zimmerer, Professor of Geography.
  • Overview - GEOG 430 examines the human use of resources and ecosystems, the multiple causes and consequences of environmental degradation, and the questions of justice at stake in how we understand and manage the environment. The major objective of this course is to help geographers, earth scientists, and other professionals to develop an awareness and appreciation of the multiple perspectives that can be brought to studies of human use of the environment and of the social and environmental consequences of the resource-management decisions that are made in different parts of the world. This is a capstone course that encourages students to place their individual major and technical skills within the context of multiple approaches to environmental decision making and management in complex and dynamic social-ecological systems.
  • Learning Environment - This website provides the primary instructional materials for the course. The Resources menu links to important supporting materials, while the Lessons menu links to the course lessons. Canvas, 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.
  • Course topics include:
    • What is Nature?
    • Overpopulation and Scarcity
    • We Are What We Eat
    • Natural Resource Extraction 
    • Commodity Chains
    • Climate Change
    • Environmental Justice
    • Conservation and Protected Areas


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 re-use 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.