Monday, March 21, 2016

Summer Session Offerings

ENSP101 -- Intro to Environmental Science

  • Summer I -- MTuWTh - 10-11:45
  • INSTRUCTOR: Annette Spivy
One of two required courses that introduce students to the topics studied and methods employed in environmental science and policy. Emphasis on scientific ways of knowing; the systems, cycles, flows, and interfaces that characterize the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere; the analysis of human impacts on these systems; and the nature of scientific uncertainty and methods of quantifying environmental processes.

GEOG498T -- Sustainability and the City: Washington, DC’s Green Landscape

  • Summer Session II --  T/Th 9:00am – 12:30pm 
  • Dr. Rachel Berndtson

Geographers have long studied human-environment interactions at the urban scale. As spaces of human-environment interaction, cities are sites of economic production, cultural maintenance, and environmental change. Given expanding urban populations and high levels of consumption, it is critical to evaluate the sustainability of urban life. Geographers are also uniquely positioned across the natural and social sciences, and thus contribute a holistic understanding of sustainability. In this class we will analyze urban landscapes with that holistic mentality, as we constantly question whether and how components of the urban system are sustainable. We will define what it means to be “sustainable,” and how that definition applies to 21st century cities, with a specific focus on the Washington, D.C. landscape. Students will learn about processes, systems, and policies that both enable and restrain urban sustainability, as well as several sectors of urban greening, including water, land, and energy use, food access, and environmental justice. Applying class content, students will critically evaluate whether “green” initiatives in Washington, DC enhance the city’s sustainability.

Whether or not you apply your understanding of sustainability to a traditionally geographic career, it is my goal that you leave the course with a more thorough understanding of sustainability and urban landscapes, and a skill set to enhance sustainability in your career paths and personal lives.

URSP 688L -- Planning Technologies

  • Tuesday & Thursday, 6:45-9:45 pm - Summer Session I
  • INSTRUCTOR: Chao Liu (
This course provides an introduction to several technologies used by urban and regional planners, regardless of their substantive field (e.g. transportation, community development, urban design, etc). Given the ubiquity of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in contemporary planning, there will be a considerable focus on developing analytical and visual GIS skills using both commercial and open-source software packages.  Other technologies include: Location-based social media analysis, search engine optimization, blogs, Twitter, google map mash-ups, social networking, web surveys, and photo/video sharing (web/video conferencing, Wiki). 

Hands-on experience will be emphasized in this class to have students acquire practical skills, as well as knowledge, so they will be able to apply their skills in other classes and future work.