GES 601 Introduction to Geography and Environmental Systems (3 credits) - UMBC
Instructor: Staff
Graduate-level introduction to the principles underlying geographic and environmental systems. Guiding theories of human geography, physical geography and environmental science will be introduced through detailed examination of cross-cutting multidisciplinary issues including natural hazards and human vulnerability, the management of water resources and fossil fuels, and global environmental changes..

GES 605 Applied Landscape Ecology (4 credits) - UMBC

Instructor: E. Ellis
Prerequisites: GEOG 305 and GEOG 386 or permission of instructor.
Course Description: Applies the tools of landscape ecology, including GIS, remote sensing, aerial photography and landscape classification, to explore the spatial patterning of ecological processes across landscapes at different scales.  Hands-on lab and field exercises will develop understanding and skills necessary for students to plan and conduct their own investigations of landscape patterns, process, and change in local and regional landscapes in collaboration with the instructor. Course includes 4 Saturday field trips.

GES 606 Aquatic Ecology (4 credits) - UMBC
Instructor: C. Swan
Students enrolled in this course will gain a thorough knowledge of the local aquatic biota and their habitats. Emphasis in this lab/field-based course will be placed on the interaction between physical, chemical and biological processes occurring in aquatic ecosystems. Students will learn how to collect, analyze, and interpret ecological information by working in teams to conduct a research project.

GES 608 Field Ecology (4 credits) - UMBC
Instructor: C. Swan
Students enrolled in this course will gain an appreciation for the modern scope of scientific inquiry in the field of ecology. A major goal is for the students to become familiar with how organisms interact with each other and their natural environment by understanding the structure and function of different types of local ecosystems. Students will learn field collection techniques, as well as how to organize, analyze, present and interpret ecological information. Lecture and laboratory.

GES 610 Atmospheric Science (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: calculus and college-level physics
This course provides a rigorous survey of advanced concepts in atmospheric science including: thermodynamics, radiative transfer, chemistry, cloud microphysics, dynamics, mid-latitude weather systems, boundary layer and climate processes. The emphasis is on developing a conceptual understanding of the various physical processes at work in the atmosphere and their linkage with other planetary systems such as the hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere. 

GES 611 Fluvial Geomorphology (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: introductory physics and calculus Preferred: prior coursework in geomorphology or hydrology
Instructor: A. Miller
This course focuses on watershed processes associated with the evolution of river systems and with sculpture of the earth's surface by running water. Topics covered include the principle of flow in river channels; erosion and sedimentation; dynamics of sediment transport; morphometry of drainage networks; depositional and erosional features associated with the development of river channels and floodplains; the geometry and statistical properties of channel cross-section, longitudinal profile and planform patterns; the dynamics of channel and floodplain response to environmental change; spatial and temporal variability of fluvial processes and landforms; and anthropogenic modification of the fluvial system.

GES 612 Biogeochemical Cycles and the Global Environment (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: permission of instructor
Instructor: E. Ellis
This course explores the chemistry and cycling of elements across the earth's surface and atmosphere, with special emphasis on human-induced changes in biogeochemistry that are driving global warming, ocean acidification, acid rain, ozone depletion, water pollution, and nutrient saturation of freshwater, estuarine and coastal environments. Basic biogeochemical processes will be introduced and then integrated to explain the global cycles of water, carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous and sulfur and how these are changed by human activities. Students are required to design an original research project relating to their thesis or dissertation work.

GES 615 Climate Change (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: GES 601
Instructor: J. Halverson
This course will resent the historical evolution of the earth's atmosphere and its response as a dynamic system to both internal and external forcings, including anthropogenic influences. This will include examination of the unique manner in which earth's atmosphere evolved compared to other planetary atmospheres, and the linkages between climate and other earth spheres (biosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, geosphere). The various timescales of climate change ranging from millions of years to decades will be discussed. Theories that involve changes in orbital parameters, solar output, plate tectonics, ocean thermocline circulations, planetary impactors, volcanic emissions, the El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and human emissions of carbon dioxide will be investigated in detail. Students will gain insight into the workings of General Circulation Models (GCMs) and run their own climate simulations using the EdGCM model developed jointly between NASA and Columbia University. 

GES 616 Physical Hydrology (4 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: calculus, probability and statistics
Instructor: A. Miller
Provides an introduction to quantifying the components of the hydrologic cycle - precipitation, evaporation, transpiration, infiltration, runoff, stream flow, and groundwater flow. Emphasis is on quantifying flow and storage in watersheds, including temporal and spatial patterns. Appropriate field and laboratory tests used to measure hydrologic processes and mechanistic and statistical models for data evaluation and interpretation are presented.

GES 632 Seminar in the Natural Resources and Environment (3 credits) - UMBC
This course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to undertake advanced study of particular natural resource/environmental problems and conflicts. A major goal of this course is to map future resource landscapes through the systematic analysis of contemporary natural resources and environments. In recent years, this seminar has taken up such topics as world water resource supplies, global biodiversity, and conflicts over wilderness designation in the western United States.

GES 634 Wildlife Law and the Endangered Species Act (3 credits) - UMBC
Instructor: E. Parker
The 1973 Endangered Species Act is arguably the most controversial of U.S. environmental laws. The course combines science, policy and legal history, philosophy and contemporary politics in an integrative approach to understand and analyze the natural resource problem of threatened and endangered species in the U.S. The course covers the evolution of wildlife law from feudal Europe to the present, conflicts over state vs. federal powers, the emergence of wildlife and natural history literature, changing attitudes towards wildlife in the 20th century, and the concept of extinction.

GES 651 Seminar in Urban Sustainability (3 credits) - UMBC
Students will be exposed to cutting-edge literature in urban sustainability, and conduct an original research project integrating the concept of sustainability with human and physical geographies of urban places. Readings and in-class discussion will support the topical foci of student projects and develop students' research, writing, and presentation skills.

GES 661 Social Dimensions of Sustainability (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: GES 601
One of the greatest barriers to truly interdisciplinary human-environment research in recent years has been the lack of environmental research fully incorporating the rich theoretical literatures from human geography and other social sciences addressing social dynamics. However, a newly evolving body of sustainability literature grounded in existing literatures from the critical social sciences has begun to emerge. This cutting-edge body of theoretical works and empirical research attempts to elucidate the complex social processes driving environmental degradation, environmental change, and differential vulnerabilities through the lens of critical social theory. Students will be exposed to this cutting-edge literature in sustainability science, and will be required to critically engage it through in-class discussions and written assignments. Students will apply this literature to their own research through a formal written paper.

GES 662 Spatial Analysis of Coupled Human-Environmental Systems (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: GES 386 or 686
nstructor: R. Neff
his course will focus on the use of GIS in analyzing social and environmental systems that constitute complex human-environmental systems. Specific dimensions of environmental and social sustainability such as land use, transportation, economic development, environmental justice, etc., will then be explored in detail. Spatial analysis skills focused on environmental processes and social contexts will be developed through in-class exercises. These exercises and discussions are designed to enhance the students' understandings of the planning process and of the complexities of applying the concept of sustainability in the real world. The course will end with a student-defined research project. 

GES 681 Remote Sensing of Environment (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: permission of instructor
Instructor: J. Tang
This course is an introduction to image analysis and interpretation for mapping-monitoring the earth's surficial environments from multispectral satellite images. Lectures will cover theories and principles of remote sensing. Laboratory exercises will provide hands-on experience in the use of computers and software for image analysis, interpretation, and classification applied to multispectral satellite image data. Environmental applications include wetland delineation, forest mapping, land use land cover, and urban sprawl analysis.

GES 685 Field Research in Geography (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: permission of instructor
Instructor: E. Ellis
Students in this course gain hands-on experience with field methods for environmental measurement, mapping and spatial analysis of soils, vegetation and other biota, and land-cover and land-use in local landscapes assisted by GIS, GPS, remote sensing and other techniques. The class will meet one session each week and six full-day Saturday sessions; scheduling to be arranged. Students work in teams and prepare final projects that will be presented as scientific posters and on the web.

GES 686 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (4 credits) - UMBC 
Prerequisite: permission of instructor
Instructor: J. Tang
This course covers the basic concepts and principles of Geographic Information Systems, data models, data structures, applications and technical issues. Lab will focus on how these basic principles are implemented in GIS. These include an entire sequence of building spatial databases: data capture, editing, adding attributes, building topology, registering layers to real-world coordinates, making map compositions, data conversion, and basic analysis available in a vector-based GIS.

GES 687 Advanced applications of Geographic Information Systems (3 credits) - UMBC
Prerequisite: permission of instructor
Instructor: J. Tang
This is an advanced GIS course covering advanced applications of Geographic Information Systems, and is intended for students who have already acquired an introductory knowledge of the field. The course places a strong emphasis on building hands-on skills as well as advanced theoretical knowledge in spatial analysis. The topics include the theory and methods based on prior knowledge, skills, and interests of students in the following areas: geospatial ontologies, spatial pattern analysis, advanced raster processing, spatial interpolation and geostatistics, database design and systems, dynamic GIS modeling, and computational geometry and mathematical techniques used in GIS.

GES 688 Seminar in Geography and Environmental Systems (1 credit) - UMBC
This is a seminar that may be offered by department faculty on any topic of special interest. Students will meet with the faculty member once each week to discuss key concepts and methods as presented in the scholarly literature.