Department of Geography
Department Chair: Eugene Thompson
Department Secretary: Kay Berry (208) 496-3060
Department Faculty: Sean CannonMichael Madsen

Geography has an ancient intellectual heritage which has persisted as humans have attempted to understand the complexities and interrelationships of world physical and cultural systems. Rooted in both the physical and social sciences, geography functions as a synthesizing discipline providing a "bridge" between these two often disparate interests. The Geography Department strives to perpetuate this long-standing objective by providing classes which investigate both the physical and cultural world. Geography students are trained to think in locational and spatial terms. In this context, students consider where physical and cultural phenomena are located and why they occupy this space. These principles, when combined with the interaction of earth systems, are the central focus of the discipline and the Geography Department.

Our courses are designed to fulfill several purposes:
(1) to unequivocally support the mission of BYU-Idaho and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (2) Provide exposure to the thinking of influential scholars of the discipline, both past and present. (3) Prepare prospective teachers in geographic fundamentals to faciliate teaching those fundamentals to their students. (4) Encourage an understanding of geographic vocabulary. (5) Introduction to research methodology, and introduce students to "leading edge" technology in geographic research and practice, in areas such as GIS and land-use planning. (6) Help students gain geographic literacy and certification as teachers of Geography at secondary level.
Career Opportunities
It is recommended that those with an interest in becoming geographers seek a broad background in many fields, especially in the Social and Earth Sciences. Geography majors may choose from careers in travel and tourism, cartography, business, government, education, planning and resource management or Geographic Information Systems.

A Geography-based, "Travel and Tourism" four-year degree program is available at BYU. This program is for students interested in careers as travel agents, tourism related careers. You can complete two of the core courses of this program (Geog 101 and Geog 120), while at BYU-Idaho. Contact Department of Geography for further information.
Program Description

Minor in  Geography (111)   

Take all of these Courses    Min Grade: C-
GEOG 101, 101L, 120, 230, 240

Take 2 Courses    Min Grade: C-
GEOG 320, 321, 340, 350

Take 2 Courses    Min Grade: C-
GEOL 104, 137, 404, 411
HIST 310, 325, 330, 335, 340
INTST 340, 341, 342, 343, 344, 345, 346, 348, 349, 350
SOC 347

Minor in  Geography Education (112)   
For a listing of approved Secondary Education majors and minors see the Secondary Education section of this catalog.

Take all of these Courses    Min Grade: C-
GEOG 101, 101L, 120, 230, 240, 320, 321, 350
Course Descriptions

GEOG 101 Introduction to Physical Geography (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
This course provides a geographical approach to the study of the physical environment (e.g. weather, climate, vegetation, soils, and landforms). The significance of these themes to humans in terms of interrelationships and distributions is emphasized.
GEOG 101L Physical Geography Lab (1:0:2)
Fulfills GE Physical Science requirement.
Prerequisite: None. Students are encouraged to take the lab concurrently with Geog 101, but they are not required to do so.
Lab for Physical Geography
GEOG 110 Geography for Elementary Education (3:3:0)
Prerequisite: Non-Elementary Education majors need instructor's approval.
This course is designed to introduce elementary education majors to the fundamentals of Physical and Human Geography in preparation for teaching in public school systems. Some basic themes of Physical and Human Geography include mapping, weather, climate, landform study, economic geography, population and demographics, urban geography, cultural geography and regional studies.
GEOG 120 Geography and World Affairs (3:3:0)
Fulfills GE Social Science requirement.
The study of human cultures as they interact with each other and with their physical environment. Its focus is on such topics as population, urbanization, language, religion, political patterns, and economic development as these express themselves in world affairs.
GEOG 230 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (3:2:2)
This introductory course is designed to provide a general overview of Geographic Information Systems.
GEOG 240 Maps & Remote Sensing (3:2:2)
Introduction to the principles of mapping and various types of remote sensing
GEOG 320 Geography of North America (3:3:0)
This course will explore the relationships between the environmental, cultural, economic, and demographic processes reshaping North America as an example of the geography of developed nations and the nature of regional geography.
GEOG 321 Geography of Developing Nations (3:3:0)
Will focus on underdeveloped regions of the world to examine major themes related to development and underdevelopment, poverty, and wealth, equality and inequality.
GEOG 340 Advanced GIS and Spatial Analysis (3:2:2)
This course explores connections between the acquisition, processing and analysis of spatial information as a means for more clearly understanding the properties and processes that comprise physical and human systems. Advanced topics in both raster and vector modeling are examined. Topics include multi-criteria decision analysis, network analysis, surface modeling, and recent advances in the application of object-oriented analysis and design to the modeling and implementation of spatial databases. Lectures and discussions will be supplemented by practical exercises using ESRI'S ArcGIS software suite.
GEOG 350 Cultural Geography (3:3:0)
Some of the themes examined in this course include population, politics, human-environment interaction, language, religion, "folk" culture, "pop" culture, urbanization, place imagery, place "creation," and ethnicity. We will also explore the concept of "Mormon culture."