Spring Term Courses 2020

Spring 2020 Courses in Geography and Environmental Management and Geomatics – Transition to Online due to COVID-19

Waterloo has always offered a full spring term, and this year is no exception. If you’re a UW co-op student, you’re used to working and studying year-round. If you’re not in co-op, you may have thought about spring term courses to catch up, or to finish your degree faster. This year, the current disruption associated with COVID-19 may mean that you weren’t able to secure a co-op job, or your regular summer job, or to do all the fun things that you normally do during a summer off. Stuck at home, probably bored - you can still work toward your degree!

Online learning is good, but it may not be for you. If you’re in doubt, please visit Waterloo’s independent learning self assessment tool here. You can find strategies for online learning success here. If you want to talk it over to help you make a decision, contact your advisor or associate chair.

GEM has a mix of courses that were already planned to be online, and those that we will adapt for successful online learning. In cases where we can’t give you a full learning experience, we’ve decided not to offer a course. The courses below are our offerings for Spring 2020, with some notes on how we’ll do the course online. Click through for further details like assignments.

Questions? Really want a course but don’t satisfy the pre-reqs? Contact Dr. Johanna Wandel (jwandel@uwaterloo.ca) for help.

Courses that were already running as online courses

GEOG 102 Geography and Our Planetary Environment
No pre-reqs

This course is for you if you want to understand the physical properties of our planet better – think weather, flooding, climate change, earthquakes, erosion and so on. No pre-reqs. This is the fourth time we’ve offered this course on-line in the last two years.  This course runs asynchronously.

GEOG 181 Designing Effective Maps
No pre-reqs

This course is for you if you like maps, hate how poorly some maps are made, or went to make your own maps using ArcGIS Online. This course runs asynchronously.

GEOG 207 Climate Change Fundamentals
No pre-reqs

Our planet is heating up, and that’s a problem. This course is about how this works, what this means, and what we can do about it. This course runs asynchronously.

GEOG 225 Global Environment and Health
No pre-reqs

Never has health at the global scale been more in focus. While this course isn’t about COVID-19, it covers measurement, evaluation and policy responses to health issues around the world. This course runs asynchronously.

In-person courses transitioning to online courses

GEOG 202 Geography of the Global Economy
Pre-req: GEOG 101 or ENVS 195

We live in a globally connected world – what does that mean for culture, society, and economic systems? This course runs asynchronously.

GEOG 209 Hydroclimatology
Pre-req:  GEOG 102 or EARTH 121

Take this course if you are curious to learn transfers of energy and water form the basis of all life on the earth – the hydroclimate system. This course runs asynchronously.

GEOG 270 / AVIA 270
No pre-reqs.

GEOG/AVIA 270 is for you if you are looking for the skills and accreditation that could lead you to a career involving field work, remote sensing, and GIS. This course runs as a block in the first two weeks of terms, and includes synchronous sessions.

GEOG 304 Carbon in the Biosphere
Pre-req: GEOG 201 or GEOG 209 or GEOG 374 F 19

A field course, taught online? Yes, it’s possible! Join Dr. Maria Strack to learn about carbon cycling in terrestrial and aquatic systems, plus field techniques. This course is taught in a block format during the first two weeks of July, and includes synchronous sessions.

GEOG 306 Human Dimensions of Natural Hazards
Pre-req: Level 2A or higher.

Learn about a wide range of natural disasters, what they mean for humans, and what we do to be better prepared for them. This course runs asynchronously, and runs over only 11 weeks (it ends earlier than other courses).

GEOG 374 River Management
No pre-reqs

New course for 2020. Have ever wondered how humans use and abuse rivers – and how we can attempt to restore rivers to a more natural state? Join Dr. Quinn Lewis to learn all about river management. Note that this course includes synchronous sessions.

GEOG/PLAN 381 Advanced Geographic Information Systems
Pre-req: GEOG/PLAN 281

This course is for you if you are passionate about finding creative GIS solutions to real-world problems, and want to build on geospatial principles using state-of-the-art software and methods. We use ArcGIS Pro software, which you’ll access via remote desktop. This course runs asynchronously.

GEOG 411 Entrepreneurship and Startup Economies
Pre-req: Level at least 3A

All about the digital economy – what does the internet mean for how we live and work? This course runs asynchronously.

GEOG 459 Energy and Sustainability
Pre-req: Level at least 3A

Renewable and non-renewable energy supply systems are compared using economic and environmental measures. Consumption trends and conservation options are considered at the local and global level. Projects are used to demonstrate the economic and environmental challenges in the design of a sustainable energy system. This course runs asynchronously; details forthcoming.

GEOG/PLAN 481 Geographic Information Systems Project
Pre-reqs: GEOG/PLAN 381, GEOG/PLAN 387 and ENVS 278.

This course is for you if you want a challenge to see a project through from hypothesis design to deliverable. Work in online teams to develop methods to provide solutions for real-world problems. Because of the need for group work, this course has synchronous sessions. You’ll use ArcGIS Pro via remote desktop.