Geography-Anthropology Course List
GYA 210 Perspectives on Environment, Society, and Culture Since 1750
Geography and Anthropology evolved together to understand and explain the complex relationships humans have with their environments. They have common conceptual foundations, common institutional frameworks, and parallel internal divisions. At the same time, they are marked by significant differences in their respective implementation of general concepts. By comparing and contrasting the histories of the two disciplines, we seek to come to a better understanding of what it means to be geographers and anthropologists. Prerequisite: One introductory course in Geography (GEO 101 or GEO 102) and one introductory course in Anthropology (ANT 101 or ANT 103) and sophomore standing. Cr 3.
GYA 215 Culture and Place
This course provides an introduction to the ways in which basic principles of ethnography, ethnohistory, and material culture studies can be used to understand the cultural landscape. Normally offered during either the Winter Session or the Summer Session, the course will usually be conducted in a setting outside Maine. The emphasis will be on collaborative research skills, understanding of other cultures, and appreciation of the interrelationship of anthropology and geography.
GYA 300 Archaeology Field School
The summer field school is designed to combine training in research methods of archaeology and geography. Students will receive intensive training in methods of site survey excavation and materials analysis. Several weeks will be spent at selected areas of coastal Maine involved in survey and excavation of sites, mapping sites and landscape features, and investigating potential food resources in site areas. This will be followed by some laboratory analysis of recovered materials. This course may be repeated twice with the permission of the instructor. Cr 4-6.
GEO/GEY 360 Field Mapping in the Island Environment: Data Collection to GIS
The coast of Maine provides a unique laboratory for teaching environmental mapping, data compilation, and data management. In this course students are trained and equipped to use kayaks as the platform from which to conduct survey work for the preparation of small-scale high-resolution analytical maps of natural, historical, and archaeological phenomena. Field techniques used include topographic surveying, global positioning system (GPS) operation, and field mapping of geological and geographical features. Minimum impact methods are used throughout. Laboratory techniques used include air-photo interpretation, traditional cartography, and geographic information system (GIS) operation. The course culminates in the completion of a portfolio of maps and a GIS database covering the area surveyed. This course may be repeated once for credit. Offered Summer Session only. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Cr 6.
GYA 350-351 Internship in Applied Geography-Anthropology
Internships offer the student practical experience in working with public agencies, private firms, and municipalities engaged in applied geographical-anthropological activities including, but not limited to, planning, transportation, delivery of human services, and natural resources. A written contract will be drawn up by advisor and student for each internship, specifying the number of credits sought and work required for these credits. As a general rule, internships will require at least eight hours of actual work per week. Interns will be expected to meet at least once every two weeks with instructor to discuss experiences and/or problems. In addition, a major paper will be required from each student intern discussing an aspect of the internship or the work performed during the internship. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing in geography-anthropology and permission of instructor. Offered pass/fail only. Cr 1-6.
GYA 400 Independent Study in Anthropology or Geography
The Department faculty offers independent study in a topic in anthropology or geography for upper-level students (junior and senior status). Students must have had at least one course from the faculty member supervising the independent study; the proposal is subject to departmental approval. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Variable credits will be offered.
ANT 101 Anthropology: The Cultural View
This course is a basic introductory survey of cultural anthropology. It examines the differences between cultures as well as cultural universals, and the relationship between social organization, ideology, economics, and political structure in different types of societies. It reviews the various theoretical approaches in cultural anthropology's attempt to explain human behavior, presenting examples from foraging, farming, and contemporary industrial societies through readings and films. Cr 3.
ANT 102 Biological Anthropology
This course examines our place in nature; the relationship between human biology and culture; the relevance of primate behavior and human evolution to understanding contemporary human society; human biological adaptations, including a discussion of population and nutrition; and contemporary human variation with an evaluation of the concept of race. The course includes a required 2-hour lab each week that provides practical experience with materials and research methods used by biological anthropologists. Cr 4.
ANT 103 Introduction to Archaeology
This course describes the methods and theories used by modern archaeologists to uncover information about past human life ways. Attention is given to techniques of survey and excavation of archaeological materials; concepts of space and time in archaeology; and detailed analysis of artifacts and organic residues. Some attention will be given to specific topics such as the archaeology of New England and the Caribbean. Cr 3.
ANT 201 Human Origins
This course focuses on the fossil and cultural evidence for human evolution. Topics to be covered include evolutionary theory, primate behavior, hominid origins, the taxonomy and phylogenetic relationships of fossil hominids, Pleistocene cultural adaptations, and the origin of modern Homo sapiens. The relationship between biology, geography, and culture is explored using the skeletal and archaeological evidence for human evolution. Cr 3.
ANT 202 Origins of Civilization
This course traces the evolution of human culture from the origins of farming and domestication, to the development of complex societies. General processes of urbanization and social stratification will be investigated, and examples will be drawn from throughout the Old and New Worlds, including the classical civilizations of the Near East, Southeast Asia, Mexico, and Peru. Cr 3.
ANT 213 Human Ecology
This course examines interactions between human societies and their natural environments. Human adaptation is viewed as a problem-solving process, involving the development of strategies for maximizing energy efficiency and reproductive success, for warding off environmental stress, and for reducing conflicts. These management strategies are examined for a number of human societies, and are used to gain insight into modern decision-making processes. Prerequisite: ANT 101 or 102. Cr 3.
ANT 220 Indigenous Studies of North America
This course combines an ethnographic and archaeological perspective on the culture history and traditional cultures of native North Americans. Emphasis is placed on the relationship of aboriginal native cultures to their environments, and the evolution of complex societies in certain regions of North America. Also included is discussion of the fragmentation of indigenous societies that followed the European invasion of North America. Cr 3.
ANT 222 Peoples of the North
This course is designed as a comprehensive summary of the prehistory, traditional culture, and contemporary life ways of peoples living in the northern hemispheres of both the Old and New Worlds–from Maine to Alaska, and from Siberia to Lapland. Special attention will be given to the origins of these peoples; the problems of living in cold, northern environments; the effects of European contact; and the modern problems that they face ranging from the effects of urbanization to land claim disputes. Prerequisite: ANT 101 or 103 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.
ANT 232 The Anthropology of Sex and Gender
Sex and gender are, respectively, biological realities and cultural constructs. This course will examine the anthropology of sex and gender in an evolutionary-biological and cross-cultural perspective. The course is organized to explore the issues of sex and gender in three of the major subfields of anthropology: archaeology and biological and cultural anthropology. Topics will include bias in science, the biology and evolution of sex differences, sex-linked behaviors, nonhuman primates, human evolution and the division of labor, and sex roles in different kinds of human societies. Cr 3.
ANT 233 Food and Culture
This course focuses on food as an essential and central part of human experience. We will examine the anthropology of food and food habits, including an evolutionary-ecological perspective, the reconstruction of past human diets from archaeological evidence, and a cross-cultural examination of the diversity of human food preferences and avoidances. An important goal of the course will be to try to understand and appreciate cultural differences in food habits from both an ecological and a societal point of view. Cr 3.
ANT 241 Tourism and Community Development
Explores relationships between tourism, economic development, and communities. Topics include strategic planning, community participation, marketing and promotion, and conflict resolution. Case studies from Maine and beyond examine positive and negative aspects of linking community development to tourism and hospitality. Required for the Minor in Tourism and Community Development. Prerequisite: EYE. Cr. 3.
ANT 250 Archaeology of South America
This course is designed as a comprehensive summary of prehistoric cultures and paleo-environmental conditions of South America. Emphasis is placed on the evolution of complex societies in the Andean and Pacific coast regions. Also included is a discussion of European contact and interaction with the Inka State. Cr 3.
ANT 255 Cultures of Africa
Africa is a vast continent rich in cultural diversity. This course will explore a variety of African people and cultures south of the Sahara. Students will read ethnographic case studies about small-scale communities that focus on interrelated issues such as music, religion, politics, economics, geography, ethnicity, and gender. The course will consider the effects of colonial periods on indigenous populations but will emphasize post-independence Africans. Students will learn to challenge negative Western representations of Africa by focusing on the power and perseverance of African people and their cultures. Cr. 3.
ANT 261 Introduction to Cultural Tourism
This course explores cultural tourism, including how arts, crafts, local heritage, and history can be incorporated into tourism planning and development. Topics include the meaning, value, and potential tourism roles of historical sites, festivals and events, arts and artisans, archaeological and cultural heritage sites, and museums and educational institutions. Cr. 3.
ANT 301 Global Issues in Travel and Tourism
As one of the world’s largest industries, and one that brings travelers and host communities into close contact, tourism is a major force of social, economic, cultural and environmental change and sometimes conflict. This course delves into these issues from a mainly anthropological perspective, showing how tourism affects both travelers and communities in complex and contentious way—from commodification of culture to ethical quandaries such as sex tourism, the lure of western ideals and images, and changes in local economies and social institutions. The course also considers how travel, when planned and carried out according to ethical principles and guidelines, can be a force of change for the better, introducing travelers to other cultures, improving living conditions of local residents, and even protecting local environments, resources and lifestyles. 3 cr.
ANT 302 Medical Anthropology
This course considers the interface between medicine and anthropology in terms of both human biology and society. The course develops concepts of health as effective adaptation to environmental stresses, including infectious disease, nutritional stress, and psychosomatic illness, among others. It traces the history of health and disease in human society from hunter-gatherers to modern urban, industrial communities, and examines the way in which human populations have attempted to deal with various agents of disease. The course examines the diversity of human theories of disease causation and explores the role of modern medicine in effective health care delivery to persons of different cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Prerequisite: ANT 101, 102 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.
ANT 306 Analysis of Archaeological Materials
This course provides an opportunity for in-depth study of methods used in the analysis of archaeological materials after they are recovered from excavations. Students will work in teams to apply analytical techniques to archaeological site collections including ceramics; stone, bone, and shell artifacts; and archaeological soils and faunal remains. Credit will vary with the range of techniques covered in a particular semester. Prerequisite: ANT 103. Cr 3-6.
ANT 307 Specialized Techniques in Archaeology
This course provides experience in the application of specific techniques from allied science disciplines to research problems in archaeology. Specific topics and course title may vary. May be repeated for credit under different titles. Prerequisite: GYA 300 or ANT 306 or permission of the instructor. Cr 1-2.
ANT 308/ANT 508 Environmental Archaeology
Students will be introduced to the analytical techniques that are commonly used in the archaeological study of past environments and environmental change. Topics to be covered include archaeological soils, preservation conditions, the reconstruction of past climates and landforms, and the analysis of plant and animal communities from archaeological evidence. In semesters when this course carries more than three credits, requirements will include a substantial research project. Prerequisite: junior status, and ANT 103 or GYA 300. Cr 3-6.
ANT 310 History of Anthropological Thought
This course is a historical survey of theory in anthropology from the early classical evolutionists to contemporary materialist and idealist approaches. It will examine the various theories in terms of their level of analysis, explanatory value, and relationship to the western society from which they emerged. This course is a requirement for those concentrating in anthropology. Prerequisites: ANT 101 and either ANT 102 or ANT 103. Cr 3.
ANT 315/ANT 515 Ethnography: Methods, Ethics, and Practice
This course offers students an overview of the methods of ethnographic observation and analysis, and of the ethical considerations of conducting such research. Students will be required to carry out ethnographic fieldwork, employing appropriate methods of data collection and analysis. Credit will vary depending on the scope of the fieldwork project, as determined by the instructor. Prerequisites: ANT 101 and one ethnography course or ANT 310. Cr 3-6.
ANT 355/ANT 555 Public Interpretation in Anthropology
Interpretation of anthropological information for the public using video, audio, photos, and other digital media. Students will work individually or in teams to create products for museums, schools, online, or in other public venues. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Cr 3.
ANT 360/ANT 560 Public Archaeology
This course introduces students to the interpretation of archaeological information for the public benefit. Topics to be covered include museum exhibits, collection management, federal and state legislation, ethics, site conservation database management, and GIS. Students will work in teams to produce a finished product for presentation during Archaeology Awareness Week. The course includes prehistoric excavation and a trip to two museums. Credit varies with specific substantial topics and project breadth. Prerequisite: ANT 103. Cr 2-6.
ANT 450 Topics in Anthropology
This course is designed to undertake detailed, in-depth analysis of important topics and issues in such subfields of anthropology as sociocultural anthropology, biological anthropology and archaeology. Topics vary from semester to semester. Research papers are required. Prerequisite: junior standing or permission of instructor. Cr 3.
GEO 101 Human Geography
This course examines social, economic, and political processes that shape the contemporary global landscape, with particular emphasis on the relationships between developed and developing regions of the world. Cartography, population trends, agricultural systems, migration, urbanization, and industrialization are among the topics covered. Cr 3.
GEO 102 Physical Geography
This course examines the physical processes of the environment as they relate to human endeavors. Climate, soil, vegetation, land form, water, and mineral resources are among the topics covered. Laboratory exercises acquaint the student with the materials and methods of physical geography. Climate data, topographic maps and field observations are employed to solve practical problems of human interaction with the environment. Cr 4.
GEO 103 Human-Environmental Geography
Using geographic perspectives, this course focuses on the changing nature of the earth's environment and the human role in these changes. Both direct and indirect human impacts on the biosphere, the atmosphere, and the hydrosphere are considered, including tropical deforestation and the loss of biodiversity, the human role in global climate change, and the impact of human actions on world fisheries. Local and regional examples will be incorporated. Cr 3.
GEO 104 World Regional Geography
This course will familiarize students with the diversity of people and places in the world by examining the physical, political, and cultural geography of different regions of the world. Emphasis will be given to development of regions within a global framework. This course will add to the general education of students by developing their geographic skills and by enhancing their geographic awareness and knowledge of the world through various aspects of global diversity. Cr 3.
GEO 108 Introduction to ArcGIS
An introduction to the ArcGIS software, stressing basic operation of this popular GIS package. Topics covered include system navigation, data display, data download, and printing public domain and user-created geographical data sets. Cr 3.
GEO 120 Geography of Maine
This course will examine Maine as a geographic region. Physical and cultural attributes of the state will be analyzed. Political, economic and demographic factors will be emphasized in viewing the assets and problems of the Maine environment and in planning Maine's future. Cr 3.
GEO 203 Urban and Regional Development
Students will survey contemporary patterns of urban and regional development through comparative analysis. Students will examine links between urbanization, employment, and social welfare in different political and economic contexts as the course moves from the global scale to the local. Students will be introduced to a series of research skills including the use of computer databases and spreadsheet programs, many of which will be of use in other courses. Cr 3.
GEO 207 Map History: Making Sense of the World
An international and interdisciplinary history of maps and spatial knowledge, this course uses the rare collections of USM’s Osher Map Library and online resources to explore the many ways in which different cultures and societies have made and used maps to variously comprehend, imagine, organize, control, and change the world and its parts. Cr 3.
GEO 208 Cartography I
This is an introductory course in cartography focused on developing basic mapping and graphic communication skills essential to a wide variety of disciplines. The course will be flexible and adjusted to individual needs. Familiarization with basic charting technology and cartographic tools will be included. Cr 3.
GEO 209 Introduction to Land Use Planning
This course offers an overview of human/land relationships as they influence contemporary patterns of settlement and use of the land. It will discuss the logic of a planning process as a method of decision making; the formulation of goals and evaluation of alternative courses of action; standards and requirements for specific planning objectives (such as land use, energy, recreation, transportation); and the place of the planning function in government and the role of citizens and private groups. Introduction to basic planning tools and techniques including PERT, aerial photography, and methods of land inventory and classification will be presented. Cr 3.
GEO 210 Planning Maine Communities: Current Issues and Directions
This course will examine the issues facing Maine communities such as providing affordable housing, maintaining and improving the community's physical facilities such as streets, sewers, playgrounds, etc., disposing of solid and hazardous wastes, stimulating jobs and economic development, providing adequate transportation facilities, and preserving Maine's environment and lifestyle in the face of growth. It will also address how these issues can be addressed through the use of the planning process and sound planning techniques. Cr 3.
GEO 255 Making a Living: Workers in a Global Economy
Our daily experiences shape and are shaped by changing economic landscapes through our patterns of work, consumption, and leisure. The course addresses the prospects and challenges for making a living in a global economy. We will examine a variety of perspectives on work, both paid and unpaid. We will pay particular attention to the connection of workers between and across places. The course discusses both new and old geographical divisions of labor and the restructuring of work and workplaces at the international, regional, local and household scales. Prerequisites: EYE. Cr 3.
GEO 285 Global Environmental Issues and Sustainability
An overview of global environmental problems and employing a sustainability framework to provide long-term solutions. Global climate change, landscape transformation, rural and urban sustainability are considered. Emphasis is placed on understanding the interplay of natural-social systems in shaping environmental issues. Students use an integrated sustainability approach to tackle environmental problems. Cr. 3.
GEO 302 Gender, Work, and Space
Students will examine the ways in which the workforce is divided by gender, race, class, and ethnicity and how location and space shape and sustain such divisions. Competing explanations for why women and minorities hold jobs that differ distinctly from jobs held by other workers will be examined. Students will learn how a geographic understanding of gender, race, ethnicity, and class can help explain more fully the current position of women in the economy. Cr 3.
GEO 303/GEO 503 Economic Geography
This course examines the intersection between economies and geography. Emphasis is placed on the social, cultural, and political contexts within which economies develop and are regulated and restructured. Students are introduced to the skills which allow them to interpret and understand the present economic landscapes and to evaluate the factors and trends that anticipate the future. Prerequisites: one of the following: ANT 101, GEO 101, GEO 203, ECO 101, ECO 102, or permission of instructor. Cr 3.
GEO 305/GEO 505/GEO 605 Remote Sensing
Theory and techniques of image processing and analysis for remotely sensed digital data acquired from airplane and satellite platforms. Topics include image enhancement and classifications, spectral analysis, and landscape change detection techniques. Practical applications of natural and built landscapes are considered using remotely sensed datasets and techniques. Cr 3.
GEO 308/GEO 508/GEO 608 GIS Applications I
Students are introduced to vector-based geographical information systems (GIS). Topics include overviews of geospatial technologies, spatial analysis, GIS data, system operation, the interpretation of results, and professional practices. The course comprises a weekly lecture and laboratory. Students are evaluated with tests, laboratory assignments, and on the basis of a substantial project. Cr 4.
GEO 320/GEO 520 Conservation of Natural Resources
This course examines the geographical approaches to natural resource use and management. It will offer the study of the geographic distribution and physical attributes of natural resources, their role in economic development, and the socio-political factors governing decision making about their use. Management strategies for forests, soils, wetlands, and energy resources are assessed. Recommended prerequisites: GEO 101, GEO 102, or GEO 103. Cr 3.
GEO 340/GEY 340 Digital Mapping
Students are exposed to the latest digital survey gear and integrated techniques with applications in geoscience, geography, and environmental science. Instrumentation includes both static and real-time kinematic GPS (global positioning system) and autolock servo-driven electronic total station. Detailed precision survey data are combined with geo-referenced maps and imagery in GIS software. Prerequisites: introductory course in GEY, GEO, or ESP, and additional 200-level course in any of the above areas. Cr 4.
GEO 350/GEO 550 Geography of International Development
A critical examination of theories and approaches to the study of development. Historical and contemporary perspectives will help examine the role of states, international institutions, and civil society in the development process. Examples from selected countries and regions across the world demonstrate issues facing developing countries. Recommended prerequisites: GEO 101, GEO 103, GEO 104, or ANT 101. Cr 3.
GEO 402/GEO 502 Urban Geography
This course examines the underlying social, economic, cultural, and political processes that have created and continue to shape the North American urban landscape. The course will combine readings, lectures, discussion, and fieldwork to explore various themes in urban geography. Topics may include industrialization, immigration, residential segregation, housing, economic development, sustainable growth, urban ecology, and planning policy. Prerequisite: GEO 101, GEO 203, or permission of instructor. Cr 3-6.
GEO 408/GEO 518/GEO 618 GIS Applications II
Students explore the use of geographical information systems (GIS) in research and professional environments. Building upon knowledge and skills developed in GEO 308, students design and execute a substantial project. Project design focuses on generating hypotheses, planning time lines and individual work assignments, and identifying technical and data resources. Projected execution is undertaken using a variety of raster, vector, and graphical user interface (GUI) software, as appropriate. Prerequisite: GEO 308 or permission of instructor. Cr 4.
GEO 438/GEO 538/GEO 638 Independent Study in GIS
Students will work closely with a faculty member to develop and complete a course of study in a specialized aspect of GIS or remote sensing. Variable credits will be offered. Prerequisite: GEO 308 or instructor permission, and program approval. Cr 1-3.
GEO 448/GEO 648 GIS Internship
Students work with a public agency, private firm, municipality, nonprofit organization, or research unit, using geospatial technology to complete a clearly defined project under the direct supervision of an on-site professional. A USM faculty advisor who is directly involved with USM GIS oversees the internship. At the course's conclusion, students submit a portfolio including a log, samples of the work completed, and an evaluation from the on-site supervisor. Prerequisite: GEO 308, or instructor permission, and program approval. Cr 1-3.
GEO 450 Topics in Geography
This course provides in-depth analysis of relevant topics from the perspective of an economic, political, cultural, regional or other focused approach to geographic study. The topics vary depending upon current issues of significance and the special background of the instructor. Research papers are required. Prerequisite: permission of Department. Cr 3.
GEO 455/GEO 555 Gender, 'Race' and Class in the City
This course will focus on the relationships among gender, "race," class and urban spaces in twentieth century U.S. cities. The course will explore how urban spaces reflect and perpetuate different relations of power, inequality, and identity. First, we explore how different frameworks for urban analysis help to explain the social and spatial organization of U.S. cities. We will develop a framework for urban analysis that integrates race, class, and gender, and draws upon the geographic concepts of place and scale. Second, we will apply our integrated framework to contemporary metropolitan processes and problems. Prerequisite: one of the following: GEO 302 or permission of instructor. Cr 3.
GEO 458/GEO 658 Research Applications in GIS
An advanced workshop in geographical information systems (GIS) in which students undertake an original research project. The objective of the course is to generate a product which meets professional standards for publication or presentation at a professional meeting, allowing students to build resumes and gain exposure to a professional audience. Prerequisite: GEO 408. Cr 3.
GEO 481/581 Megacities and Global Planning Issues
This course provides an overview of the interactive factors that shape the socio-economic and physical structures of megacities around the world. Students will examine the processes that influence urbanization and gain an understanding of the contemporary state of the world’s cities, with a particular focus on megacities. Students will be exposed to issues confronted by citizens, policy makers, and planners in those megacities. The course is organized geographically and will focus on selected megacities in Latin America, Africa, Asia, in addition to Europe, and the United States. Cr. 3.