Research Craft in Human Geography

To plan a research project, or to be a more savvy consumer of research produced by others, it is useful to understand the process of creating, discovering, and interpreting information about the world. In this course, we explore a range of quantitative and qualitative methodologies employed in human geography research and discuss the types of questions they are used to address. Through lab assignments, we practice aspects of the research process, including framing questions, selecting and implementing statistical analyses, conducting surveys, generating and organizing qualitative data, and writing research reports.

Land and Livelihoods

How do flows of money, people, materials, and ideas connect local livelihoods to distant sites and global processes? How do geographers study patterns of poverty and inequality at different scales?  How do we define human development and wellbeing, who participates, and why does it matter?  In this course, we will draw from perspectives in fields ranging from development geography to political ecology to post-colonial studies to examine livelihood dynamics in the Global South. We will use texts, interviews, writing assignments, problem sets, and mapping exercises to explore relationships between economy, identity, and place in an increasingly connected world

Environmental Change in Latin America

This course examines the social and ecological underpinnings of environmental issues in Latin America. In the first half of the semester, we explore urgent environmental challenges, their drivers, and their impacts, drawing from a range of different perspectives in geography and allied fields. In the second half of the semester, we examine popular approaches for addressing some of these challenges, along with the assumptions, benefits, and drawbacks associated with each approach. Throughout the course, we work together to understand methods and debates related to detecting, defining and influencing environmental change in Latin America.

Senior Seminar in Human-Environment Geography

The current senior seminar in Human Environment Geography focuses on Landscapes of Conservation – i.e., different configurations of reserves, easements, other protected areas and the lands surrounding them. We tackle issues ranging from where they should be and how they should be shaped, to which activities are allowed for whom and who should decide. We consider both US-based and international contexts, including an independent project component in which students will choose their own landscapes to research. Most weeks, we will also include time for practical professional development, including tools for time and project management, reflection on decision making, and discussion about how to prepare for graduate school, internships, and other next steps.

First Year Seminar on Natural History in Vermont

What can birds tell us about borders? Deer about politics? Earthworms about epistemology? In this class, we use elements from the non-human world to explore a set of human conversations across academic traditions. We take natural history seriously as science and metaphor, learning tree identification while discussing trees as tools in climate science and poetry, for example. We also practice web-building, exploring conventions for communicating from a variety of disciplinary perspectives—from natural science to humanities, from scholarly questions to personal quests for meaning. Be ready to venture outside.