Graduate Courses

Schedule Fall 2023/ Winter 2024

Fall Term - 2023

9998 Debates in Geographic Thought (mandatory for Masters and PhD)

Introduces students to the diversity of philosophical and theoretical approaches to Geography by engaging with current debates in the discipline. Students learn how different approaches inform research practice, and thus how to locate their own research within a wider intellectual and disciplinary context.

This course is restricted to Geography students only.

Fall 2023 Voogt/ Dakin Outline

9107 Environment and Health

The conceptual frameworks for environmental health research and policy analysis. Appraisal of methods of deriving and substantiating evidence in environment and health research. Approaches to environmental health policy formulation and the uses of evidence in the environmental health policy arena.

Fall 2023 Luginaah Outline

9108 Qualitative Methods

This seminar examines the key qualitative research methods used in human geography. Students will deepen their knowledge of research ethics, critically reflect on positionality and power relations, and have opportunities to practice data gathering and analysis techniques.

Fall 2023 Tchoukaleyska Outline

9110 Introduction to GIS

Introduction to fundamental concepts, techniques and applications of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This is an entry-level course for students who wish to apply GIS to their own research. Students gain hands-on experience using the ArcGIS software and develop problem-solving skills.

Fall 2023 Wang Outline

9121 Digital Environments

This seminar explores the various ways in which digital assemblages materialize across and produce social, ecological, and urban environments. Drawing on an interdisciplinary range of works, we will engage with a variety of digital infrastructures including networks, clouds, and platforms, while also thinking through the kinds of phenomena and practices that are ‘infrastructured’ by other kinds of digital materialities, such as data and algorithms. Throughout, an emphasis is given to the spatial and social implications of digital infrastructures.

 Fall 2023 Leszczynski Outline

9330 Agro-Food Systems

This course seeks to build some foundations for understanding agrarian transformations and modern food systems, and how they inter-relate. It is organized around 5 core modules: comparative studies of peasant economies; dispossession and the 'Agrarian Question'; technological change and industrialization; global market integration and Food Regimes; rural social movements and new food movements (including 'Food Sovereignty'). Each module draws upon a combination of classic texts and more recent contributions. The general approach taken is that of political ecology, appreciating social and ecological relations as inherently 'bundled', with the recognition that agrarian studies has traditionally been tilted much more towards political economy. A central goal is to help establish a theoretical foundation which will help in conceptualizing research problems, and ultimately in positioning your contribution in relation to academic debates and contemporary socio-ecological struggles.

 Fall 2023 Weis Outline

9418 Remote Sensing Digital Image Analysis

An in depth study of current algorithms in remote sensing digital image processing and analysis. Topics may vary depending on students’ interests, such as hyperspectral data analysis, textural analysis, object-oriented classification, radar data processing and analysis, change detection, structural pattern recognition and integration with GIS. outline.

 Fall 2023 Wang Outline


Winter Term - 2024

9099 Research Design and Presentation (mandatory for Masters)

Research design is a practical course leading towards the production of a provisional thesis proposal and a public presentation of the proposal. The logical structure of proposals and the substance of the arguments are reviewed and rehearsed across a broad spectrum of research design strategies.

This course is restricted to Geography students only.

Winter 2024 Ashmore/ Metson Wednesdays 10:30am-12:30pm Outline

9104 Environmental Change

The physical, chemical and ecological aspects of environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic. An overview of the techniques used to determine environmental change, recent environmental history and a deeper understanding of the contributions of this research to identifying the mechanisms and impacts of global change.

 Winter 2024 Moser Tuesdays 10:00am-12:00noon Outline

9116 Indigenous Health

In this seminar-based course, we will critically examine key determinants of Indigenous health, including basic concepts, theories, methods and ethical issues outlined in the contemporary indigenous health literature.

 Winter 2024 Richmond Thursdays 9:30am-12:00noon Outline

9117 Urban Geography of the Developing World

An examination of physical, economic, and social characteristics of cities in the developing world in global and historical context. A critical examination of planning ideologies, principles, and recent global processes that have shaped and continues to shape the character of cities in developing countries as well as their outcomes.

 Winter 2024 Arku Mondays 1:00-3:00pm Outline

9411 Geographic Data Science using Python

This seminar is targeted at graduate students within the Department of Geography & Environment and the Faculty of Social Science and will introduce them on how to use Python programming language to do Geographic Data Science (GDS) in a reproducible way. Topics covered include: 1) building blocks (e.g., computing tools, spatial data & weights) of GDS, 2) spatial data mapping and analysis (e.g., cluster analysis), and 3) advanced topics (e.g., spatial inequality dynamics, regression).  The goal is to bring students up to speed on frontiers in geographic data science and computing.  No prior knowledge on GDS or coding is required.

 Winter 2024 Lee Mondays 3:30-5:30pm Outline


Previously Offered

9102 Research in Physical Geography

Research in physical geography, including: philosophies, methods, new developments and example case studies. Students will lead seminars on assigned topics or based on their current research.

This course is restricted to Geography students only.

9103 Environmental Monitoring

Approaches to characterizing the environment are explored through principles of monitoring strategies and practicalities of instrumentation. Practical experience in design, development, testing and deployment of environmental sensors. A practical report on environmental monitoring is expected, usually directly related to planned thesis research.

9104 Environmental Change

The physical, chemical and ecological aspects of environmental change, both natural and anthropogenic. An overview of the techniques used to determine environmental change, recent environmental history and a deeper understanding of the contributions of this research to identifying the mechanisms and impacts of global change.

9105 Environmental Modeling

This course concerns the practicalities, possibilities and limitations of numerical simulation of environmental processes. The course provides a basic understanding of numerical algorithms for environmental processes and their implementation in spatial and temporal dimensions. While directed at physical environmental processes, the course may be applicable to those working in other areas.

9106 Development Geography

In this course we will wrestle with the historical context, key political economic processes and institutions, and conflicting theories that fall under the rubric of development and its modern sister, globalization. In addition, we will see that ‘thinking geographically’ about development involves understanding how the meaning of places and regions are socially constructed, and how theoretical and conceptual frameworks about development have been debated. We aim to be sensitive to regional differences based on historical experiences and geographical particularities, but give attention to overarching themes and dominant political economic processes.

9109 Geography of Migration

Trends, patterns and processes of migration, drawing from diverse theoretical perspectives to examine migration flows in a number of international contexts. Particular attention is paid to the development impacts of migration as well as to emerging transnational migrant practices.

9111 Advanced Spatial Analysis

GIS-based visualization, exploration and modeling of point patterns, spatially continuous data, area data and spatial interaction data. Emphasis is placed upon applications of spatial analysis in urban and economic geography.

9115 Urban Social Cultural Geography

An examination of classical and contemporary literature on the social and cultural processes and practices underlying the forms, designs and social practices of urban built environments.

9118 Policy Formation and Futures: Critical and Analytical Approaches

This course is an advanced seminar on policy formation and policy futures. There is long-standing interest in policy development beginning with agents and influencers, adoption and development, implementation and outcomes and to some extent policy evaluation. This course takes a critical and analytical approach to understanding and analyzing policy formation and futures focused in particular on public policy.

9119 Monitoring of Riverine Systems

Contemporary riverine principles are explored in the context of the development and execution of riverine monitoring. Methods of monitoring the physical, chemical and ecological status of rivers will be discussed with labs providing opportunities for practical experience in popular monitoring techniques. A presentation and formal written report detailing the findings of a review of an ongoing riverine monitoring program of the student’s choice is expected.

9120 Energy and Environmental Justice

This seminar course explores environmental and social impacts of energy production, equity issues related to energy access, and political and economic forces shaping energy decisions. Theories of justice drawn from philosophy, political ecology and social movements are applied to Canadian and international cases. While energy is the course theme, the underlying questions apply to many areas of environment, development and health: How are ‘national’ interests defined and weighed against ‘local’ interests? What is the relationship between economic gain and quality of life? How can political decisions account for the needs of future generations? And how can we mediate between diverse values and priorities in society?

9200 Advanced Studies in Physical Geography

A generic course to cover specialized topics not covered in the other physical speciality courses and offered as needed.

9210 Micrometeorology

This course provides a graduate-level introduction to the study of micrometeorology and microclimatology to students who require this knowledge for application to other fields of study. It examines the processes that underlie the behaviour of the atmosphere close to the surface; specifically the transfer of heat, mass and momentum and how these modify the microclimate. Presentations include theoretical and analytical examination of the processes that occur (i.e., we use equations and numbers in this course). Assignments require use of a computer spreadsheet and hand calculations using calculators. An introduction to micrometeorology instrumentation is also provided that includes the use of instruments and construction of thermocouples.

9212 Fluvial Geomorphology

This is an advanced reading and independent study course on topics in fluvial geomorphology. The material will include aspects of fluvial hydraulics, sediment transport, river morphology and morpho-dynamics, fluvial landforms, response of rivers to environmental change and river restoration.

9216 Paleolimnology

Paleolimnology is the reconstruction and interpretation of past environments using physical, chemical and biological indicators contained in lake sediments. In the last two decades, the field of paleolimnology has undergone rapid expansion. This course is a hands-on course that provides a detailed examination of current methods and theories in paleolimnology.

9224 Urban Climatology

This course examines the field of urban climatology - the climates of cities - and how urbanization leads to a distinctly urban climate. It develops the physical basis of urban climates through an examination of the surface radiation, energy, water and mass balances in cities on scales that range from an individual component of the urban surface, such as a roof, to the scale of an entire city. The principles of urban climate will be illustrated with examples drawn from observational, modeling, conceptual and applied studies in urban climate. Students will have the opportunity to focus on select aspects of urban climatology related to their own research. Students should have some previous background in boundary layer climatology and/ or micrometeorology. The course can be related to student interests in remote sensing, field observation or numerical modeling.

9226 Design, Analysis & Interpretation of Quantitative Biological Research

When and how to use quantitative methods in biological research. Students will learn how to design an observational or experimental study, as well as graphically summarize, analyze and interpret analyses of univariate and multivariate data from a biological research study. They will also learn about alternatives to the hypothesis testing paradigm for analyzing quantitative data.

9228 Stream Ecology

Stream ecosystems have a unique and complicated ecology that is adapted to life in flowing waters. This course will consider the entire hierarchy of ecological systems in streams while also discussing the role of local and landscape scale physical and chemical controls of ecological patterns. Lastly, this course will assess the effects of human activities on the ecology of streams.

9300 Advanced Studies in Environment Development and Health

A generic course to cover advanced studies topics not covered in the other EDH specialty courses and offered as needed

9310 Systematic Reviews - Environment, Development & Health

Examination and discussion of how research evidence is generated, evaluated, synthesized, disseminated and used for decision-making around key urban, environment, development and health issues. The course objective is to learn how to evaluate and generate scoping reviews, rapid reviews, systematic reviews and meta-analyses to ascertain the state of knowledge on a topic.

9400 Advanced Studies in GISci

A generic course to cover advanced studies topics not covered in the other GISci specialty courses and offered as needed.

9410 Urban Data Analysis

This seminar is targeted at Geography and Social Science graduate students and will introduce them to the emerging topics and methodologies in urban (big) data analytics, informatics, and GIScience. The goal is to bring students up to speed on the frontiers in spatial data science and urban computing. With this, the seminar will focus on human mobility, movement, and accessibility analysis within cities.

9416 Advanced Mapping Project

A project-based course designed to extend student experience in mapping, including topics such as large format maps, maps for online or presentation purposes, animated maps, photomosaic construction and time-series map analysis. The course will be adapted to fit individual needs, especially for thesis or presentation needs.

9500 Advanced Urban Studies

A generic course to cover advanced studies topics not covered in the other urban specialty courses and offered as needed.

9518 Advanced Cultural Geography

The course examines the production, practices and interpretations of culture, the major cultural markers of identity - e.g., class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, body --- and the roles of space and power therein. The primary goal is to encourage the students to develop, question, critique and apply these concepts and this literature to his or her research interests. Course content is largely student driven by their own interests and his/her needs as perceived by the instructor. Students are encouraged to suggest topics and specific readings as the term progresses.

9600 Advanced Studies

A generic course to cover advanced studies topics that would not fall under any of the other "Advanced Studies" course topic (i.e. 9200,9300,9400,9500).