GEOG 245: Geography of Pennsylvania

PA Map

Professor: Dr. Geiger

Course Description:

Introduction to the geography of the Pennsylvania using the tools and concepts of regional geography. Physical, cultural and economic landscapes, and resulting social and environmental issues, are examined.

Course Content:

  • Course Objectives:

    • Students will demonstrate their understanding of the regional nature of physical and cultural patterns and processes. This understanding will be assessed via assignments, exams and in-class discussions.
    • Students will demonstrate their ability to use maps to locate the places and areas used as examples in the lectures. This understanding will be assessed via assignments, exams and in-class discussions.
    • Students will draw from knowledge of physical landscape processes, and of cultural history and current events, to describe significant regions (defined using a variety of criteria) and places in Pennsylvania. This understanding will be assessed via exams and in-class discussions.
    • Students will demonstrate the application of the strategies and information sources learned to at least one place or region of Pennsylvania. This will be assessed via the Place Description project and related activities.
    • Students will demonstrate the application of the strategies and information sources learned to at least one issue pertaining to several places or regions in Pennsylvania. This will be assessed via essay questions on exams.
  • Session Topics:

    • Introduction to Geography and Course
    • Pennsylvania's Geographical Origins
    • Immigration Patterns
    • Ethnicity and Culture
    • Pennsylvania Culture
    • Pennsylvania's Landscape Regions
    • Pennsylvania's Tectonic Past
    • Geological Hazards
    • A Pennsylvania Landscape Tour
    • Pennsylvania Climate and Weather
    • Weather Events
    • Air Pollution Issues
    • Pennsylvania and Local Government
    • Pennsylvania Political Trends
    • Place Development in Pennsylvania
    • Urbanization
    • Philadelphia
    • Pittsburgh
    • Pennsylvania Places
    • Water Systems and Features
    • Water Resources and Transportation
    • Water Pollution and Disasters
    • Water Management
    • Soils and Soil Erosion
    • Traditional Agriculture
    • Modern Agriculture & Lancaster County
    • Vegetation and Forests
    • Forestry
    • Mineral and Energy Resources
    • Mining Methods and Impacts
    • Oil and Natural Gas Extraction
    • Energy Production and Consumption
    • Transportation: Wagons to Railroads
    • Transportation: Auto/Air Era
    • Manufacturing
    • Pennsylvania and Steel
    • Waste Management
    • Retailing and Wholesaling
    • Wildlife and Recreation
    • Services and Tourism
    • Course Conclusions