University of Vermont

The College of Arts and Sciences

Academic Introduction to the Major (AIM)


Gateway/Entry-Point Courses into Geography Major/Minor

There are several courses to choose from that provide students an opportunity to gain exposure to this field of study:

GEOGRAPHY 040 Weather, Climate, and Landscapes

Tornado damage, global warming, glaciers, forest dynamics. What drives the weather around us? How are the water resources, soils and vegetation of a region functions of the prevailing climate in which they are found? This course is an introduction to physical geography that will help you answer these questions and more as you learn about how the atmosphere works; gain practical skills for interpreting the weather; delve into the processes that govern landforms and control vegetation/ecosystem characteristics; understand how human activity shapes the environment and landscapes around us. Interactive lectures will be interspersed with short videos, visits from the National Weather Service personnel, in-class discussion groups, labs and practice quizzes. Class time will be used for conceptual refinement and skill acquisition. Fulfills a a non-lab science distribution requirement and Geography Major requirement. Spring and Fall.

GEOG 050 World Regional Geography

Regional geography takes into account environmental, climatological, cultural, economic, social, and political factors to better understand the major regions of the world. This course is an introduction to geographical concepts and the tools used to make sense of diverse cultures and places across the globe. The emphasis is on the interrelationships between people, including their social institutions, cultures, and activities, and their physical contexts. The course draws on lecture, film, maps, web material, and music. Fulfills "a Non-European Cultures" degree distribution requirement. Spring and Fall.

GEOG 060 Geography/Race and Ethnicity in the U.S.

Survey of the ways in which spatial processes and patterns reflect and shape racialized and ethnic identities in the U.S. Special attention will be paid to schemes of spatial restriction and to the roles of both mobility and place in racial and ethnic minorities' struggles for the power to define geographies of everyday life. Text, readings, films. Fulfills a "Race Relations and Ethnicity in the U.S." requirement and a Geography Major requirement. Spring and Fall.

GEOG 070 Space, Place, and Society

This course is designed to offer students a general, thematically-organized introduction to human geography and the major. Students will develop an awareness of spatial difference and how social, cultural and economic geography is central to making sense of the social world. Specific skills gained by students will include: (1) the interpretation and use of various forms of geographical representation (e.g., maps, censuses, the life-path diagrams of time-geography, land-use models, etc), (2) the ability to analyze human landscapes and built environments both as material and as lived realities, (3) familiarity with the institutional, political and cultural ways in which geographical realities are reproduced or challenged. Fulfills a Geography Major requirement. Spring and Fall.

GEOG 081 Geotechniques

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the spatial techniques geographers use to learn about the world. In the course you will learn how to interpret maps, analyze geographic datasets, produce maps using the geographic information system program 'ArcMap,' and interpret remotely sensed imagery using ENVI software. Not only will you learn how to use these technologies, you will examine ways to apply them to real world problems. Fulfills a Geography Major requirement , a geospatial technologies minor requirement, and is a prerequisite to all geography techniques classes. Spring and Fall.

Contact Information

Meghan Cope, Chair
Department of Geography
Phone: (802) 656-3060
Department Website: