MSU Billings Course Descriptions

GPHY - Geoscience: Geography

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* GPHY 111 Introduction to Physical Geography

[formerly GEOG 101 Physical Geography]

3 cr. Corequisite: GPHY 112 (F)  Stresses the understanding of the broad concepts of physical geography.  Includes topography, climate and other geographic aspects of the earth’s environment.  Laboratory required.


* GPHY 112 Introduction to Physical Geography Laboratory

[formerly GEOG 100 Physical Geography Lab]

1 cr. Corequisite: GPHY 111. (F)  Enhances the lecture material of GPHY 111 through the use of experiential activities.


* GPHY 121 Human Geography

[formerly GEOG 120 Environment and Culture]

3 cr. (F, Sp)  Analyzes the interrelationships between man and his environment, including such topics as race, origin and dispersal of technology, livelihood patterns and settlement.


* GPHY 141 Geography of World Regions

[formerly GEOG 102 World Geography]

3 cr. (F, Sp)  Covers the regions of the world as the home of mankind, showing people’s adaptation to their physical environment.


GPHY 222 Introduction to Economic Geography

[formerly GEOG 202 Economic Geography]

3 cr. Prerequisite: a geography or economics course, or consent of instructor.  Examines the spatial aspects of geography as they relate to people’s economic adjustment to the physical environment.


GPHY 240 Landscape and People of North America

[formerly GEOG 220 Landscape and People of North America]

3 cr. Prerequisite: a geography course or consent of instructor.  Analyzes the natural environment, historical spread and impact of settlement and land use, and present demographic, agricultural, industrial and urban situations of the United States and Canada.


GPHY 282 Mapping Techniques

[formerly GEOG 201/EVST 201 Mapping Techniques]

3 cr. (F)  Introduces map interpretation, computer cartography, spatial data and Geographic Information Systems.


GPHY 380 Principles of GIS

[formerly GEOG/EVST 301 Principles of Geographic Information Systems]

3 cr. Prerequisite: GPHY 282. (Sp)  Introduces GIS, spatial analysis, map production, and spatial data handling.


GPHY 440 Geography of Montana

[formerly GEOG 410 Geography of Montana]

3 cr. Prerequisite: GPHY 240 or ENST 210 or consent of instructor.  Considers the physical geography and resources of Montana with emphasis on its location in the nation with respect to transportation, economy and future development.


GPHY 460 Urban Policy and Development

3 cr. (once every other year)  Explores the complexity of the city as an evolving social and ecological landscape.  The primary emphasis is understanding the ensemble of economic, political, social, and environmental forces that shape and are shaped by contemporary urban areas.  Issues include the evolution of urban spatial forms, policy and governance, and the city as an increasingly globalizing entity.  Specific consideration will be given to the experience of Billings, MT, and the role of the energy, medical, and public sectors as underpinning geographies in the urban economy and social and physical landscape.


GPHY 484 Applied GIS/Spatial Analysis

3 cr. (1 lec/2 lab/wk) Prerequisite: GPHY 380. (Sp)  Applies GIS to a project-based curriculum where students propose, research, and develop a course-long project of their choosing.  Students gain experience in spatial data handling, database theory and application, sensor networks, and real-time data analysis.


GPHY 485 Internet GIS

3 cr. (2 lec/1 lab/wk) Prerequisite: GPHY 380. (Sp)  Introduces students to web-based GIS including web design, programming using ArcGIS for Server, open-source web-server applications, online charting and graphing, real-time data processing, and spatial analysis.  Web-based mapping experience gained through this class can be applied to geography, environmental science, business, medicine, and history.


GPHY 487 Remote Sensing/Raster GIS

3 cr. (2 lec/1 lab/wk) Prerequisite: GPHY 282. (F)  Introduces students to remote sensing and photogrammetry using aerial and satellite imagery.  Students gain experience with the classification of imagery, object detection and extraction, spectral analyses of plants, and 2D/3D data collection and processing.  Remote sensing is used in environmental analyses to detect and monitor fire hazards, pollution, climate change, and agriculture.


GPHY 491 Special Topics

V1-12 cr. Prerequisite: determined as needed.  Provides students with an opportunity to take courses not required in any curriculum for which there is a particular need, or given on a trial basis to determine acceptability and demand before requesting a regular course number.


GPHY 492 Independent Study

[formerly GEOG 491 Independent Study]

V1-3 cr. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and department chairperson.  Provides advanced students an opportunity to explore material not covered in regular geography courses.  A contract describing the study must be completed at the time of enrollment.


GPHY 494 Seminar/Workshop

[formerly GEOG 492 Seminar]

V1-3 cr. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.  Provides advanced students an opportunity to investigate intensively topics pertinent to the area of Geography.