The Geographer's Craft, GRG 859A and GRG 859B
Kenneth Foote, Instructor
Office Hours: 10-11 MWF in GRG 302, E-mail: email@example.com
Amanda Weaver, Teaching Assistant
Office Hours: TBA, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Geographer's Craft is an experimental course designed to provide you
with the best possible introduction to modern geographical research techniques.
It takes a new, integrated approach to training in geographical techniques,
an approach based on a problem-oriented synthesis of methods drawn from
cartography, geographical information systems, spatial analysis, remote
sensing, and field methods. Rather than teaching these methods as separate
and independent techniques, The Geographer's Craft is designed to show
how geographers employ these techniques together, in concert and as needed,
to address real-world research issues.
The Geographer's Craft project is designed as a two-semester,
eight-credit course (Geography 859A and 859B). Each semester, 2-3 research
problems will be presented in class. Each of these will emphasize the range
and types of problems geographers address, relevant literatures, and traditional
and contemporary approaches to particular issues, including the latest
techniques in automated mapping and geographic information systems. The
issues are selected so that they raise a variety of technical and methodological
problems that can be discussed and solved in the context of interesting,
real-life research problems. In this way, you will learn by experience
how geographers gather and weigh evidence about natural and human processes,
employ maps and databases to represent and model real-life situations,
analyze spatial, temporal, and functional relationships, and communicate
findings cartographically and graphically and in written and spoken presentations.
Stress is placed on analytical reasoning and how such reasoning is supported
by the use of computers and information technology.
The course materials for The Geographer's Craft have been developed
into hypermedia format as an on-line "electronic" textbook in the Worldwide
Web. Although this work is not yet complete, you will receive many of your
course materials through the Web. The course does not assume previous experience
with GIS technologies or the Internet, but experience with Windows is a
prerequisite. The course is built around lectures, discussion and, of course,
hands-on laboratory experience. The research problems will make use of
many popular mapping, statistical, image processing, and GIS systems on
several different types of computer. Use of this variety of systems will
allow you to gain the methodological and technical versatility and adaptability
that will be of value to you in your future professional work.
Your course grade will be based on three research projects (each 25% of
your final grade) and a set of approximately five warm-up exercises and
quizes (25% total or about 5% per exercise). The projects are 1) a campaign
strategy report for the next Texas governor's race; 2) a cartographic study
of cholera in Peru; 3) a Web project on a current geographical issue.
It is my policy in all my classes to penalize with course failure anyone
who engages in "academic dishonesty." Academic dishonesty includes, among
other offenses, plagiarism of the writing of others, cheating on exams,
falsification and fabrication of data, and submitting the assignments or
papers of others as your own.
Team and Lab Meetings
The class will be divided into teams to work on exercises and prepare material
for class. Each team will meet with a teaching assistant for at least an
hour every week. Team membership and schedules for meetings will be established
during the first week of class.
Hutchinson, Scott and Larry Daniel. 1997. Inside ArcView
GIS, 2nd ed. Sante Fe, NM: OnWord Press. URL: http://www.onwordpress.com/default.html
Leedy, Paul E. 1997. Practical Research: Planning and Design,
6th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. URL: http://www.prenhall.com/
Books can be ordered directly from the publishers' Web pages or you
may wish to comparison shop among Web bookstores such as Amazon.com, URL:
All Web-based course materials are linked from the Geographer's Craft
homepage at: http://www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/gcraft/contents.html
Some additional readings will be made available on reserve in the EISLaboratory.
Recommended Textbooks (Optional)
Antenucci, John C; Kay Brown; Peter L. Croswell; Michael J. Kevany; and
Hugh N. Archer. 1991. Geographic Information Systems: A Guide to the
Technology. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold.
Monmonier, Mark. 1993. Mapping It Out: Expository Cartography
for the Humanties and Social Sciences. Chicago: University of Chicago
You may like to purchase a guide to HTML and Web publishing.
During the course of the semester you will need to purchase $20-30 in computer
supplies for the laboratory exercises. You will need to buy at least one
box (10) of 3.5" high-density (1.44MB) diskettes. These need to be purchased
immediately for use in the second week of class. You may also have to share
the cost of ink cartridges for the Hewlett-Packard inkjet printers, but
these do not need to be purchased immediately.
Individually Funded Computer Accounts
You should establish an Individually Funded computer account with ACITS
so that you can print documents from the Student Microcomputer Facility
at FAC and from other locations on campus and pay for Telesys service if
you will be using the Web from home.
Electronic Mail Addresses
You will be assigned an account on the Laboratory's Windows NT network
during the second week of class. You should also establish electronic "mailbox"
for yourself through the University's free University Mailbox Service (UMBS).
You can register your e-mail address from any computer in the lab. Please
be sure to memorize your e-mail address and password.
The course requires you to spend time working in the department's computer
lab (room 302). These are open weekdays from 8:15 AM to 9:00 PM (MTWTh),
8:15-4:45 (F), 9:00-5:00 (Saturdays), except when other classes and seminars
are using the lab. (Evening and weekend hours begin during the second week
of class.) You should plan to spend at least 4-5 hours in the laboratory
every week, sometimes more. If your other work and study commitments prevent
this, you may wish to reconsider enrolling in this course. Please
study the guidelines for using the computer laboratory which is available
on-line. A copy of these guidelines is posted in room 302. These
rules will be enforced strictly during the semester and their violation
will result in loss of laboratory privileges.
Last revised 31 January 1998. KEF.