Detailed Information on Specific ENVS Courses

Topics in Geography and Planning: Land Use and Landscape Change

This is a four credit Environmental Studies course taught by Jake Brenner. During the Spring 2011 semester it will meet Tuesday/Thursday from 9:25 am - 12:05 pm. To register for this course, you must have completed ENVS 22000 (Cultural and Physical Geography: Global Change in Nature and Society).

This course takes a human-environment geographer’s perspective, posing the following questions. What are the vital roles played by land in specific cultures in specific places? What are the biophysical and social processes that determine land-use patterns and shape landscapes? In addressing these questions, students and faculty will engage diverse, interdisciplinary perspectives on landscapes and their utilization by society, paying particular attention to multi-scalar causes and consequences of land-use change. In the geographic tradition, this course engages multiple dimensions of land-use change, including history, economics, policy, politics, ideology, ethics, culture, and of course, science, all in pursuit of sustainability.

Because this is a Topics course, it will not always be offered annually. Topics covered in this course will include demographics, city and regional planning, land use, and topography. The main projects involve on-the-ground management activities at Ithaca College Natural Lands sites, such as boundary mapping and marking, signage, etc., and a draft management plan for a proposed nature preserve to be managed by the Finger Lakes Land Trust. The class will be spending any classroom time discussing readings and examples of "land-change science" in action throughout the world.

The objectives of Land Use and Landscape Change are two-fold - first to understand how geographers study land-use and land-cover change as global processes, and second to view and participate in these processes in the local Ithaca area. 


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