Department Personnel










GEOG 101/102: Survey of Physical Geography

Have you ever wondered:

  • How human activities have impacted our natural environment?
  • Why rainforests have such high biodiversity?
  • Why the land surface in Illinois is so flat?
  • How beaches form?
  • Why it floods so quickly after a rainfall in urban environments?
  • Why the soils in Illinois are black and the soils in Georgia red?
  • What factors influence the distribution of vegetation globally?
  • How much freshwater is there in the world?
  • How are mountains built?
  • What factors influence the distribution of soils on Earth?

What General Education Objectives are met in Geography 101/102?

The physical geography perspective integrates information from other fields such as geology, biology, physics, and chemistry. Explore aspects of geography such as water resources, soil and vegetation distributions within a global context. Examples of current research in the field of physical geography expose students to the thought process associated with the scientific method. Learn to think critically about the geographic environment by examining the impact of humans on the physical landscape. Develop written, quantitative, technical, and oral skills through a variety of laboratory exercises in GEOG 102.

Facts about Geography 101/102:

Course Offered: Both spring and fall semesters: Geog 101, 3 credit hours; or Geog 101 and Geog 102, 4 credit hours

General Education: Fulfills a science/math distributive area requirement and matches the following general education goals: develop communication and technical skills, apply various modes of inquiry, and develop an understanding of integrated knowledge through a combination of lecture material, readings, laboratory assignments, and exams.

Course Goal: To introduce students to processes and interactions within the physical environment including those associated with hydrology, landforms, soils, and vegetation.


GEOG 302: Soil Science (4)

Lecture, field and laboratory study of physical, chemical, and biological properties of soils with emphasis on soil development, classification, geography, management, and conservation. Lecture, laboratory, and field experience. 

 GEOG 402/502: Pedology (4)

Soil genesis, distribution, and classification. Environment, geomorphology, and soil formation relationships. Soil description, mapping, and interpretation for land use. Lecture, laboratory, and field experience.

GEOG 403/503: Soil Geography and Land Use Planning (3)

Regional and local problems of soil utilization and management. Strategies for using soil data in land use plans and legislation

GEOG 404: Soil Profile Description and Interpretation

Lecture, lab, and field experience involving description, interpretation, and classification of soil profiles and soil-landscape geographic relationships for agricultural, urban, and wildland use. Participate in soil judging contests.

GEOG 465/665: Field Methods in Physical Geography (with Lesley Rigg) (3)

Field problems of urbaneconomic, cultural, and physical geography. Lecture, laboratory, and field experience.

GEOG 477: Environmental Field Camp (co-instructor)

Field camp designed to train students in field methods and integrative problem solving related to environmental geosciences covering topics such as field methods in hydrogeology, surface-water and vadose-zone hydrology, water quality analysis, ecosystem health, environmental surface geophysics, site evaluation and techniques, and regional landscape history and environmental change. Offered during summer session only.

GEOG 505: Concepts in Physical Geography (with Lesley Rigg) (3)