Hawaii Field Research                              Winter  2011 


GEOG 361 - Field Studies in Geography: Hawaii

Field Studies in Geography is a requirement for the geography minor at Drury University, and is accepted for credit in the global studies curriculm under NSCI 361. This course also meets the Biology Field Research requirement by permission. Geography is a discipline that has relied heavily on field study to develop its methodology and theoretical foundation. Since the world is constantly changing, geographers must develop strong reseach skills in order to be able to describe and interpret new patterns evolving in the human environment and in the natural world. Field work in geography encompasses a tremendous variety of opportunities. The Association of American Geographers lists more than 40 disciplinary specialities, and each conducts field work in their own way. This course will build off of past research classes and also include some new topics for future students to follow up. Recent Research Topics in this course have included:

1. Coral reefs, their environmental significance, and threats from human impacts.
2. Climate and Biogeography: the relationship between climate and vegetation patterns, and historical patterns of human land use and water needs.
3. Human History and Land Use, and its effects of resources and water quality.
4. Ocean reef resources, such as fishing and/or tourism, and ways to better manage or protect them.
5. Tracking floating debris, the North Pacific Gyre and long term pollution. Includes a need to describe the threat to wildlife from this debris.

6. Threats to endangered Green Sea Turtles.

7.Types of coastal algae, and their relationship to water quality and reef systems.

8.Energy Use and Sustainability. Can Hawaii go "off the grid"?

9.Hawaii, bature in Art. The value of nature to the Hawaii art industry.

                                          - Field Studies in Geography, Hawaii Syllabus 2011