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Geography

Course | GEOG 588

Advanced Urban Ecology

Discussion of current and important theoretical and empirical papers in urban ecology. Students continue to research interdisciplinary urban ecology projects while developing publishable manuscripts and oral presentations.

Course | GEOG 477

Advanced Urban Geography

Geographic patterns and social processes within metropolitan areas. Canvases current research topics, methods, and theoretical debates in urban geography. Issues covered range across urban economic, political, and cultural geography.

News | April 21, 2020

Amid a pandemic, geography returns with a vengeance

The pandemic is redefining our relationship with space. Not outer space, but physical space. Hot spots, distance, spread, scale, proximity. In a word: geography. Suddenly, we can’t stop thinking about where. Over the past few centuries, new technologies in transportation and communication made geography feel less critical. The advent of railway and refrigerated train cars in the…


News | September 29, 2020

Applied Research Fellows develop tool to explore population changes in King County

The 2020 Population Health Applied Research Fellows concluded their 10-week program to produce small area population forecasts at the Census tract and Health Reporting Area levels by sex, race, ethnicity and five-year age groups for King County from 2020 to 2045. Their findings, which were presented to staff from a variety of King County departments,…


Degree Program

BA in Geography with Data Science Option

The B.A. in Geography with Data Science Option builds on geography coursework in data management, data visualization and the societal implications of data science while offering students additional opportunities to engage in coursework in programming, machine learning, and advanced statistics and probability. This series of coursework allows students to graduate with evidence of data science…

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Course | GWSS 332 / GEOG 332

Black Feminist Geographies

Stereotypes about blackness, gender, and sexuality are enmeshed with how we think, feel, and move about the landscapes we move through - and black people are often seen threatening presences that "need" to be policed, contained, and completely erased. This course considers how black feminist approaches to geographic space reveal ways that these restrictive understandings of blackness, gender, and sexuality are refused and redefined.

Course | GEOG 438

Cities of East Asia: Geography and Development

Examines urban development in East Asia from a geographic and comparative perspective focusing on issues in development, and the interaction of geography, history, politics, and economics. Major topics include economic development and urbanization; regions and urban systems; migration; urban social and spatial structures; globalization and governance.

Course | GEOG 430

Contemporary Development Issues in Latin America

Contemporary development issues in Latin America, seen from a spatial perspective. Concept of development; competing theories as related to various Latin American states. Economic structural transformation, migration, urbanization, regional inequality, and related policies.

Course | GEOG 303, JSIS A 304

Contemporary European Migration

Provides a theoretical and empirical understanding of contemporary migration processes and patterns in Europe. Introduces the different migration regimes and integration practices of selected European states. Analyzes the impact of globalization, the ever-changing role of the European Union, and the importance of international, national, and urban policy on immigrant lives.

News | May 2, 2018

CSDE Affiliates Examine Equity Issues Associated with Tolled Roads

Last week, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan proposed instituting a toll on downtown roads to curb congestion. The Seattle Times examined the potential benefits and implications of the toll. In unpacking the possible equity issues, the Times turned to a 2009 study conducted by Affiliate Jennifer Romich, Associate Professor at the School of Social Work; Affiliate Robert Plotnick, Professor Emeritus at the Evans School of…


News | July 7, 2016

Data Science for Social Good 2016

This summer we are thrilled to be supporting the eScience Institute’s Data Science for Social Good (DSSG) program. Modeled after similar programs at the University of Chicago and Georgia Tech, with elements from eScience’s own Data Science Incubator, sixteen DSSG Student Fellows have been working with academic researchers, data scientists, and public stakeholder groups on…


Course | GEOG 336

Development and Challenge in China

Examines the geography of China's development since 1949. Introduces China's physical geography, history, and economic and political system. Emphasizes China's uneven development in agriculture, population, industry, and trade. Also examines problems China faces in meeting its internal food demand, as well as the external processes of globalization.

Course | GEOG 479

Diversity and Segregation in Cities

Explores segregation and diversity within cities in the United States and elsewhere. Topics include the history of segregation; the measurement and dynamics of segregation and diversity; explanations for change in segregation and diversity in neighborhoods; and the effects of neighborhood segregation and diversity on social and economic outcomes for residents.

Course | GEOG 207

Economic Geography

The changing locations and spatial patterns of economic activity, including: production in agriculture, manufacturing, and services; spatial economic principles of trade, transportation, communications, and corporate organization; regional economic development, and the diffusion of technological innovation.

Course | GEOG 490

Field Research: The Seattle Region

Field methods for contemporary urban research. Survey designs used in the analysis of transportation, land use, location of employment, shopping and housing, political fragmentation, and environmental degradation. Field report required, based on field work in the Seattle region.

News | October 5, 2016

First Livable City Year projects underway; kickoff event Oct. 6

Not even a week has passed since the start of the quarter, and already a group of University of Washington public health students is deep into discovering the cultural flavor and identity of each neighborhood in a nearby city. The project is a sizeable challenge: Students will pour over census and public health data, interview…


Course | GEOG 373 / JEW ST 362 / SPAN 362

Food and Community: Cultural Practices in the Hispanic World

Intersections of food and community in Hispanic cultures. Past and present practices. Food and material culture, urban design, foodways and gender roles, food and race, diet and hygiene, religious, and civic celebrations, and food preparation techniques.

Course | GEOG 439

Gender, Race, and the Geography of Employment

Focuses on the geography of employment for men and women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds in American cities. Presents evidence on labor market inequality for different groups and explanations of these differences. Emphasizes the importance of a spatial perspective in understanding employment outcomes for women and minorities.

Course | GEOG 245

Geodemographics: Population, Diversity, and Place

Explores the geodemographic underpinnings of societal dynamics and the spatial diversity of United States populations. Topics include immigration policy, the concept of 'race' in the census, fertility and mortality differences, political redistricting, segregation, and internal migration of populations. Examines regional and local scales of variation using geodemographic techniques and GIS.

Degree Program

Geographic Information Systems (Cert)

Explore how geographic information systems have enhanced the efficiency and analytical power of traditional cartography. Examine the range of information sources that can be combined to build a GIS database – including raw data, scanned maps, GPS positions and aerial photography. Learn how to use the system to support research and decision making in a…

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Course | GEOG 432

Geographies and Politics of Poverty and Privilege

Examines theories and case studies across the Americas to understand geographies and politics of poverty and inequality. Outlines key concepts related to the reproduction of inequality/poverty, particularly theories of class, gender, and race and examines the mechanisms through which knowledge and action on poverty and inequality are (re)produced.

Course | GEOG 272

Geographies of Environmental Justice

Draws on political ecology and cultural geography frameworks to think through social constructions of nature: where we live, where we play, and where we work. Looks at the role of markers of difference (gender, race, nationality) in debates around equity and justice.

Course | GEOG 230

Geographies of Global Inequality

Addresses increasing global inequalities by focusing on shifting spatial division of labor and the role of the international development industry in shaping economic and social inequality. Examines relationships between economic globalization, development industry, and rising global inequality: reviews the history and record of the international development project, and asks what it means to say that Western, advanced economies are not the norm.

Course | GEOG 270

Geographies of International Development and Environmental Change

Explores how concepts, theories and ideologies of international development and environmental issues interrelate. Approaches development and environment through several interconnected topics: population, consumption, carbon, land and water. Examines how these issues connect our lives to the lives of people living in the Third World.

Degree Program

Geography (BA, minor, MA, PhD)

Geographers address some of the world’s most urgent challenges, including globalization, economic inequality, world hunger and agricultural development, global health and health care, the social control of public spaces, immigration, gender inequality, and what it means to be a citizen in the 21st century. Answers to such questions are complex and partial, and these issues…

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Course | GEOG 277

Geography of Cities

Explores economic, cultural, social and political dynamics of cities - their location, functions, and internal structure, including economic activities, housing, and social geography. Topics include economic restructuring; suburbanization and urban sprawl; urban planning; inner-city gentrification; and how issues of class, race, and gender are embedded in the geographies of cities.

Course | GEOG 271

Geography of Food and Eating

Examines development of world food economy, current responses to instabilities and crises, and issues relating to obesity, hunger, and inequality in relation to food systems. Explores political, social, and economic dimensions of food and eating in particular spaces, places, environments, contexts, and regions. Uses the theme of food and eating to examine key concepts from human geography and thereby provides an introduction to the discipline.

Course | GEOG 445

Geography of Housing

Focuses on the geography of housing, especially in the United States. Topics include: the American dream of home ownership; housing affordability and differential access to home ownership; homelessness; the history of public housing; housing demography; residential mobility and neighborhood change, and discrimination in the housing market.

Course | GEOG 342

Geography of Inequality

Geographies of social, political, and economic inequality. Focus is usually on North American cities. Examines the theoretical underpinning of inequality. Explores topics such as the spatial distribution of wealth and poverty, the geographies of exclusion, and discrimination in paid employment and housing.

Course | GEOG 335, JSIS B 335

Geography of the Developing World

Characteristics and causes, external and internal, of Third World development and obstacles to that development. Special attention to demographic and agricultural patterns, resource development, industrialization and urbanization, drawing on specific case studies from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.

Course | GEOG 208

Geography of the World Economy: Regional Fortunes and the Rise of Global Markets

Examines the relationship between the globalization of economic activity and regional development. Topics include international trade, colonialism, industrial capitalism, advanced capitalism, and the globalization of labor markets.

Course | GEOG 448

Geography of Transportation


Course | GEOG 464, 564

GIS and Decision Support

Combines lectures about geographic information systems and decision methods with hands-on computer assignments about regional and urban issues associated with such complex decision processes as planning, improvement programming, and capital project implementation. Emphasizes land, transportation, and water resources decision problems.

News | March 8, 2017

Honoring Women Collaborators at Urban@UW

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are highlighting just some of UW’s brilliant female professors, scholars, and and change-makers with whom Urban@UW is proud to collaborate. Click on their names to explore their work.   Leadership: Thaisa Way, Executive Director, Urban@UW; Department of Landscape Architecture Executive Committee: Margaret O’Mara, Department of History Susan P….


Course | GEOG 310

Immigrant America: Trends and Policies from a Geographic Perspective

U.S. immigration trends and policies from a geographic perspective. Topics include where immigrants come from, where they settle in the United States (and why they settle in those particular places), these locations, immigrant employment enclaves, effects of U.S. immigration policy on immigrant settlement and employment patterns, unauthorized immigration, citizenship, and barriers to immigrant social and economic mobility in the United States.

Course | GEOG 435

Industrialization and Urbanization in China

Examines the impacts of industrialization strategies adopted by the Peoples Republic of China on urbanization and rural-urban relations. Topics include: economic development strategies, industrial geography, rural industrialization, urban development patterns, migration, and urbanization policies.

Course | GEOG 123 / JSIS 123

Introduction to Globalization

Provides an introduction to the debates over globalization. Focuses on the growth and intensification of global ties. Addresses the resulting inequalities and tensions, as well as the new opportunities for cultural and political exchange. Topics include the impacts on government, finance, labor, culture, the environment, health, and activism.

Course | GEOG 203

Introduction to Migration

Introduces contemporary issues in international migration. Covers the relationship between contemporary human mobility and changes in the global economy; gendered migration; transnationalism; refugee and asylum issues; and immigrant integration.

Scholar

Jonathan Mayer

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Scholar

Kam Wing Chan

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Katharyne Mitchell

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Kessie Alexandre

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Kim England

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Course | GEOG 330

Latin America: Landscapes of Change

Examines operation of economic, social, and political processes across countries of Latin America - on international, national, and local scales - to understand common issues facing the region and different impacts in particular countries. Topics include internationalization of Latin American economies; agrarian and urban change; popular movements.

Scholar

Lucy Jarosz

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News | March 1, 2018

Many homeless people take better care of their pets than themselves; this clinic helps them

Homeless people with pets are usually criticized and sometimes turned away from shelters. But that’s starting to change. His name is Bud the Amazing Wonder Dog, but the huge German shepherd-rottweiler mix was not feeling amazing or wonderful during his clinic visit, as he whimpered and tried to steady himself on an examination table too…


News | January 28, 2020

Mapping Eviction in Western Washington

Evictions due to lack of affordable housing and rising rent costs contribute to the homelessness crisis. A new interactive map by graduate student Alex Ramiller with the UW Department of Geography builds on the study released in 2018 that measured and analyzed the issue of evictions in western Washington using court records, census data and housing market trends. Between…


Course | GEOG 258

Maps and GIS

Explores how people represent the world with maps and geographic information systems (GIS). Trains students in map use for basic navigation, urban management, and environmental analysis. Considers role of spatial databases in commerce, decision-making, and analysis. Helps map readers better determine quality, usefulness, and representation of information.

Scholar

Mark Ellis

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Scholar

Megan Ybarra

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Michael Brown

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Course | GEOG 337

Migration and Development in China

Examines patterns of China's internal migration in different periods in relation to economic development. Explores how the state-created dual structure and the household registration system enables China to have a huge class of super-exploitable migrant labor and become the world's premier low-end manufacturing center.

Course | GEOG 378 / LSJ 378

Policing the City

Investigates how and why formal and informal order is established in urban areas, how this order produces advantages and disadvantages, and possibilities of alternative visions of order. Topics include formal means of control (zoning, laws, policing, building codes) and informal means of control (gossip, ostracism, peer pressure, local politics).

News | May 29, 2016

Quick Recap: Here’s What Happened in May!

May saw a lot of wonderful events, visitors, and research coming out of the University of Washington community. Here’s a quick recap: The CBE PhD Program looked at the future of cities Patricia Romero Lankao visited to talk about the human dimension of climate change Seattle’s “diverse neighborhoods” are actually surprisingly segregated New lighting research…


Course | GEOG 479

Race, Ethnicity, and the American City

Explores America's cities as sites where ethnic and racial interaction have generated specific patterns of opportunity and disadvantage in housing and labor markets; how ethnic identities and racial formations are changed by living and working in cities, and questions of assimilation, multiculturalism, and America's ethno-racial future.

News | April 6, 2016

Reading List for Edgar Pieterse Visit 4/12

In anticipation of Edgar Pieterse’s visit we thought you might enjoy a video lecture and in-depth examination to get a feel for Pieterse’s research and thinking. How can we transcend slum urbanism in Africa? – Edgar Pieterse, University of Cape Town – This short video delivered by Edgar Pieterse and UN-Habitat offers a very accessible…


News | May 7, 2016

Reading List for Patricia Romero Lankao Visit 5/11

In anticipation of Patricia Romero Lankao’s visit we thought you might enjoy these pieces to get a feel for her research and thinking. Water in Mexico City: What Will Climate Change Bring to Its History of Water-Related Hazards and Vulnerabilities?—This research paper delves into the history and evolution of water related risks and crises in…


News | December 20, 2016

Reflections on Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change

On November 7th and 8th Urban@UW, in collaboration with the University of Washington’s Climate Impacts Group (CIG), hosted a symposium to begin transdisciplinary conversation on the multifaceted dynamics and consequences of Urban Environmental Justice in a Time of Climate Change (UEJ). Below are some reflections from this event, and a sample of the resources we’ll…


News | March 9, 2016

Report By UW Labor Studies Student Details Music Industry’s $1.8 Billion Boon to Seattle’s Economy

A new study commissioned by Seattle musicians’ union and authored by Geography PhD student Megan Brown found that 16,607 people are directly employed in the city’s music industry, creating $1.8 billion annually in direct economic impact. Including jobs dependent on music, the industry creates $4.3 billion in economic output, supporting 30,660 jobs. Yet despite a…


Course | GEOG 578

Research Seminar: Theorizing the City

Considers classic and contemporary writings in urban theory in the twentieth century, including social ecology (Chicago School), political economy, and contemporary theoretical debates in post-structuralism, deconstructionism, and culture as they relate to cities and space.

Scholar

Richard Morrille

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Scholar

Sarah Elwood

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News | May 21, 2016

Seismic Neglect: Buildings and Earthquakes

Seismic Neglect | In the first part of a continuing series, The Seattle Times examined officials’ neglect of the most vulnerable kind of building: old, brick structures called unreinforced masonry. Here are answers to some common questions about those buildings. The Northwest is threatened by earthquakes far more destructive than anything Washington state has experienced…


Course | GEOG 478

Social Justice and the City

Provides a link between general theories of urban inequality and their specific manifestation in the United States. Explores a series of themes related to contemporary urbanization processes including the recent mortgage crisis, segregation, gentrification, enclaves, fortification, redevelopment, homelessness, and the loss of public space.

News | March 16, 2016

Southern Urbanisms: Edgar Pieterse and Jean-Marie Teno (1 cr. seminar)

This microseminar addresses the emergence of global urbanisms and especially southern urbanisms, focusing on the dramatic urbanization of Africa and the resurgence of African urban studies. The course is coordinated with the visits of the influential scholar of African urbanisms Edgar Pieterse (University of Cape Town) and renowned African filmmaker Jean-Marie Teno. Their visit provides…


Course | GEOG 505

Spatial Dimensions of Chinese Development

Addresses several major spatial topics critical to present-day China's development, including: population and land relationship, the spatial structures of economic activities and governments; rural-urban relations and transition; central-local relations; the hukou system; population mobility at different spatial scales and urban centers.

Scholar

Steve Herbert

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Scholar

Suzanne Davies Withers

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Course | GEOG 470

The Cultural Politics of Food

Explores ways our understanding of the concepts of "food" and "eating" are culturally and spatially constructed by societal structures, power relations, and media representations. Drawing from research in cultural geography and critical food studies, examines the connections between food, culture, the media, politics, and economics.

Course | GEOG 302

The Pacific Northwest

Settlement pattern in the Pacific Northwest, emphasizing economic and historical factors, including the location of resource-oriented industries, policies regarding the use of public lands, and bases of the development of major urban areas in the region.

News | March 31, 2016

Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities with Edgar Pieterse – 4/12

Join us April 12 at Kane Hall (Room 120) for Visiting Scholar Edgar Pieterse, Please Register for this Public Event Towards a Speculative Politics for African Cities The available frames to understand and reimagine contemporary urban politics in the African context come down two divergent pathways: 1) build the institutional infrastructure to enact the deliberative…


Course | GEOG 461 / 561

Urban Geographic Information Systems

Use of geographic information systems to investigate urban/regional issues; focus on transportation, land-use and environmental issues; all urban change problems considered. GIS data processing strategies. Problem definition for GIS processing. Data collection, geo-coding issues. Data structuring strategies.

News | June 26, 2015

Urban Land Teleconnections by Luke Bergmann

Presented at June 1st Urban@UW Launch Meeting


Course | GEOG 377

Urban Political Geography

Examines how the spatial structure of cities and towns affects and is affected by political processes. Considers both traditional and newer forms of politics, as global and local issues. Special attention paid to where politics take place within local contexts across state, civil society, home, and the body.

Course | GEOG 573

Urban Political Geography: Research Seminar

Covers both classic and contemporary theoretical debates and research on the relation between power, place, and the local scale. Considers both conventional sites (e.g., the local state) as well as new forms and locations of city politics (e.g., sexuality and the body).

News | April 23, 2018

Urban Scholar Highlight: Margaret O’Mara

Margaret O’Mara is a Professor in the Department of History and a founding member of Urban@UW. She writes and teaches about the urban, political, and economic history of the modern United States. What led you to your current research interests? I’ve always been interested in how politics and government work with business and economics, and…


News | October 20, 2017

Urban@UW compiles Faculty Highlights Report for research, teaching and engagement on homelessness

As part of its recently launched Homelessess Research Initiative, Urban@UW has collaborated with faculty and staff across all three UW campuses to compile a broad-ranging selection of powerful and robust projects addressing homelessness from a research lens. Check out the Faculty Highlights Report to learn more about these efforts and the people behind them.


News | June 17, 2015

UW Students put GIS Skills to Use on Social Justice Projects

Geography Students in Professor Sarah Elwood’s GIS Workshop course are applying lessons learned to projects with local nonprofits.


Scholar

Victoria Lawson

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News | December 3, 2020

What happens when the eviction moratorium expires?

More than 171,000 Washington households are behind on rent, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In normal times, every one of them could be issued a notice to vacate today, and face eviction in court in a matter of weeks. That’s not happening right now because Gov. Jay Inslee enacted a moratorium…


News | June 22, 2017

What the bond between homeless people and their pets demonstrates about compassion

A video camera captures an interview with a man named Spirit, who relaxes in an outdoor plaza on a sunny afternoon. Of his nearby service dogs, Kyya and Miniaga, he says, “They mean everything to me, and I mean everything to them.”In another video, three sweater-clad dogs scamper around a Los Angeles park, while their…


Scholar

William B. Bayers

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Course | GEOG 476 / GWSS 476

Women and the City

Explores the reciprocal relations between gender relations, the layout of cities, and the activities of urban residents. Topics include: feminist theory and geography (women, gender, and the organization of space); women and urban poverty, housing and homelessness; gender roles and labor patterns; geographies of childcare; and women and urban politics.