Room 041 (ground level) Kresge, mw 3 20

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Spring 2004

Room 041 (ground level) Kresge, MW 3-4.20

Antoinette WinklerPrins

Assistant Professor

Department of Geography

Phone 432-7163

110 Natural Science (personal office)

315 Natural Science (main geography office)

Office hours: T 10.30-11.30, W 1.30-2.30, and by appointment

Course description

Geo 454 is a course that employs contemporary ideas and techniques to study the spatial patterns and processes that underlie the relationship between the environment and economic development mostly in the ‘developing’ world. The conceptual basis for the class is political ecology, an approach that sees the development process as one of an interaction between society and the biophysical environment. We will look at the world as ‘differentiated space’ especially between rich and poor and between men and women.

The objective of the course is to develop ways of thinking about these interactions through the examination of a variety of development strategies, interventions, and policies, and processes such as environmental variability, economic change (especially globalization and free trade), population dynamics, urbanization, globalization, and general resource management strategies. Case studies from Asia, Africa, Europe, and Latin America will be used for illustration.

Course prerequisites

This course is for students of junior standing or above, including graduate students. One of the following geography classes - Geo 113, 151, 330, 333, 335, 336, 337, 338 or permission from the instructor is required. It is also highly recommended that you have taken ISS 310 or its equivalent.

Course objectives
By the end of this course you should be able to appreciate the complexity of environmental issues in the context of economic development, have a deeper understanding of the ways of thinking about solutions to environment and development ‘problems’ and conceptualize and discuss the world as differentiated space.

Course topics

We will explore a variety of topics during this class. I have selected a number of them, but some we will select as a group. Some of the topics to be covered include: political ecology and other frameworks for development studies; geographical perspectives on the history of development strategies; sustainable development; people’s relationship with the environment; the population question; economic change issues; globalization and free trade; participatory development; gender issues in development; the rise and role of NGOs; the urban-rural continuum and the urban explosion; climate change and development; tourism as a development strategy; use of GIS in analyzing LUCC; development in the future.

Course format
The course will consist of lectures and discussions as well as group and individual research projects. The emphasis will be on collaborative learning. Lectures will vary significantly in format and many will NOT all be available on-line. This course will require your attendance and full participation during class meetings. The class is NOT about learning facts or memorizing places, and requires mindful engagement with the course materials.
Course requirements
A) Two exams: a midterm and a final, both consisting of short answers and short essays (NO objective sections). Both will be administered in-class, closed book. The last 20-30 minutes of the class meeting before the exam will be devoted to review for the exam.

Exam make-up policy: Make-up exams are offered ONLY to those who have made previous arrangements with me. Should a life circumstance occur at exam time you need to contact me by email or telephone to let me know you will miss the exam and will need to schedule a make-up. This needs to be done as soon as you can but no later than 24 hrs after the exam was administered.
A note on cheating: Cheating is considered to be the copying of other student’s answers, assisting others when an exam should be completed individually, as well as the use of materials such as books and notes (including crib sheets) when those are not permitted. I do NOT tolerate cheating. Cheating will result in a failed grade of the course as well as reporting to the appropriate college.

B) A journal: Weekly entries of 1-2 pages (typed, double-spaced, 12 pt font) reflecting on class lectures and discussions as well as the readings. Emphasis will be on your thoughts about the material, not just on how well you describe what we discussed. The first person should be used in these reflections. I expect to see a progression in your thinking and integration of course material as the semester unfolds.

Journal entries will be due the Monday following the week to reflect on. Because of the MLK holiday, the first one will be due on Monday 1/26/04, reflecting on the first 3 class meetings. Other due dates will be 2/2, 2/9, 2/16, 2/23, 3/1, 3/22, 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, and 4/26. You will be excused from TWO entries; only the first will be required. Therefore a total of 10 entries are due, each worth 5 points.

C) A short research paper: This will be a paper based on student’s own interest but linked thematically to the course material. Each paper should be discussed with me and the topic approved. A peer review cycle will be required. A title and outline will be due one month before the paper is due.

Undergraduate student paper length: 7-10 pages

Graduate student paper length: 10-15 pages
A note on plagerism: Plagerism is the use of other people’s work presented as one’s own. I do NOT tolerate plagerism and anyone who plagerizes their paper or parts thereof will be subject to a FAILED grade for the course and a report filed with their respective college. We will spend time discussing plagerism in-class as well as how to cite other people’s work appropriately.

D) Participation and attendance: Attending class and participating in a mindful manner during discussions are required. Group work is part of the course and several small projects done together in and out of class will be worth 3-5 points each and contribute to your total points in this category. Graduate students need to present their research to the class or present a lecture in class as part of their participation grade.

Students will be excused from two classes, any further missed classes will be subject to a loss of points.

Honors options are available for Honors students. Please contact me and we will work out the details. Projects need to be based on your own initiative. A short contract will be written up and adhered to.
Extra credit points will be available by attending on-campus lectures related to the course. For example, CASID (the Center for the Advanced Study of International Development) holds a weekly Friday noon brown bag talk in room 201 International Center. To collect points you need to attend the lecture, write up a 1-2 page summary and reflection on the lecture. Maximum points available per lecture is 5. Total extra credit opportunities permitted is 2. I will announce appropriate lectures, but feel free to suggest others. If I have not announced the lecture then please run it by me before attending.

Midterm 30 points

Final 40 points

Journal 50 points

Paper 40 points

Participation and attendance 40 points


TOTAL 200 points (divide by 2 to obtain percentage)
Policy on Academic Freedom and Integrity
Article 2.3.3 of the Academic Freedom Report states that "the student shares with the faculty the responsibility for maintaining the integrity of scholarship, grades, and professional standards." In addition, the Department of Geography adheres to the policies on academic honesty as specified in General Student Regulations 1.0, Protection of Scholarship and Grades, and in the all‑University Policy on Integrity of Scholarship and Grades, which are included in Spartan Life: Student Handbook and Resource Guide. Students who commit an act of academic dishonesty (such as cheating or plagerism) will likely receive a 0.0 on the assignment or in the course.
Policy on accommodations for students with special needs
If you have special needs, please inform me as soon as possible. Students with disabilities should contact the Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities to establish reasonable accommodations. For an appointment with a counselor, call 353‑9642 (voice) or 355‑1293 (TTY).

Course text

Text (required): P.W. Porter and E.S. Sheppard, A World of Difference: Society, Nature, Development (Guilford Press, 1998).

**One copy will be available at the Reserve Desk at the main library.**
Also on reserve at the library will be one copy of Paul Knox and Sallie Marston, Human Geography: Places and Regions in Global Context, third edition (Prentice Hall, 2004). This may be helpful to those of you new to geography.
Supplemental readings: Will be provided by the instructor as necessary.
News: It is highly recommended that you read the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, or the Washington Post on a regular basis as there are many relevant articles published. Reduced subscriptions are available to students and the newspapers are readily accessible on-line and via MSU libraries.


This course uses Angel as a course management tool. If you are enrolled in this course you are automatically included in Angel for Geo 454. Point your browser at the following URL: and login with your MSUNet ID and password. Do not enter your entire MSU e-mail address as a login; your MSUNet ID is the part of the address that preceedes the @ symbol. Please note that you can ONLY use your pilot account to access materials. All emails from me to you will also use the pilot system and Angel. If you use a different email system, be sure to forward you pilot account to that other address. All course materials will be available through Angel, be sure to check it frequently.


Please inform the instructor as soon as possible if you will have any conflict with class meetings, exam periods, and paper deadlines due to religious, athletic, or other reasons. I will accommodate necessary changes to scheduled assessments due to life’s circumstances only if you inform me of those happening as they happen or immediately thereafter!!! Emails during finals week disclosing a semester long problem will not garner much sympathy.

Week 1 1/12 Course housekeeping; introduction to each other and to the course

1/14 What is development, what do we mean with ‘environment’ and

what is a geographical perspective on all of this?
Readings week 1: P & S chapters 1 and 2

Week 2 1/19 Martin Luther King Jr. Day (no class)

1/21 Core and periphery

Readings week 2: P & S chapter 5 and 6
Week 3 1/26 Political ecology

1/28 Soils, pests, and agricultural systems

Readings week 3: P & S chapters 10 and 8 (only 149-154)
Week 4 2/2 Gender issues

2/4 The population question

Readings week 4: P & S chapters 3 and 7
Week 5 2/9 Environment and development in the core

2/11 Environment and development in The Netherlands

[Please note: this is a combined lecture with Prof. Morris Thomas’s Geo 336, the Geography of Europe class – we will meet in room 128 Nat. Sci.]
Readings week 5: Handout
Week 6 2/16 Conservation and development in East Africa

2/18 Conservation and development in East Africa, con’d

[Please note: AWP will out of town and lectures and discussions will be lead by B. Butt]
Readings week 6: Handout
Week 7 2/23 Deforestation in the Amazon Basin (Eraldo Matricardi)

2/25 Deforestation in the Amazon Basin, con’d

Readings week 7: handout
Week 8 3/1 Open for catch-up and review

3/3 Midterm

[Week 9 3/8 and 3/10 SPRING BREAK!!]

Week 10 3/15 NO CLASS (Work on paper topic!!)

3/17 ‘Free Trade’ as a form of development (video)

[Please note: AWP will be out of town at the Association of American Geographers Meeting]
Readings week 10: P & S chapters 15 and 16 and handout
Week 11 3/22 Free trade and environmental consequences

(Journals due)

3/24 Commodities

Readings week 11: P & S chapters 15 and 16 (finish), 17
Week 12 3/29 Commodities con’d; local dev’t in Nicaragua (Taku)

(Journals due)


3/31 Politics and natural resources in Nicaragua

[Please note: lecture is a talk by Dr. Gerry Urquart, Lyman Briggs, MSU. Class will combine with the CLACS Charla series and meet in room 201 International Center]
Readings week 12: P & S chapters 17 (finish) and handout
Week 13 4/5 Environmental Consequences of Millenium Development Goals

(Journals due)

4/7 Environmental Consequences of Millenium Development Goals, con’t

Readings week 13: Handout
Week 14 4/12 Environmental implications of international migration

(Journals due)


4/14 Environmental implications of international migration, con’d

[Please note: Lecture with Dr. Brad Jokisch, Ohio University. Class will combine with the CLACS Charla series and meet in room 201 International Center]
Readings week 14: Handout
Week 15 4/19 The urban environment

(Journals due)


4/21 The urban environment, con’d (Jamie on Curitiba)

Readings week 15: P & S chapter 19
Week 16 4/26 What will the future hold?

(Last Journals due)

4/28 Wrap up, evaluations, review and PAPER DUE!

Readings week 16: P & S chapter 25
Final exam is on Monday, May 3, 2004, 3-5 pm, in our usual room.

Format will be similar to midterm.

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