400 Level Courses

GEOG 412 – Glacial Processes and Environments

This course includes labs and field trips, both of which facilitate skill development and exploration of course concepts. The field trips in southern BC focus on interpreting past glacial processes and environments from the glacial landform and sediment record. The course is recommended to students interested in geography, earth science, environmental science, water science, natural resource management, and anyone who is curious about their natural surroundings.


GEOG 420 - Cultural Geography

This course focuses on one of the most elusive yet mundane of all geographical phenomena: culture. In order to address the complexity of culture, GEOG 420 tutorials engage in numerous practices that aim to make culture - in all of its various guises - come alive. Emphasizing the importance of creativity, experimentation, and immersive experiences, tutorials have involved campus-based treasure hunts to illustrate the trials of navigating a cultural landscape, a mock-up rave in Goa, India to consider the spatiality of bodies and music; role-playing airport border security scenarios to examine issues of power and identity; playing Grand Theft Auto to consider the virtual spaces of class, gender, and race; and, karaoke to examine the aesthetics of words and soundscapes.


GEOG 449 - City and Environment

As part of their course work, GEOG 449 students hosted a workshop on urban planning approaches to urban resilience at Surrey City Hall. The day of learning featured background preparation of materials and syntheses of work in the emerging field of urban resilience planning, brainstorming about effective workshop engagement, dialogue and exchange, and strategic thinking about what makes a multistakeholder conversation effective. We hosted a panel of researcher perspectives with  panelists from UBC, Royal Roads and SFU, a panel of municipal  perspectives from Surrey, Vancouver and Richmond, and a  panel of industry perspectives from social housing, urban development, and  planning and design companies. The day also included a tour of the Crescent Beach neighbourhood in South Surrey, with guides from the City of Surrey talking to us about the city's recent efforts to engage residents in tough conversations about flooding, sea level rise and resilience planning. 


GEOG 451/651 - Spatial Modeling

Students enrolled in the Fall 2017 GEOG451/651 course on Spatial Modeling had a one day field trip in November to join the 64th Annual North American Meetings of the Regional Science Association International (NARSC 2017) held in Vancouver. This field trip provided a capstone experience for students interested to learn more about advanced topics related to research in spatial modeling within a conference setting and by attending a series of special sessions on GeoComputation organized by Drs. Suzana Dragicevic (SFU), Zahayoa Gong (U. of Birmingham) and Jean-Claude Thill (UNC, Charlotte). Students had the opportunity to engage with research related to the course topics through research presentations from our graduate students Taylor Anderson, Alex Smith and Frederick Lafrance affiliated with the Spatial Analysis and Modeling Laboratory, SFU Geography Department, as well as other international conference participants. This field trip would not have been possible without the generous support of Dr. Neil Reid (U. of Toledo) and the NARSC 2017 conference organizers.


GEOG 455 - Theoretical and Applied GIS

Geog 455 is technically a capstone course about advanced issues in GIS. It is also a unique foray into experiential learning. Students work in teams on real life projects from conceptualization to creating methods to implementation and mapping. At the end of the course, the students create a scientific report as well as website to convey the results of their project to their “client”. Clients range from government agencies to research groups to municipalities. In 2018, we had six projects. One sought to understand spatial differences in uptake and use of medical crowdfunding. This project resulted in a paper that is currently under submission in an academic journal: Another project mapped “playability” across three communities in Metro Vancouver:

All of the projects took students into new spaces and places and encouraged them to work with community members to collect and analyse spatial data, map it and ultimately communicate the results.

GEOG 440 -Property, Land, Society

As part of SFU Public Square’s 2021 Community Summit Series, students in professor Nick Blomley's GEOG 440 class presented their research and explored questions around property, home & precarity.