The UCDavis Geography Graduate Group offers an interdisciplinary academic program emphasizing spatial interactions between humans and the biophysical environment. Admissions requirements, graduate requirements for both Ph.D. and Masters, funding opportunities, and mentorship guidelines are all described in the forthcoming pages.
Welcome to the Graduate Group in Geography (GGG)! The group consists of graduate students and faculty members from across the UC Davis campus. In terms of the number and diversity of affiliated faculty, we are the nation’s largest geography graduate program. As such, the group supports a wide range of geographic scholarship. We are fortunate to be housed administratively by the Landscape Architecture Program of Environmental Design Department, with the Group’s office located in 133 Hunt Hall, and student office with mailboxes in Hunt 158. We all look forward to helping you achieve your scholarly and academic objectives. Welcome and best wishes for a productive year.
The curriculum of the Geography Graduate Group is comprised of three elements: Core courses; Geographic Depth Courses; and electives. All students take coursework in the Core and in the geographic depth areas. Core courses include:
The Geographic Depth Courses correspond to the organization of the content of the Annals of the Association of American Geographers:
To help guide students in choosing their elective courses, we have also developed detailed course guidelines in three particular areas of strength in our program:
The group maintains several means of distributing information. These include:
To be accepted into an M.A. or Ph.D. degree program in the Geography Graduate Group, a student must have a Major Professor that has agreed to work with them. The student should contact faculty members in the Graduate Group directly when looking for a Major Professor. Students are responsible for finding a Major Professor and may change Major Professors at any time. The Major Professor must be a member of the Graduate Group in Geography and must agree to serve in this capacity. The Graduate Advisor and Graduate Staff Assistant in the Geography Graduate Group should be informed of any changes as soon as possible. For advice on finding a Major Professor, talk to the Chairperson, Graduate Advisors, and current students of the Geography Graduate Group. Affiliation with a Major Professor determines the student’s Area of Emphasis. If a student wishes to enter one of the three Concentrations, his/her Major Professor must be affiliated with that Concentration. A student’s Major Professor serves as a mentor and is a primary resource for advising and scholarly information on research projects and sources of external funding. The Major Professor’s home department is responsible for providing the graduate student office and laboratory space and support, as available. The Major Professor serves as chairperson of the dissertation/thesis/master’s exam committee. He/she, along with the student and their Committee, recommend to the Graduate Advisor when the student is prepared to take the qualifying/oral examination. He/she should guide the student on exam preparation and the preparation of their dissertation proposal for the Ph.D. qualifying examination. For students without prior academic degrees in Geography, the Major Professor consults with the student to advise the Graduate Advisors on a preparatory program of courses in geographic theory and methods. Though the Major Professor plays the lead role in providing guidance on research projects, he/she may not be aware of the latest Graduate Studies and GGG requirements. Therefore, the student should consult with the Graduate Advisors on a regular basis and report on his/her academic progress.
The Graduate Program Coordinator, manages almost all paperwork related to the Graduate Group. The Graduate Advisors need to sign most student forms. You can make arrangements to speak with the Graduate Advisors at any time. If all you need is a signature, you can also leave it with the Graduate Program Coordinator, Carrie Armstrong-Ruport, in 133 Hunt Hall, or in Carrie’s mailbox in 131 Hunt Hall.
Graduate Advisors are nominated by the Chairperson of the Geography Graduate Group and appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies to serve in matters affecting graduate students in their academic program. The Graduate Advisor’s signature is the only signature officially recognized by Graduate Studies on a variety of forms and petitions used by graduate students. In general, Graduate Advisors act as the student’s first source of academic program information and provide assistance with the requirements of the program. Students should meet with their Graduate Advisor on a regular basis and keep him/her up to date on progress. In particular, the Graduate Advisors are responsible for:
It is the student’s responsibility to obtain needed funding. Many sources of financial support are available for students:
Teaching Assistant PositionsTeaching assistant (TA) positions are often available for classes taught by GGG faculty members through their home departments. The GGG Graduate Program Coordinator has TA applications for the group’s home department: Landscape Architecture. The TA application is also available online at http://ggg.ucdavis.edu. Graduate students may apply for TA positions in any department on campus. Please contact faculty in charge of teaching particular courses or the management officer of each department to learn of teaching assistant opportunities. Apply early, preferably between December and May the prior year. Application forms for Teaching Assistantships should be submitted to the Department or Graduate Group offering the course on which the student wishes to assist. TA positions of 25% or greater time carry an in-state fee waiver. A partial listing of available positions and contact information is available at the Graduate Studies website at http://gsintra.ucdavis.edu/listappt/.
Graduate Student Researcher. Individual faculty members fund graduate student researcher (GSR) positions. Faculty in your area of interest should be contacted to discover opportunities. GSR positions of 25% or greater time carry an in-state fee waiver and non resident tuition waiver.
Work-Study. The Geography Graduate Group has a limited number of 25% time work-study positions each year. Eligibility for these grants is related to individual income. Work-study grants are used to match funding from other employment on the campus, usually graduate student researchers. A 25% work-study GSR appointment includes full remission of in-state fees for the quarter the appointment is held. Deadlines and procedures for applying for work-study are available from the Graduate Program Coordinator.
GGG Block Grants. Graduate Studies allocates the GGG a block grant award to help fund students. The GGG issues a call for block grant applications in the winter quarter, and the Awards Committee makes recommendations to the Chairperson on these awards. Awards may be used towards fees or as stipends.
Other On-Campus. Other employment on campus may be available in technical and service capacities. See the Student Employment Center for more information at: http://jobs.ucdavis.edu/.
Fellowships. The University offers several fellowships for new and continuing students. Fellowships are allocated on a competitive basis. Fellowship deadlines and applications are available from the Graduate Staff Assistant. External fellowships are also available through federal agencies and private organizations with Graduate Studies providing information on many of these.
Off-Campus. Off-campus employment opportunities exist in many areas of geography. The opportunities can often be discovered through the Internship and Career Center (2nd floor, South Hall) or through directly contacting agencies and firms doing work of interest to you. Jobs also frequently are sent to our email list for distribution.
Research Funding. Geography Graduate students have been very successful in obtaining funding for their research projects from various private, state and federal agencies. Several funding sources are also available at UCD and UC systemwide. Further information may be found on our Graduate Studies and Office of Research campus websites.
Teaching Assistant and Graduate Student Researcher positions afford excellent opportunities to gain experience in areas of intrinsic importance to your graduate education and to receive financial support at the same time. Information and application materials for TAships are available from the department in which you wish to teach. Contact the faculty directly about the availability of GSR positions. A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA is required to hold an academic appointment. GSR and TA appointments at 25% and above provide full remission of in-state fees for the quarter the appointment is held. This policy is reviewed for renewal each year. Nonresident (NRT) remission is provided as a non-taxable benefit to all eligible Graduate Student Researchers (GSRs) employed by the University of California, Davis. You can look at a partial listing of currently available TA, GSR and Reader appointments on the Graduate Studies online listing at: http://gsintra.ucdavis.edu/listappt/.
Financial Aid, which is only available to U.S. citizens, permanent residents or immigrants, is awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need, and is administered by the Financial Aid Office. Federal financial aid includes student loans, grants, and work-study funding. Contact your graduate program regarding the availability of work-study funding. All applicants (US citizens, permanent residents, and immigrants) are required to apply for financial aid. You may apply for financial aid before you have been admitted. As noted above, it is strongly suggested that you file the FAFSA by the priority processing date of March 1. A full-time counselor for graduate financial assistance is available for appointments and scheduled drop-in hours in the Financial Aid Office.
Fellowships, graduate scholarships, and block grant awards are awarded primarily on the basis of scholarship and the promise of outstanding academic and professional achievement. Consideration is given to the extent and quality of previous undergraduate and graduate work, evidence of ability in research or other creative accomplishment, evidence of intellectual capacity, and promise of productive scholarship. Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores, undergraduate and graduate grade point averages, academic transcripts, statement of purpose, letters of recommendation, and other documentation such as publications or awards are used in this evaluation.
The minimum cumulative undergraduate or graduate grade point average required for a living allowance, in-state fee award, or nonresident tuition fellowship is 3.0 (A=4.00).
Financial need or the availability of other sources of support in your graduate program is not relevant to the evaluation of academic merit, but may be an additional criterion for some fellowships. Students must establish eligibility for need-based awards by filing a FAFSA with the Federal Student Aid Program by the March 1 deadline. To file the FAFSA online, go to http://www.fafsa.ed.gov or pick up a paper application from the Financial Aid Office in Dutton Hall.
The primary office space for GGG students is provided by the department of the Major Professor (as available) and for TA or GSR positions, by the student’s employer on campus. A phone, fax, xerox machine, and computer may or may not be available. The GGG also has been assigned Hunt 158 as a group office and mailroom for our students. If you use this space as your office, be sure to be considerate of others and their need for space and to personally secure any valuables you have.
The GGG has a basic computer laboratory for our students (with a PC, a Macintosh, a printer, and internet access over the campus network) in Hunt 158. The campus also has many open general-purpose labs and special purpose laboratories (see http://scg.ucdavis.edu/). If you have an assigned office from your major professor and home department, you may be able to hook a departmental or your personal computer up to the campus high-speed network in that room, or access the computer internet wirelessly.
For students entering the graduate program without an undergraduate or prior graduate degree in geography, it will be necessary to evaluate your prior coursework and most likely take additional preparatory course-work in geography. This preparatory work must be agreed upon early in your program in consultation with your Major Professor and Graduate Advisor. Students wishing to enter the Geography Graduate Group from other graduate programs on campus should contact a Graduate Advisor.
The students select two representatives who represent the group in the UC Davis Graduate Student Association (GSA). These students may also serve on the GGG executive committee (or two other students may hold those positions). The GSA is a forum for graduate student matters and activities. The students organize various informal seminars and activities during the year. Also available to geography students is the Geographical Education Club.
The GGG Executive Committee meets quarterly (and sometimes more frequently) to conduct the work of the group in regard to curricula, awards, financial support, activities, and other matters. Two graduate students serve as elected members of the Executive Committee, along with the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson, the two Graduate Advisors, three Members-At-Large, and the Graduate Program Coordinator. Serving on this committee is a good way to learn more about how the University works!
The GGG holds two business meetings of the full group (faculty, staff, students and friends) at the beginning of the fall quarter and near the end of the spring quarter. These are both business and social functions and are very enjoyable events.
GEO 280 Field Studies in Geography (3 units). May be repeated two times for credit. Students help organize our GEO 280 field studies course that is held in spring quarter. This course has a faculty coordinator.
GEO 290 Seminar (4 units)
GEO 291 Seminar in Cultural Geography (4 units)
GEO 295 Seminar in Urban Geography (4 units)
GEO 297 Geography Graduate Group Seminar (2 units) GGG students help organize our GEO 297 weekly seminar series during fall winter and spring quarters. Students are required to take GEO 297 two times. This seminar series has a faculty coordinator each quarter. Topics are typically selected late in spring quarter or early in fall quarter. Seminar topics have included history of California’s landscapes, tourism, zoogeography, watershed science, the geography of food, and careers in geography.
If you have any questions please let us know in person, by telephone, or by e-mail. We will do our best to help as fast as we can. Many questions regarding Campus graduate policies can be answered by consulting the Campus Graduate Guide, which is published over the web ONLY. The web address is http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/.
Students seeking admission to the Geography Graduate Group must have a Bachelors Degree and at least an overall GPA of 3.0 (B grade average) in relevant course work.
For information about admission contact Carrie Armstrong-Ruport, Program Coordinator at email@example.com. Interested students are invited to visit campus. Students may obtain application materials from the Web at: http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/prospective-students/apply-online
Students must submit the following with their applications:
The application deadline is January 5. Late applications will not be considered.
In mid September, you may apply using the admission application at http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/prospective-students/apply-online
For questions about the application process or the Geography Graduate Group MA and PhD programs, please contact:
For general information about admission to graduate study at UC Davis, refer to the Office of Graduate Studies website: http://gradstudies.ucdavis.edu.
The geography program at UC Davis is divided into the following four main areas:
The Environmental Sciences area in the discipline of geography and the graduate group has its center in physical geography. Environmental Sciences Geography is a field of geography concerned with the relationships between between the biological and physical environment, largely encompassing the subdiscipline of physical geography, but overlapping into associated natural science disciplines and engineering. Research is focused on natural and anthropogenic earth surface patterns and the physical and ecological processes that have produced them, as well as change through time and across space. Studies are conducted from local to regional to global scales, with a considerable amount of research in the graduate group within California’s diverse landscapes. Sustainable natural resources management is of great interest, especially in the face of human population growth, land use intensification, and global climate change. Concentrations in Global Environmental Change and Landscape Architecture & Environmental Design are also available to the students.
Environmental geographers rely primarily on quantitative methods, including field work, remote sensing, GIS and affiliated modeling techniques. Research by UC Davis faculty and students is conducted in several subfields of physical geography, including biogeography, geomorphology, climatology, hydrology, and soils geography. With the great strength of the UC Davis campus in the agricultural sciences, biological sciences, engineering, and veterinary medicine, opportunities abound to build a program of course work that builds the foundation for each individual student’s training to best address their interests. Subfields within the Environmental Sciences in Geography that particularly reflect campus strengths and the strength of the Geography Graduate Group are agricultural geography, biogeography and conservation biology, environmental and natural resource management, and watershed science.
Faculty and students working in the Environmental Sciences are also affiliated with campus research units, institutes and centers such as the Bodega Marine Laboratory, the John Muir Institute of the Environment, the Natural Reserve System, the Center for Watershed Sciences, the Center for Biosystematics, the Information Center on the Environment, the Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing, etc.
The list below is the pre-approved selection of courses in the subfield of Physical Geography that students can choose from to fulfill their 12-16 units of Geographic Depth Courses.
The Methods, Models, and Geographic Information Systems (MMG) Area of Geography focuses on important tools to the field of geography. This sub-discipline is chiefly concerned with the development, application and assessment of tools used in geographic research. A heavily quantitative discipline, this field aims to utilize recent advancements in technology; including computers, remote sensing and geolocation devices.
This subfield provides an opportunity to study mathematical modeling, geographic information systems, remote sensing, spatial statistics, image analysis and visualization, global positioning and surveying technologies, sensor networks, and web-based research and communication of geographical concepts and data.
The UC Davis campus and Geography program in particular with a wide interdisciplinary group of researchers provides ample opportunities to apply and test techniques to solve real world issues.
The MMG geography sub-discipline takes advantage of the globally-recognized environmental, agricultural, and natural resources research programs at Davis to provide students with ample opportunities to apply and test techniques to solve real world issues.
Methods, Models, and GIScience — Geographic Depth Courses
The list below is the pre-approved selection of courses in the subfield of Methods, Models, and GIScience that students can choose from to fulfill their 12-16 units of Geographic Depth Courses.
Depth Courses Offered by GGG Faculty
(includes those to be Cross-Listed, proposed GEO number in parentheses)
PLS 205 (GEO 270) Experimental Design and Analysis
PLS 206 (GEO 271) Multivariate Systems and Modeling
ECL 220 (GEO 272) Spatio-temporal Ecology
HYD 273 (GEO 273) Introduction to Geostatistics
ESP 228 (GEO 274) Advanced Simulation Modeling
HYD 275 (GEO 275) Analysis of Spatial Processes
ECS 266 (GEO 276) Spatial Databases
WFC 222 (GEO 277) Advanced Population Dynamics
ECL 231 (GEO 278) Mathematical Methods and Population Biology
ECL 254 (GEO 279) Discrete Choice Analysis of Travel Demand
TTP 200 (GEO 280) Transportation Survey Methods
HYD 286 (GEO 281) Advanced Remote Sensing
LDA 280 (GEO 253) Landscape Conservation
Other Depth Courses
ESP 231 Population Biology
“Nature and Society Geography” is a field of geography concerned with the relationships between people and the environment. The field is broad and includes geography’s two centuries of emphasis on humankind’s interaction with and modifications of natural systems, as well as newer interests in conflicts over natural resources and environmental change, assessments of the sustainability and equity of primary production systems, and critical analyses of the meanings of taken-for-granted concepts like “nature,” “natural resources,” and “degradation.”
The Nature and Society Geography subfield in geography and the UC Davis geography program occupies a middle ground between human and physical geography. Nature and society geographers rely on both qualitative and quantitative methods, including GIS and cartographic design. In this way, overlap among the subfields is intentional, and our faculty work across fields (e.g., teach courses in human geography and nature and society geography).
The subfields of Nature and Society Geography at UC Davis that are particularly strong include: agricultural geography; cultural and political ecology; environmental hazards; environmental justice and conflict; and historical nature and society geography.
UC Davis, as one of the nation’s leading research universities focused on agriculture, offers great potential for Nature and Society Geography students interested in the intersection of agriculture, environment, and society. The areas of sustainable agriculture, agricultural development, and agricultural policy and models are particularly strong in UC Davis geography. The new Agricultural Sustainability Institute offers Nature and Society Geography students engagement with cutting-edge work on organic, transitional, and local food and farming systems.
Cultural and political ecology
Central to Nature and Society Geography is the subfield of cultural ecology and political ecology. Cultural ecology, a subfield in geography and anthropology, has a long history at UC Davis with current faculty members including David Boyd, Stephen Brush, Benjamin Orlove, and emeritus faculty Jack Ives. Cultural ecologists use ethnographic and other methods to understand indigenous resource management and the iterative relationship between culture and environment. In the late 1970s, cultural ecology was expanded to political ecology, which emphasizes extra-local political and economic forces that cause environmental change and degradation. UC Davis has one of the top ranked ecology graduate programs in the country, giving Nature and Society Geography graduate students ample opportunity to engage and collaborate with ecologists.
Floods, extreme weather events, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes have important ramifications for society. Dating back to the work of Gilbert White in the mid-20th century, Nature and Society Geography has a tradition of informing policy by emphasizing that environmental hazards are invariably strongly influenced by social relationships.
Environmental justice and conflict
Environmental justice is the principle that all people and communities have a right to live in a healthy environment and to have equitable access to sufficient resources to maintain a good quality of life. Geographers and others from allied disciplines highlight uneven distribution of costs and benefits of environmental modifications along the lines of race, ethnicity, gender, and class. Additionally, environmental justice examines conflicts over the lived environment and the successes of the environmental justice movements. UC Davis houses the Environmental Justice Project through the John Muir Institute for the Environment, the lead faculty of which often collaborate interdisciplinarily with faculty and researchers associated with the Center for the Study of Regional Change, as well as faculty in Environmental Science and Policy, Plant Ecology, and other departments and disciplines.
Historical nature and society geography
Key to elucidating nature and society relations is an understanding of the processes that have shaped those interactions over time. An historical perspective offers multiple temporal scales of analysis, allows an examination of the ways different nature-society relations are constructed over time, and reminds researchers that environmental change is multidirectional and multifaceted.
The list below is the pre-approved selection of courses in the subfield of Nature-Society Geography that students can choose from to fulfill their 12-16 units of Geographic Depth Courses.
ECL 211 (GEO 250) Advanced Topics in Cultural Ecology
ARE 214 (GEO 251) Development Economics
LDA 260 (GEO 252) Landscape and Power
LDA 280 (GEO 253) Landscape Conservation
CRD 244 (GEO 254) Political Ecology of Community Development
GEO 260 Global Political Ecology
Courses in the People, Place, and Region Area of Geography encompass political, cultural, social, and economic aspects of social science. “People, Place, and Region” is a field of geography concerned with the relationships between space and society. Encompassing many foci under the heading of human geography, this field analyzes human processes vis-à-vis the physical environment and, in particular, the ways in which people assume, require, refer to, or seek particular geographical relationships.
As a broad area of emphasis, People, Place, and Region draws from other disciplines such as sociology, cultural studies, philosophy, history, urban planning, and the humanities, to name a few. Given this diversity, this area of emphasis utilizes a range of methodological approaches, using qualitative, quantitative, and participatory methods; theoretical and empirical investigations; GIS and other forms of spatial analysis.
Subfields of People, Place, and Region at UC Davis with particularly strength include cultural and historical geography, international development, political and economic geography, planning and urban design, and social geography. These subfields and the interests of associated faculty members, many of whom work in multiple subfields, are described below.
People, Place, and Region (Human Geography) — Geographic Depth Courses
The list below is the pre-approved selection of courses in the subfield of Human Geography that students can choose from to fulfill their 12-16 units of Geographic Depth Courses.
Depth Courses Offered by GGG Faculty
(includes those to be Cross-Listed, proposed GEO number in parentheses)
LDA 200 (GEO 230) Citizenship, Democracy, & Public Space
LDA 201 (GEO 231) Theory and Philosophy of the Designed Environment
LDA 202 (GEO 232) Methods in Design and Landscape Research
LDA 205 (GEO 233) Physical Planning and Design
LDA 270 (GEO 234) Environment and Behavior
SOC 295 (GEO 235) International Migration
TTP 220 (GEO 236) Transportation Planning and Policy
CRD 240 (GEO 240) Community Development Theory
CRD 241 (GEO 241) The Economics of Community Development
CRD 245 (GEO 245) The Political Economy of Urban and Regional Development
CRD 246 (GEO 246) The Political Economy of Transnational Migration
CRD 248 (GEO 248) Social Policy, Welfare Theories and Communities
Other Depth Courses
CRD 242 Community Development Organizations
CRD 247 Transformation of Work
ECL 217 Conservation and Sustainable Development in Third World Nations
ECL 222 Human Ecology of Agriculture CST 206 Studies in Race Theory
LDA 204 Case Studies in Landscape Design and Research
LDA 215 (GEO 215) Ecologies of Infrastructure
LDA 220 Public Space and Culture
LDA 230 Landscape and Memory
LDA 240 Historic, Cultural Landscapes: Concept, Perception, Preservation
LDA 250 Life-Place: Bioregional Theory and Principles
LDA 260 Landscape and Power
LDA 280 Landscape Conservation
SOC 215 Economy, Polity, and Society
SOC 225 Cultural Sociology
SOC 227 Sociology of Reproduction
SOC 230 Ethnic (Race) Relations
SOC 233 Gender, Culture, and Local/Global Transformation
SOC 234 Gender, Family, and Society
SOC 242AB Comparative Methods in Historical Sociology
SOC 243 Urban Society
SOC 245 Developing Societies
SOC 248 Social Movements
SOC 292AB Field Research Methods
The following areas of specialization are of particular strength of coursework and research at UC Davis:
A number of GGG faculty and graduate students do research on global environmental change, as linked to paleoclimates, contemporary global warming, changes in ocean-atmosphere circulations, air quality, sea-level rise, biological response to climate change, and ecosystem-level impacts on watersheds, estuaries, the nearshore ocean, agriculture and urban areas. The faculty span all four of our areas of specialization in geography (environmental sciences, methods, models and GIS, nature and society, and people, place and region).
Studies in Global Environmental Change have their conceptual center in physical geography and the affiliated disciplines of atmospheric science, ecology, geology, hydrology, and their associated environmental subdisciplines. With the great strength of the UC Davis campus in the agricultural sciences, biological sciences, ecology, engineering, law, physical sciences, and veterinary medicine, opportunities abound to build a program of course work that builds the foundation for each individual student’s training to best address their interests. Faculty and students associated with Global Environmental Change courses are primarily in the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Environmental Science and Policy, Geology, Land, Air and Water Resources, Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design, Plant Sciences, and Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology. They are also affiliated with campus research units, institutes and centers such as the John Muir Institute of the Environment, the Center for Watershed Sciences, the Information Center on the Environment, the Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing, and the Tahoe Environmental Research Center.
Courses in Global Environmental Change Concentration prepare students to (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in geography and the environmental sciences at the university level (2) serve as researchers in public (e.g., National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, NOAA, UCAR, California Resources Agency, U.S. Geological Survey), private (e.g., environmental consulting organizations, research organizations), and non-governmental organizations (e.g., The Nature Conservancy); and (3) assume leadership positions in agencies engaged in issues of global change at the local, regional, national and international levels.
Students interested in developing expertise in Global Environmental Change should consider the courses listed below.
GEO 210 Topics in Biogeography
GEO 211 Advanced Physical Geography
ATM 241 Climate Dynamics
HYD 286 Selected Topics in Environmental Remote Sensing
HYD 275 Analysis of Spatial Processes
HYD 273 Introduction to Geostatistics
LDA 280 Landscape Conservation
ATM 215 Advanced Hydroclimatology
ATM 221 Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics
ATM 240 General Circulation of the Atmosphere
ECI 267 Water Resources Management
ECL 201 Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology
ECL 216 Agroecology
ECL 219 Ecosystem Biochemistry
EVE 220 Species and Speciation
It is important for students to have an understanding of climatology and the mechanisms of global climate change, to go along with the linked ecological, geographical, and geological changes in our environment. If the student has not taken undergraduate courses in climatology/climate change and physical geography/environmental change, they should expect to take one upper-division courses in climatology and one in physical geography to fulfill these deficiencies. Suggested courses include:
HYD 141 or 143
ATM 115, 116 or 133; 150, 160
ERS 120, 131, or 186;
ERS 100, 121
EVE 115, 117, 147 or 149;
GEL 107, 108, 116, 136, 139, 144
PLS 130, or 162;
WFC 155, 156 or 157;
Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design (LAED) focuses on interdisciplinary inquiry related to landscape meaning, spatial patterns, the built environment, and environmental design. The Geography Graduate Group (GGG) faculty who teach and mentor students in LAED courses work in the areas of landscape architecture, urban and community design, sustainable development, public participation, environmental planning, landscape ecology, cultural and historical studies. Courses and research in this area prepares students for advanced research, practice and teaching in landscape architecture and related fields of environmental design.
Landscape architecture and environmental design concern the relationship between people and their environment. Typically, this is manifested through the planning, design, and use of the physical and everyday environment. However, as design is human intent expressed in the material world, a central focus is how society shapes the physical landscape across different scales. Landscape architecture and environmental design is seen as an interactive and dynamic process where each informs the other. Analyses of these processes require a knowledge base in areas as diverse as culture, ecology, policy, economics, and history, among others areas. An appreciation for interdisciplinary inquiry and understanding is a common thread that defines the LAED concentration. Some examples of graduate-level study in LAED include analyses of landscape patterns using methods in geographic information science, design and planning at advanced levels, historical and cultural studies of landscapes and places, and the development of advanced methods and techniques in citizen participation.
Faculty associated with Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design is based in the Landscape Architecture Program, but also include a multidisciplinary group of faculty who are members of the Geography Graduate Group, the Community Development Graduate Group, the Ecology Graduate Group and other graduate groups at UC Davis. They are also closely affiliated with research organizations at UC Davis including the John Muir Institute of the Environment, Institute for Transportation Studies, Center for the Study of Regional Change and California Center for Urban Horticulture. We also cooperate closely with UC Berkeley and courses are available there to supplement graduate study.
In addition to a professional career in geography offered through the GGG, focusing on LAEDwill prepare students to: (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in landscape architecture, architecture, and planning; (2) serve as researchers and analysts in public, private, and non-governmental research institutions; and, (3) assume leadership positions in agencies engaged in issues of planning and design at the local, regional, national, transnational, and international levels.
Students interested in developing expertise in Landscape Architecture and Environmental Design should consider the following courses:
LDA 201 Theory and Philosophy of the Designed Environment Studio
LDA 181 A-Q Planning Studio
LDA 191 Workshop in Landscape Architecture
LDA 210 Advanced Landscape Architecture Studio Methods:
LDA 202 Methods in Design and Landscape Research
LDA 205 Urban Planning and Design
LDA 220 Public Space and Culture
LDA 230 Landscape and Memory
LDA 240 Historic, Cultural Landscapes: Concept, Perception, Preservation
LDA 250 Life-Place: Bioregional Theory and Principles
LDA 260 Landscape and Power
LDA 270 Environment and Behavior
LDA 280 Landscape Conservation
Students without a design or planning background should take a graphics course such as LDA 21, Design 21, etc. before taking a studio. It is recommended that these be taken (if offered) during summer session as space is limited during the academic year.
Courses and related research in Regional and Community Development (RCD) offers students a Ph.D. degree program founded on the premise that strong theory and research are the basis for solving problems related to the social, economic, and political development of localities worldwide. The Geography Graduate Group (GGG) faculty who teach and mentor students in this sub-field work in the areas of urban studies, rural development, migration studies, communications research, urban design, the political economy of social networks, and global-local interconnections.
Understanding the current dynamics of community development requires the analysis of the networks of social practice that interact in the social construction of place. The networks are both local and extra-local in scope, linking local social actors to wider social fields like state- and non-governmentally based organizations, corporate business networks, and transnational migrant networks. Investigating networks requires innovative approaches to theoretically driven research seeking to: (a) map the social organizations involved in the politics of community development and the ties connecting them; (b) comprehend the multiple contexts in which interacting networks are produced and changed; (c) grasp normative structures guiding these interactions; and, (d) assess changing patterns of community development resulting from cooperation and conflict.
Faculty teaching and advising students in Regional and Community Development are based in the Community Studies and Development Unit of the Department of Human and Community Development at UC Davis and it also includes a multidisciplinary group of faculty who are members of the Community Development Graduate Group (CDGG) and the GGG.
Graduates of the doctoral program who focus on Regional and Community Development will be prepared to: (1) teach and conduct research in academic programs in community development; (2) serve as teaching and research faculty in related departments such as urban design, city planning, rural development, communications, and other applied social sciences; (3) serve as researchers and problem-focused analysts in public, private, and non-governmental research institutions; and, (4) assume leading positions in agencies engaged in issues of community development at the local, regional, national, transnational, and international scales.
Students interested in developing an expertise in Regional and Community Development should consider taking the following courses:
CRD 240 Community Development Theory
CRD 250: Professional Skills for Community Development
EDU 200* Educational Research
EDU 201 Qualitative Research in Education
EDU 202N Computer Analysis of Qualitative Data
POL 211* Research Methods in Political Science
SOC 206* Quantitive Analysis in Sociology
SOC 207 A/B* Methods of Quantitative Research *quantitative methods
CRD 241 The Economics of Community Development
CRD 245 The Political Economy of Urban and Regional Development
CRD 246 The Political Economy of Transnational Migration
CRD 247 The Transformation of Work
CRD 248 Social Policy, Welfare Theories and Communities
CRD 248A/B Social Policy, Welfare Theories and Communities I & II
The geography graduate program offers the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degrees. Normally, admission into the graduate program is for full-time status, and for Fall Quarter only. Applicants should be prepared in geography or a related field.
Most students admitted will already have completed an undergraduate major in geography, and will have met entrance requirements (at least one upper division course in three of the following six areas of study):
Applicants also should have completed at least one upper division course in each of the following: human geography, physical geography, and geographic methods.
Students with undergraduate degrees not in geography are still eligible for admission and encouraged to apply, and there are a range of upper-division courses in other disciplines that can be approved as constituting the equivalent to human geography, physical geography and geographic methods. Students who are admitted without an undergraduate geography degree may be required to take additional courses or readings to overcome any deficiencies.
The Geography Graduate Group offers both a Plan I and Plan II option. For details on the requirements of each plan, see course requirements below.
Students are encouraged to take the first four of these core courses in their first year in the program. The graduate adviser will not waive these core courses unless the student has transcript notation and a syllabus from a similar graduate-level course taken at another institution.
Every student is required to take at least 12 units of Geographic Depth Courses from a pre-approved selection of courses that cover the four recognized sub-disciplines of Geography:
GEO 297 – Seminar in Geography
Elective courses may be required to reach the minimum number of units required.
Both Plan I and Plan II students take a minimum of 36 units. For Plan I students: This plan requires 36 units of graduate and upper division courses (the 100 and 200 series only) and a thesis. Only 4 of these units may be from 299 courses. For Plan II students: This plan requires 36 units of graduate and upper division courses (the 100 and 200 series only) and a comprehensive exam. Only 4 of these units may be from 299 courses.
At least 48 post-graduate course units (M.A. & Ph.D.) must be completed (exclusive of 299 and 396 units). The 48 units include the 38 units of core courses listed below and additional 200-level courses in appropriate elective courses.
Students are encouraged to take the first four of these core courses in their first year in the program. The graduate adviser will not waive these core courses unless the student has transcript notation and a syllabus from a similar graduate-level course taken at another institution. The course GEO 200EN is designed to help students in finalizing their dissertation research proposal, and should be taken during their second or third year of the program, depending on their level of preparation.
Every student is required to take at least 16 units of Geographic Depth Courses from a pre-approved selection of courses that cover the four recognized sub-disciplines of Geography:
GEO 297 – Seminar in Geography
Elective courses may be required to reach the minimum number of units required.
There are total of 48 post-graduate units required. Of these, at least 36 units must be at the graduate level (200-level). A minimum course load per academic quarter is 12 units. Geography depth and elective coursework must be approved by the student’s Guidance Committee, then reviewed by the Graduate Adviser, and then approved by the Graduate Group Executive Committee. Ph.D. students must be in residence for at least six quarters and must complete 30 units of coursework at UCD. The Graduate Adviser can assist students who wish to transfer courses from other institutions or through UC Extension (via petition) into their program.
Before advancing to candidacy for a doctoral degree, a student must pass a Qualifying Examination before a committee appointed to administer that examination. All students will complete the course requirements before taking their Qualifying Examination. The qualifying exam should be taken by the 7th quarter in the program (end of Fall quarter, third year). The Qualifying Examination will consist of written and oral examinations. The Qualifying Examination will be both oral and written and cover general geography, the student’s Area of Emphasis and/or Concentration, and course preparation indicated in the student program of study, and the area of proposed research. The dissertation itself, including the proposal and final product, is developed by the student under the guidance of a Dissertation Committee. This committee must have at least three members, including at least two members (including the Chair) who are Geography Graduate Group members. Members of a Ph.D. student’s Dissertation Committee are recommended by the Graduate Adviser, in consultation with the student, and appointed by the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Although the curriculum of the GGG is laid out in the Core and Geographic Depth Courses, along with specialized areas of study, the interdisciplinary and interdepartmental nature of the GGG requires that the student seek advising assistance throughout his/her program. The most important advising is done by the Major Professor, who with the student determines the specific course of study that will lead to successful completion of the Oral Examination or Thesis (M.A. students) and Qualifying Examination and Dissertation (Ph.D. students). No other advising can supplant the role of the Major Professor in this.
In addition, the student has two other Advisors who will assist him/her in the degree program:
|Environmental Sciences||Jay Lund|
|Methods, Models, and Geographic Information Systems||Jim Quinn|
|People, Place, and Region||Anne Visser|
|Nature and Society||Ryan Galt|
Thesis Committee or Comprehensive Examination Committee Thesis and Comprehensive Examination committee nominations are submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies for formal appointment in accordance with the Graduate Council policy (DDB 80, Graduate Council, B.1). The Major Professor serves as Chair of the committee.
Ph.D. Qualifying Examination committee nominations are submitted to the Office of Graduate Studies or formal appointment in accordance with Graduate Council policy (DDB 80, Graduate Council, B.1).
Graduate Council recognizes that the mentoring of graduate students by faculty is an integral part of the graduate experience for both. Faculty mentoring is broader than advising a student as to the program of study to fulfill coursework requirements and is distinct from formal instruction in a given discipline. Mentoring encompasses more than serving as a role model. Because of the uncertainty as to the nature of mentoring, the UC-Davis Graduate Council has outlined the following mentoring roles to guide the relationship between faculty and graduate students. Faculty and graduate students must realize that, while the major professor will be the primary mentor during a student's career at UCD, many of the mentoring "functions" defined below may be performed by program faculty other than the major professor. An important corollary to this recognition is that faculty members must realize that much of their interaction with all students has an important mentoring component to it. Graduate students also have responsibilities to insure successful mentoring and these are also indicated below.
Faculty have a responsibility to mentor graduate students. Mentoring has been defined as:
As partners in the mentoring relationship, graduate students have responsibilities. As mentees, students should:
While we have tried to provide examples of what mentoring means, we recognize that each discipline will provide its own special set of mentoring needs and challenges. We recommend that each graduate program meet to define what "good mentoring" means to and for its faculty and graduate students. Approved by UC Davis Graduate Council June 24, 1999
UC Davis Graduate Studies has detailed information about possible sources of financial assistance available here: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/ssupport/
UC Davis Geography graduate students typically fund their education through a combination of sources, including:
Geography Graduate Group Program Grants: These are fellowship funds in the form of a living allowance, and/or in-state tuition, and/or nonresident supplemental tuition that are allocated by the Geography program directly.
Graduate Student Research (GSR) positions: Decisions about hiring students for research positions are made by individual faculty members. Please be in touch with your advisors about possible research positions.
Teaching Assistantships (TA): Geography graduate students are available for TA positions in all departments across campus. Decisions are made by the individual departments. If you are interested in TA positions, please be in touch with Carrie Armstrong-Ruport, who can put you in touch with the proper people in departments relevant to your own areas of interest and expertise.
Extramural funding: There is a wide range of general research grants, scholarships, fellowships and internships available to graduate students that are offered by a range of different agencies and organizations. Each has their own particular eligibility criteria and application process. We encourage you to actively pursue such opportunities. UC Davis maintains a list of upcoming fellowship opportunities here: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/ssupport/currentgrantsfellowships.html UCLA has a particularly useful searchable database of extramural funding sources (including research grants, scholarships, fellowships and internships), called the Graduate and Post-Doctoral Extramural Support (GRAPES) Database, available here: http://www.gdnet.ucla.edu/grpinst.htm.
Financial Assistance: This is available only to US citizens, permanent residents or immigrants, is awarded based on demonstrated need, and is administered through the Financial Aid Office. Federal financial aid includes student loans, grants, and work-study funding. Details are available here: http://www.gradstudies.ucdavis.edu/ssupport/financial_aid.html Graduate students who are US citizens, permanent residents or immigrants are encouraged to file a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as early as possible, but no later than March 1. This form is used to determine financial need only. All domestic students are required to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The FAFSA is available online at http://www.fafsa.ed.gov
If you have questions about any of these funding sources, please be in touch with Carrie Armstrong-Ruport, Program Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tuition and Fees webpage with current 2014-15 estimates for UC Davis by program is also available at http://www.budget.ucdavis.edu/studentfees/index.html.
GGG Emeritus Debbie Elliot-Fisk provides the following advice for students preparing their proposals for UC Davis Fellowships:
Please realize this is from my personal experience only.
1. Good writing- a well-written proposal will get you a long ways, no matter
what your research objective or question is. Take the time to write, rewrite and
have someone else critique your proposal. Your proposal should be logically
structured with a short introduction to the problem and clear statement of
your research design/what you will do (philosophical approach, methods,
interpretation or analysis, possible significance of findings).
2. Clear statement of research objective - clearly state your research objective
or question up-front, in the first paragraph or even the first sentence of your
proposal. Do not hide this somewhere near the end of the proposal or end of the
3. Write your proposal (1) so it is clearly geographical and will be seen as such
by our GGG faculty on our internal review committee, and (2) so it can also
be understood by any faculty member on campus, whether from humanities,
social science, natural science, engineering, law or medicine. After the internal
view and ranking by our GGG admissions and fellowship committee, the
FELLOWSHIP applications/proposals go to Graduate Studies where they are
reviewed by faculty members from across campus. There will be a couple of
geographers on that large committee of 100 or more faculty, but most will be
from other disciplines.
4. Make your needs for financial support clear, and state their basis.
5. Make sure your letter writers get their letters submitted on your behalf and
can clearly speak to your research, your potential or promise/excellence as a
graduate student, and to your need for financial support.
All the best,
Online Resources for UCDavis Geographers
UCDavis Geography Related Links
Various GGG Application Forms
To find dissertations or theses from Geography Graduate Group alumni please use the link below.
Internal Mailing lists are for Geography students, faculty and alumni. Subscription and postings to the lists are maintained by the program coordinator: Carrie Armstrong Ruport. If you would like to be added to a list or would like something forwarded to them please contact Carrie.
gggfaculty - an email list of the Geography Graduate Group faculty. This list is for official graduate group business only.
ggggrad - an email list of current students, alumni and selected geography affiliates. This list accepts postings (Forwarded through Carrie or the Chair) about scholarships, job opportunities, seminars and other geography related academic materials. If you would like to subscribe or post to this list please contact Carrie.
gggstudent - and email list for current students. Only current students may subscribe and post to this list. This list is intended for an internal commication amongst geography students.
geographyclub - an open email list the GLOBAL:Geography Club. Campus affiliates can self-join through the campus email list interface. If you need help subscribing contact the club officers. Social events are also posted on their calendar.
geospatial - an open email list for campus community members who work with geospatial technologies (GIS, Remote Sensing, GPS, Cartography, etc...). Campus affiliates can self-join through the campus email list interface.
This is the current version of the Geography Graduate Group Guide which provides the most comprehensive overview of the program, including degree and admissions requirements, courses offered, and much much more. Click the link below to view/download the PDF.
|GGG_ Graduate Guide 2016-17 FINAL.pdf||321.85 KB|
Download and Print an archived copy of the previous GGG Graduate Guide.
|GGG_ Graduate Guide 2015-2016 FINAL.pdf||323.09 KB|
|Geography Graduate Group Guide 2014-2015 (.pdf)||308.68 KB|
|Geography Graduate Group Guide 2013-2014 (.pdf)||302.83 KB|
|Geography Graduate Group Guide 2012-2013 (.pdf)||274.03 KB|
|Geography Graduate Group Guide 2011-2012 (.pdf)||282.26 KB|
|Geography Graduate Group Guide 2009 (.pdf)||170.23 KB|
The following chart shows the affiliations of the Geography Graduation Group's faculty.
|GGG Graphic 2014.pdf||16.85 KB|