Welcome to the course home page for:
Department of Geography, Planning and Recreation
Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff
Taught by: Professor Tom Paradis (and friends)

Updated for May 2008

Course Description

This is a capstone undergraduate course for geography majors at the junior or senior level. The course is designed entirely around a series of field trips and research exercises that take place outside the traditional classroom setting. During the three-week summer intersession, students apply and hone the knowledge and skills they have accumulated throughout their education to analyze specific geographical situations and places throughout the American Southwest. Students conduct a variety of team-based and interactive research projects in the field that focus on real-world issues and scholarly questions. Instructors evaluate student progress, behaviors, and products as if the students were applying for an employment position. The course consists of four or five trips separated by one or more days for students to complete assignments or conduct research. The course progresses with a series of single- and multi-day expeditions by van to various places around the Southwest, with the shortest trips occurring at the beginning of the course. Field Analysis is skills-based and writing-intensive. Thus, satisfactory writing skills are expected of all students at the time the course begins.

This course integrates concepts relevant to physical geography, human geography, and geographic techniques. Particularly emphasized is the synthesis of, and interrelationships between, physical and human environments, providing students with a well-rounded, holistic perspective of all dominant geographic sub-disciplines. Field Analysis is a learner-centered course that subscribes to the outcomes model of higher education. Course knowledge and content is taught interactively through a series of student-centered, active-learning projects and activities that emphasize higher-order learning and skills-based development. A specific set of learning outcomes guides the course content and design. Students are required to successfully demonstrate their ability to meet these outcomes by the end of the course.

(Note: Only a few of these trips are conducted each year)

Route 89A, beneath the Vermillion Cliffs. Prior to NAU's permanent removal of van roof racks and back seats.








Course Links

Home Page
Full Syllabus, 2008
Department Policy for GGR 480

Trip Itinerary
Student Learning Outcomes
Required Projects
Rubric: Oral Communication
Rubric: Written Projects
Geography Field Matrix
Evaluation and Regulations
Estimated Monetary Costs

Photos on these pages courtesy of Stephanie Smith, David Hawkins, Thomas Overly, and Tom Paradis