University General Course Catalog 2022-2023 
    
    Dec 08, 2022  
University General Course Catalog 2022-2023

Geography (Climate, Water, and Ecosystems Specialization), B.A.


The Geography Department offers a Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Climate, Water, and Ecosystems. The Climate, Water and Ecosystems specialization provides students with an understanding of the climate and climate change, ecological processes, water management, the interactions between water, climate and life, human impacts on these systems, and their influence on society. Additional skills developed include: critical thinking and reasoning, research techniques, and oral and written communications. Students obtaining the Climate, Water, and Ecosystems emphasis will understand the climate system, the environment and human activities. This emphasis is recommended for students interested in employment in environmental consulting firms, planning agencies, numerous government agencies (e.g. EPA, USGS, NRCS) and non-governmental organizations. All students are required to have a minor.

Student Learning Outcomes


Students will be able to:

  • develop professional skills that will promote career development (writing; verbal presentation; visual communication; library and archival research; field work; computing; quantitative analysis; qualitative analysis; accountability, efficiency, precision and accuracy).
  • attain proficiency in a range of analytical skills (memorizing, analyzing, synthesizing, judgment, applications).
  • increase understanding of substantive disciplinary knowledge (spatial analysis, perception and geography; regional understandings; cultural interpretations of place and landscape; physical geographic analysis; human-environment interactions).
  • capitalize on learning experiences through well-designed departmental curriculum, strong academic advising, access to relevant departmental faculty, and opportunities for specialized training and experience.

Contact Information


Mackay Science 201
(775) 784-6995

Mackay School Advisor: Jennifer O’Neil joneil@unr.edu

Transfer to the University of Nevada, Reno


Use the transfer agreement  and the degree planner (available by clicking  at the top right of this page) to build your plan for graduation with your advisor. Course substitutions not identified on the transfer agreement require UNR advisor approval.

If a major-to-major transfer agreement is not available for your transfer institution, please check the General Core agreement  if available. If neither is available, access Transferology to assist in your planning.

Graduation Requirements


  • Total Units | 120
  • Cumulative GPA | 2.0
  • University GPA | 2.0
  • Major GPA | 2.0
  • Residency Requirement | 30 Upper-Division Units at UNR
  • Major Residency Requirement | 15 Upper-Division Units in the major at UNR
  • Upper-Division Requirement | 40 Upper-Division Units
  • Half Program Units/4 Year Institution | 60 Units

I. Core General Education Requirements (25-29 units)


NOTE: Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter of this catalog for information regarding the “Core English and Math Completion Policy  .”

Students in this major must meet all Core Objectives (CO1 through CO14). Courses satisfying Core Objectives are designated (e.g., CO9) in General Catalog curricula and course descriptions.

A. Composition & Communication; Critical Analysis & Use of Information (3-6 units) - CO1, CO3


B. Quantitative Reasoning (3 units minimum) - CO2


  • Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO2  courses.

C. Physical & Natural Phenomena (7-8 units) - CO4, CO4L


D. Cultures, Societies, & Individuals (3 units) - CO6


E. Artistic Composition, Interpretation, & Expression (3 units) - CO7


Refer to the Core Curriculum chapter for a list of approved CO7 courses .

II. Additional Core Requirements (9 units maximum)


Students must take courses that satisfy the following Core Objectives. Some or all of these Core Objectives may be satisfied in the Major Requirements (Section IV). Refer to the Core Curriculum  chapter in this catalog.

A. Science, Technology & Society - CO9


Complete one course. The following recommended courses can also be used in the Geography Electives:

B. Diversity & Equity - CO10


The following recommended course can also be used in the Geography Electives:

C. Global Context - CO11


D. Ethics - CO12


E. Capstone Integration & Synthesis - CO13


Complete one course. The following recommended courses can also be used in the Geography Electives:

F. Application - CO14


III. Additional College Requirements (0-14 units)


Units may vary depending on initial course placement in foreign language coursework.

A. Foreign Language (0-14 units)


Students seeking a Bachelor of Arts degree must demonstrate proficiency in a foreign language equal to a fourth semester course level through one of the following options:

  1. complete a fourth semester college course in a foreign language or in American Sign Language; 
  2. demonstrate proficiency through a means determined by the Department of World Languages and Literatures, including but not limited to minimum CBAPE, SAT II, or IB scores, attaining minimum aptitude on an accredited foreign language assessment test, or a high school or equivalent diploma in which English is not the language of instruction; or 
  3. participate in a studies abroad language program pre-approved by the department to meet the foreign language requirement. 

Note: Four years of high school foreign language instruction does not satisfy this requirement.

IV. Major Requirements (42 units)


A. Geography Core (15 units)


B. Climate, Water and Ecosystems Specialization (18-19 units)


C. Geography Electives (8-9 units)


It is recommended that students consult with a undergraduate adviser in selecting Geography courses related to their chosen areas of interest. Student must choose from upper division courses, 300 level and above within the Geography program.

IV. Minor Requirements (18-21 units)


Students may complete any minor approved by the University, except that students may not receive credit for both a minor and a major in the same discipline. Completion of a second major or degree approved by the university satisfies this requirement.

V. Electives (5-26 units)


VII. Recommended Schedule


A. First Year


Fall Semester (16 units)


Spring Semester (13-15 units)


B. Second Year


Spring Semester (14 units)


C. Third Year


Fall Semester (15 units)


Spring Semester (15 units)


D. Fourth Year


Fall Semester (15 units)


  • (3 units)
  • Specialization Elective (3 units)
  • Geography Elective (3 units) 
  • Minor (3 units)
  • Diversity & Equity (3 units) CO10

Spring Semester (15 units)