Contact Information

Contact Information
Sciences and Mathematics
Randy Lehr
Associate Dean
Ishtar Thomas-Lane (Interim)
Division Office
V 211, Rocklin Campus


The Geography Department offers transfer courses to four-year colleges in diverse academic disciplines such as Geography, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Earth Science, Environmental Science, Meteorology, Climatology, Natural Resource Management, Tourism and Recreation, Urban Planning, International Studies, Anthropology and related social sciences. Emphasis in advancing geographic literacy, global awareness and sustainability in the fields of physical and human geography; field study classes provide experiential and interpretive training. Additional technical courses provide expertise in the exciting and fast-growing field of GIS and GeoSpatial technologies. A skills certificate is offered in GIS.

Sean A. Booth

Professor, Geography

B.S., University of Oregon
M.A., California State University, Chico

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Advisory Committee

  • Daniel Armstrong, GIS Specialist, Open Spatial, Rocklin
  • Marc Ball, IT Specialist, City of Roseville
  • Diana Carolan, GIS Specialist, Nevada County
  • Michael Farrauto, Surveyor and GIS Specialist, Andregg Geomatics, Auburn
  • Matt Freemont, Environmental Planner and GIS Specialist, HELIX, Folsom
  • Dave Hansen, GIS Specialist, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento
  • Kermit Hellem, GIS Manager, Sacramento Municipal Utility District
  • Abe Hendricks, CAD and GIS Specialist, Placer County Water Agency, Auburn
  • Scott Herbert, GIS Sales, California Surveying and Drafting Supply, Inc., Sacramento
  • Colin Hobson, GIS Specialist, Open Spatial, Rocklin
  • Hugh Howard, Geography and GIS Professor, American River College, Sacramento
  • Brian Johnson, GIS Specialist, City of Roseville
  • Dave Krolick, GIS Specialist, ECORP Consulting, Rocklin
  • Justin Narkter, Public Works Specialist, City of Rocklin
  • Steve Rhyne, GIS Specialist, Fehr and Peers, Roseville
  • Sabastian Roberts, GIS Specialist, Nevada County
  • Jeff Swager, GIS Specialist, ECORP Consulting, Rocklin
  • Justin Wages, Land Manager, Placer Land Trust, Auburn


Associate Degree for Transfer

Skills Certificate

Geography for Transfer

AA-T Degree

The Associate in Arts in Geography for Transfer degree (AA-T) program provides students with a strong foundation in Geography. Upon completion of the program, students will demonstrate knowledge of global physical and environmental processes; formulate an appreciation of world cultural diversity, including demographics, ethnic studies, agricultural practices, economic development and resource consumption; generate solutions for a sustainable future; holistically assess integrative environmental and cultural phenomena based on location and maps; assemble and analyze spatial information (such as maps, data, surveys, qualitative observations), using traditional and modern mapping technology methods; and integrate cultural, environmental and geographic technology methods.

The Associate in Arts in Geography for Transfer degree (AA-T) prepares students to transfer into the CSU system to complete a bachelor’s degree in Geography or a major deemed similar by a CSU campus. Students earning an associate degree for transfer and meeting the CSU minimum transfer admission requirements are guaranteed admission with junior standing to the CSU system, but not to a particular campus or major. Upon transfer, students will be required to complete no more than 60 additional prescribed units to earn a bachelor’s degree.

To earn the Associate in Arts in Geography for Transfer degree, students must complete 60 CSU-transferable semester units with a minimum grade point average of 2.0, including both of the following:

The exact wording of the law pertaining to associate degrees for transfer may be found in Education Code Section 66746.

It is highly recommended that, prior to transferring, students complete courses that satisfy the CSU United States History, Constitution and American Ideals graduation requirement. In all cases, students should consult with a counselor for more information on university admission and transfer requirements.

RESTRICTION: International coursework from non-United States regionally accredited institutions cannot be applied to associate degrees for transfer.

Required Courses
GEOG 0001Physical Geography3
GEOG 0001LPhysical Geography Laboratory1
GEOG 0002Cultural Geography3
Select 6-8 units from the following:6-8
Geography of California
Weather and Climate
World Regional Geography
Field Geography
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
Select 6-7 units from the following or unused courses from the preceding area:6-7
Cultural Anthropology
Physical Geology
Elementary Statistics
Total Units19-22

Geographic Information System (GIS)

Skills Certificate

Designed for students to gain a solid foundation in GIS theory and related technologies, such as GPS and remote sensing. Sequence of courses build upon each other to provide hands-on technical skills demanded of the professional workforce, culminating with a professional map portfolio and repertoire of spatial analysis skills. Opportunities for interns and entry-level positions are abundant, provided students learn industry-standard software, GPS skills, database management and mapping design. Students must choose from additional courses, such as computer-aided design (CAD), database management, computer programming, surveying, spatial analysis and are encouraged to participate in an internship. A skills certificate is designed to provide career technical skills; it is not equivalent to an associate degree.

Required Courses
GEOG 0086Global Positioning System (GPS) for GIS1
GEOG 0090Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)4
GEOG 0093Advanced GIS4
Select 6 units from the following:6
Programming Concepts and Methodology I
Introduction to SQL
Engineering Survey Measurements
Database Management
Application of Geospatial Technologies
Intermediate Arc GIS
Geospatial Analysis
Internship in Geography (up to 3 units)
Total Units15


Understanding course descriptions

GEOG 0001. Physical Geography

Units: 3
Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 1A
Hours: 54 lecture
Explore Earth's landscape and environmental processes, including the Earth's atmosphere, weather, climate regions, hydrosphere, oceans, clouds, rivers, biosphere, and the Earth landforms, such as mountain building and river systems. Emphasis on the holistic understanding landscape patterns and environmental systems as they relate to location. Also examines human influence on the natural world. (C-ID GEOG 110) (combined with GEOG 1L, C-ID GEOG 115) (CSU, UC)

GEOG 0001L. Physical Geography Laboratory

Unit: 1
Prerequisite: Completion with grade of "C" or better or concurrent enrollment in GEOG 1
Hours: 54 laboratory
Earth's physical systems, atmosphere, weather and climate, landforms and fluvial systems; includes map reading and investigating remote sensing, GPS, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). (C-ID GEOG 111) (combined with GEOG 1, C-ID GEOG 115) (CSU, UC)

GEOG 0002. Cultural Geography

Units: 3
Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 1A
Hours: 54 lecture
Population, migration, religion, languages, agriculture, economic development and exploration of how humans interact with their environment. Analysis of differences of cultures including housing types, agricultural techniques, and popular and folk customs. Investigation of humans as the primary modifier of the physical landscape within the limits of the Earth's natural resources. (C-ID GEOG 120) (CSU, UC)

GEOG 0003. Geography of California

Units: 3
Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 1A
Hours: 54 lecture
An introduction to California's diversified geography including climate, landforms, natural vegetation, and water resources, the cultural landscapes of ethnic diversity, our Native American past, urban and agricultural regions, and the economic challenges of the future. Emphasis on cultural diversity, human alteration of the landscape, contemporary problems and resource competition. (C-ID GEOG 140) (CSU, UC)

GEOG 0004. Weather and Climate

Units: 3
Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 1A
Hours: 54 lecture
The elements and controls of weather and climate - atmospheric heating, the heat budget, air circulation and winds, moisture, clouds, and precipitation; world climates, their classifications; data collection and interpretation, investigate global climates to microclimates. (C-ID GEOG 130) (CSU, UC)

GEOG 0005. World Regional Geography

Units: 3
Advisory: Eligibility for ENGL 1A
Hours: 54 lecture
An introduction to the world's major geographic regions; their cultural practices, politics, economics, religions, history and environmental characteristics. Location and analysis of important geographic features including mountains, rivers, countries and major cities of Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, Europe and South America. (C-ID GEOG 125) (CSU, UC)

GEOG 0015. Field Geography of Northern California

Units: 0.5
Hours: 13 (7 lecture, 6 laboratory)
Explore the natural and cultural history of a region in Northern California. This field course provides an introduction to the area's diversified geography including its location, physical landforms, economic diversity, urban settlement patterns and an overview of historical and cultural features. May involve light hiking and overnight camping. (CSU)

GEOG 0016. Field Geography

Units: 1-2
Hours: 30 (12 lecture, 18 laboratory) per unit
Field lecture courses to regions of geographic interest to include physical, cultural, urban and/or historical elements. (C-ID GEOG 160) (CSU)

GEOG 0028. Independent Study

Units: 1-3
Designed for students interested in furthering their knowledge at an independent study level in an area where no specific curriculum offering is currently available. Independent study might include, but is not limited to, research papers, special subject area projects, and research projects. See Independent Study page in catalog. (CSU, UC-with unit limitation)

GEOG 0085. Application of Geospatial Technologies

Unit: 1
Hours: 18 lecture
Investigation of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) case studies used in industry and government; explores how industry uses GIS with emphasis on natural resource management and watershed analysis. Additional focus on remote sensing, aerial photography, GPS technology. (CSU)

GEOG 0086. Global Positioning System (GPS) for GIS

Unit: 1
Hours: 18 lecture
Global Positioning System (GPS) theory, techniques, and case studies, GPS set-up, spatial database organization, field collection, editing, and integration into the GIS. Culminates with final GPS mapping project. (CSU)

GEOG 0090. Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Units: 4
Hours: 72 lecture
Study of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and its applications to spatial data management. Project design, data acquisition, database management, geographic analysis, and map design. Explores how GIS solves spatial problems, such as those in natural resources, earth and life sciences, environmental planning, local government, business, transportation, and other fields. (C-ID GEOG 155) (CSU, UC)

GEOG 0091A. Beginning Arc GIS

Unit: 1
Hours: 18 lecture
Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) mapping software used to manage, analyze and display spatial information. Create reports and map layouts, query geographic databases, and solve spatial problems. Emphasis on using GIS software for practical applications in the fields of natural resource management, disaster mapping, cartographic design, urban planning, business and other related fields. (CSU)

GEOG 0091B. Intermediate Arc GIS

Unit: 1
Prerequisite: Completion with a grade of "C" or better or concurrent enrollment in GEOG 90 or 91A
Hours: 18 lecture
Builds on basic principles of ArcGIS, focusing on queries, managing and preparing data for analysis, creating and editing GIS data, Geodatabases, spatial analysis and producing map layouts. (CSU)

GEOG 0093. Advanced GIS

Units: 4
Prerequisite: Completion of GEOG 90 with grade of "C" or better
Hours: 72 lecture
Builds on Intermediate GIS focusing on advanced technical skills and mapping, such as working with spatial databases, GIS models, vector and raster analysis, cartographic presentation and various outputs. Student completes a research project and assembles a map portfolio. (CSU)

GEOG 0094. Geospatial Analysis

Units: 3
Prerequisite: Completion with grade of "C" or better or concurrent enrollment in GEOG 90 or 91B
Hours: 54 lecture
Geospatial analysis reveals patterns, relationships, and trends that solve real-world challenges. With GIS tools, students create surface contours, derive slopes, calculate flow direction, draw watersheds, determine line of sight and identify hotspots. GIS modeling and extensions are used. (CSU)

GEOG 0095. Internship in Geography

Units: 0.5-4
Designed for advanced students to work in an area related to their educational or occupational goal. Provides new on-the-job technical training under the direction of a worksite supervisor, allowing students to expand knowledge and skills in the chosen field. Mandatory orientation session and faculty approval to determine eligibility. Students may earn up to a total of 16 units in internship courses (any course numbered 95 and PDEV 94). (CSU-with unit limitation)

Program Student Learning Outcomes (PSLOs)

  • Demonstrate knowledge of global physical and environmental processes, locations and develop an appreciation of landscapes.
  • Formulate an appreciation of world cultural diversity, including demographics, ethnic studies, agricultural practices, economic development, resource consumption and generate solutions for a sustainable future.
  • Utilizing the concept of a region as a geographic unit of study, holistically assess integrative environmental and cultural phenomenon based on location and maps.
  • Assemble and analyze spatial information (maps, data, surveys, qualitative observations, etc.), using traditional and modern mapping technology methods.
  • Applying experiential learning and real-world applications, field studies integrate cultural, environmental and geographic technology methods.