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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Sarah Starkweather
GEOG 490
Seattle Campus

Field Research: The Seattle Region

Field methods for contemporary urban research. Survey designs used in the analysis of transportation, land use, location of employment, shopping and housing, political fragmentation, and environmental degradation. Field report required, based on field work in the Seattle region.

Class description

In this course, we will try to get a handle on the multifaceted and complex concept of "the region," using the Greater Seattle area as a case study. We will discuss the many systems and structures that make up an urban region - the social, the cultural, the ecological, the political, and the economic. Significant class time will be spent on student-directed field research projects involving collection and analysis of quantitative and/or qualitative data.

Student learning goals

Articulate and understand the complex set of systems and structures that make up an urban region.

Develop a better understanding of the Greater Seattle region in particular.

Learn about and practice data types and methods of analysis for urban research.

Examine a specific aspect of Seattle's regional geography through a self-directed field project.

General method of instruction

Lectures, discussions, site visits, fieldwork.

Recommended preparation

This is a senior-level course. Students should have attained upper-division status. Further, they should have preparation for and/or interest in a self-directed research project that will involve 1) defining a problem or question of interest, 2) collecting relevant qualitative and/or quantitative data, 3) describing and analyzing said data in order to produce a research report.

Class assignments and grading

Grades will likely be based on: 1) Weekly 'lab' assignments, using skills and data introduced in class. 2) Field research project culminating in a final report.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Sarah Starkweather
Date: 03/18/2008