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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Richard L Morrill
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

This field course is designed as a capstone experience in which students can integrate their diverse knowledge in the examination of the concrete landscape of the Seattle area. Students will undertake research projects that allow them to gather primary data and to examine change in the landscape. To a considerable degree, the course will be student organized and implemented. The class will divide into small teams, who will on their own explore some aspects of the metropolitan landscape, relate them to principles learned in classes, and report their findings to the larger group.

The first part of the course will review literature on urban change in general and Seattle in particular; the second pat includes student and group field trips, and class discussion of specific topics. Teams will present their findings in the third part.

Major topics include; 1) Seattle's debt to nature. 2) Seattle's isolation and bridge position; its place in the global economy. 3) The evolution and nature of the economic base. 4) The peopling and peoples of Seattle. 5) Contemporary social structure of Seattle: city, suburbs, and lifestyles. 6) Political organization and structure. 7) Pathologies: racism, poverty, and crime. Decay, social change, segregation 8) Transportation and the location of jobs and of residences; congestion and transportation planning. 9) Conflict and resolution, market forces and planning; current issues.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Recommended preparation

Class assignments and grading


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 Therese A Young
Date: 02/04/1999