University of Colorado at Boulder


Dept Theme

Human Geography

Population, political, urban, social, and cultural geography

Human geography first and foremost involves the study of human beings--more specifically, of the organization of human activity and of spatial patterns as they affect and, in turn, respond to the world about us. The processes under study derive from distinct, but interactive, substructures: pursuit of livelihood (economic), social interaction (socio-political), and historical inertia and meaning (cultural). The products are change, conflict, diffusion, differentiation, and repetition in the human organization of the land. These same human processes will interact with biophysical processes, (e.g., air quality or plant introductions) to shape humanized landscapes and regional character. Human geographers typically investigate problems associated with locational strategies and human decisions. Such problems cut through subjects as diverse as analysis of regional markets, racial segregation in cities, migration flows, hazardous sites, international development, medieval landscape patterns, or formulation of impact statements.

Faculty teaching and/or performing research in human geography

Indigenous Politics in the Americas; Human Rights; and Critical Cartography. Human
Spatial-Temporal Dynamics, Computational GIScience, Spatial Interactions, Transportation Physical
Feminist political geography; conflict security and development; South/Southwest Asia Human
Political Ecology;  Science and Technology Studies;  indigenous knowledge;  Nature-Society Relations Human
Political Islam, South Asia; Poststructural & Postcolonial Theory; Biopolitics, Critical Ontology Human
Political; Former Soviet Union; Post Communist Societies; Nationalism Human
Cultural Politics;  Economic and Social Change; China Human
International migration, informal economy, and population dynamics; social demography, Latin America Human
Urban Geography, Medical Geography, Spatial Statistics, GIScience Human
Natural hazards, risk, climate change, decision-making Human
Nature/society geography; political ecology; cultural politics; development; Tibet; China Human

Graduate Students in human geography

33 students total. TIP: To sort by more than one column, hold down the shift key while clicking an additional column header.

Name Degree     Specialties Advisor
Auger, Mason Ph.D. Native American Culture; Symbolic Land Use Bryan
Bredemeyer, William Ph.D. spatial analysis, human environment Spielman
Correia, Joel Ph.D. Land politics, indigenous rights, agrarian change, political ecology, development, Latin America Bryan
Counter, Max Ph.D. IDPs; refugees; Colombia Bryan
Cowley, Austin Ph.D. Forced migration in the South Caucasus Dunn
Cunningham, Angela Ph.D. landscape and historiography Spielman
Davies, Becky M.A. Spatial statistics, computing, demography, land use Spielman
DeBoom, Meredith Ph.D. political geography, natural resources O'Loughlin
Duojie, Zhaxi Ph.D. Historical land use, community development & poverty, Tibetan plateau Yeh
Fertaly, Kaitlin Ph.D. post-socialism; food; gender; Armenia; environmentalism Fluri
Gifford, Lauren Ph.D. global climate policy, justice, land use, Latin America Bryan
Green, Susan M.A. immigration; population; health Riosmena
Guarino, Julia Ph.D. Legal geography; political ecology Bryan
Hindawi, Abdulsalam M.A. Population, migration, conflict resolution, Syrian refugee crisis Fluri
Jochem, Warren Ph.D. GIS; disease ecology & spatial epidemiology Root
Krumminga, Sara M.A. Political geography, the Holocaust & WWII, nationalism Jan
Lang, Gretchen M.A. Foodways among displaced people in transition Oakes
Malone, Aaron Ph.D. migration; development; Latin America Riosmena
Marini, Daniela Ph.D. Political Agroecology: Social Movements and Food Sovereignty in Argentina Bryan
Mason, Kevin M.A. Population, immigration, development, Latin America Riosmena
Murton, Galen Ph.D. Development; Political Geography; Cultural Geography; Tibet and Himalaya Region Yeh
Rodd, Joshua Ph.D. Political violence and conflict; infectious disease Root
Rowen, Ian Ph.D. China, Taiwan, cultural politics, geopolitics, social media, tourism Oakes
Ryan, Caitlin Ph.D. Post-conflict urban development, humanitarian aid, post-socialism Fluri
Schubert, Amelia Ph.D. Cultural geography of northeast Asia; China, Korea, migration Oakes
Shrestha, Rupak Ph.D. Political and Development Geography Fluri
Smith, Samuel Ph.D. Historic/Urban Geog-links between historic mining settlements & current tourist areas Foote
Todd, Meagan Ph.D. Political & cultural geography in post-Soviet space O'Loughlin
Tuccillo, Joseph Ph.D. land-use change; spatial demography; sustainable urbanism; GIScience Spielman
Tynen, Sarah Ph.D. Chinese autonomous regions; demolition and redevelopment O'Loughlin
Volkmar, Emily M.A. Conservation and development in Tibet Yeh
Wright, Kathryn Ph.D. Migration, international development, Senegal, United States Riosmena
Yang, Yang Ph.D. ethnic geography; China, critical tourism studies Oakes

GEOG courses related to human geography.

Caution: These lists are incomplete.

Fall 2015

Num Num Sect Title Hrs   Instructor
1982 World Regional Geography 3 O'Loughlin
1992 Human Geographies 4 Jonah Holmes
3023 Statistics for Geography 4 Farmer, Carson
3402 Natural Hazards 3 Travis
3682 Geography of International Development 3 Goldman
3692 Introduction to Global Public Health 3 Gay Lynn Olsen
3742 Place, Power, Culture 3 Jan
3822 Geography of China 3 Oakes
4173 Research Seminar 3 Riosmena
4742 Topics in Environment & Society 3 Fertaly
5152 History and Theory of Geography 3 Fluri
5662 Economic Geography 3 Bryan
6402 Seminar: Environmental Studies 3 Yeh


Summer 2015

Num Num Sect Title Hrs   Instructor
1982 001 World Regional Geography 3 Malone
1982 100 World Regional Geography 3 Gifford
1982 200 World Regional Geography 3 Wright
3402 200 Natural Hazards 3 Clifford
3682 001 Geography of International Development 3 Ryan
3812 050 Mexico/Central America and the Caribbean 3 Riosmena
4742 001 Environments & Peoples: Environment & Human Migration 3 McLeman
4742 100 Environments and Peoples: Food 3 Fertaly
4110 570 Environments and Peoples: Boulder's Open Space 3 Pike


Undergrad Courses Applicable to a Concentration in Human Geography

One of the following four courses are prerequisites to all upper division courses listed further below.  

GEOG 1972 (2002)  Geographies of Global Change
GEOG 1982  World Regional Geography 
GEOG 1992  Human Geographies 
GEOG 2412  Environment and Culture

Upper Division Courses. Additional prerequisites are listed. 

GEOG 3672  Gender and Global Economy** 
GEOG 3682  Geography of International Development   
GEOG 3742  Place, Power, and Contemporary Culture**  
GEOG 3812  Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean  
GEOG 3822  Geography of China** 
GEOG 3832  Geographies of South Asia
GEOG 3862  Geography of Africa
GEOG 4023  Introduction to Quantitative Methods in Human Geography (Prereq: GEOG 3023) 
GEOG 4292  Migration, Urbanization, and Development  
GEOG 4622  City Life** 
GEOG 4712  Political Geography 
GEOG 4732  Population Geography  
GEOG 4742  Environment and Peoples** 
GEOG 4812  Environment and Development in South America**   (Recommended Prereq: GEOG 3812 or 3422) 
GEOG 4822  Environment & Development in China** 
GEOG 4832  Geography of Tibet  (Prereq:  GEOG 3822)
GEOG 4892  Geography of Western Europe** 

**core curriculum course 


Undergrad Courses in other Departments Related to Human Geography

Caution:  These courses do not count as hours in the Geography Major. 
Check with the appropriate department for the prerequisites for these courses.

ANTH  1030  Principles of Anthropology 1  
ANTH  1040  Principles of Anthropology 2 
ANTH  2100  Frontiers of Cultural Anthropology 
ANTH  4510  Applied Cultural Anthropology  
ANTH  4520  Symbolic Anthropology** 
ECON  4514  Economic History of Europe**   
ECON  4524  Economic History of the United States** 
HIST  ****  Any course related to a geographic area 
PSCI  2012   Intro.  to Comparative Politics ** 
PSCI 3143  Problems in International Relations 
PSCI 3163  American Foreign Policy**   
PSCI  4183   International Law 
PSCI  4703   Alternative World Futures** 
PSCI  4272   Capitalist Democracies in a Global World Economy** 
PSYC  2606   Social Psychology ** 
SOCY  2001   Introduction to Sociological Theory 
SOCY  3002   Population and Society 
SOCY  4022   Population Studies: Fertility & Mortality 

Selected Publications by Faculty and Graduate Students associated with human geography


 Maxwell Boykoff

 Joe Bryan

Bryan, J. (2009). Where would we be without them? Knowledge, space and power in indigenous politics. Futures, 41: 24-32. doi:10.1016/j.futures.2008.07.005

Wainwright, J., and Bryan, J. (2009). Cartography, territory, property: postcolonial reflections on indigenous counter-mapping in Nicaragua and Belize. Cultural Geographies, Vol. 16, No. 2, 153-178. DOI:10.1177/1474474008101515

 Jennifer Fluri

Fluri, J.L. (2013). Women. The Companion to Critical Geopolitics, Edited by K. Dodds, M. Kuus and J. Sharp. London: Ashgate Publishing (509-527).

Fluri, J.L. (2012). Capitalizing on Bare Life: Sovereignty, Exception, and Gender Politics. Antipode. 44(1): 31-50. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-8330.2010.00835.x

Fluri, J.L. (2011). Bodies, Bombs, and Barricades: Gendered Geographies of (In)Security. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers. 36(3): 280-296.

Fluri, J.L. (2011). Armored Peacocks and Proxy Bodies: Gender & Geopolitics in Aid/Development Spaces. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 18(4): 519-536.

Fluri, J.L. (2009). 'Foreign Passports Only': Geographies of (Post)Conflict Work in Kabul, Afghanistan. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 99(5): 986-994.

 Mara Goldman

Goldman, M. J. and J. S. Little. (2015). Innovative Grassroots NGOS and the Complex Processes of Women’s Empowerment: An empirical investigation from Northern Tanzania. World Development 66 (2015):762-777.

Goldman, M., J. R. Dephinho, and J. Perry. (2013). Beyond Ritual and Economics: Maasai Lion Hunting and Conservation Politics. Oryx. Published online: 14 May 2013: 1-11. doi:10.1017/S0030605312000907

Goldman, M., and Riosmena, F. (2013). Adaptive Capacity and Vulnerability to Drought in Tanzanian Maasailand: Changing strategies to navigate across fragmented landscapes. Global Environmental Change 23 (2013) 588–597.

Goldman, M.J., P. Nadasdy, and M.D. Turner, eds. (2011). Knowing Nature: Conversations at the intersection of political ecology and science studies. Chicago: University of Chicago University Press .

Goldman, M. (2009). Constructing Connectivity? Conservation corridors and conservation politics in East African rangelands. Annals of the Association of American Geographers. 99 (2):335-359 .

 John O'Loughlin

 Timothy Oakes

Minca, C. and T. Oakes. (2014). Tourism after the postmodern turn. In Companion to Tourism Geography, 2nd Edition, eds. C.M. Hall, A. Lew, and A. Williams (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell), 294-303.

Oakes, T. (2013). 乡村: 中国城市的游乐园 [The village as urban China’s playground]. 旅游学刊 [Tourism Tribune] 28(4): 3-6.

Oakes, T. (2013). Heritage as improvement: cultural display and contested governance in rural China. Modern China 39(4): 380-407.

Oakes, T. (2012). Making an empty show of strength: media and the politics of discernment in China's place branding projects. In W. Sun and J. Chio (eds.) Mapping Media in China: Region, Province, Locality (London & New York: Routledge), 161-175.

Oakes, T. (2012). Looking out to look in: the use of the periphery in China’s geopolitical narratives. Eurasian Geography and Economics 53(3): 315-326.

 Fernando Riosmena

__________. and D.S. Massey. (2012). Pathways to El Norte: Origins, Destinations, and Characteristics of Mexican Migrants to the United States. International Migration Review 46(1):3-36. .

Creighton, M. and __________. (in press). Should I Stay or Should We Go? International Migration from Mexico and the Gendered Origins of Family Networks. Social Science Quarterly.

Nawrotzki, R., __________, and Hunter, L. (in press). Do Rainfall Deficits Predict U.S.-bound Migration from Rural Mexico? Evidence from the Mexican Census. Population Research and Policy Review.

Riosmena, F., R. Wong, and A. Palloni. (in press). Migration, Selection, Protection, and Acculturation: A Binational Perspective on Older Adults. Demography.

__________., R. Frank, I.R. Akresh, R. Kroeger. (in press). U.S. Migration, Translocality, and the Acceleration of the Nutrition Transition in Mexico. The Annals of the Association of American Geographers 102(5):1-10.

 Seth Spielman

Spielman, S.E. and Yoo, E-H. (2009). The Spatial Dimensions of Neighborhood Effects. Social Science and Medicine, 68(6).

Erdemir, E. T., Batta R., Spielman S. E., Rogerson P., et. al. (2008). Optimization of aeromedical base locations in New Mexico. Accident Analysis and Prevention, 40(3) .

Spielman, S.E. and Thill, J.C. (2008). Social Area Analysis, Data Mining, and GIS. Computers, Environment, and Urban Systems, 32(2) .

Spielman, S. E. (2006). Appropriate use of the K-function in Urban Environments (Letter). American Journal of Public Health, 96(2).

Spielman, S.E., Golembeski, C.A., Northridge, M.E., et al. (2006). Interdisciplinary Planning for Healthier Communities: Findings from the Harlem Children's Zone Asthma Initiative. Journal of the American Planning Association, 72(1). .

 Emily Yeh

Yeh, Emily T. and Chris Coggins, editors. (2014). Mapping Shangrila: Contested Landcapes in the Sino-Tibetan Borderlands. University of Washington Press. .

Yeh, Emily T. (2013). Blazing pelts and burning passions: Nationalism, cultural politics and spectacular decommodification in Tibet. Journal of Asian Studies. 72(2): 319-334. .

Yeh, Emily T. (2013). Taming Tibet: Landscape Transformation and the Gift of Chinese Development. Cornell University Press.

Yeh, Emily T. and Kunga T. Lama. (2013). Following the caterpillar fungus: Nature,commodity chains and the place of Tibet in China's uneven geographies. Social & Cultural Geography 14(3):318-340.

Yeh, Emily T. (2012). Transnational environmentalism and entanglements of sovereignty: The tiger campaign across the Himalayas. Political Geography 31:418-428 .

Grad Students

Ian Rowen

Rowen, Ian. (2015). Inside Taiwan's Sunflower Movement: Twenty-Four Days in a Student-Occupied Parliament, and the Future of the Region. Journal of Asian Studies, Volume 74, Issue 01, 5-21. doi:10.1017/S0021911814002174

Rowen, I. (2014). Tourism as a territorial strategy: The case of China and Taiwan. Annals of Tourism Research, Volume 46, 62-74 . doi:10.1016/j.annals.2014.02.006

Amelia Schubert

Amelia L. Schubert, Lee Youngmin & Lee Hyun-Uk . (2015). Reproducing hybridity in Korea: Conflicting interpretations of Korean culture by South Koreans and ethnic Korean Chinese marriage migrants. Asian Journal of Women's Studies, 21:3, 232-251. doi:10.1080/12259276.2015.1072940

News and Events related to human geography


Sep 2011
"From the Havens to the Markets: State, Development and the Mediation of Nature in Northwest China."

Sep 2011
Lecture: "Hitting a Home Run across the Pacific: Major League Baseball in East Asia," and Panel Discussion: "Strategy and Security: Sports in Sino-American Relations"

Apr 2011
Austin: A City of Tolerance, Ideas and Immigrants?

Apr 2011
Harlem's Mart 125: The American Dream

Apr 2011
Israeli Pinkwashing, Left Ambivalence, & Queer Critique

Apr 2011
Geographies of religion and class: young people in deprived Britain

Mar 2011
A talk with Chet Tchozewski Founder and President Emeritus, Global Greengrants Fund

Mar 2011
Humanitarianism and Migration: An Interdisciplinary Conference

Mar 2011
Informal Recycling: a Cultural Geography of Waste in Shanghai, China

Feb 2011
Governing Bodies, Governing Grain: The Biopolitics of Chinese Food Security

Feb 2011
Contemporary Christian Music and the Politics of Apolitics

Feb 2011
Are IPAT relationships empirically stable? Re-examining population, affluence, and technology as drivers of carbon emissions through the lens of economic demography

Feb 2011
Development as gift: Comfortable housing and the new socialist countryside in Tibet

Oct 2010
Fieldbooks as Sites of Change

Oct 2010
Blind, deaf and oblivious: The drama of ethno-national conflict in Chile

Oct 2010
Info session for undergraduates.

Sep 2010
Peering into the Fog of War: The Geography of the WikiLeaks Afghanistan War Logs 2004-2009

Apr 2010

Feb 2010
Photo Exhibit: Now We Have Nothing: People Displaced From South Ossetia

Feb 2010
Now We Have Nothing: People Displaced From South Ossetia

More Events >>