Sep 15, 2019  
College Catalog 2019-2020 
    
College Catalog 2019-2020

GEOG 249 - Environment and Society in Latin America

Cross-Listed as LATI 249  
This course offers geographical perspectives on one of the world’s most vibrant regions, Latin America and the Caribbean. Extending from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego, this world region stretches across diverse landscapes, from tropical rainforests to the snowcapped peaks of the Andes, from mega-cities to verdant plains and sparsely populated deserts. This course combines thematic and regional approaches to understanding the geography of Latin America. Major topics include the dynamics of climate, physical geography, and natural hazards; how indigenous peoples of the Americas transformed their environments, especially through agriculture; how European colonialism and the Columbian Exchange altered patterns of land use, labor, and trade; the development patterns of modern nation-states within a globalized economy; the environmental and social impacts of commodity production (e.g. coffee in Central America, rubber in the Amazon); challenges to and persistence of small-scale agriculture in the Andean region; the causes and consequences of tropical deforestation; conflicts over land and natural resources; the resilience and political resurgence of indigenous groups and people of African descent, and the evolution of pluriethnic or multinational states; the causes of mass urbanization and the environmental problems of cities; patterns of international migration, including flows between Latin American countries and towards the US and Europe; and the development of Latino culture and identity in the U.S. Along the way, we will examine the human-environment geography of various regions and countries such as The Caribbean, Central America, Mexico, Brazil, the Andean Countries, and Argentina. Offered every year. (4 Credits)