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GEOG 2074: COVID-19: Global Pandemic, Local Impacts

GEOG 2074 explores how and why COVID-19 emerged and spread, and how variations in human behavior, cultural norms, and governmental responses at multiple spatial scales interacted to produce different outcomes at local, state, and national levels. Students will study the pandemic as both a biological and social phenomenon, exploring how it fits within cultural, historical, economic, political, and geographic contexts.

In this course, students will:

  • Analyze how variables in human and physical environments contributed to the spillover and diffusion of COVID-19
  • Analyze impacts of and response to the pandemic at national, state, and local scales using social science and geographic theories and methods
  • Synthesize factors that result in differential impacts of COVID on vulnerable populations, including those living in poverty, people of color, the elderly, and others by analyzing underlying contributing factors at multiple spatial scales
  • Critique different responses to the pandemic (e.g., limiting air travel, mandating masks, and defining essential businesses) through debates following research on the pros and cons of different actions
  • Identify major interconnected factors that contribute to disease emergence in the context of considering future pandemics

Why take it?

Within a broad geographic framework, this course uses an interdisciplinary focus, allowing students to explore and meld together concepts from biology, epidemiology, public health, sociology, and anthropology. Students will develop skills that will be applicable in a wide range of fields and disciplines, including problem-solving, critical thinking, and persuasive communication.


There are no prerequisites for this course.

This course fulfills Pathways requirements in Reasoning in the Social Sciences.