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GEOG 571 - Intelligence Analysis, Cultural Geography, and Homeland Security

This is a sample syllabus.

This sample syllabus is a representative example of the information and materials included in this course. Information about course assignments, materials, and dates listed here is subject to change at any time. Definitive course details and materials will be available in the official course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.


GEOG 571 explores the relationships between culture and civil security and the process of geographically analyzing social, political, economic, and demographic information to understand human history, institutions, and behaviors.


GEOG 571: Successful students will be able to demonstrate comprehension of the following course materials by logically applying the information learned to the analyses of civil security problems, and by offering lucid presentations and solutions based on clearly reasoned syntheses:

  • Critique empirical and theoretical scholarship in cultural and political geography
  • Assess cultural landscapes in order to identify potential flashpoints
  • Evaluate information from multiple sources regarding complex phenomena
  • Critique intelligence relative to the nature of current and potential future threats to civil security using theoretical concepts in cultural geography to inform decision-making processes
  • Generate written work that clearly and succinctly synthesizes and communicates existing information, insights into complex phenomena, and recommendations for action

Required Materials

Typically, there are no required materials for this course. If this changes, students will find a definitive list in the course syllabus, in Canvas, when the course begins.




We have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is dependent on your attitude, diligence, and willingness to ask for clarifications or help when you need them. We are here to help you succeed. Please keep up with the class schedule and take advantage of opportunities to communicate with us and with your fellow students. You can expect to spend an average of 12 – 15 hours per week on class work.

Major Assignments

Students earn grades that reflect the extent to which they achieve the learning objectives, listed above. Grades will be based on percentages assigned to each of several components of the course, and opportunities to demonstrate learning include the following:

  • Seven weekly discussions: 21% of total course grade
  • Three Quizzes: 6% of total course grade
  • Four mapping exercises: 20% of total course grade
  • Four written assignments:  30% of total course grade
  • Research Project: 23% of total course grade
    The research project will be completed in four steps: topic selection, project outline and annotated bibliography, rough draft, and final draft.

Course Schedule

Course Schedule
1Lesson 1: Foundations of Cultural Geography
  • Lesson 1 StoryMap Exercise
  • Lesson 1 Discussion
2Lesson 2: Cultural Geography, Intelligence, and Security
  • Lesson 2 Team Debate
  • Research Project Proposal
3Lesson 3: Identity I: Foundations
  • Lesson 3 Discussion
  • Written Brief
4Lesson 4: Identity II: Boundaries and Identity
  • Lesson 4 Discussion
  • ArcGIS Online Group Exercise
  • Research Project Outline and Annotated Bibliography
5Lesson 5: Identity III: Nationalism, Separatism, and Terrorism
  • Lesson 5 Discussion
  • ArcGIS Online Exercise
6Lesson 6: Cultural Landscapes
  • Lesson 6 Discussion
  • ArcGIS Online StoryMap Exercise
7Lesson 7: Mobility I: Access, Movement, and Borders
  • Lesson 7 Quiz
  • Research Project Rough Draft
8Lesson 8: Mobility II: Refugees and Asylum Seekers
  • Lesson 8 Discussion
  • Lesson 8 Written Brief
9Lesson 9: Home I: Dynamics of Home
  • Research Project Final Draft
  • Lesson 9 Quiz
  • Final project Executive Summary
10Lesson 10: Home II: Scaling Home
  • Lesson 10 Discussion
  • Lesson 10 Written Brief