Welcome to the Geog 340 (World Regions in Global Context) course support weblog.

Geog 340! is a course in which you will explore the world’s diversity and analyze how identity is shaped. You will determine how and why different peoples experience different forms of cultural, economic, environmental and political change. You will examine how people shape that change. And you will make sense of how and when ties between world regions link them into similar paths of change.

340ScreenGrabThe course was redesigned from the bottom up in 2016 and is 100% new content in comparison to all the terms prior to Fall 2016. We’re thrilled with the outcome of the redesign process, and hope you will be too!

If you are potentially interested in taking Geog 340 in the Summer or Fall 2017 terms, here is some background information to help out make an informed decision. Please note that the Summer version runs 26 June to 23 July 2017. The Fall version runs 6 September to 13 December 2017.

The Instructor and the TA

The Summer 2017 term instructor is Ms. Rachel Boothby and the TA is Ms. Danya Al-Saleh. Rachel and Danya are both PhD students in the Department of Geography and have considerable experience with the content of this course, as well as travel and field work.

The Fall 2017 term instructor is Dr. Kris Olds and the Fall TA has yet to be hired.

Please link here to download the Spring 2017 syllabus for this course, though it’s worth noting that we are considering how to make the compressed Summer timetable more manageable for you.

Please contact the Department of Geography’s Undergraduate Advisor (Joel Gruley <jgruley@wisc.edu>) if you are a first year student and are seeking direct admission to the course.

Here are several updates to get some things moving before term officially starts.

Q&ASyllabus & Schedule

Read the Spring 2017 syllabus carefully to get a sense of the course. Because we don’t have a first day of class in person where we can go over the course format and policies, this syllabus is very long. Maybe think of it as a course guidebook. We’ll load up the Summer 2017 syllabus here as soon as it has been finalized. And, again, the rhythm of the course will be very different given the compressed summer schedule.

Please note that the course starts slowly for the first session to help those of you who are taking an online class for the first time to dig around the course site on Learn@UW, sort out the course text issue, read the detailed syllabus, email us with any questions you have, etc., etc. Geog 340 is newish, but we’ve taught it enough times to know how to reduce stress and anxiety – and starting with clarity regarding rolling deadlines that are coming up is one of the tricks. Your first assignment will be to fill out your course profile and to introduce yourself on the course Discussion board.


The course website (which is hosted on Learn@UW) goes live at 8:00 am on the first day of Summer term. You will need access to a computer to read, watch, and listen to the course content (apart from the textbook), and to engage in discussion forums, etc. We also make ample use of ‘drop boxes’ on the site so you can upload written exercises on it.

You may also want to learn more about how to use the new Canvas platform. If so, you can access the training course at https://canvas.wisc.edu/courses/13

The Textbook

The course text during Summer and Fall 2017 terms will be:

World Regions in Global Context: People, Places, and Environments, 6th Edition by Sally Marston, Paul Knox, Diana Liverman, Vincent Del Casino & Paul Robbins, 2017.
ISBN-13: 978-0134183640     ISBN-10: 0134183649

6th edition text

We are using the 6th edition so please acquire a copy of it and NOT the 5th edition. Textbook options include fully online (the cheapest option, especially if you get the 180 day access version):


an ‘a la Carte’ edition for a binder (cheaper than the paperback version, but more expensive that the online version)


and the standalone book (without MasteringGeography):


We are NOT using MasteringGeography.

The University Bookstore by Memorial Library has ordered copies of the paperback version and the three-ring-binder (a la Carte) version of the 6th edition. You can buy or rent either of these versions from the bookstore.

And here is the Amazon.com link to search for the 6th edition of the course text – Amazon offers various versions (including rental).

Multiple reserve copies of the 6th edition are available in the College Library and the Geography Library on two-hour loan. This is the cheapest option (free!).

Please note that the assigned textbook is required reading and you will be spending a lot of time with it so please ensure that you are satisfied with the format you are considering.

Finally, please note that we’re working hard to reduce textbook costs, substantially. More on that this summer and fall.


Please contact Rachel Boothby <BOOTHBY@WISC.EDU> with questions about the Summer 2017 version of the course. Please contact Prof Kris Olds <olds@geography.wisc.edu> with general questions about the course, tips for success in online courses, etc. We’re more than happy to help you out!