Geography of Honolulu
Geography 366

Overview: This course is a geographer's look at contemporary Honolulu. The focus is the present city, but it is set in a wider spatial and historical context. We will consider Honolulu as a node in the world system of cities, but will concentrate on it as a composite of interacting systems and parts. We will consider physical and social aspects of the city's geography, from systematic and regional perspectives. The approach will be a mixture of lectures, readings, and direct observation leading to development of geographic research and writing skills.

Maps and Readings: The city itself should be the main text, but maps, statistical abstracts, and the writings of a number of authors (including the local newspapers) will be of use in making it more accessible. Readings from a variety of sources will be available on CD, or in some cases, available on the web. Maps help organize and make concrete any geographic discussion and technology is rapidly changing maps. Get a recent edition of Bryan's Sectional Map of Honolulu , it provides street names and other information at 1:24,000 scale. You may also find the USGS 1:62,500 scale Topographic Map of Oahu , and the Honolulu, Hawaii --- USGS 1:24,000 Scale Topographic Quadrangle to be of value. USGS maps are available in town (look in the Yellow Pages under "Maps") but can be used for free (and photocopied inexpensively) at the Hamilton Library Map Room and can be downloaded for free from the USGS Map Store . We will also make considerable use of Google Earth to automate some map use tasks. Other materials notably US Census Bureau Data, the Hawaii State Data Book, and some newspaper reports are available on the web. You will find that Hamilton Library (especially the Hawaiian Collection, the Map Room, and the "morgue" for older newspaper coverage) will be of use to support your reading and research. You may find that a copy of Pukui, Elbert and Mookini Place Names of Hawaii will be of use and, if you don't already have a writing style guide, such as Kate L. Turabian's A Manual for Writers, you should add that to your bookshelf.

Please read the assigned materials before class.

Requirements and Grading: Attendance, engagement and participation are expected. Please keep up with the readings and assignments and be prepared to discuss them in class. Grades will be based on several components (listed on the announcement). Generally I have found examinations to be less useful in this course than most courses and you will note that the balance is shifted heavily toward the field observation assignments and the term paper. In all of these, my expectation is that you will strive for collegiate levels of scholarship, analysis and writing. The termpaper in particular should involve integration of a dozen or more sources, field observation/data collection, and the use of maps, photos and illustrations as needed to present your findings. It needs to follow accepted standards for academic writing including spelling and grammar, citation of sources, formating, presentation and style. The term paper length should be 2500 - 3000 words.

Component scores will be summed, natural breaks in the distribution considered, and my best professional judgment used in the assignment of letter grades.

The Student Conduct Code and the University rules on incompletes will be followed.

Scheduled Deadlines and Due Dates are on the schedule page.

Hopes: My main hope is that we will act as a community of scholars to increase our understanding of the geography of Honolulu.

last updated: 15 August 2012