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Registration for the Fall 2019 semester begins June 25.  Watch your email for more details.

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The Geography of Canada

Course Code: GEOG 1180
Faculty: Humanities & Social Sciences
Credits: 3.0
Semester: 15 weeks
Learning Format: Lecture, Partially Online
Typically Offered: Fall, Summer, Winter
course overview

Canada is the second largest country in the world, but how much do you really know about it? Why, with a landscape so richly endowed in natural and human resources, do we always seem to be experiencing political, social, and economic turmoil? What exactly might it mean to be “Canadian”? These questions and others are explored in Geography 1180. Through an introduction to the regional geography of Canada we will attempt to broaden your understanding of both the diversity of Canada and the issues facing the country. Using the concepts and methods of regional geography, this course examines Canada both as a world region and as a nation made up of a set of distinct regions.

Course Content

  1. Introduction
    • Images of Canada from within and without
    • Approaches to the geography of Canada
    • Regional geography
    • The geographical region
    • Geographical scale
    • Core/periphery
  2. Canada as a World Region
    • Physical attributes
    • Location
    • Size and shape
    • Landforms
    • Climate
    • Hydrology
    • Vegetation
  3. Historical Background
    • Prehistory
    • European arrival and settlement
    • First Nations
  4. Population
    • Demographic analysis
    • Distribution
    • Urbanization
  5. Economic Activity
    • Resource development
    • Manufacturing
    • Tertiary and quaternary industries
  6. Regions of Canada
    • Nationalism and regionalism
    • Core/periphery analysis
    • Heartland regions
    • Ontario
    • Quebec
    • Hinterland regions
    • Atlantic Canada
    • Prairies
    • British Columbia
    • The North
  7. Review and Conclusions
    • Regionalism and nationalism

Methods of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following: lecture, labs, field work, DVDs/videos and animations, individual and/or team projects, small group discussion, and map and air photo analysis. Where the course is offered in a hybrid format, students will complete over 50% of the course material online and outside of the classroom in a self-directed manner.

Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be: Journal 20%, Map exercises 20%, Project 15%, Mid-term exam 20%, Final exam 25%

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:

  1. Synthesize the concepts and techniques of regional geography.
  2. Communicate effectively orally, graphically, in writing, and using quantitative methods.
  3. Create, interpret, analyze, and utilize maps.
  4. Evaluate and make informed decisions about contemporary Canadian issues using the methodologies, concepts, and techniques of regional geography.

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.