Professor Maxwell's Courses




Geography 149/150: Digital Earth

Recent advances in technology and data availability have increased our knowledge about the world. This class surveys key concepts of geospatial technologies (GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis) in the context of social and environmental change. The lab component explores geographic information systems software and basic principles of mapping and analysis of geographic information.



Geography 350/550: Introduction to GIScience

Explores concepts, principles and practice of acquiring, storing, analyzing, display and use of geographic information. This course explores the science behind geographic information systems and the techniques and methods GIS scientist and professionals use to answer questions with a spatial component. In the lab section, students will become proficient with the ArcGIS software package.

Geography 455/655: Introduction to Remote Sensing/Remote Sensing Principles

Remote sensing is the study of the earth using photographs and images acquired from aircraft and satellites.  It is a rapidly changing field, with many different applications.  In this course you will gain an overview of the subject of remote sensing, with a special emphasis on principles, limitations and possibilities.  In addition, this course emphasizes information literacy, and will develop your skills in finding, evaluating, and using scholarly information.  



Geography 456: Remote Sensing Applications

Survey of remote sensing applications, focusing on the type of information obtained and methods used. This course will investigate a wide range of applications of remote sensing including: landscape change/urbanization, geomorphology, hydrology, geology, forestry, soil science, and agriculture. We will critically evaluate the use of remote sensing technologies and methods to investigate a wide variety of applications. Key concepts will be discussed and hands-on applications will be explored.

Geography (GEOG) 447/647: Open-Soure Spatial Analytics

Analyzing geospatial data is a key component of GIScience and data analysis within the field of geography. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the free statistical software tool R and investigate the use of this software for working with data in general and geographic data in particular.


Geography (GEOG) 461/661: Web GIS

The World Wide Web has become a valuable means to display, collect, and share geographic data and maps. This course will explore the use of web technologies for developing web map applications. Students will learn to produce audience appropriate maps in the web environment using a variety of technologies and methods. 

Geography 462: Digital Cartography

Computer-assisted mapping emphasizing the appropriate uses of software in thematic and topographic map design, annotation, symbolization, color, design, display and reproduction.


Natural Science 210: Principles of Physical Geography (Online)

In this course we will explore the physical and biological aspects of geography. All aspects of physical geography will be discussed including meteorology/climatology, biogeography, landform identification, soil science, fluvial geomorphology, glacial geomorphology, and plate tectonics. Using the scientific method, students will gain an appreciation for natural landscapes and the processes that shape them. This course will also have a weekly laboratory component. 

Astronomy 190: Introduction to Astronomy

The solar system in particular, including the sun, planets, comets, and meteors, in addition to the universe, its components and processes in a larger context. Brief history of manned space vehicles. Problems of fundamental celestial mechanics. A laboratory is included.


Chemistry 303: Environmental and Toxicological Chemistry

Environmental and Toxicological Chemistry is a one semester, 4 credit hour, upper level chemistry/environmental science course. The goal of this course is for students to gain an understanding and appreciation for the field of chemistry applied to environmental topics and issues. The course focuses on the application of introductory chemical topics for environmental studies and also the chemistry of freshwater systems. This course focuses heavily on freshwater chemistry and stream chemistry. The chemistry of continental solids and the atmosphere are also discussed. This course is designed to have a field component, and graphing applications in Microsoft Excel are explored. The laboratory experience focuses on wet chemical and instrumental laboratory techniques that are needed to work in an environmental chemistry laboratory.


Environmental Science 325: Sedimentation and Erosion

This class is a survey of sedimentology/stratigraphy, fluvial geomorphology, and pedology as needed for the environmental professional. Topics discussed will include sedimentary facies, sedimentary rock identification, physical parameters of stream flow, stream discharge, stream competence and capacity, Rosgen stream classification, natural stream restoration, physical weathering, chemical weathering, clay minerals, soil formation, soil classification, soil erosion, hillslope processes, and erosion management and regulations. This class will prepare students to work within the field of erosion and sedimentation control and management. The laboratory component involves both laboratory experience and field work.


Environmental Science 335: Watershed Hydrology

This course is an introduction to watersheds as hydrologic units. The goal of this class is for students to gain an understanding of watershed dynamics, surface flow, and processes that impact water quality within a watershed. Students are introduced to the Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) system, the National Hydrologic Dataset, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and basic watershed modeling techniques. Students will gain an understanding of watersheds as a management/regulatory unit. Surface water management regulations will be discussed. The laboratory experience will focus on statistical, GIS, and field techniques utilized for surface water analysis.


Environmetal Science 356: Introduction to GIS

This is an introductory Geographic Information System (GIS) course in which students learn the basic theories and techniques of global information science (GISc). At the end of this course, the students will be able to produce well formatted maps, find and utilize GIS data, understand the basics of vector, raster, and tabulated data, and conduct simple spatial analysis. The laboratory experience will utilize ESRI’s ArcInfo software, and students will become fluent in the basic functionality of this software tool.


Environmental Science 465: Advanced GIS

This is a more advanced GIS course in which students are required to complete a GIS research project, perhaps as part of their senior research. Lecture material for this course consists of advanced GIS techniques such as raster-based spatial analysis, suitability modeling, geostatistical modeling, image analysis, image classification, terrain analysis, and metadata development. There is a remote sensing component within the class in which student explore the basics of working with satellite imagery, aerial imagery, and digital elevation data. Students are expected to solve real world spatial problems using available GIS techniques and critical thinking. Students are introduced to additional software such as Erdas Imagine, Geospatial Modeling Environment (GME) (free), and FragStats (free). This course is designed to prepare students for a GIS career or graduate studies in GIS applications.


Geology 190: Introduction to Geology

Petrologic, structural and dynamic geology. History of Earth as revealed in stratification and the fossils of animal and plant life deposited in these strata, as well as the processes that shaped the earth and are changing its features continuously. There will be three hours of lecture and two hours of laboratory each week. 


Geology 350: Hydrogeology

This course is an advanced geology course with a focus on groundwater. This class focuses on properties of aquifers and confining layers, water budgeting, groundwater movement, siting of groundwater wells, groundwater quality, groundwater contamination, and regulatory practices associated with ground water as a public water supply.


Natural Science 190: Rocks, Stars, and Weather

Geology, astronomy, and meteorology are integrated sciences derived largely from our understanding of physics and chemistry. Therefore, this course will explore physical and chemical topics applied to the earth and space sciences to foster an understanding of the natural processes that govern the world around us, including the lithosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere of the Earth and also the cosmos. The class is structured as a series of short, five-week courses covering the basics of the three disciplines sequentially. The laboratory component will focus on hands-on and webbased exercises that reinforce the topics being discussed.

Natural Science 185: General Science/Science and Society

Basic concepts of chemistry and physics including states of matter, atomic structure and bonding, chemical reactions, force, motion, energy, simple machines, magnetism and electricity. The interactions of technology with society are discussed with emphasis placed on environmental and human interactions. 

Natural Science 361: Research Methods I

This course is designed to teach students the basic skills involved with scientific research. Topics include literature search, reading and writing scientific papers, analysis and critique of scientific papers, data analysis, oral presentation, and resume writing


Courses Taught at WVU

Courses Taught at Alderson Broaddus

Proudly created with

Professor Aaron Maxwell, PhD, GISP

e-mail: or

Phone: (304) 293-2026


Brooks Hall Room 141

West Virginia University

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