GEOG 3251 Mountain Geography

About the Course

Welcome…this is Mountain Geography. In geography, the subject of mountains can be studied in a variety of ways. First, we can focus on the physical science of mountains — how they originate, their climates, and all the geomorphic and ecological processes occurring in mountainous areas. At the same time, we can focus on mountains as they interact with humans — how mountains impact human settlement and activities as well as how humans have impacted mountain environments. We will address both the physical and human geography of mountains in this course; however, you will notice a significant lean toward more of the physical aspects. I feel it is necessary to first understand the physical aspect of geography before being able to analyze human-environmental interactions. I expect that you are familiar with the basics of physical geography, and in this course we will build on those basics by focusing on processes occurring in mountains. Below I have listed some books and an on line link as reference for those of you who need to brush up on your introductory physical geography.


  • gain a functional appreciation of mountain environments — types of mountains, phenomena and processes, human-mountain interactions
  • understand the physical dynamics of mountains — controls and characteristics of climate, water, geology and soils
  • understand how these features affect the distribution and types of life (vegetation, wildlife and humans) in mountains
  • understand human-induced environmental impacts
  • use the world wide web as a global information resource

Grade Breakdown

  • Read and Self Study Assignments (20%)
  • Discussion Board / Virtual Fieldtrip (10%)
  • Exams (50%)
  • Term Project (20%)

Required Text

Price, Larry. Mountains & Man (1981). This is an old, out of print classic. It is available as a reprint at the University of Colorado Boulder bookstore.

Instructor Contact

Bronwen Owen Haugland


Bronwen S. Owen Haugland received a PhD in Geography from the University of Colorado Boulder (2005). Her dissertation research investigated the effects of acid deposition to forests and meadows in Sweden. Her Bachelor’s degree is in Natural Resource Planning from Humboldt State University in Arcata, CA (1996). She received her Master’s (MA) in Geography from Portland State University in Portland, OR (1999). While working on her degrees, Bronwyn worked as a resource aide to the City of Arcata Environmental Services Department, as a community GIS aide for the City of Portland Urban Services, and as co-coordinator of the World Dance Office at Portland State University. At the University of Colorado-Boulder, she taught both “Environmental Systems: Climate & Vegetation” and “Biogeography”. Bronwen grew up in San Mateo, California (near San Francisco). Bronwen loves traveling, and has visited half the U.S. states (including Hawaii and Alaska), Canada, most of the countries in Western Europe, the Czech Republic, and Thailand. She also loves to dance, especially ballet, West African, and samba! She lives and teaches in Reno, Nevada with her daughters, husband, and one very hairy dog.

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Monday – Friday
9:00am to 4:00pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado