Geography (GEOG) 302

The Canadian North (Revision 5)

GEOG 302 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Human Geography Studies home page

GEOG 302 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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GEOG 302 is a senior-level undergraduate, three-credit course in human geography. It is suitable for students who are interested in the geography, culture, and sustainable development of Canada's North. It presents an overview of the human geography of the Canadian North covering diverse topics such as imaginings of the North; the biophysical features of Canada's North; the history of European exploration and contact with indigenous northern populations; Aboriginal culture and society; political developments in the North; and natural resource developments in this region and their environmental impacts. There are no prerequisites for this course, but because it is a senior undergraduate course, there is an expectation that students will have good skills in critical social analysis, cultural analysis, and writing. As well, while not required, some exposure to geographical analysis and concepts will benefit students.


  • Unit 1: Imaginations and Definitions of the North
  • Unit 2: The Northern Climate and the Physical Base of the North—Physical Geography
  • Unit 3: Northern Biogeography
  • Unit 4: Northern Historical Geography
  • Unit 5: Social Geography: Settlement, Aboriginal Culture, and Contemporary Northern Society
  • Unit 6: The Northern Economy: Renewable and Non-Renewable Resource Development
  • Unit 7: The Environmental Impacts of Industrial Development in the North
  • Unit 8: Political Geography: Territorial Politics, Geopolitics, and Circumpolar Initiatives
  • Unit 9: The Future of the North: More of the Same or on the Road to Sustainability?


To receive credit for GEOG 302, you must achieve a grade of at least 50 percent on the final examination and achieve a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent). The weighting of the composite grade is as follows:

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Mapping the North 10%
Assignment 2: Case Study—Northern Biogeography 10%
Approval for Assignment 3: Northern Region and Topic for In-Depth Analysis Approved/Not Approved
Assignment 3a: Elaborating on Chosen Region 5%
Assignment 3b: Indigenous Culture 5%
Assignment 3c: Northern Economic Development 5%
Assignment 3d: Northern Sustainability 5%
Approval for Assignment 4: Annotated Bibliography Approved/Not Approved
Assignment 4: Major Research Paper 25%
Final Examination 35%
Total 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Bone, Robert M. The Canadian North: Issues and Challenges. 5th ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2016.

Other Materials

All other materials are online, including study guides, and electronic readings and videos.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GEOG 302 challenge registration, you must achieve an overall course grade of D (50 percent) or greater to pass.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 50%
Exam 50%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, June 11, 2019.

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