Department of Geography

Name: Dr. Richard A. Crooker

Phone: 610-683-4837


  Professor of Geography


Ph.D. 1986 Geography, 
University of California, Riverside 
M.A. 1974 Geography
Eastern Michigan University

B.A. 1967 Geography
Chico State College

Interests:  Back

Dr. Richard A. Crooker teaches physical geography, oceanography, map reading and interpretation, geography of Pennsylvania, and climatology. He has received numerous grants, including three research grants from the National Geographical Society Committee for Research and Exploration. 
Dr. Crooker's publications deal with a wide range of geographical topics. His research on drug production and trafficking has taken him to source areas of illegal drugs in remote areas of Thailand, Burma, China, Peru, and Bolivia. That research involved the larger issue of the relationship between environmental degradation and social conflict in international border areas.

Dr. Crooker's writing projects have also involved a book series for Chelsea House Publishers about modern world nations, as well as encyclopedia articles involving mainly environmental topics. His most recent research examines genealogical data in historical and geographical context to explain ancestral emigration from Virginia, Ohio and Indiana to northern California. In addition to researching and writing, he enjoys hiking, bicycling, and especially boogie boarding.

Courses: Back

GEG 010 Physical Geography

Physical geography examines spatial elements of the physical environment—weather, climate, vegetation, soils and landforms.  Students analyze the nature and characteristics of these elements, the processes involved in their development, their distribution over the earth, and their interrelationships. Students also examine the interrelationships between these elements and human activities.  They use maps and other geographical data to locate, analyze, interpret, and solve geographical problems of a physical nature.  This course is useful to students seeking to better understand geographical aspects of environmental issues. 3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.
    Textbook Companion Web Site

GEG 040 Oceanography

A course to familiarize the non-scientific students with the marine environment and current developments in the marine sciences. Topics for study will include: the Physical Parameters of the Ocean; Ocean Basin Topography; Life in the Sea; and Resources in the Oceans.  Students will be encouraged to participate in field activities at the Wallops Island Marine Center at Wallops Island, Virginia. This course is unacceptable for the Earth-Space Science major requirement. 3 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

GEG 230 Map Reading and Interpretation

This course examines how maps locate, represent, summarize and communicate geographic information. It provides a basis for advanced techniques courses in geography. It is also helpful to education majors in fields dealing with either physical or human-built environments.  PREREQUISITE: Either GEG 010, GEL 020, or GEL 100, or permission of instructor. 4 contact hours; 3 semester hours.

GEG 240 Geography of Pennsylvania

This course explores where people and places are located in Pennsylvania and why they are located where they are. The general objective is to understanding the diversity and distribution of environmental and cultural features within the state. The overall goal is to demonstrate how geography influences the state and the state's importance to the nation.

GEG 323 Global Warming and the Science of Climate Change

This course concentrates on the climatological and spatial aspects of global warming and the growing importance of the science of global warming to policymakers. The aim is to introduce the causes, methods of analysis, and policy implications of global warming. This course is a general education, natural science elective. Prerequisites: GEG 010 - Elements of Physical Geography or Meteorology GEG 320/321 or Climatology (GEG 322). Three semester hours, three contact hours.

Publications: Back

2005. Venezuela. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers (114 p).

2004. Chile. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers (138 p).

2004. Argentina. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers (117 p).

2003. Cuba. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers (135 p).

2002. Bermuda. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers (125 p).

Encyclopedia Articles

2010. Three articles in Global Resources, Pasadena, CA: Salem Press, with the following titles: "Argentina" (3,000 words), "Chile" (2500 words), and "Venezuela" (2500 words).

2008. "Climate Data, Proxy Records" (1,000 words) in Encyclopedia of Global Warming and Climate Change, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

2007. Four articles in Encyclopedia of the Environment & Society, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications with the following titles: "Atlantic Ocean" (1,000 words), "Continental Shelf" (525 words), "Ocean Currents" (725 words), and "Indian Ocean" (725 words).

2007. Two articles in Great Lives from History: Notorious Lives, Pasadena, CA: Salem Press with the following titles: "Pinochet Ugarte, Augusto" (1,000 words) and "Than Shwe" (700 words).

2007. "July 1931: Millions Die in Yellow River Flood" (1,500 words). In Great Events from History: The Twentieth Century, 1901-2000, Pasadena, CA: Salem Press.

2006. "August 27, 1883: Krakatoa Volcano Erupts" In Great Events from History: The Nineteenth Century, 1801-1900, Pasadena, CA: Salem Press (1,500 words). 

2006. Three articles in Great Events from History: The Eighteenth Century, 1701-1800, Pasadena, CA: Salem Press with the following titles: "Humboldt, and Bonpland's Expedition, July 16, 1799-July 9, 1804," pp. 918-920 (1,500 words), "The Great Caribbean Hurricane, October 10-18, 1780," pp. 656-658 (1,500 words), and "European Discovery of Easter Island, April 5, 1722" pp. 165-168 (1,500 words).

2005. Four articles in The Seventies in America, Pasadena, CA: Salem Press with the following titles: "Natural Disasters" pp. 649-654 (1,000 words); "Jumbo Tornado Outbreak of 1974" pp. 523-524 (500 words); "Arctic International Claims" 77-80 (1,000 words); "Keep America Beautiful" pp. 526-527 (500 words).

2005. Twenty articles in Robert W. McColl, ed., Encyclopedia of World Geography (New York: Facts on File, Inc.) with the following titles: "Abyssal Plain" (550 words), "Basin" (500 words), "Boundaries, Natural" (3,000 words), "Climate Classifications" (725 words), Coastal Zone (850 words), "Continentality" (875 words), "Dunes" (650 words), "Erg" (500 words), "Grenada" (400 words), "Geomorphology" (2,250 words), "Horst" (500 words), "Island" (775 words), "Micro climates" (750 words), "Pleistocene Geography" (800 words), "Precipitation" (1,250 words), "Quaternary Geography" (1,275 words), "Rift Valley" (700 words), "Shield" (400 words), "Sumatra" (450 words), "Zones of Convergence/Divergence" (600 words).

2005. Four articles in The Fifties in America, Pasadena, CA: Salem Press with the following titles: "Natural Disasters" pp. 664-669 (2,000 words), "Latin America" pp. 552-555 (2,400 words); "Nixon's Tour of Latin America in 1958" p. 693 (350 words); "Savannah, Launch of" p. 815 (350 words). 

2002.  Two articles in Great Events: 1900-2001, Revised Edition, 8 vols. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press with the following tiltes: "Caribbean Volcano Erupts, Destroying Much of Island of Montserrat" 8:2843-2844 (1,000 words); "Fijian Rebels Attempt a Coup" 8:3192-3195 (1,000 words).

2001.  “Pacific Islands,” in World Geography (1 ed.), ed. Ray Sumner, 7:1935-1940. Pasadena, CA: Salem Press (2,300 words).

Journal/Proceedings Articles

2007. "Ecolological Marginalization and Hill Tribe Security in Northern Thailand," The Geographical Bulletin, 48(1): 15-40.

2005. "Life after Opium in the Hills of Thailand," Mountain Research and Development, 25:291-294.

1996 (with Robert N. Martin). “Marketing Distance-Decay and Highland Vegetable Production in Northern Thailand,” The Geographical Bulletin 38(2): 80-9.

1992 (with Robert N. Martin). “Accessibility and Illicit Drug Production: Lessons from Northern Thailand,” Journal of Rural Studies 8(4): 423-429.

1992 (with Fernando Echavarria). “Geography and the Traffic of Drugs,” Proceedings of the Second International Congress on the Geography of the Americas, Lima, Peru, pp. 50-66.

1991. “In Search of Upland Rice for the Thailand Opium Zone: A Climate-Based Approach,” The California Geographer 31:37-62.

1990. “Learning About Global Interdependence: An Area-Value Mapping Exercise,” Social Education, September, pp. 320-322.

1988. “Forces of Change in the Opium Zone of Thailand,” The Geographical Review 78:1-15.

1987. “Socio-ecology and Migratory Behavior of Opium Growers in Thailand,” Proceedings of the 9th International Symposium on Asian Studies. Hong Kong: Asian Research Service, pp. 199-209.

1986 (with Douglas J. Sherman). “Assessment of Locational Awareness,” The Journal of Geography 85:120-124.

1986. "Climate and Opium Substitution in Thailand's Northern Highlands." Proceedings of the Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers, Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers annual meetings, New York, NY, p. 85.

1985. “The Historical Geography of Opium Production in the Southwest China Region,” Proceedings of the Seventh International Symposium on Asian Studies. Hong Kong: Asian Research Service, pp. 85-99.

1985. “Evaluating the Settlement of the Los Angeles Region: A Student Project,” The California Geographer [1984] 24:81-93.

1974 (with Robert T. Ernst, Lawrence Hugg and Robert L. Ayotte). “Competition and “Conflict Over Land Use Change in the Inner City: Institution Versus Community,” Antipode: A Radical Journal of Geography 6(2):70-97.

Published Book Reviews

2002.  “The Legend of the Golden Boat: Regulation and Trade and Traders in the Borderlands of Laos, Thailand, China and Burma" by Andrew Walker in The Geographical Review 92(3): 466-468.

1997.  “Exploring the Underground Economy” by Susan Puzo in Economic Geography, 73(3):364-366.

1992.  “Cannabis in Amsterdam: A Geography of Hashish and Marijuana” by A.M.C. Jansen in The Geographical Review 82(3):352-53.

1991.  “Map Use and Analysis” by John Campbell in The Professional Geographer 43(3): 373-374.

1991.  “National Integration in Indonesia: patterns and policies” by Christine Drake, in The Professional Geographer 43(1):115-116.

1990.  “Cocaine: White Gold Rush in Peru" by E. Morales, in Geographical Review 80(3): 318-320. 

1989.  “The Map Catalog: Every Kind of Map and Chart on Earth and Even Some Above It,” by Joel Makower and Laura Bergheim, eds., in Pennsylvania Geographer, nos. 1 & 2, 27 (spring/summer): 38-40.

Internet Publications

2007. Online PowerPoint slide set to accompany Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation, 9th ed., by McKnight and Hess.

1999 (with Richard S. Courtney). “Elements of Physical Geography Online,” interactive Internet workbook for Elements of Physical Geography by Gabler, et al., Saunders College Publishing.

Published Maps and Diagrams

1983. Forty-three maps and diagrams in Crane S. Miller and Richard S. Hyslop, California: The Geography of Diversity (Palo Alto, CA: Mayfield Publishing Company).

Abstracts of Papers Presented at Professional Meetings Back

1998. "Introduction to WebCT (World Wide Web Course Tools). " Program and Abstracts. Computing Across the Curriculum (SSHE), Shippensburg University, PA, p. 31.

1996. "Narcotrafficking and Transitional Economies of Border Towns in the Upper Mekong Growth Quadrangle." Program Abstracts. Association of American Geographers annual meetings, Charlotte, NC, p.

1994. "Vegetables Instead of Opium in Thailand: A Spatial Analysis." Program Abstracts. Association of American Geographers annual meetings, San Francisco, CA (with Robert N. Martin), p. 69.

1993. "Fire Service Areas Using GIS: A Local Example." Program Abstracts. Association of American Geographers annual meetings, Atlanta, GA (with Robert N. Martin), p.

1990. "What Can Meaningful Departmental Goals Documents Do For Geographic Eduction?" Program Abstracts. National Council for Geographic Education annual meetings, Williamsburg, VA, pp. 5-6.

1988. "Accessibility and Opium Replacement in Northern Thailand." Program Abstracts. Association of American Geographers annual meetings, Phoenix, AZ (also presented at the Kutztown University International Studies Colloquium, March) (with Robert N. Martin), p.

1987. "The Opium Zone in Northern Thailand: A Subregion in Transition." Program Abstracts. Association of American Geographers annual meetings, Portland, OR, p. 18.

1982. "Economiic Integration of the Opium Farmer: The Thailand Example." Program Abstracts. Association of Pacific Coast Geographrs annual meetings, Long Beach, CA (with Michael Mann), p.

1978.  "An Update on the Redwood Lumber Industry of the Santa Cruz Mountains, California." Program Abstracts. Association of Pacific Coast Geographers annual meetings, Salt Lake City, UT, p. 145.

1977. "El-Kufra Agricultural Project: An Example of the Impact of Oil Revenues on Libyan Agriculture." Program Abstracts. Arizona Academy of Sciences annual meetings, Los Vegas, NV (with El-Maheshi, Abdel Kader), p.