Courses : Syllabi : 101
Geography 101 Principles of Physical Geography
This course covers the principles underlying the fundamental nature and dynamics of the physical world: the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere and their systematic spatial relationships.
By the end of this course, students should be able to:
- Describe the geographic patterns of the earth’s physical environment, including global patterns of climate, biomes, soils, and landforms
- Explain and diagram Earth-sun relationships and their effects on climate
- Understand the connections between the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and lithosphere
- Analyze the interactions of human beings with the environment, both in terms of the impacts humans may have on the environment and the way changes in the natural environment impact humans
- Apply basic technical skills necessary for understanding physical geography and the environment, including reading and interpreting a variety of maps, understanding basic principles, uses, and interpretation of remote sensing imagery, and reading and interpreting appropriate graphs and charts
- Understand the causes and mechanisms of climate and weather
- Understand how climate zones relate to the major biomes of earth
- Analyze the dynamics of ecosystems in terms of energy and material flows
- Diagram the earth's interior structure, explain the theory of plate tectonics, and relate tectonic theory to the process of landform development
- Explain the connection between tectonic activity and diastrophism, volcanoes and earthquakes
- Analyze, explain, and compare the role of running water, wind, ice and waves in shaping the landscape
- Understand the dynamics of the earth's landscapes, including desert, glacial, karst, fluvial and coastal landscapes
Your grade in this course will be based on the following elements:
- Quizzes (open book): 16% (Five quizzes, drop lowest)
- Class participation (clickers): 4%
- Exams (closed book): 80%
Grades will be based on 4 objective exams (closed book), 4 online open book quizzes, and in-class questions using clickers.
Exams will be taken in class on the scheduled date, and will primarily be based on material covered in class. You are responsible for all information covered in lecture, including videos. Exams include multiple choice and True/False questions. All exams are cumulative.
Online quizzes: The online quizzes will be primarily based on the textbook, and may include material not covered during class lectures. The online quizzes will be taken on Blackboard. Quizzes will be available for approximately one (1) week.
Clicker questions will be given randomly in class throughout the semester, and will be primarily based on material covered in class. Your responses will determine the participation part of your grade.
Some additional clicker questions may be designated as extra credit questions. Up to 20 points extra credit may be given, primarily during class time. There will be no makeups for extra credit.
Books and Materials
McKnight, Tom L., and Darrel Hess. 2008. Physical Geography, A Landscape Appreciation. Ninth Edition. Prentice-Hall. Textbook may be rented or purchased in hardcover or loose-leaf format.
E-instruction response pad (CPS clicker): This should be purchased at the same time as your textbook.
|Week One||Intro to class
The Earth in Space
Earth’s Atmosphere and Seasons
The Geographic Grid and Time Zones
|Week Two||Atmosphere, Seasons, Geographic Grid (cont)
Maps and Projections
|Week Three||Maps and Projections (cont)
|Week Four||Insolation, Temperature, Energy Budget
Atmospheric Pressure and Wind
|Week Five||Pressure and Wind (cont)
|Week Six||Atmospheric Moisture and Precipitation|
|Week Seven||Air Masses, Fronts, Storms
World climate patterns
|Week Eight||Climate (cont)
Biogeography: World biomes, Cycles in the biosphere
|Week Nine||Biogeography: Plant and Animal Environmental Adaptations, Human impacts on the biosphere|
|Week Ten||Exam Two
|Week Eleven||Landforms, Rocks
Plate Tectonics Theory
Tectonic Processes: Volcanoes and Plutons, Folding and Faulting, Earthquakes
|Week Twelve||Tectonic Processes (cont)
Weathering and Mass Wasting
|Week Thirteen||Weathering and Mass Wasting (cont)
|Week Fourteen||Solution Processes
|Week Fifteen||Landforms of Glaciated Regions
Landforms of Deserts: Aeolian Processes
Landforms of Coasts