- Instructor: William Hirt
- Office: Science 217 (7-217)
- Office hours: MWF 10:00-10:50AM, TR 12:30-1:20 PM and by appointment
- E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Phone: 530·938·5255
- Fax: 530·938·5506
- Meeting times: TTh 1:30-2:45 PM
- Meeting place: Science 216 (7-216)
- Units: 3.0
- Degree applicability: UC, CSU and COS
Success in Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) courses like Physical Geography (GEOG 1110) depends on a student's preparation and participation as well as on the format of the course.
- Preparation: ENGL 1001 (College Composition) and MATH 0850 or 0851 (Elementary Algebra or Beginning Algebra I) are prerequisites for this course. Students who have successfully completed these prerequisites succeed in ESS courses like GEOG 1110 at a rate (68%) more than twice that of students who have not (32%). If you have not yet successfully completed ENGL 1001 and MATH 0850 or 0851 you will need to to do so before you enroll in GEOG 1110.
- Participation: Students who participate in their Physical Geography class at least 85% of the time (as measured by attendance and the submission of assignments) succeed at a much higher rate (87%) than do students enrolled in the class as a whole (61%).
- Format: Students who enroll in online ESS courses are significantly less likely to complete them (57%) than are students who enroll in face-to-face or lab courses (70 and 72%, respectively). If you are a student who learns best by hands-on experience or in a group setting you are encouraged to take a lab or face-to-face class rather than an online class if possible.
- Textbook (required): Visualizing Physical Geography, 2e by Foresman and Strahler (ISBN 978-0-470-62615-3)
Upon successful completion of this course a student is expected to be able to:
- Locate a site on a map using its geographic coordinates, determine the distances and bearings to nearby sites, and choose an appropriate map projection to display a given type of data.
- Predict how changes in insolation and atmospheric composition are likely to affect global temperatures and related environmental phenomena such as precipitation and cloud cover.
- Describe how global and regional differences in atmospheric pressure drive winds, storms and surface circulation in the oceans and shape Earth’s climate.
- Analyze the development of common landforms in terms of the interactions between tectonic and volcanic processes, which are driven by Earth’s internal heat, and erosional processes caused by the movements of water, wind and ice.
- Describe the properties and texture of a soil that is likely to develop from typical continental bedrock under specific climatic conditions.
- Analyze whether an observation, experimental result or proposed explanation is consistent with a scientific hypothesis for a natural phenomenon and effectively communicate this analysis to others.
Spring 2014 course schedule
|9-Jan||Global location, time and maps||1|
|14-Jan : 16-Jan||Global location, time and maps (continued)||1|
|21-Jan : 23-Jan||Global energy balance||2|
|28-Jan : 30-Jan||Air temperature||3|
|4-Feb : 6-Feb||Atmospheric moisture and precipitation||4|
|11-Feb : 13-Feb||Global atmospheric and oceanic circulation||5|
|18-Feb : 20-Feb||Weather systems||6|
|25-Feb : 27-Feb||Global climates and climate change||7|
|4-Mar : 6-Mar||Earth's internal structure and materials||8|
|11-Mar : 13-Mar||Plate tectonics, earthquakes and volcanoes||9|
|18-Mar : 20-Mar||Weathering and mass wasting||10|
|24-Mar : 31-Mar||Spring Break||---|
|3-Apr||Groundwater and river systems||11|
|8-Apr : 10-Apr||Landforms shaped by running water||12|
|15-Apr : 17-Apr||Landforms shaped by wind and waves||13|
|22-Apr : 24-Apr||Glacial and periglacial landforms||14|
|28-Apr : 1-May||Soil formation and distribution||15|
|6-May : 8-May||Biogeographic processes||16|
|13-May : 15-May||Global biogeography||17|
|22-May||final exam, 1:00-2:50 PM||all|
Grades will be based on total scores for:
- online study questions (50 points);
- in-class clicker questions (80 points);
- three online activities (30 points);
- two midterm exams (50 points);
- three writing assignments (40 points);
- a comprehensive final exam (50 points).
There will be no alternate or "extra credit" assignments. For each writing assignment a student will read an article of their choice from several selected for the class and write an outline, abstract and revised abstract of that article. The final grade will be computed from the total of 300 points and scored as follows: > 90% = A; 80-89+% = B; 70-79+% = C; 60-69+% = D; and <60% = F. The instructor reserves the right to adjust these percentages if such and adjustment is warranted by the class average, but under no circumstances will a student who earns a score of <60% or fails to turn in any of the writing assignments receive a "satisfactory" (A, B, or C) grade.
A student should expect to spend about 6 hours per week reading the text, reviewing their notes, and studying for exams. Preparation of the homework and writing assignments will also require about 12 hours during the course of the semester.
Attendance, withdrawal, and incomplete policies
Regular participation and punctual submission of assignments are required for satisfactory completion of this course. Up to two absences will be excused if the student: (1) notifies the instructor by e-mail or phone, (2) schedules a time to make up the missed work before their next class session, and (3) makes up the work as scheduled. If a student incurs two unexcused absences he or she will receive a warning from the instructor; four unexcused absences will result in the student being dropped from the class. A student may withdraw before 18-Apr-2014 without receiving a grade, and is responsible for notifying the admissions office and completing all necessary forms. Arrangements for an incomplete must be made with the instructor and an "I" will be granted only in the case of an unforeseen personal or family emergency.
If you have a disability (learning, physical, psychological etc.) that may require classroom or testing accommodations please let me know as soon as possible to ensure these accommodations are implemented in a timely manner. If you have not already done so, please contact Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS) in Eddy Hall, or call 938-5297, for authorization and coordination of disability verification and accommodation assistance.
Make-up policy for missed work
Writing assignments, online activities, midterm exams and in-class clicker questions may be made-up if: (1) prior arrangements have been made with the instructor; and (2) they are completed before the graded exercises are returned to the class or the material is covered on a midterm (as appropriate). The online study questions and the final exam may not be made up.
Late assignment policy
Writing assignments and online activities will be penalized 1 point for each class session they are late and will not be accepted after the graded assignments have been returned to the class. Online study questions will be penalized 1 point if they are turned in within 24 hours of the original deadline; after that they will not be accepted.
Students are encouraged to collaborate with one another as they answer in-class questions, work on online activities and prepare for exams. I expect that a student will work independently, however, when he or she takes exams and writes his or her outline and abstracts. If I find evidence that any student is not living up to this code of academic integrity (for example, because he or she submits a writing assignment that is identical or nearly identical to another student's) I reserve the right to drop them from the class unless it is after the fourteenth week, in which case the student will receive a grade of F regardless of accumulated points.