Please enable JavaScript to view this page.

Physical Geography

GEO 111W

Physical Geography

GEO 111W

Course Description

Prerequisites: Prerequisites: MATH LEVEL 2 and READING LEVEL 2 and WRITING LEVEL 2.

Introduces the physical processes that shape the natural landscape. Analyzes internal and external processes through the study of earth-sun relations, climate patterns, weather dynamics, water, the rock cycle, tectonics, soils, weathering, and erosional and depositional landforms. Utilizes maps and models of earth's systems to examine environmental patterns, human-environment interactions and natural resource issues in a spatial context. (45-30)

Outcomes and Objectives

Demonstrate scientific literacy.

Objectives:

  • Interpret information from written and visual documents, computer programs, physical models and experiments relevant to the field.
  • Explain environmental processes orally and in writing.
  • Describe the function of earth’s environmental systems.
  • Explain interrelationships between environmental phenomena.
  • Evaluate evidence regarding critical environmental issues.
  • Discuss assumptions about human-environment interactions.

Analyze tectonic landforms.

Objectives:

  • Compare the characteristics and formation of the three major rock categories.
  • Identify basic landforms associated with the three rock categories.
  • Describe the rock cycle.
  • Diagram the internal structure of the earth.
  • Investigate spatial evidence for plate tectonics.
  • Differentiate between the three plate boundary types and their resultant landforms.
  • Evaluate the spatial distribution of earthquake and volcanic hazards.

Apply concepts of landscape evolution.

Objectives:

  • Discuss the dynamic equilibrium model as a mechanism for landscape change.
  • Investigate how chemical and physical weathering processes shape earth’s surface and subsurface.
  • Discuss mass wasting processes.
  • Illustrate how fluvial systems shape the earth’s surface.
  • Discuss the development and importance of groundwater and water resources.
  • Summarize glacial processes and landforms.
  • Explain coastal processes and landforms.
  • Explain aeolian processes and landforms.
  • Describe karst formation and landforms.

Explain the atmospheric dynamics that produce weather.

Objectives:

  • Categorize atmospheric layers.
  • Recognize the role of earth-sun relations in causing seasonal change.
  • Identify heat transfer mechanisms.
  • Describe processes that contribute to atmospheric circulation.
  • Explain the role of water vapor in atmospheric processes.
  • Describe the formation of storm systems and severe weather.
  • Evaluate the spatial distribution of severe weather and atmospheric hazards.

Appraise water resources.

Objectives:

  • Diagram the hydrologic cycle.
  • Examine water budget concepts.
  • Investigate the spatial distribution of drought-prone regions.
  • Assess human impact on groundwater resources.

Recognize climate patterns.

Objectives:

  • Describe the physical characteristics of soils.
  • Analyze the distribution of climate, vegetation and soils across the earth's surface.
  • Relate climate, vegetation, and soils in forming climate zones.
  • Classify climate zones.
  • Recognize the distribution of climate zones across the earth's surface.
  • Outline earth’s climatological history and evaluate paleoclimatological methods.

Demonstrate map interpretation skills.

Objectives:

  • Use map symbols, legend, direction and scale to interpret maps.
  • Use latitude and longitude to determine location.
  • Calculate time differences throughout the world.
  • Identify map projections and their various characteristics.
  • Analyze landforms using contour lines.
  • Analyze landforms using aerial imagery.
  • Utilize computer mapping techniques.