Physical GeographyGEO 111W
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.