- Instructor: William Hirt
- Office: LS-15
- Office hours: MWF 10:00-10:50AM, TTh 12:30-1:20 PM, and by appointment
- E-mail: email@example.com
- Phone: 530.938.5255
- Fax: 530.938.5506
- Meeting times: TTh 1:30-2:50 PM
- Meeting place: LS-16
- 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 (Elementary Algebra) or MATH 0851 and 0852 (Beginning Algebra I and II) are advisories for this course. Students who have successfully completed these advisories succeed in ESS courses like GEOG 1110 at an average rate (68%) more than twice that of students who have not (32%). If you have not successfully completed ENGL 1001 and MATH 0850 or 0851 and 0852 you are strongly encouraged to do so before you enroll in GEOG 1110.
- Participation: During the past two years, students who completed this class and submitted at least 90% of their assignments succeeded at a much higher rate (74%) than those who submitted fewer than 90% of their assignments (11%). Similarly, students who attended at least 90% of class sessions succeeded at a higher rate (79%) than did those who attended fewer than 90% of the sessions (52%).
- Format: In the long term, students who complete ESS courses that include a lab succeed at a higher rate (92%) than those who complete either non-lab face-to-face (83%) or online (72%) courses. If you are a student who learns best by hands-on experience or in a group setting you are encouraged to consider taking a lab or face-to-face class.
- Textbook (required): Elemental Geosystems, 6th ed. by R.W. Christopherson (ISBN 978-0-321-59521-8)
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 using appropriate observations, and choose a suitable type of map to display a specific data set;
- Infer the likely effects of temporal changes in solar energy and atmospheric composition on global atmospheric and oceanic circulation as well as regional and local weather;
- Analyze the development of common landforms in terms of the interplay between constructional and erosional processes, and propose developmental histories for these landforms;
- Predict general properties of soil likely to develop from granitic bedrock in a given climatic setting, and describe how features of biome characteristic of this setting represent adaptations of organisms to prevailing physical conditions (e.g., soil, climate, etc.);
- Correctly formulate, solve, and interpret the results of a variety of problems relevant to introductory physical geography;
- Analyze whether a proposed explanation, experimental result or observation is consistent with a scientific hypothesis for a natural phenomenon and effectively communicate that analysis to others.
Spring 2012 course schedule
|17-Jan:19-Jan||Essential geographic concepts||1|
|24-Jan:26-Jan||Insolation, seasons and the atmosphere||2|
|31-Jan:2-Feb||Global energy balance and temperature||3|
|7-Feb:9-Feb||Air pressure, winds and ocean currents||4|
|14-Feb:16-Feb||Atmospheric water and weather||5|
|28-Feb:1-Mar||Climate and climate change||7|
|6-Mar:8-Mar||Earth materials and plate tectonics||8|
|13-Mar:15-Mar||Crustal structure, earthquakes and volcanoes||9|
|20-Mar:22-Mar||Weathering, karst and mass movement||10|
|3-Apr:5-Apr||River systems and landforms||11|
|10-Apr:12-Apr||Wind processes and desert landscapes||12|
|17-Apr:19-Apr||Oceans and coastal processes||13|
|26-Apr||Glaciation and glacial landscapes||14|
|1-May:3-May||Soil formation and distribution||15|
|8-May:10-May||Ecosystems and biomes||16|
|15-May:17-May||wrap-up and review||all|
|22-May||final exam, 1:00-2:50 PM||all|
Grades will be based on total scores for:
- daily clicker questions (90 points);
- three homework assignments (30 points);
- three midterm exams (75 points);
- three writing assignments (50 points);
- a comprehensive final exam (55 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 27-Apr-2012 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 and homework assignments, midterm exams, and daily clicker questions may be made-up if: (1) prior arrangements have been made with the instructor; and (2) they are completed within one week or before graded exercises are returned to the class (as appropriate). The final exam may not be made up.
Late assignment policy
Writing and homework assignments 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.
Students are encouraged to collaborate with one another as they work on their homework assignments and prepare for exams. I expect that a student will work independently, however, when he or she submits homework, takes exams, and writes his or her outlines and abstracts. If I find evidence that any students are not living up to this code of academic integrity (for example, because they submit identical or nearly identical writing assignments) I reserve the right to drop them from the class unless it is after the fourteenth week, in which case the students will receive F grades regardless of accumulated points.