Geography 204

 

Physical Geography

 

Spring Semester, 2007

 

Tuesdays and Thursdays 10:00 – 11:50 a.m., Stevenson 3036

 

Instructor:   Frances Malamud-Roam.  Office:  3009A Stevenson;

email:  fmalamud@eps.berkeley.edu

Office Hours:  Tues/Thurs 1:00 – 2:00 and by appointment

 

This course satisfies GE Area B-3, and is also a required core course for the Geography major.

This is a GE class: The General Education (GE) Mission at Sonoma State University investigates the complexity of human experience in a diverse natural and social world, and promotes informed and ethical participation as citizens of the world. To help achieve this mission, Geog 204, Physical Geography will help students to reach the following fundamental Goals for all GE approved classes:

I. Help you to learn to think independently, ethically, critically and creatively

II. Help you to learn to communicate clearly to many audiences (e.g. participating in class discussions)

III. Help you to gain an understanding of connections between the past and the present, and to look to the future (particularly in the natural and human environment)

IV. Help you to learn to appreciate intellectual, scientific, and artistic accomplishment

V. Help you to build upon your reading, writing, research, and critical thinking skills (e.g. Do you believe everything you read in a newspaper or blog or hear on TV? Why or Why Not?)

Course Description

Welcome to Physical Geography 204!  This course covers the fundamental systems of the Earth system.  You will learn about the structure and composition of the Earth, its oceans, and the dynamics of the atmosphere and climate.  These systems are interrelated and we will explore how they interact with life on the planet. 

By the end of the course, you should also have a good basis for understanding  important environmental problems facing our planet today, including Global Warming, pollution, and loss of biodiversity.  However, this course won't be all about bad news!  You'll also learn about landforms and landscapes - how they are formed and what they look like. 

 

Course Text

We will use the textbook "Earth Science, 11 edition by E. Tarbuck and F. Lutgens.  This is available at the North Lights Bookstore.

I will post other material occasionally on the website for you to read and will indicate that to you in class.

 

Email: 

Feel free to contact me via email.  However, please consider some common email etiquette: 

*  Email is not a substitute for in-person discussions.  In some cases, it would probably be easiest and best to discuss issues directly.

*  Email should be considered carefully before being sent:  accidents can happen, so consider that anything you write could be viewed by others. 

*   Please use complete sentences and words in your emails (I'm of a generation that doesn't know all the short-hands of texting!)

*   I will respond to emails within 24 hours. 

 

Grading Policy

The course grade will be determined as follows:

  

  Class participation                                       10%

        Attendance

        Contribution to discussions

  Exercises                                                       25%

  Field Trip                                                          5%

  Midterm I                                                        15%

  Midterm II                                                       20%

  Final Exam                                                     25%


 

 

Tentative Schedule of topics and readings

 

Week Starting

TOPICS COVERED

READINGS

ASSIGNMENTS

1/30/07

Introduction; Earth system science

Ch. 1 (p 1-22)

 

2/1/07

Formation of the Planet; minerals

Ch. 1 (p 29-44)

Ch. 2 (p 30-40)

 

2/6/07

Rock Cycle, rock types

Ch. 3

 

2/8/07

Weathering, mass wasting

Ch. 4 (p. 83-90;

102-112)

Exercise 1 due

2/13/07

Sculpting the landscape:  Running water

Ch 5 (p. 114-132)

Exercise 2 on line  

2/15/07

Sculpting the landscape:  Glaciers

Ch. 6 (p. 153-168)

 

2/20/07

Internal processes: plate tectonics - history of a theory

Ch. 8

 

2/22/07

Plate interactions

Ch. 8

Exercise 2 due

2/27/07

Internal processes: Hazards - earthquakes, volcanoes

Ch. 7(p 187-204);

Ch. 9 (p. 251-63)

 

3/1/07

Midterm I

 

 

3/6/07

Earth energy budget; Greenhouse effect, seasons

Ch. 16 

 

3/8/07

Atmospheric  circulation

Ch 18 (p. 510-512)

 

3/13/07

Moisture in the atmosphere

Ch. 17

Exercise 3 due

3/15/07

Air pressure and winds

 Ch. 18

 

3/20/07

Air masses and Frontal interactions

Ch. 19

Exercise 4 due

3/22/07

Hurricanes, tornadoes

Ch. 19

 

3/27/07

Ocean currents, El Nino

Ch 15 (p. 402-409); Ch. 18 (p. 518-522)

 

3/29/07

Climate and climatic regions

Ch. 20

Exercise 5 due

4/3/07

Soils

Ch. 4, 90-100

 

4/5/07

Midterm II

ch. 6 (p. 90-100)

 

4/10 - 12/07

SPRING BREAK

 

 

4/17/07

Video

 

 

4/19/07

Video

 

 

4/23/07

Biogeography and ecosystems

Readings to be assigned

Exercise 6 due 

4/25/07

California ecosystems

Readings to be assigned

 

5/8/07

CLIMATE CHANGE I: past climates

Ch. 6 (p. 168-173); other readings to be assigned

 

5/10/07

CLIMATE CHANGE I: past climates

 

 

 

CLIMATE CHANGE II:  Global Warming

Ch 20 (p. 573-580); other readings to be assigned

 

5/15/07

Guest speaker on Climate Change and the Spread of Infectious Disease

 

 

5/17/07

Wrap up and Review

 

Exercise 7 due 

5/22/07

Final Exam

 

 

 

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