Jun 24, 2024  

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GEO 111W - Physical Geography

Credits: 4
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.

Prerequisite(s): MATH LEVEL 2 and READING LEVEL 2 and WRITING LEVEL 2
Corequisite(s): None
Lecture Hours: 45 Lab Hours: 30
Meets MTA Requirement: Natural Science Lab
Pass/NoCredit: Yes

Outcomes and Objectives
  1. Demonstrate scientific literacy.
    1. Interpret information from written and visual documents, computer programs, physical models and experiments relevant to the field.
    2. Explain environmental processes orally and in writing.
    3. Describe the function of earth’s environmental systems.
    4. Explain interrelationships between environmental phenomena.
    5. Evaluate evidence regarding critical environmental issues.
    6. Discuss assumptions about human-environment interactions.
  2. Analyze tectonic landforms.
    1. Compare the characteristics and formation of the three major rock categories.
    2. Identify basic landforms associated with the three rock categories.
    3. Describe the rock cycle.
    4. Diagram the internal structure of the earth.
    5. Investigate spatial evidence for plate tectonics.
    6. Differentiate between the three plate boundary types and their resultant landforms.
    7. Evaluate the spatial distribution of earthquake and volcanic hazards.
  3. Apply concepts of landscape evolution.
    1. Discuss the dynamic equilibrium model as a mechanism for landscape change.
    2. Investigate how chemical and physical weathering processes shape earth’s surface and subsurface.
    3. Discuss mass wasting processes.
    4. Illustrate how fluvial systems shape the earth’s surface.
    5. Discuss the development and importance of groundwater and water resources.
    6. Summarize glacial processes and landforms.
    7. Explain coastal processes and landforms.
    8. Explain aeolian processes and landforms.
    9. Describe karst formation and landforms. .
  4. Explain the atmospheric dynamics that produce weather.
    1. Categorize atmospheric layers.
    2. Recognize the role of earth-sun relations in causing seasonal change.
    3. Identify heat transfer mechanisms.
    4. Describe processes that contribute to atmospheric circulation.
    5. Explain the role of water vapor in atmospheric processes.
    6. Describe the formation of storm systems and severe weather.
    7. Evaluate the spatial distribution of severe weather and atmospheric hazards.
  5. Appraise water resources.
    1. Diagram the hydrologic cycle.
    2. Examine water budget concepts.
    3. Investigate the spatial distribution of drought-prone regions.
    4. Assess human impact on groundwater resources.
  6. Recognize climate patterns.
    1. Describe the physical characteristics of soils.
    2. Analyze the distribution of climate, vegetation and soils across the earth’s surface.
    3. Relate climate, vegetation, and soils in forming climate zones.
    4. Classify climate zones.
    5. Recognize the distribution of climate zones across the earth’s surface.
    6. Outline earth’s climatological history and evaluate paleoclimatological methods.
  7. Demonstrate map interpretation skills.
    1. Use map symbols, legend, direction and scale to interpret maps.
    2. Use latitude and longitude to determine location.
    3. Calculate time differences throughout the world.
    4. Identify map projections and their various characteristics.
    5. Analyze landforms using contour lines.
    6. Analyze landforms using aerial imagery.
    7. Utilize computer mapping techniques.

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