Jan 16, 2022  
2017-2018 Course Catalog 
2017-2018 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOG 1021 - Physical Geography

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture 3Lab None
Course Description: Students are introduced to the physical and environmental systems of the Earth, the dynamic processes that shape and characterize our planet, and to the geography of the natural world. Hands-on activities are used throughout the course to help students learn and apply concepts. Processes of and scientific terminology related to the Earth’s atmosphere (weather and climate), hydrosphere (water on Earth), biosphere (geography of ecological systems), and lithosphere (materials and processes of the Earth’s crust) are studied. This course also examines the powerful influences people and the environment have upon each other (e.g. storms and other natural disasters; human modification of the Earth).
MnTC Goals
3 Natural Science, 10 People/Environment

Prerequisite(s): Assessment score placement in RDNG 1000  or completion of RDNG 0900  or RDNG 0950  with a grade of C or higher.
Corequisite(s): None
Recommendation: None

Major Content
  1. Cartography and geographic tools Human organization of the Earth Graticule and time zones Introduction to cartography Tools and applications of technical geography GPS, Remote Sensing, GIS Class lab exercise: Organizing Space and Cartographic Basics
  2. Gradational Processes and landforms Weathering and mass movement Karst landscapes and caves Fluvial systems Glaciation Deserts and winds Marine and coastal processes Human adaptation and action Class lab exercises: Weathering and Sedimentary Rocks, Living in Hazardous Zones
  3. Introduction to physical geography and Earth systems Geography as a science and the scientific method Earths movements and planetary features Introduction to earth systems and ecology Class lab exercise: earth movements and seasons
  4. Study and classification of Earth’s climates, Biomes, and soils Relationship between biomes and climate regions Human adaptation, exotic species Class lab exercises: Koppen Climate System, Soils
  5. Study of the atmosphere Solar energy and the Earth Temperature and heating Global Warming Atmospheric and oceanic circulation Water in the atmosphere Air masses and fronts Storms and weather Human adaptation and action Class lab exercises: Energy and the Earth, Humidity and Condensation, Pressure and Winds, Fronts
  6. Study of the hydrosphere Introduction to oceanic systems El Nino events, impacts, forecasting Class lab exercise: Ocean Currents and El Nino
  7. Study of the lithosphere Geomorphological processes and landscapes Earths interior, structure, and constituent materials Plate Tectonics, volcanoes, and earthquakes Human adaptation and action Geologic Time Class lab exercises: Plate Tectonics Theory Development, Relative Dating

Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course students will be able to:

  1. inter-relate characteristics and patterns of the physical earth with the processes and systems governing them
  2. describe, using scientific vocabulary and constructs, characteristics and geography of the physical earth
  3. use geographic perspectives to demonstrate how the physical environment and processes thereof influence human activities and occupation of the Earth
  4. demonstrate an understanding of the earth in which we live as a dynamic, inter-dependent global system comprised of inter-connected sub-systems
  5. use geographic perspectives (e.g. spatial, earth and ecological science, people-environment) and scientific methodologies (e.g. data organization, analysis, and summarization) to illustrate theories and perspectives related to human alteration of environmental systems

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