Feb 25, 2024  
2019-2020 Course Catalog 
2019-2020 Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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GEOG 1021 - Physical Geography

Credits: 3
Hours/Week: Lecture 3 Lab 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): Course placement into college-level English and Reading OR completion of ENGL 0950  with a grade of C or higher OR completion of RDNG 0940  with a grade of C or higher and qualifying English Placement Exam OR completion of RDNG 0950  with a grade of C or higher and ENGL 0090  with a grade of C or higher OR completion of ESOL 0051  with a grade of C or higher and ESOL 0052  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

Competency 1 (1-6)
03. 01. Demonstrate understanding of scientific theories.

03. 02. Formulate and test hypotheses by performing laboratory, simulation, or field experiments in at least two of the natural science disciplines. One of these experimental components should develop, in greater depth, students’ laboratory experience in the collection of data, its statistical and graphical analysis, and an appreciation of its sources of error and uncertainty.

03. 03. Communicate their experimental findings, analyses, and interpretations both orally and in writing.
Competency 2 (7-10)
10. 01. Explain the basic structure and function of various natural ecosystems and of human adaptive strategies within those systems.

10. 04. Evaluate critically environmental and natural resource issues in light of understandings about interrelationships, ecosystems, and institutions.

10. 05. Propose and assess alternative solutions to environmental problems.

10. 06. Articulate and defend the actions they would take on various environmental issues.

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