GGH326 Resources and People

for FA 2009

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GGH 326 Resources and People


FA 2009 HO


Fox, David P.


Assistant Professor of Geography


(Ph.D. student, Geography, University of Kansas)
M.A., Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia
B.A., Geography, University of Missouri-Columbia

Office Location

Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC) 004

Office Hours

M/W 9-10; T/R 10-11 & 1-3

Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

Aug. 17 - Dec. 11, 2009

Class Days


Class Time

1:30-2:45 pm

Credit Hours



Easton, Thomas A.  Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Environmental Issues (13th edition).  McGraw-Hill, 2009.
ISBN: 978-0-07-35144-1
Additional reading material will be assigned in class. Students will be able to aquire these through the electronic databases available through the McAfee Memorial Library website.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

See Webliography page in the course eCompanion website at for additional websites that may be posted throughout the semester.

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
Career Counseling - The Career Development Center (CDC) provides services for all stages of career development.  The mission of the CDC is to provide the career planning tools to ensure a lifetime of career success.
Park Helpdesk - If you have forgotten your OPEN ID or Password, or need assistance with your PirateMail account, please email or call 800-927-3024
Resources for Current Students - A great place to look for all kinds of information

Course Description:
This course is an in depth study of the interaction between physical systems and human activities, and their effects on the environment. Topics include: population growth, food, production, water supply, air pollution, and natural resource consumption. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

"Education must, then, be not only a transmission of culture but also a provider of alternative views of the world and a strengthener of the will to explore them."
 -- Jerome S. Bruner

"Education is the art of making [humans] ethical."
-- Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

The facilitator’s educational philosophy is one of interactiveness based on lectures, readings, quizzes, dialogues, examinations, internet, videos, web sites and writings. My goal is to create a positive, interactive, challenging, engaging, lively, and even (believe it or not) confusing classroom environment.  I believe that education is most effective when approached as a process during which the teacher and students share equally in contributing to the learning that takes place.  Rather than being the "sage on the stage" or a "fountain of wisdom" (neither of which I am), I will attempt to guide, encourage, and facilitate your learning.  In this sense, I intend for this course to be a true seminar class--much like you will experience in graduate school.  Therefore, you will be expected to come to class prepared to discuss, debate, reflect on, analyze, evaluate, and question the readings and other class material every bit as much as I am.  Failure to do so, frankly, is just simply not an option.
This course is all about the geographic theme of human-environment interaction.  Therefore, this course is designed to support the Geography Program's "Environment & Society" Program Competency, which states that our students will be able to:  Analyze how human actions modify the physical environment and how physical systems affect humans.   
Rather than focusing simply on where resources are and how we get them to where we want them, we will pay greater attention to how we, as humans, depend on, adapt to, and modify the earth on which we live.  An important sub-theme of this course is "Place-Making: How do we create the world(s) in which we live?" and, even more importantly, "What kind of world do we want to live in?"  The concept of sustainability will be a major topic of discussion.  We will examine these questions, and many other related ones, through the lense of geography.  Thus, it will most likely be necessary to first develop a much broader and deeper understanding of this often over-simplified discipline.  We will explore the highly interdisciplinary nature of this field and its numerous contributions and applications to helping us cope with and hopefully solve many of our world's most pressing environmental and resource issues.  

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. Describe and identify the natural resources most commonly used by humans.
  2. Analyze the methods that humans extract natural resources and their impact on the environment.
  3. Analyze the factors that control human activities and the limitations imposed by resources.
  4. Assess how resources are controlling future development and evaluate how it impacts the regional and global community.
Class Assessment:
Discussions/journals: Students should come to each class prepared to discuss the material assigned for the day. During approximately 5 periods over the course of the semester, students will be asked to write responses to specific discussion questions posed in class. Use of the eCompanion website outside of the regular class period may be required for these discussion responses.  Discussion/journal responses must be completed on the day given and may not be made up unless the student had arranged for an excused absence prior to the class session.  Note: All students will be allowed ONE opportunity to complete ONE "extra credit" assignment, which will count as the equivalent of a discussion/journal response.

Reaction Papers: Four, 2-3 page papers responding to selected topics from the Taking Sides textbook.
Exams: 3 exams consisting primarily of short answer and essay questions, although some objective types of questions (such as map identification) may be included.
Core Assessment: A 10-12 page research paper and presentation on a specific resource. Instructions will be provided in class and posted in the Doc Sharing page of the course eCompanion website.


Discussions/journals (5 @ 3% each)


Reaction Papers (4 @ 5% each)


Exams (3 @ 15% each)


Core Assessment/portfolio (1 @ 20%)


Final grades will be based on the following scale:
A = 100-90%
B = 89-80%
C = 79-70%
D = 69-60%
F = 59-0%

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments are expected to be completed and ready for submission at the beginning of the class period on the announced due date.  Assignments submitted at any time after the class period on the announced due date will be penalized 10% of the grade for each day they are late.  If you have arranged for or been granted an excused absence by the instructor for a class period during which an assignment is due, then you must submit the work by the alternate date arranged with the instructor.  Failure to do so may result in a 10% deduction per day after the alternate due date.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

The following rules of conduct always apply:

1) Demonstrate respect for yourself, your classmates, and your instructor.

2) Be honest with yourself and others.

3) Keep your sense of humor.

4) Participate in discussions and activities, and invite others to participate as well.

5) Respect the ideas and opinions of other, even when you do not agree.

6) Contribute to an atmosphere conducive to learning, including eliminating distractions such as electronic devices (such as cell phones, iPods, etc.--i.e., turn them OFF), and off-topic conversations with others. 
7) Arrive on time for class and do not leave early unless you have a valid excuse.
8) NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, plagiarize.
In addition:

- Class participation is considered an essential part of the learning process.  Part of your course grade specifically consists of your participation in class discussions and learning activities and you can only earn this credit if you are present (exceptions will only be made for those students who have properly submitted documentation for an excused absence).  Also, be aware that the instructor is required to submit attendance for each class period and that the Park University attendance policy will be strictly followed.  This policy states that any student who has two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences will be administratively withdrawn.   

- The instructor strives to create an informal and non-threatening classroom environment for class discussion.  Since this is an educational forum, the instructor expects each student to act accordingly.  Therefore, students will be expected to treat fellow students and the instructor with respect.  Disruptive or disrespectful behavior toward another student or the instructor will not be tolerated, and the offending student(s) will be asked to leave the classroom for the remainder of the period (which will affect the student's class participation score).  Repeated occurrences of such behavior will be grounds for further administrative action as allowed by the Park University student code of conduct. 

- All students will be held accountable for any material presented or discussed or through assigned readings.  It is the responsibility of the student to obtain all materials and information missed during a class session, regardless of whether or not the absence is excused by the instructor.  Failure on the part of the student to acquire missed information – for any reason (excused or unexcused absence, leaving class early, etc.) – will not excuse the student from questions over that material on any assessment activity (quiz, exam, portfolio assignment, etc.).
- Students will be expected to use the eCompanion website for the course available at  Some assignments/activities may be required to be completed online either during or outside of the regularly scheduled class time.  Students are expected to notify the instructor in advance of the due date of any questions or concerns accessing this website.

- Computers make writing and revising much easier and more productive.  However, students must recognize that technology can also be problematic.  Students are expected to be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of technological problems that may be encountered.  Therefore, computer problems will NOT automatically be considered grounds for having late work excused.  Be sure to save copies of your work to both a disk and your computer hard drive and print extra paper copies for backup purposes. 

- While students may use personal laptop computers for notetaking during class, they should NOT be used for surfing the internet, emailing, gaming, or any other activities that may distract the student or other students from learning the material being discussed.  Students who fail to adhere to this policy may be asked to no longer use their computers in class.

- All electronic devices (cell phones, laptop computers, etc.) must be turned OFF and put away during exam periods.  Students may not answer phone calls or text messages during an exam.  Any use of such devices during an exam may result in the student being given NO CREDIT (i.e., ZERO points) for the exam.  If you are anticipating an important message during an exam period, you should talk with the instructor in advance about scheduling another time for the exam.

- Repeated failure to adhere to any of these guidelines for classroom conduct may result in a deduction of one letter grade to the student's final grade for each occurrence after the instructor has discussed the issue with the student.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Aug 17-21
Geography and resources
Aug 24-28
Issue 13: Birthrates
Aug 31-Sept 4
Issue 14: Genetically-modified food
Reaction Paper #1
Sept 7-11
Issue 15: Organic farming
Sept 14-18
Issue 12: Nuclear power
Exam #1
Sept 21-25
Issue 19: Nuclear waste
Sept 28-Oct 2
Issue 9: Wind power
Reaction Paper #2
Oct 5-9
Issue 6: Pollution trading
Oct 12-16
No classes - FALL BREAK!
Oct 19-23
Issue 5: Environmental injustice
Reaction Paper #3
Oct 26-30
Issue 18: Superfund program
Exam #2
Nov 2-6
Issue 10: Car fuel efficiency
Nov 9-13
Issue 7: Oil drilling
Reaction Paper #4
Nov 16-20
Issue 11: Biofuels
Nov 23-27
Issue 3: Pricing ecosystems
Nov 30-Dec 4
Issue 1: Precautionary Principle; Issue 2: Sustainable development
Core Assessment due Nov 30
Dec 9
Final Exam (1:00-3:00 pm)
Exam #3

*Tentative schedule

Academic Honesty:
Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2008-2009 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87
Students will receive a ZERO (i.e., NO CREDIT) for any assignment that has violated the Academic Honesty and Plagiarism policies in any way. In addition, the student may be reported to the Dean for any additional disciplinary action that is deemed appropriate by the university.

Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

Attendance Policy:
Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

  1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
  2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
  3. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
  4. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
  5. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
  6. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

Park University 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95

Disability Guidelines:
Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: .


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Last Updated:8/17/2009 9:47:44 AM