GGP115 Physical Geography

for S2T 2010

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GGP 115 Physical Geography


S2T 2010 DLA


Faith, Karen S.


Master of Arts--Geography
Bachelor of Science--Regional Planning and Development

Office Location

Phoenix, AZ

Office Hours

By appointment


Semester Dates

01/01/10 to 03/07/10

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours




Picture of Geosystems (7th ed.) textbook cover

Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography, 7th Edition 
Robert W. Christopherson, American River College

ISBN-10: 0136005985
ISBN-13: 9780136005988

Publisher: Prentice Hall
Copyright: 2009

(NOTE: While it is recommended to use the 7th Edition, a 5th or 6th Edition of this textbook could be used.)

(NOTE 2:  The Activity in week 4 asks you to use Excel if you do not have Microsoft's Excel you can download OpenOffice and use there program for spreadsheets.  Download it here at OpenOffice.)


Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

Use of the free version of Google Earth software is a required part of this course.  Students should go to and click on the "Download Google Earth 5" button.  Simply follow the instructions from there.  You do NOT need to install Google Chrome or any other items Google offers as a part of this download.  This should take just a few minutes to complete.

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
Advising - Park University would like to assist you in achieving your educational goals. Please contact your Campus Center for advising or enrollment adjustment information.
Online Classroom Technical Support - For technical assistance with the Online classroom, email or call the helpdesk at 866-301-PARK (7275). To see the technical requirements for Online courses, please visit the website, and click on the "Technical Requirements" link, and click on "BROWSER Test" to see if your system is ready.
FAQ's for Online Students - You might find the answer to your questions here.

Course Description:
GGP115 Physical Geography- MGE- Examination of the major physical elements that comprise the earths environmental surface on a global basis-water, landforms, climate, vegetation, and soil; their continuous interaction and relevance to mans occupancy of the earth on a global basis. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:
The facilitator's educational philosophy is to further the student learning process through individual attention focusing on the different abilities and learning styles of each learner.  An atmosphere of openness and acceptance of student's ideas and opinions is created in the classroom with attention to the writing and articulation of ideas through lectures, quizzes, dialogues and examinations.  The facilitator will engage each learner in lively exploration of ideas, issues and real-world examples and possibilities in geographic thought.

  Instructor Learning Outcomes

  1. 1.  Explain the basic processes of and interactions between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere.
  2. 2.  Evaluate geographic patterns of the earth's physical environment (soil, vegetation, climate, earthquakes, winds, etc.) that result from various processes.
  3. 3.  Assess the effects humans have on the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere.
  4. 4.  Solve problems or make predictions by analyzing the physical geography of a particular place.
Class Assessment:

Each week you will have regular learning activities:

ReadingsAssigned chapter(s) from the textbook. It should be noted that the textbook is the main source for materials. 

LecturesPresentations and supplemental websites. All Lectures are designed to enhance and clarify the information in the textbook.

Discussions - This is a weekly requirement and determines your participation grade. You must post at least 2 times during each week. The first posting must be completed by Wednesday and the second by Saturday. The posting should be related to the weekly topics and contain multiple sentences. Weekly discussions will be graded for content, relevance and timeliness.

Activities - Various learning activities given each week (up through week 7) designed to apply the concepts being learned and to assist you in preparing material for the Core Assessment. 

Quizzes - Complete the quizzes for weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. The weekly quizzes are meant to check your comprehension of the material covered that week based on the stated weekly objectives.  Although these are open book/notes, you will have a 45 minute time limit.  Each quiz can only be taken once. The format can consist of any of the following: multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, map, and short answer.

Core Assessment - Research project on the various elements of the physical geography of a selected location.  The location selected should be a place that you will be able to visit several times during the course of the semester.  The project consists of gathering information from various sources (including field observations)

Final Exam - This is a proctored exam (see below). You must start looking for a suitable proctor by week 2 and submit the proctor form by week 6.  Failure to take the final exam during week 8 with an approved proctor will result in an "F."  Your proctor form must be completed by week 6.  The exam is comprehensive and will be closed book/notes.  You will have a 2 hour time limit.  The format will consist primarily of short answer and essay questions, although a certain amount may be any of the following: multiple choice, matching, fill in the blank, and map. 

Proctored Final Exam Requirement:
•You must follow the Park University procedures for obtaining an approved proctor. Please refer to the Help and Resources page to review the requirements for locating a proctor and the procedure for completing a Proctor Request Form.
•For proctored examinations, photo identification is required at the time of the test.
•A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class so that you can send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval. It will be the responsibility of the student to arrange for a proctor, who is accepted and approved by the course instructor, by the 6th week of the term.
•Approval of proctors is at the discretion of the Online instructor.
•Failure to take a final proctored exam (or submit your final project for some online graduate courses) will result in an automatic "F" grade.













1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8





1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6





1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7




Core Assessment





Final Exam





                                                                                                               Total Points for Term: 1000 

Final Course Grading Scale:

A = 1000 - 900 points (100% - 90%) 
B = 899 - 800 points (89% - 80%) 
C = 799 - 700 points (79% - 70%) 
D = 699 - 600 points (69% - 60%) 
F = 599 - 0 points (59% - 0%) 

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Assignments will be accepted up to one week after their due date, but will be penalized 10% per day. Students may NOT make up quizzes or exams missed because of an unexcused absence. 

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
  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) Never, never plagiarize

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

Course Schedule - GGP115 Physical Geography

Week 1


1: Essentials of Geography

2: Solar Energy to Earth


 Introduction, Discussion, Activity, Quiz

Week 2


3: Earth's Modern Atmosphere

4: Atmosphere & Surface Energy Balance

5: Global Temperatures


 Discussion, Activity, Quiz
Week 3


6: Atmospheric & Oceanic Circulations

9: Water Resources

7: Water & Atmospheric Moisture


 Discussion, Activity, Quiz
Week 4


8: Weather

10: Global Climate Systems


 Discussion, Activity, Quiz

Week 5


11: The Dynamic Planet

12: Tectonics, Earthquakes, & Volcanism

13: Weathering, Karst Landscapes, & Mass Movement


 Discussion, Activity, Quiz
Week 6


14: River Systems & Landforms

15: Eolian Processes & Arid Landscapes

16: Coastal Processes & Landforms


 Discussion, Activity, Quiz
Week 7


17: Glacial & Periglacial Processes & Landforms

18: Geography of Soils

19: Ecosystem Essentials


 Discussion, Quiz, Core Assessment
Week 8


20: Terrestrial Biomes

21: Earth & the Human Denominator


 Discussion, Final Exam

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 2009-2010 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92

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.
ONLINE NOTE: An attendance report of "P" (present) will be recorded for students who have logged in to the Online classroom at least once during each week of the term. Recording of attendance is not equivalent to participation. Participation grades will be assigned by each instructor according to the criteria in the Grading Policy section of the syllabus.

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:2/26/2010 3:52:47 PM