GGH326 Resources and People

for SP 2011

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GGH 326 Resources and People


SP 2011 HO


Fox, David P.


Assistant Professor of Geography

Office Location

Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC), Room 004

Office Hours

M/W 12:00-2:30 pm; T/R 1:00-2:30 pm

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

Jan. 10 - May 6, 2011

Class Days


Class Time

8:45-10:00 am

Credit Hours



Author(s) Peter Rogers, Kazi Jalal, & John Boyd
Title An Introduction to Sustainable Development
ISBN 9781844075201
Edition 1st (2008)
Publisher Earthscan
Note: Some additional reading material will be assigned in class. Students will be able to aquire these free of charge through the electronic databases available through the McAfee Memorial Library website.  Also, students are strongly encouraged to seek out and bring additional reading material (newspaper/magazine articles, websites, etc.) to the attention of the class.  If appropriate, the instructor may require any of these additional reading sources.

Textbooks can be purchased through the Parkville Bookstore

Additional Resources:

See Webliography page in the course eCompanion website at for any website resources 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 addition, since this is an upper-division course, I intend for it to operate most often like a true seminar class--much like you will experience in graduate school.  Therefore, you will be expected to come to class every period having read the assigned material and 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, it 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.   
Also, it is critical for you to understand that this may not be the typical type of "geography" class you might be expecting (especially if this is your first geography course since high school!).  Rather than focusing simply on where resources are and how we get them to where we want them (which is all fine and good as basic level geographic knowledge about resources), instead we will pay greater attention to one of geography's most important core themes: "human-environment interaction" (or human/cultural ecology, if you prefer), which focuses on how we, as humans, depend on, adapt to, and modify the earth on which we live.  An important sub-theme of this course will also be "place-making," i.e., 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/create?"  Frankly, there is just no getting around these questions when it comes to discussing geographic perspectives on "resources and people."  And with this in mind, you should also be well aware that the concept of sustainability will be a major focus of discussion for this course...obviously since the title of our textbook is "An Introduction to Sustainable Development."  This is also an essential point to draw your attention to, since this course is one of the two core required courses for the Geography & Geology Program's Global Sustainability Minor.  Therefore, be aware that 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.
  5. Evaluate the concept of sustainability from a geographic perspective, and assess the types of resource use adjustments that need to be made to achieve "sustainable development."
Class Assessment:
Discussions:  You are always expected to participate in any class discussion activities.  On at least six unannounced occasions, you will be evaluated on the basis of your participation in these important learning activities.  Usually this will require making a written summary of your thoughts and reactions to the material being discussed.  Discussion 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: Some discussion activities may require use of the eCompanion website outside of the regular class period. 

Assignments: Three homework assignments will be given during the course of the semester and will be due on the dates indicated in the course schedule (below).  These assignments are primarily intended to reinforce student learning of one or more of the Core Learning Outcomes and to help you learn to apply the concepts being learned in class to "real world" scenarios.  For the third assignment, you will be required to research various aspects of the geography of a selected resource.  This assignment may also require you to make a presentation regarding what you learned to the class (which would best be done using Microsoft PowerPoint software).  Specific requirements and instructions for each assignment will be made available to students in the course eCompanion website and discussed in class approximately 2-3 weeks before it is due.  All assignments must be submitted as electronic Word documents in the appropriate basket in the course eCompanion website.

Exams:  Three exams (including the "Final Exam," which will serve as the course Core Assessment) will be given.  Each exam may consist of multiple choice, true/false, matching, short answer, map, or short essay questions.  Note: The Final Exam will include some questions that are comprehensive in nature.


Discussions (~6 @ ~2.5% each)


Assignments (2 @ 10% each & 1 at 15%)


Exams (2 @ 15% each)


Final Exam (Core Assessment) (1 @ 20%)


The course grade is determined by weighting the number of points earned for each assessment based on the above percentages.  Final grades will be based on the following percentage cutoffs:
100-90% = A
89-80% = B
79-70% = C
69-60% = D
59-0%= F

Late Submission of Course Materials:

All assessments (assignments, exams, etc.) are expected to be fully completed and submitted by the announced due date and time.  Any work completed and/or submitted after the announced deadline may not be accepted for grading.  The instructor reserves the right to determine whether or not late work will be accepted and how much of a grade reduction penalty is appropriate depending upon the rationale for the student's lateness and whether or not he/she appropriately notified the instructor in advance of the deadline (or as soon as reasonably possible in the event of an emergency/unforeseen circumstance) with any appropriate documentation that may be requested by the instructor for verification purposes.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:

Make class time your first priority.  Arrive on time and do not leave early unless you have an emergency situation.

Treat fellow students and the instructor with RESPECT.  Disruptive or disrespectful behavior toward another student or the instructor will not be tolerated.  (This includes holding off-topic conversations or using a computer for non-related course activity during class time.)  The offending student(s) will be asked to leave the classroom for the remainder of the period and will not be allowed to make up any assessments yet to be completed during the missed class time.  Repeated occurrences of such behavior will be grounds for further administrative action as allowed by the Park University student code of conduct. 

Contribute to an atmosphere conducive to learning.  Phones or other electronic devices must be either turned to the silent mode (vibrate only) or OFF in the classroom.  If you do receive notice of an emergency call (other than during an exam), quietly leave the classroom.  Talking on a phone during class is prohibited.  During an exam, ALL phones and electronic devices must be turned OFF and put completely away.  ANY use of such equipment during an exam will result in a ZERO for the assessment.

All students will be held accountable for any material presented or discussed in class 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 will not excuse the student from questions over that material on any assessment activity (quiz, exam, assignment, etc.).
You will be expected to use the eCompanion website for the course:  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 or using this technology.

You are expected to be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines in spite of any 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 OFTEN and in multiple locations for backup purposes. 
NEVER, NEVER, NEVER, plagiarize.  Always respect the university's policies on academic honesty and freedom.

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

*Tentative schedule: The Instructor reserves the right to amend this schedule based on the progress of the course and the needs of the students.

1 Jan. 10-14 Ch. 1: From Malthus to Sustainable Development
2 Jan. 17-21
Ch. 2: Challenges of Sustainable Development
3 Jan. 24-28 Ch. 3: Global Environmental Issues
4 Jan. 31-Feb. 4
Ch. 4: Sustainable Development Indicators
Assignment #1 due - Feb. 3
5 Feb. 7-11 Ch. 5: Environmental Assesment
6 Feb. 14-18 Review & Exam Exam #1 - Feb. 17
7 Feb. 21-25
Ch. 6: Environmental Management: Trends & Policies
8 Feb. 28-Mar. 4 Ch. 7: Legislation, International Law, and Multilateral Environmental Agreements
9 Mar. 7-11 No classes (SPRING BREAK)
10 Mar. 14-18 Ch. 8: Social Dimensions & Policies
11 Mar. 21-25 Ch. 9: The Economics of Sustainability Assignment #2 - Mar. 24
Mar. 28-Apr. 1
Ch. 10: Sustainability: Externalities, Valuation, and Time Externalities
13 Apr. 4-8 Review & Exam Exam #2 - Apr. 7
14 Apr. 11-15
Ch. 11: Natural Resource Accounting
15 Apr. 18-22 Ch. 12: The Role of International Financial Institutions
16 Apr. 25-29
Ch. 13: International Cooperation
Ch. 14: Sustainable Development: Crisis, Conflict, & Compromise
Assignment #3 due - Apr. 28
17 (Finals) May 5 Final Exam - Thursday, 8:30-10:00 am Final Exam (CA) - May 5

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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92
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. from Park University 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 92-93

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 2010-2011 Undergraduate Catalog Page 95-96

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:1/15/2011 9:09:10 AM