GGH305 Geography of Russia

for U1T 2012

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GGH 305 Geography of Russia


U1T 2012 DL


Wright, Ann Lee


Adjunct Instructor


M.A., Geography, University of Missouri

Office Location


Office Hours


Daytime Phone



Semester Dates

March 19, 2012 to May 13, 2012

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours


Geography of Russia and Its Neighbors.  Guilford Press, 2010  978-1-60623-920-9

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Course Description:
GGH305 Geography of Russia: This comprehensive course will study the physical and cultural geography of the regions of Russia and the former Soviet Union (Near Abroad). Topics will include: economic problems, environmental problems, population dynamics, and current political geographical issues involving Russia and its neighbors. 3:0:3

Educational Philosophy:

The facilitator's educational philosophy is one that stresses interaction between teacher, student, and course materials.  Materials that will assist this interaction include lectures, readings, quizzes, discussion threads, examinations, internet sites, videos, and class assignments.  The facilitator will engage each student to think creatively about the ideas, issues, and content of regional geography.  Questions are welcomed and it is only through a willingness to share that we can all learn more about the world in which we live and the relationship of the environment to its people.

Class Assessment:

I will post a couple of discussion questions for every week. Note that many of these are not made to produce a specific answer, so there is no right or wrong answers per say. In many cases, I just want you to exercise some critical thinking on some of the issues presented in the questions. There are two requirements regarding discussion questions that I want you to keep in mind. 1, In addition to answering all the questions, I want to respond to at least one answer that some one else has posted. You may agree, add on to their argument or offer a rebuttal. 2, Anytime you write on the discussion board (whether it be responding or answering a question) keep it civil and professional! If I have to remind you about inappropriate or discourteous comments, it means you have lost points!

Weekly Quizzes:

There will be short quizzes on the material each week.

Reading Assignments:

There will be a short quiz or discussion question relevant to the weekly readings. Be sure to check the schedule so you know what the readings are. Note that some of the readings will be posted online instead of from the textbook. These will be available under course documents as well as under the weekly assignment tabs.

Research Paper:

The Final exam will be cumulative, and will serve as the Core Assessment for this course.  There will be a research assignment (minimum of 4 pages). You will have until the end of week 7 to complete it and send it to me. I will post full instructions and details about the research paper on the class site.

Final Exam: The Final exam will be cumulative. You must arrange with a testing center or proctor in order to take the final. Make sure you arrange this and get it approved by me AS


Discussion questions

5 pts each

40 total pts

lecture quizzes

10 pts each

90 total pts

Reading questions

5 pts each

40 total pts

Research Paper

40 pts

40 total pts

Final Exam

60 pts

60 total pts


270 pts

Late Submission of Course Materials:
Late work may be submitted after discussion with the instructor.  There is no late work accepted for the final.

Classroom Rules of Conduct:
Polite and respectful behavior is expected at all times. 

Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

-Lecture: Basics of Geography and overview of Russia
-Reading: Pgs 19- 29 and Pgs 33 (start at “Development of a market economy”) to 37 (stop at Putin and the environment)
-Quiz #1
-Lecture: Formation of Russia and the Russian people
-Reading: “Natasha’s dance” by Orlando Figes (this reading will be posted online)
-Quiz # 2


-Lecture: Muscovy (the rise of Moscow)
-Reading: “Russia, the once and future empire” by Phillip Longworth (this reading will be posted online)
-Quiz # 3


-Lecture: Tsarist Russia
-Lecture: The USSR
-Reading: Pgs 9-18 (stop at “The Commonwealth of Independent States and Gorbachev’s resignation”)
-Quiz #4
-Quiz #5
-Lecture: The Russian Federation
-Lecture: Human Trafficking
-Reading; 6 articles (more details will be posted under week 5 reading assignments; these will be posted online)
Article 1 (pg 207)

Week 6:

-Lecture: The Caspian Sea (and the environmental/resource problems facing Russia)
-Quiz #7
-Reading; “Essentials of World Regional Geography” Joseph Hobbes (this reading will be posted online)
Article 3 (pg 214) and Article 5 (pg 220)


-Lecture: Divisions and peoples of Russia [There will not be lecture notes for this lesson]
-Reading: pg 47 (start at “Russia and the Baltic Republics since 1992”) to 64 (stop at “Russia and the Central Asian Republics”)
-Research paper due


-Lecture: Ex-Soviet nations [There will not be lecture notes for this lesson]
-Reading: Pg 64 (start at “Russia and the Central Asian Republics”) to 75 (stop at “Russia and Central Europe”)
-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 students and faculty members are encouraged to take advantage of the University resources available for learning about academic honesty ( or Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 93

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 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 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.
ONLINE NOTE: Students must participate in an academically related activity on a weekly basis in order to be marked present in an online class. Examples of academically-related activities include but are not limited to: contributing to an online discussion, completing a quiz or exam, completing an assignment, initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course related question, or using any of the learning management system tools.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 96

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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:5/28/2012 7:13:53 AM