GGP115 Physical Geography

for U1T 2012

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GGP 115 Physical Geography


U1T 2012 DLA


Faith, Karen S.


Adjunct Faculty Geography


Master of Arts, Geography--Arizona State University
Bachelor of Science, Regional Planning and Development--University of Arizona

Office Location

Phoenix, AZ


Semester Dates

June 4, 2012 to July 29, 2012

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours



Elemental Geosystems (7th edition) by Robert W. Christopherson.
Prentice Hall, 2010.
ISBN: 9780321595218

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 6" 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.

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Course Description:
GGP115 Physical Geography- MGE- Examination of the major physical element process, and patterns that comprise the earths four major spheres (atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere) and their continuous interaction and relevance to human occupancy of the earth on a global basis. Laboratory exercises will reinforce and extend course concepts. 3:3:4

Educational Philosophy:
The instructor'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, lab activities and examinations. The facilitator will engage each learner in lively exploration of ideas, issues and real-world examples and possibilities in geographic thought.

Class Assessment:

Discussions: This is a weekly requirement and determines your participation grade. You must post at least 3 times during each week to receive maximum credit. The first post must be made by Thursday and all additional posts by Sunday at midnight. Weekly discussions will be graded for content, relevance and timeliness as indicated in the “Weekly Discussions Grading Rubric,” which is available in the Grading Rubric page of the course website.

Lab Assignments: A variety of exercises assigned each week during weeks 1-7 that are designed to apply and extend the concepts being learned in the "lecture" material of the course. Use of Google Earth, Microsoft Excel, and other Internet resources will be required to complete these assignments.

Quizzes: Weekly quizzes during weeks 1-7 that consist of 20 multiple choice and/or true-false questions randomly selected from a set of questions designed to align with the weekly objectives. Although these are open book/notes, you will have a 50 minute time limit, and each quiz can only be taken once, so you should make sure that you have sufficiently read and studied the textbook and “lecture” presentations before you begin each quiz.

Research Project: This project involves the investigation of the various elements of the physical geography of a selected location. The location selection is entirely up to you. However, it should be a place that you will be able to personally visit at least once during the course of the semester in order to obtain certain data through “field work.” The project consists of gathering and compiling information from various sources, including field observations, and is due by Wednesday of week 8, no later than 11:59 PM (CST). Use of Microsoft PowerPoint is the preferred software for the final document that must contain all of your information. See the Research Project instructions available in the course Doc Sharing page for specific instructions and requirements.

Final Exam (Core Assessment) – 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 of 60 multiple choice and/or true-false questions randomly selected from the sets of questions used for the 7 weekly quizzes (thus, some of the questions may be the same, but many may not).

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, a photo identification is required. 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 the proctors is at the discretion of the Online Instructor. Failure to take a final proctored exam will result in an automatic "F" grade.


Grading Plan:

Discussions 1 through 8 2% 16%
Lab Assignments 1 through 7 4% 28%
Quizzes 1 through 7 4% 28%
Research Project 8 8% 8%
Final Exam (Core Assessment) 8 20% 20%

Final Course Grading Scale:

A = 100% - 90%
B = 89% - 80%
C = 79% - 70%
D = 69% - 60%
F = 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:

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:

1 1 - Essentials of Geography
2 – Solar Energy, Seasons, & the Atmosphere
Discussion, Lab Assignment, Quiz
2 3 – Atmospheric Energy & Global Temperatures
4 – Atmospheric & Oceanic Circulations
Discussion, Lab Assignment, Quiz
3 5 – Atmospheric Water & Weather
6 – Water Resources
7 – Climate Systems & Climate Change
Discussion, Lab Assignment, Quiz
4 8 – The Dynamic Planet
9 – Tectonics, Earthquakes, & Volcanism
10 – Weathering, Karst Landscapes, & Mass Movement

Discussion, Lab Assignment, Quiz

5 11 – River Systems & Landforms
12 – Wind Processes & Desert Landscapes
13 – The Oceans, Coastal Processes, & Landforms
Discussion, Lab Assignment, Quiz
6 14 – Glacial & Periglacial Landscapes
15 – The Geography of Soils
Discussion, Lab Assignment, Quiz
7 16 – Ecosystems & Biomes
17 – Earth & the Human Denominator
Discussion, Lab Assignment, Quiz
8 Research Project due by Wednesday; Review and complete Final Exam with an instructor-approved proctor Discussion, Research Project, Final Exam (Core Assessment)

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

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:5/18/2012 9:56:21 AM