GGH305 Geography of Russia

for S1T 2013

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GGH 305 Geography of Russia


S1T 2013 DL


Wright, Ann Lee


Adjunct Instructor


M.A., 1980, Geography, University of Missouri
M.Ed., School Administration, 2012, William Woods University

Office Location


Office Hours


Daytime Phone


Other Phone

816-763-4800, extension 203


Semester Dates

January 14, 2013-March 10, 2013

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:

Discussion Questions

Discussion questions are posted each week.  These correspond to the weekly readings that are either in the text or online. The textbook provides a good general overview of weekly topics while the on line readings are more specific in nature.  To earn full credit for the discussion, you must post twice each week.  One post should be a response to the question and in the other post you can reflect on another student's response or you can post something from the reading.

Weekly Quizzes:

There will be short quizzes on the material each week.  

Reading Questions:

Reading questions are taken from the weekly readings and are worth 10 points.  You only need to respond to the reading question.  It is not necessary to respond to another student's posts.

Research Paper:

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 and will serve as the core assessment. You must arrange with a testing center or proctor in order to take the final. You can find more information at



Discussion Questions


160 pts.

Weekly quizzes

10 pts 

80 pts.

Reading Assignment Questions

10 pts.

80 pts.

Research Paper

50 pts

50 total pts

Final Exam

95 pts

95total pts


465 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
-Chapters 1 and 9
-Discussion Questions
-Reading Question

-Lecture: Formation of Russia and the Russian people
-Reading: “Natasha’s dance” by Orlando Figes (this reading will be posted online)
-Discussion Questions
-Reading Question

Week 3:

-Lecture: Muscovy (the rise of Moscow)
-Reading:  Chapter 6 
“Russia, the once and future empire” by Phillip Longworth (this reading will be posted online)
-Discussion Question
--Reading Question


-Lecture: Tsarist Russia
-Lecture: The USSR
-Reading: Chapter 7
--Discussion Questions
--Reading Questions
-Quiz (there are two quizzes this week)

-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)
--Discussion Question
--Reading Questions

Week 6:
-Lecture: The Caspian Sea (and the environmental/resource problems facing Russia)
-Reading:  Chapters 2 and 4
“Essentials of World Regional Geography” Joseph Hobbs (this reading will be posted online)
--Discussion Question
--Reading Question


-Lecture: Divisions and peoples of Russia [There will not be lecture notes for this lesson]
-Reading: Chapters 22, 23, 24
Nation Making in Russia's Jewish Autonomous Oblast:  Initial Goals and Surprising Results--on line in Doc Sharing Tab
--Discussion Question
--Reading Question
Research Paper
-Research paper due


-Lecture: Ex-Soviet nations [There will not be lecture notes for this lesson]
-Reading: Chapters 29, 30, 1
-Discussion Question
--Reading Question 

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 95-96

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 95

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 98

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Last Updated:1/14/2013 7:14:35 PM