GGH326 Resources and People

for SP 2013

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GGH 326 Resources and People


SP 2013 HO


Fox, David P.


Assistant Professor of Geography


(PhD candidate [ABD] Geography, University of Kansas)
MA Geography, University of Missouri (2001)
BA Geography, University of Missouri (1993)

Office Location

Parkville Campus: Findlay-Wakefield Science Hall (SC), Room 004

Office Hours

M/W 12:00-1:30, T/R 9:00-11:30, or by appointment

Daytime Phone



Web Page

Semester Dates

January 14 - May 10, 2013

Class Days


Class Time

1:30 - 2:45 PM

Credit Hours



None required.  Assigned readings will consist of journal articles and other materials available for free on the internet.  Students are strongly encouraged to seek out and bring additional reading material (newspaper/magazine articles, websites, etc.) to bring the attention of the class.  If appropriate, the instructor may incorporate some of these additional readings into the course schedule.

Additional Resources:

See the Webliography page in the course eCompanion website at for any additional website resources that may be posted throughout the semester.
Some recommended books:
Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, edited by William Cronon (1996)
W.W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780393315110
Respect for Nature: A Theory of Environmental Ethics (25th Anniversary edition), edited by Paul Taylor (2011)
Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9780691150246
Red Alert: How China's Growing Prosperity Threatens the American Way of Life, by Stephen Leeb with Gregory Dorsey (2011)
Business Plus
ISBN: 9780446576239
Global Biopiracy: Patents, Plants, and Indigenous Knowledge, by Ikechi Mgbeoji (2006)
Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801473111
Red Alert!: Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge, by Daniel R. Wildcat (2009)
Fulcrum Publishing
ISBN: 9781555916374

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:
GGH326: 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

My educational philosophy is to encourage student engagement through the use of a variety of learning opportunities, including (but not limited to): assigned readings, lectures, discussions, internet resources, videos, writings, student presentations, group activities, field work, mapping activities, Socratic seminars, instant/interactive response systems, homework assignments, unannounced quizzes, and scheduled examinations.  My goal is to create a positive, interactive, challenging, engaging, lively, and even potentially confusing (believe it or not) classroom environment, but my success in doing so is largely dependent upon you.  Your willingness to engage in all learning opportunities, think critically, ask questions, and share your knowledge and perspectives is ultimately what will make this a successful and meaningful course.
Students should be aware that this course is one of the two core required courses for the Geography 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.  his 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. 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. 
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.   

  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:

Discussion/Learning Activities
:  You are always expected to attend and actively participate in every class session by asking questions, contributing personal experiences or observations, etc.  During most class sessions, a variety of unannounced discussions and learning activities (e.g., discussions will be done IN-CLASS.  Usually these will involve the use of clicker devices (provided by the instructor), but they may also require the use of an internet-based response system (available for laptops and mobile devices) or written responses.  In addition, a few of these activities may require students to complete some work in the course eCompanion website ( outside of the scheduled class period.  These activities must be completed on the day they given and may not be made up unless you have provided appropriate documentation for an excused absence for the class session (such as participation in an approved university event).  Each student will be allowed only ONE make-up opportunity for a missed discussion activity. 

Book Review:  You will be expected to write a book review (at least 1000 words) for a book of your choosing.  The review must consist primarily of your own personal thoughts and reactions to the book material, and an examination of how it helps us understand aspects of the geography of resources and people.  Therefore, these should be written as evaluations of the books, not summaries of their content.  Focus on what you think is good/bad about each book, especially as it pertains to helping advance a critical perspective related to the course's Core Learning Outcomes.  Additional instructions and requirements will be made available in the course eCompanion website.

Exams:  Two exams (a "mid-term" and a "final") will be given.  Each exam will consist primarily of short answer and essay questions, however they may also contain some multiple choice, true/false, matching, or map questions.
Research Project (Core Assessment):  You will be expected to complete a research project on a specific resource.  Your results must be compiled in a PowerPoint document and you will be expected to present your project in class during the final week of the semester.  Instructions will be provided in class and posted in the Doc Sharing page of the course eCompanion website (


Discussion/Learning Activities


Book Review


Exams (2 @ 20% each)


Research Project [Core Assessment]


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
89.9-80% = B
79.9-70% = C
69.9-60% = D
59.9-0%= 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. Typically a 10-20% grade reduction penalty may be assessed for late work that is submitted within 1-2 weeks of the announced deadline, and only half credit (i.e., a 50% grade reduction penalty) will be allowed for any assignments over 2 weeks late.

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:

A complete course schedule will be posted in the course eCompanion website:  Key dates include:
Week 8 - Midterm Exam
Week 12 - Book Review due
Week 16 - Core Assessment presentations
Week 17 (Wed., May 8, 1:00-3:00 pm) - 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 95-96
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 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.

Park University 2011-2012 Undergraduate Catalog Page 98

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: .

Additional Information:


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Last Updated:1/14/2013 7:51:55 PM