GGP115 Physical Geography

for S1T 2013

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GGP 115 Physical Geography


S1T 2013 DLA


Faith, Karen S.


Bachelor of Science, Business Administration--University of Arizona
Master of Arts, Geography--Arizona State University

Office Location

Phoenix, AZ

Office Hours

9 am to 5 pm Arizona time


Semester Dates

January 14, 2013 to March 10, 2013

Class Days


Class Time


Credit Hours




Elemental Geosystems (7th Edition)
Robert W. Christopherson
Prentice Hall, 2013
ISBN-13: 978-0-13-269856-6
Lab Manual:
Physical Geography Laboratory Manual (10th Edition)
Darrel Hess
Prentice Hall, 2011
ISBN-13: 978-0-321-67836-2

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

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" 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- - 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, discussions, labs 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 for all 8 weeks and determines your participation grade. Weekly discussion posts will be graded for content, relevance and timeliness. The first post must be made by Thursday and at least two additional peer review posts must be made by Sunday at midnight CST. A complete grading rubric can be found in the ‘Grading Rubric’ page of the course website. Please note that the purpose of the peer review posts is to create a discussion (an exchange of ideas) of the topics presented. Your first post and subsequent posts should be multiple (more than one), complete sentences. A short posting similar to “I agree” or “me too” is not acceptable. Everyone’s input is valuable, so please take the time to tell us what you think about, or your experience with, the topics being discussed.

Lab Assignments: Multiple lab exercises are assigned each week through Week 7 that are designed to apply and extend the concepts being learned in the readings material of the course. All lab assignments are associated with lab exercises of the same title in the Physical Geography Laboratory Manual (by Darrel Hess)that is a required purchase for this course. Each lab is given as a short, quiz-style assignment with questions clearly associated with a point value. Direct, single answer questions receive full points or no points; short answer and essay questions may receive partial points.

Quizzes: Weekly quizzes during weeks 1-7 consist of 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 Thursday 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. Use of Google Earth, Microsoft Excel, and other Internet resources will be required to complete this project. See the Research Project instructions available in the course ‘Doc Sharing’ page for specific instructions and requirements. The grading breakdown is listed below, and a detailed grading rubric is available in the course ‘Doc Sharing’ page.

For Following Proper Format:
Title Page 2.5
Headings 2.5
Citations within slide text 10
Quality of Sources 5
Works Cited slide 5
Total for Following Instructions 25
Quality of Content
Place Overview 10
Atmosphere 10
Hydrosphere 10
Lithosphere 10
Biosphere 10
Human-Environment Interactions 20
Total for Quality of Content 70
Grammar & Organization
Writing Quality/Basic Grammar 15
Communication of Content 10
(Relevant terms and illustrations)
Total for Grammar & Organization 25

Total Points 120

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” for the course. For proctored examinations, photo identification is required. 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. A proctor request form will be made available to you during the first week of class. It is your responsibility to arrange for a proctor and to send your requested proctor to your instructor for approval by the 6th week of the term.



Week(s) Due

Grade (% value of each)

Total % Value Toward Final Grade


1 through 8



Lab Exercises

1 through 7

Weighted by point value



1 through 7



Research Project




Final Exam (Core Assessment)




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 not be accepted after their due date and students may not make up quizzes or exams missed because of unexcused absences. Excused absences may be allowed for medical and work emergencies, at the discretion of the instructor, with a 10% penalty per day. If you anticipate problems finishing any work on time, contact me to make arrangements prior to the due date. Since grades are due immediately after the end of term, work (including the Final Project) will not be accepted after the last day of the term, Sunday night, week 8. In other words, don’t procrastinate! If you leave your Final Project to the last minute and have technical issues, I will not accept a late submission.

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:




Week 1

1 – Essentials of Geography
2 – Solar Energy, Seasons, & the Atmosphere

Discussion, Lab Exercises, Quiz

Week 2

3 – Atmospheric Energy & Global Temperatures
4 – Atmospheric & Oceanic Circulations

Discussion, Lab Exercises, Quiz

Week 3

5 – Atmospheric Water & Weather
6 – Water Resources
7 – Climate Systems & Climate Change

Discussion, Lab Exercises, Quiz

Week 4

8 – The Dynamic Planet
9 – Tectonics, Earthquakes, & Volcanism
10 – Weathering, Karst Landscapes, & Mass Movement

Discussion, Lab Exercises, Quiz

Week 5

11 – River Systems & Landforms
12 – Oceans, Coastal Systems, & Wind Processes

Discussion, Lab Exercises, Quiz

Week 6

13 – Glacial & Periglacial Landscapes
14 – The Geography of Soils

Discussion, Lab Exercises, Quiz

Week 7

15 – Ecosystem Essentials
16 – Terrestrial Biomes
17 – Earth & the Human Denominator

Discussion, Lab Exercises, Quiz

Week 8

Review; Research Project due on Thursday; Complete Final Exam with an approved proctor by the end of the week.

Discussion, Research Project, 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

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

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:12/15/2012 12:28:09 PM