GEOG 305 Physical Geography

The study of the geographic and functional interrelationships within the physical environment: Earth-sun relationships, weather, climate, soils, vegetation, drainage features, and landforms. The discipline draws on principles and processes of earth science, meteorology, climatology, geomorphology, and environmental systems.

For information regarding prerequisites for this course, please refer to the Academic Course Catalog.

Course Guide

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*The information contained in our Course Guides is provided as a sample. Specific course curriculum and requirements for each course are provided by individual instructors each semester. Students should not use Course Guides to find and complete assignments, class prerequisites, or order books.

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of the natural systems that shape our physical environment and the resultant spatial patterns discernible on Earth’s surface. The physical characteristics of the world are reviewed in present day and historical contexts. The student equipped with a geographic perspective will be better prepared to fulfill the Great Commission in their vocational pursuits.

Textbook readings and lecture presentations

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in the Course Overview.

Discussions (2)

Students will discuss course materials through a discussion focused on the material presented in the course. Students are required to post a thread in response to the provided topic. Each thread must be at least 300 words, and the assertions in the thread must be supported with the text and at least one (1) primary source, from .edu or .gov sources, research journal articles or books and must be related to the topic. Each student must also reply to at least two other classmates’ threads. Each reply must be at least 150 words.  (CLOs: A, B,C, D: CILs 1, 2, 4).

Quizzes (18)

There will be 18 quizzes that allow the student to demonstrate an understanding of the readings and other course material that accompany each module. The quizzes will be open-book/open-notes, and contain a variety of multiple-choice, true-false, matching, short answer, data interpretation,  and essay questions, and have a 90 minute time limit (CLOs: A, B,C, D: CIL 3). 

Physical Geography Research Project Assignments (2)

The Physical Geography Research Project is the capstone research project for this course. Students will submit a 1,500 to 2,000 word analysis of a topic of their choosing (approximately 6-8 pages, excluding coversheet and reference page(s)).  The assignment will be due during Module 7: Week 7.  (CLOs: A, B,C, D: CILs 1, 2, 4).

There is an interim assignment associated with this project as discussed below:

Topic, Thesis Statement, Geographic Factors & Research Questions

Students will submit a topic for their proposed research project utilizing materials from the course text or independent research. This assignment will frame the focus of the research in a topic and thesis statement. The thesis statement will be a short description of the topic and a thesis on the importance of physical geography based on preliminary research. The thesis statement is followed by a summary of applicable geographic factors as well as research questions the students will be exploring.   

Physical Geography Research Project

Students will complete a 1,500 to 2,000 word research project prepared in current APA format focused on a physical geography topic of their choice. The project must include at least eight (8) scholarly references, to include at least two (2) primary sources. At least two maps are to be included. The paper will include: an introduction; general description and background of the topic; the geographic setting; the impacts of geography on the outcome, problem, or issue; and a summary and conclusion. Students must follow APA formatting for title page, citations, maps, figures, and bibliography. Title/covers sheet and bibliography pages do not count toward your word count minimum.

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