Academic Catalog

GEOG 1: PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY

Foothill College Course Outline of Record

Foothill College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Units: 5
Hours: 4 lecture, 3 laboratory per week (84 total per quarter)
Advisory: Demonstrated proficiency in English by placement via multiple measures OR through an equivalent placement process OR completion of ESLL 125 & ESLL 249; MATH 180.
Degree & Credit Status: Degree-Applicable Credit Course
Foothill GE: Area III: Natural Sciences
Transferable: CSU/UC
Grade Type: Letter Grade (Request for Pass/No Pass)
Repeatability: Not Repeatable

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Use maps, graphs and/or Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to analyze and interpret data and draw valid conclusions
  • Explain the causes of seasons
  • Analyze the factors that contribute to global climate patterns.
  • Discuss the formation of major landforms.
  • Discuss how the Greenhouse Effect works. Explain the difference between the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming.
  • Discuss the hydrologic cycle and it's major components.
  • Analyze patterns and consequences of human environment interaction.

Description

Study of the Earth's surface, including the earth's dimensions and systems; atmospheric processes; patterns of climate, vegetation and soils; and features, processes and interactions of land, water and various energy sources. Use of maps for interpretation.

Course Objectives

The student will be able to:
A. Use maps, graphs and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to interpret data.
B. Explain the causes of season, climate patterns, and major landforms.
C. Describe the function and composition of the atmosphere, and how it affects our daily lives.
D. Discuss the hydrologic cycle, and the distribution and allocation of water resources for humans.
E. Describe the structure of the solid earth and relate it to such phenomena as earthquakes, mountain ranges and volcanoes.
F. Discuss the potentials and limitations of scientific innovations to mitigate natural hazards.
G. Evaluate the effects of the atmosphere and the hydrosphere on the lithosphere.
H. Assess activities through which humans have modified the environment.
I. Relate climate patterns and soils to the Earth's ecosystems.

Course Content

A. Use maps, graphs and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to interpret data.
1. The field of physical geography.
a. The Earth in space; seasons.
b. The scientific method.
2. The physical Earth.
a. Instrumentation and methods used to study the Earth.
b. Remote sensing.
c. GIS.
d. Analysis and interpretation of maps.
e. Analysis and interpretation of graphs and data animations.
3. The atmosphere: weather and climate.
a. Isolation and the electromagnetic spectrum.
b. Surface temperature.
c. Atmospheric pressure and wind.
d. Air masses.
e. Classifications of climate.
4. The lithosphere.
a. Plate tectonics.
b. Volcanism, earthquakes, orogenesis.
c. Weathering: atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere interaction.
5. The hydrosphere.
a. Distribution of water on earth.
b. The water cycle.
c. Water resources: distribution and allocation.
6. The biosphere.
a. Soil formation and classifications.
b. Ecosystems and biomes.
c. Range and distribution of plant and animal species on earth.
B. Explain the causes of seasons, climate patterns, and major landforms.
1. The atmosphere: weather and climate.
a. Isolation and the electromagnetic spectrum.
b. Surface temperature.
c. Atmospheric pressure and wind.
d. Air masses.
e. Classifications of climate.
2. The lithosphere.
a. Plate tectonics.
b. Volcanism, earthquakes, orogenesis.
c. Weathering: atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere interaction.
3. The hydrosphere.
a. Distribution of water on earth.
b. The water cycle.
c. Fresh water resources: distribution and allocation.
C. Describe the function and composition of the atmosphere, and how it affects our daily lives.
1. Isolation and the electromagnetic spectrum.
2. Surface temperature.
3. Atmospheric pressure and wind.
4. Air masses.
5. Violent weather: hurricanes, tornadoes, and thunderstorms.
D. Discuss the hydrologic cycle, and evaluate the distribution and allocation of water resources for humans.
1. Distribution of water on earth.
2. The water cycle.
3. Fresh water resources: distribution and allocation locally and globally.
E. Describe the structure of the solid earth and relate it to such phenomena as earthquakes, mountain ranges and volcanoes.
1. Plate tectonics.
2. Volcanism, earthquakes, orogenesis.
3. Weathering: atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere interaction.
F. Discuss the potentials and limitations of scientific innovations to mitigate natural hazards.
1. Cyclones and tornadoes.
a. Satellite monitoring and prediction.
b. Radar monitoring and prediction.
2. Earthquakes and volcanoes.
a. The uses of seismic monitoring.
b. GPS and remote sensing monitoring.
c. Mitigation and zoning.
3. Tsunamis: early warning networks.
G. Evaluate the effects of the atmosphere and the hydrosphere on the lithosphere.
1. Weathering: atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere interaction.
2. Physical and chemical weathering.
3. Eolian environments.
4. Glacial weathering and landforms.
5. The coastal environment.
6. Soil formation and classifications.
7. Fluvial processes.
H. Assess the activities by which humans have modified the environment.
1. Fresh water resources: distribution and allocation.
2. Ecosystems and biomes.
3. Human effects on the atmosphere:
a. Ozone depletion.
b. Climate change.
c. Acid rain.
4. Modification and destruction of natural ecosystems.
I. Relate climate patterns and soils to the Earth's ecosystems.
1. Use the scientific method to predict green-up and senescence patterns based on climate and seasonal insolation patterns.
2. Interpret graphs of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) for given biomes and relate them to graphs of insolation, temperature and rainfall.
3. Relate soils to vegetation vigor through interpretation of maps and remotely sensed images.

Lab Content

A. The scientific method
1. Hypothesis
2. Theory
3. Law
B. Use of data collection tools
1. Accuracy
2. Precision
3. Error
C. Use tools, data collection techniques, models and theories of science most prevalent in relevant research laboratories, such as:
1. GIS (Geographic Information Systems)
2. Remote sensing
3. GPS (Global Positioning Systems)
3. Paper maps
4. Thermometers
5. Hygrometers
6. Anemometers
7. Seismographs
D. Collection of data
E. Analysis and interpretation of data collected by students
F. Analysis and interpretation of large datasets drawn from the material world
G. Formulation and testing of hypothesis
H. Written laboratory reports which interpret results and draw reasonable conclusions
I. A minimum of one collaborative activity in which students must work effectively in small groups and teams

Special Facilities and/or Equipment

A. For laboratory activities, students will need computers with internet access.
B. When taught as an online distance learning section, students and faculty need ongoing and continuous internet and email access.

Method(s) of Evaluation

A. One comprehensive final exam.
B. One or more additional exam(s) or assessments.
C. Laboratory projects covering areas 4A-4I of expanded description of course content. Projects must include data analysis, interpretation and hypothesis formulation.

Method(s) of Instruction

A. Lecture
B. Discussion
C. Cooperative learning exercises
D. Electronic discussions/chat
E. Laboratory

Representative Text(s) and Other Materials

Christopherson, Robert. Geosystems: A Physical Geography. 10th ed. New York: MacMillian, 2018.

Hess, Darrel. McKnight's Physical Geography A Landscape Appreciation. 12th ed. Hoboken, NJ: Pearson, 2017.

Goode, John Paul, et al., eds. Goodes World Atlas. 23nd ed. Skokie, IL: Rand McNally, 2017.

 

Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing, and Outside of Class Assignments

A. Weekly reading assignments from the textbook and objective quizzes

B. Comprehensive midterm and final examinations

C. Written laboratory reports involving hypothesis formation, interpretation and analysis of data

D. Laboratory projects that involve individual data collection using tools relevant to the discipline.

E. Written assessments that determine student's mastery of course learning outcomes (SLOs)

 

Discipline(s)

Geography