E. Aguado Office: Storm Hall 305A Geography 101

E. Aguado
Geography 101
Earth’s Physical Environment
Spring 2015
Office: Storm Hall 305A
Phone: 594-5930
Email: [email protected]
Office Hrs: MWF 1300-1350
and by appointment
Course Description and Outline
Physical geography is the study of the processes that affect Earth’s system, and the
resultant landform, biological, and atmospheric patterns across the planetary surface.
Instead of being concerned with the memorization of the location of the continents,
mountains and rivers, it analyzes the causes for the spatial distribution of the planet’s
features and their interrelationships.
There will be two midterms and a non-comprehensive final exam (covering only the
material not tested on the two midterms). The two midterms each account for 30% of the
class grade; the final 40%. Examinations are based on course lectures; topics that are in
the book but not talked about in lecture will not be on the exams unless otherwise noted
in class. The exams will consist of essays, problems, multiple choice and short answer
questions. The students’ final grades will be determined by the total number of points
received for the three exams. There will be no homework or extra credit assignments.
Make-up exams will only be allowed for special circumstances and should be arranged
before the regular exam is given.
Exam 1: Friday, February 20
Exam 2: Friday, March 27 (this is the day before spring break)
Final Exam: Monday, May 11, 10:30 a.m. (this will not be a 2-hr exam)
The required textbook for the class is McKnight’s Physical Geography, California Edition
(3rd), in paperback by Hess. The same content is in the McKnight’s Physical Geography,
11th edition, in hardback at a somewhat higher cost. New editions of either text provide an
access code for obtaining electronic tutorials and other on-line resources through Pearson
Education’s MasteringGeography program. Students can also purchase access to an ebook
version at www.masteringgeography.com. To do this go to Register and click on
Student. Then take the option to buy access to the resources and finally chose the
option of purchasing the ebook itself. The numbers in the following outline indicate the
chapters that should be read.
Class Attendance
The instructor will not take role in this class, but it is expected that students will show up
for all lectures. Much material discussed in class is not in the textbook.
The instructor takes great exception to students who routinely come to class late. If you
must arrive late on a particular day, please close the door quietly behind you (do not let it
slam shut). Don’t even think about texting, checking email or web surfing during
class. The class is only 50 minutes long; your online world will still be there when class
is over.
Students with Disabilities
If you are a student with a disability and believe you will need accommodations for this
class, it is your responsibility to contact Student Disability Services at (619) 594-6473. To
avoid any delay in the receipt of your accommodations, you should contact Student
Disability Services as soon as possible. Please note that accommodations are not
retroactive, and that accommodations based upon disability cannot be provided until you
have presented your instructor with an accommodation letter from Student Disability
Services. Your cooperation is appreciated.
I. The Basics (Chapter 1)
A. Overview of Physical Geography
B. Environmental Spheres
C. The Solar System
D. Size and Shape of Earth
E. Geographic Grid
F. Earth – Sun Relationships
G. Seasons
G. Time and Longitude
II. Introduction to the Atmosphere (Chapter 3)
A. Composition and Structure
B. Human Induced Climate Change
C. Weather and Climate
III. Solar Energy and Temperature (Chapter 4)
A. Energy, Heat and Temperature
B. Heating the Atmosphere
C. Spatial and Seasonal Variations
D. Land and Water Contrasts
E. Horizontal Movements of Energy
F. Vertical Temperature Patterns
H Global Temperature Distributions
I. Warming of the Atmosphere
IV. Atmospheric Pressure and Wind (Chapter 5)
A. Nature of Pressure
B. Nature of Wind
C. Cyclones and Anticyclones
D. General Circulation of the Atmosphere
E. Seasonal Variations and Monsoons
F. Local Wind Systems
G. El Niño-Southern Oscillation
V. Atmospheric Moisture (Chapter 6)
A. Water Vapor and the Hydrologic Cycle
B. Evaporation and Condensation
C. Measures of Humidity
D. Condensation
E. Adiabatic Lapse Rates
D. Clouds, Fog, and Dew
E. Atmospheric Stability
F. Precipitation
G. Lifting Processes
E. Global Distribution of Precipitation
VI. Atmospheric Disturbances (Chapter 7)
A. Air Masses
B. Fronts
C. Midlatitude Cyclones
D. Tropical Cyclones
E. Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
VII. Climate (Chapter 8)
A. Classification Schemes
B. World Distribution of Climate Types
C. Climate Change
VIII. Hydrosphere (Chapter 9)
A. Hydrologic Cycle
B. Oceans
C. Tides and Currents
D. Cryosphere
E. Surface and Underground Water
IX. Soils (pp. 345-361)
A. Soil and Regolith
B. Soil Forming Factors
C. Components
D. Properties
E. Chemistry
F. Profiles
G. Pedogenic Regimes
X. Landforms (Chapter 13)
A. Earth’s Interior
B. Composition of Earth's Crust
C. Important Concepts
XI. Internal Processes (Chapter 14)
A. Plate Tectonics
B. Vulcanism
C. Folding and Faulting
D. Earthquakes
XII. Erosion, Weathering, and Mass Wasting (Chapter 15)
A. Overview
B. Weathering
C. Weathering Agents
D. Mass Wasting
XIII. Fluvial Processes (Chapter 16)
A. Basic Concepts
C. Horton Overland Flow Model
D. River Transport of Water
E. Sediment Transport
F. Erosional and Depositional Features
G. Channel Patterns
XIV. Karst Topography
XV. Arid Lands (Chapter 18)
A. Fluvial Processes
B. Aeolian (Wind) Processes and Landscape Features
C. Desert Composition Types
XVI. Glacial Processes and Landforms (Chapter 19)
A. Glaciations Past and Present
B. Types of Glaciers
C. How Glaciers Form
D. Continental Ice Sheets
E. Alpine Glaciers
XVII. Coastal Processes and Landforms (Chapter 20)
A. Waves
B. Depositional Landforms
C. Emerging and Submerging Coastlines
D. Coral Reefs