Daniel Gavin (email@example.com)
Office: 110 Condon Hall; Phone: 346-5787
Office Hours: Mondays 9:30 to 11, in 110 Condon, or by appointment.
GTFs & weekly lab sections (all in 206 Condon)
Ollie Gaskell (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Tuesdays 9, 10 ,and 11
Geoffrey Johnson (email@example.com)
Office Hours: Thursday 12:00-2:00 in 246 Columbia
Thursdays 9, 10 and 11
Schyler Reis (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Office Hours: Mondays 11:00-12:00 in 217 Pacific
Wednesday 9, Friday 10 and 11
Office Hours: Mondays 10:00-11:00 in 247 Columbia
Wednesday: 2:00 – 3:20 in 177 Lawrence.
- Physical Geography, 5th Edition by Mason, Burt, Muller, and de Blij. Available in the UO Bookstore. Also available to rent or own as an eBook through RedShelf.
- iClicker2 remote. Do NOT purchase i>clicker REEF polling for your phone...you will need the physical device. You will likely need one for other classes at some point at UO.
- Google Earth desktop application, version 6 or higher. It will be difficult to use Google Earth on iPads or phones...please plan on using Google Earth on laptop or desktop computer. See detailed syllabus.
- Other material will be made available on canvas.uoregon.edu
Grades will be posted on Canvas
. Canvas automatically calculates your current grade by weighting of assignments according to rules described below.
Objectives of the course
General guidelines for this course
Using readings, lectures, and laboratories to develop an
understanding and appreciation of natural processes that occur every
day or over every year. The basics of meteorology (study of the
atmosphere and weather), climatology (longer-term trends in weather and
its variation over the earth), biogeography (distribution of life on
earth) and geomorphology(processes that shape the surface of the earth).
Students will understand the important properties of maps
and students will use maps and digital mapping tools to explore spatial
patterns on earth.
Topics in meterology will range from why weather changes
daily to the causes of global patterns of climate. Students will
be able to interpret patterns, and explain causes, of maps of various
weather elements (temperature, air pressure, humidity, wind).
In climatology, students will study the causes of seasonal
patterns of temperature and rainfall in different locations on earth.
Students will be able to link the causes of these seasonal
patterns to patterns in atmospheric circulation, and the role of
various other factors such as elevation and location within continents.
Last, students will be able to roughly locate climatic data
(presented as a graph) to actual locations on earth.
In biogeography, students will be able to explain why
climates produce major biome types on earth, including the causes of
the changes in vegetation in Oregon.
In geomorphology, students will understand the pathways of
water from precipitation to ocean and atmosphere, and how rivers sculpt
the surface of the earth. Students will be able to identify
mass-wasting and glacial features from topographic maps, and be able to
create and explain the patterns in longitudinal profiles of rivers.
To do well in this course, you will need to come to lecture and keep pace with the readings.
The information being taught is cumulative: you will not understand material if you skip sections.
There will be examples provided during lecture that are not in the text but will nevertheless be on the exams.
The Physical Geography textbook is a common book and available from many other
sellers and as an ebook (see above): be sure you are getting the 5th edition. You will need the book from the start of class. Note that all the material in each chapter assigned is
required reading. Also note that we will not cover this entire book. If a topic interests you, please feel free to read on!
Climatology, hydrology, biogeography, and geomorphology are
all 300-level Geography courses where you can pursue these topics in
The Lab instructions will
be made available in advance of each lab via Canvas. General information about the
lab assignment and activity will be posted at least one week before the lab. The actual questions for each lab will become
available at 4 pm two days before the lab. See below for details.
- During lecture please be respectful of everyone's learning experience. This includes:
- No talking amongst each other. Please leave your
social conversations for outside the classroom. However,
questions during lectures are encouraged. If you have a
question, raise your hand or catch me after class.
- Please don't leave in the middle of lecture. It is distracting
for many people, including me. If you need to leave, then let me know
before the lecture starts, then sit near an exit. Obvious exceptions exist, i.e.,
you are feeling very ill.
- Do not surf the internet during lecture..
Please keep your laptops closed. If you wish to take notes on a computer, then please sit near the front of the room.
Other use of the laptop during lecture is extemely distracting to the
people around you!
such as copying material from other students on tests or lab assignments will result in failing the test
at a minimum and may require involvement from the Dean of
Students. While we encourage you to talk about the lecture material and lab material
outside of class, copying other's work is not allowed and electronic submission of the lab material
makes detecting such cases not difficult. In serious cases, you will flunk the class or be
expelled from the university.
Plagiarizing occurs when you copy materials from other sources without citing the source (i.e.,
taking credit for someone else’s work), or copy someone
else’s lab. All students should be familiar with
the material in this guide
on avoiding plagiarism.
- Take time right away during week 1 to familiarize yourself with the technology that will be used in the
course. Information on Canvas, i>clickers, and Google Earth
for GEOG 141 is available on this web page.
Your class grade will be based on your two tests (40% of the total grade), in-class participation (5% of the total), quizzes (online with Canvas) (30% of total grade), and lab assignments (25% of the total grade).
Grades are rounded to integers. Grades are not curved, but the grading scale reflects
the breadth and depth of material covered. Lower grade boundaries are:
A+:>98; A:92; A-:88; B+:84; B:80; B-:76; C+:72; C:68; C-:64; D+:60; D:56; D-:52
You must receive a passing grade in the lab section of the course in order to pass the class.
The weekly one-hour labs provide you with the opportunity to apply some of the concepts you have learned in class
and in readings, to ask questions about points that interest or confuse you, and to get to know your classmates better. Attendance at
each lab is required to receive a grade for that lab. Labs begin during week 1.
The following time-line is repeated for each of the nine weeks with labs and quizzes.
- At least one week before the lab session: Introductory material for each assignment is posted in a "module" in Canvas.
- On Fridays at 4:00 pm: The lab assignment and the quiz are released within the Canvas module.
Each week's lab/discussion section has two graded parts. The first is a "lab" which you will begin during your lab section and complete on your time.
The "quiz" is the other part. You have three attempts to complete the quiz, each time with slightly different versions of the same question (drawn from a question bank).
The highest score will be the one used for grading.
- It is definitely to your benefit to view the contents of the lab (but don't submit answers!), and make one attempt on the quiz, before your lab section meets.
This will allow you to ask questions during the lab period about any parts of the assignment
that cannot be finished in the 50 minute session. You will not finish the lab during the lab period, so you will have to put some time outside the 50 minute period into completing the lab.
- NOTE: It is usually helpful to bring a laptop to the lab session. If you do not have one, it should be fine, as you can view a neighbor's computer if needed.
- Individual labs and quizzes are due on Mondays at 8:00 pm. Thus, the lab questions are available to everyone for the same amount of time. If you have a discussion on Tuesday, you have a short amount of time to
preview the lab material but a longer period to complete the work for submission. If your discussion section meets on Fridays, you have a long period to preview the material,
attend lectures that help with the material, before attending the lab session, but then a shorter time to complete the assignment.
- Lab assignments (25% of the total grade)
- If you don't attend your lab/discussion section, you will receive a zero for that week's lab.
- The difficulty of the lab assignments generally increases through the term, but your chances for a good overall grade on the lab assignments is much better if you complete all the assignments.
- The lowest lab score for the entire term will be dropped when final grades are computed.
- Late submissions: You have three additional days to submit a late lab. Each day after the due date results in a reduction of 20% of the grade. Exceptions exist for labs 4 and 9, as answers must be made available before exams.
- Answers to questions on the labs are released Thursdays at 4:00, three days after the lab is due. Lab 4 and Lab 9 answers will be released sooner, before the exams. However, it may be several days before the assignment is completely graded by your GTF.
- If your average grade for the labs (after dropping the lowest lab grade) is not a passing grade (>60%), you will not pass the course.
- Quizzes (30% of the total grade).
- You may log in to Canvas and answer questions up to three times. You must finish each attempt within 60 minutes. You will be shown the correct answers after each attempt. Each attempt will have some variation in the questions, being drawn randomly from a question pool.
Your highest-scoring attempt will be used for your grade.
- It is definitely to your advantage to get high scores on all the quizzes. You will need to reserve enough time before the due date & time to allow you to finish your third attempt (if needed).
- Note that ALL quiz scores will be included in your final grade.
- Late submissions: No late submissions for the quizzes are accepted.
Tests (40% of the
total grade): There will be two tests, each worth 20% of your final grade. No makeup
tests are given. Students who miss a test
without a documented excuse will receive a score of ZERO for that
test. Except in the case of true emergencies, you must
contact me prior to the exam if you are going to miss the test; otherwise you
will receive a grade of zero.
Tests are approximately 75% based on multiple choice questions (about 50 questions), and the
remainder are fill-in-the-blank or short essay questions.
Please note that the lab assignment on week 10 is due during exam week.
In-class participation (5% of
the total grade):
"Puzzles" will be presented on-screen at
the end of each lecture or throughout each lecture. These
answered with i>clickers. Question content will be
based on materials in the reading and, sometimes, materials presented earlier in
the same or previous lectures. Some questions will be answered in
colloboration with your neighbor. You may refer to
your text book or to your notes.
Please register your i>clicker on Canvas. This takes a few steps. Please follow the instructions on this link.
||Topic and readings
|Introduction: Geography and Planet Earth
skills (units, scales, projections, locations, isolines)
|Mapping Earth's surface, Earth-Sun relationships
||Radiation and the heat balance; the Greenhouse Effect; Composition of the Atmosphere
|Temperatures of the lower atmosphere
||Atmospheric Pressure: Winds; small scale wind systems
||Global air pressure gradients, Coriolis forces and geostrophic winds; Ocean currents
||Atmospheric moisture and the water balance
||Global circulation, humidity, and adiabatic processes
||Weather: Air masses, lapse rates, clouds, precipitation processes, atmospheric stability.
||Some review. Practice exam questions. Climate classification
||Describing global climates
All readings except unit 14; lab materials for weeks 1-4
||Climates of the world
||Global biomes & climate change
||Natural climate change and human impacts on climate
||Biogeochemical cycles (carbon and nitrogen); Biogeographic processes
||Topographic maps, air photos, and mapping vegetation.
||Phytogeography (distribution of plants) and Zoogeography (distribution of animals)
||Weathering: physical and chemical; Mass wasting: landslides and debris flows
||Landforms and mass wasting
||River systems: slopes and streams
||Landscapes shaped by streams
||Glacial erosion; continental and alpine glaciation.
||selections from: 43,44,45
||Final Exam 2:45 PM in 177 Lawrence.
On lectures and labs for weeks 5-10.
Department of Geography, University of Oregon
Modified Aug 24, 2016