Physical geography is one of the major subfields of geography, focusing on the physical processes at work on Earth's surface. This course addresses selected aspects of the physical environment and their relationships to humankind, including earth-sun relationships; the atmosphere; weather and climate; Earth's structure, and landforms. Emphasis is placed on the two-way interactions between human activity and the physical environment as well as on study of maps, weather, and regional climatology.
This course is offered asynchronously online. The course structure and content is meant to facilitate a supportive learning environment. The goal of the course is to facilitate the co-construction of knowledge through discussion, collaboration, and assessments which demonstrate connections between prior knowledge and experiences with new information.
1. Understand the physical processes governing environmental systems and how these processes and systems can influence each other.
2. Understand how societal decision-making and political/economic policies often are predicated on our current understanding of the processes at work within the physical environment.
3. Comprehend how changes in the processes governing environmental systems (due either to “natural” or human factors) may influence the evolution of these systems.
4. Critically evaluate scientific questions and claims, especially those concerning the environment.
5. Reflect on the importance of scientific, social, economic, and cultural knowledge in assessing environmental issues.
6. Connect physical and social processes with respect to human impacts on physical environments and the effects of physical environments on humans.
7. Identify the location of Earth's major geographic features, and
8. Reflect on their own agency in relation to environmental change.
Discussion Forums: 30%
Attendance Threads: 15%
This collection is a repository for reference materials created by students to share what they have learned and to help future students better understand major concepts and topics.
All about Ozone (Reference Material)
Atmospheric Structure (Reference Material)
The Coriolis Force (Reference Material)
The Seasons (Reference Material)
Biogeochemical Cycles (Reference Material)
Earthquakes (Reference Material)
Earth's Structures (Reference Material)
Minerals: The Materials of Earth (Reference Material)
Mountain Building Processes (Reference Material)
Weathering and Soil Formation (Reference Material)