Physical Geography examines natural systems and processes that shape the landforms, climate, and vegetation around us. After providing historical perspectives about changes in the interpretation of geological and hydrological cycles, the course introduces three disciplines that collectively encompass physical geography: geomorphology, climatology, and biogeography. The landforms of uplift and erosion will be examined through readings, lectures, visuals, and fieldwork. Atmospheric processes that shape climate and weather will be introduced, followed by a look at some issues affecting soils and vegetation. The public policy consequences of these issues, from natural hazards to global warming, will be examined. The course requires students to make individual field—based observations of the natural environment. This course fulfills the General Education category-Scientific Reasoning. Our contemporary culture faces increasing distrust in scientific principles. Only citizens with basic scientific sensibility can grapple with the complexity, diversity, and change they will face.
Fall 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2018, Spring 2018, Fall 2017