University of Nevada, Las Vegas  



GEOG 103: PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, Section 1003
Spring, 2017


Course Section: 1003 Classroom Location: CBC A106 Check Location
Instructor: Dr. Ganqing Jiang Office Location: SEB 3241 Check Location
Email: Ganqing.Jiang@unlv.edu Lectures: T-Th: 1:00 PM - 2:15 PM
Class website: Office hours: T-th 2:30 pm - 4:30 pm
http://faculty.unlv.edu/ganqing/GEOG103 and/or by appointments



Class Description:

This class focuses on the processes that form and modify landscapes, climates, and ecosystems. It includes interrelationships among the atmosphere, water, earth and life, with emphases on the concept of Earth "systems", the principles of mapping, the patterns of weather and climate, the Earth's internal structure and plate tectonic theory, the hydrologic cycle and erosion, and the processes operating in Earth's surface and near-surface environments.

Learning Outcome/Objectives:

Upon completion of the course, students are expected to have a comprehensive understanding of:

  • The concept of systems science, articulating components including open and closed systems, equilibrium and feedbacks, with daily life examples for each component;
  • The principles of mapping including scale, projection, map generalization, and map distortion;
  • The formation of the solar system, Earth-Sun relationships, and their effects on the energy budget of the Earth;
  • The interactions of energy and moisture within the atmosphere that results in the formation of weather systems and the basic weather symbols/common weather patterns used in a typical weather report;
  • The concept of climate, anthropogenic climate change, and the impact of climate changes on surface environment;
  • The Earth's internal structure and plate tectonic theory and their implications for earth-transforming processes including earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and mountain formation;
  • The hydrologic cycle, groundwater system and the process of erosion, as well as the influences of human activities on the function of these systems through diversion, manipulation and use of water;
  • Surficial geomorphic processes (including mass wasting, fluvial, aeolian, and glacial processes) that form/alter typical landforms in surface environments.

Textbook: R. W. Christopherson and G. H. Birkeland, 2015, Geosystems - An Introduction to Physical Geography, Custom Edition for UNLV, Pearson, 645 p. ISBN: 978-1-269-89178-3 [If you have the 7th, 8th, or 9th edition of the book, it will be fine]

Grading policy: Final grades will be assigned according to the following schedule. Final grades may be curved in the students' favor.

Grade Semester average      Grade Semester average
A over 93      C between 73 and 77
A- between 90 and 93      C- between 70 and 73
B+ between 87 and 90      D+ between 67 and 70
B between 83 and 87      D between 63 and 67
B- between 80 and 83      D- between 60 and 63
C+ between 77 and 80      F less than 60

Final Grades will be computed as follows:

Three exams 20% each
Final Exam (comprehensive) 30%
Attendance, Quizzes/homework 10%

Notes: No make-up exams, make-up quizzes, or make-up exercises will be given unless you provide a written medical, military, or university excuse.


Class Schedule

Please check the updated class Syllabus

Week
Day
Date
Lecture topic Lecture slides Reading
1
T
Jan-17
Introduction Lecture 1 Syllabus and Policies
1
Th
Jan-19
Essentials of Geography Lecture 2 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 1
2
T
Jan-24
GPS, Magnetic Field and Navigation Lecture 3 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 1
2
Th
Jan-26
Solar Energy and Seasons Lecture 4
[Quiz 1] [Quiz 1 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 2
3
T
Jan-31
Earth's Atmosphere Lecture 5 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 3
3
Th
Feb-2
Atmosphere and Surface Energy Balances Lecture 6 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 4
4
T
Feb-7
Global Temperature Lecture 7
[Quiz 2] [Quiz 2 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 5
4
T
Feb-9
Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations Lecture 8
[Quiz 3] [Quiz 3 Answer] [Exam I Review]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 6
5
T
Feb-14
Exam I (Ch 1-5; lec. 1-7) [Exam I] [Exam I Answer] Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 1-5
5
Th
Feb-16
Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations Lecture 8; No new slides Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 6
6
T
Feb-21
Water and Atmospheric Moisture Lecture 9-10
[Quiz 4-Take Home] [Quiz 4 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 7
6
Th
Feb-23
Weather Lecture 11 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 8
7
T
Feb-28
Water Resources Lecture 12 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 9
7
Th
Mar-02
Global Climate Lecture 13
[Quiz 5-Take Home] [Quiz 5 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 10
8
T
Mar-07
Exam II review (Ch 6-9; lec. 8-12) [Exam II Review] Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 6-9
8
Th
Mar-09
Exam II (Ch 6-9; lec. 8-12) [Exam II] [Exam II Answer] Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 6-9
9
T
Mar-14
Global Climate Change Lecture 14
[Quiz 6-Take Home] [Quiz 6 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 10B
9
Th
Mar-16
The Dynamic Earth Lecture 15-16 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 11
10
T
Mar-21
The Dynamic Earth Lecture 15-16 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 11
10
Th
Mar-23
Tectonics, Earthquakes and Volcanism Lecture 17
[Quiz 7-Take Home] [Quiz 7 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 12
11
T
Mar-28
Weathering, Karst, and Mass Movement Lecture 18
[Quiz8-Not Graded] [Quiz 8 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 13
11
Th
Mar-30
Exam III Review (Ch 10-13; Lec. 13-18) Exam III Review Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapters 10-13
12
T
Apr-04
Exam III (Ch 10-13; Lec. 13-18) [Exam III] [Exam III answers] Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapters 10-13
12
Th
Apr-06
No class No class No class
13
T-Th
Apr-10~15
Spring Break Spring Break Spring Break
14
T
Apr-18
River Systems Lecture 19 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 14
14
Th
Apr-20
Deserts and Desert Landforms Lecture 20
[Quiz 9] [Quiz 9 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 15
15
T
Apr-25
Oceanic and Coastal Processes Lecture 21 Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 16
15
Th
Apr-27
Glacial and Periglacial Landscapes Lecture 22
[Quiz 10 - Not graded] [Quiz 10 Answer]
Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 17
16
T
May-02
Final Exam Review Final Exam Review Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 1-17
16
Th
May-04
No Class No class Prepare for final Exam
17
T
May-09
Final Exam Final Exam: 1:00 - 3:00 pm Christopherson & Birkeland, Chapter 1-17