Introduction to the fundamentals of weather, climate, landform evolution, and plant distribution using a systems approach. Focus on variation in processes over space and time.
Dates: May 22 - June 16, 2023; Asynchronous online
Course Description Weather, Climate and Landscapes is an introduction to physical geography, the study of the earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate, water resources, landforms and ecosystems. In this course, we will explore the composition and function of the atmosphere, the flow of energy and mass between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and lithosphere, and the resulting climate patterns. We will explore how evidence of past climate can tell us about our current and future world. We will also examine how weather and climate influence those processes which shape the surface of the earth and influence ecosystems. Themes of global climate change and environmental change are explored in each unit. Finally, we will seek to understand how these processes affect and are affected by human activity. This course fulfills a three-credit science distribution requirement (no lab) in the College of Arts and Sciences at The University of Vermont. There are no prerequisites for this course. It also satisfies a major requirements for Geography and for the Global Climate and Environmental Change concentration in Environmental Sciences and is a pre-requisite for GEOG 140, 143, 148, 153, 244 and 246. Course Learning Goals 1. Students will be able to describe key system components within the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere and explain how processes (comprised of these component) operate within these systems (comprehension). 2. Students will be able to construct and apply conceptual and mathematical models illustrating earth’s processes, including the flow of energy and mass within and between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and biosphere, and at different scales. (application) 3. Students will apply these models within the context of current and future global climate and environmental change to predict/hypothesize future outcomes. (application, analysis) 4. Students will be able to synthesize knowledge of atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere and/or biosphere components and processes to interpret and explain the spatial distribution of environmental variables on the earth’s surface. (comprehension, application, synthesis) 5. Students will be able to illustrate, analyze and interpret environmental science data. (application, analysis, evaluation)
For the summer of 2023, the course content will be delivered online and can be found on the course Blackboard (BB) page. Course content will be organized into modules with associated readings, written lectures, videos and homework. Readings will provide an overview of important course material. Written lectures will be used to expand and deepen understanding of fundamental concepts. Associated videos will highlight current topics and explain difficult concepts. Homework exercises will reinforce the current module’s learning goals.
Graded Work Grades in the course will be based on homework exercises and exams as follows: Homework exercises (50%) Regular homework exercises are designed to keep you current with lecture material and the text. It is also meant to provide you with opportunities to apply your learning. Six homework exercises will be posted on Blackboard for you to download, complete and turn in. All homework will be turned in via a link on Blackboard. Each homework assignment will help you to build your skills in making basic calculations, interpreting graphs and maps and synthesizing lecture and reading concepts. Homeworks are due on BB by midnight. Exams (50%) There will be three exams - Exam 1 (15%), Exam 2 (15%) and the Final Exam (20%). All exams will cover material in the course modules, including lectures, homeworks, readings and videos. The exams will be given on-line and will be open-book, but you must do your own work. You may take the exams anytime during the assigned time block on the set exam date (7:00 am – midnight), but you will be limited to 75 minutes to complete the exam. Once you start the exam on BB, you must finish it within 75 minutes. Review questions will be made available on BB prior to each exam.
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Note: These dates may change before registration begins.
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