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Introduction to Geography

Vista College
Fall 2003

Instructor: Alan Forsberg.

Office hours: After class or by apppointment.

Tel: 415-239-3104 ext. 5

e-mail: - (be sure to include "geography 10" in the subject line)

This course is supplemented by the World Wide Web and other computerized resources. The class webpage can be accessed by typing the following address into an internet browser:

Check the Schedule of Assigned Readings and the Class Calendar for occasional updates.

Course description and objectives

Geography is both a natural and a social science which examines issues of location and process on the earth's surface. This introductory course will emphasize this holistic perspective of geography including human influences on the environment. The main goals this quarter are to help you to understand your world and how you fit in personally, locally, regionally, nationally, and globally. You will learn more about the relationships which exist between people everywhere, how resources are exploited and distributed across the globe, how the diffusion of phenomena cause distant places and cultures to influence one another, and how societies shape and are shaped by the natural environment.

Geography 10 requires substantial reading, writing and data interpretation. The development of critical thinking skills is also emphasized. This all means that I don't expect you to agree with, or to memorize and recite the readings, but rather to read carefully and form your own opinions and perspectives about the material. The successful student will become more aware of the dynamics of our 'global' society and learn to see problems and their solutions more holistically.

What to expect: To complete this course with a satisfactory grade you must carefully follow directions, complete all assignments on time, be well prepared for exams and quizzes (keep up on reading and study maps over time), demonstrate a mastery of geographic concepts and readings, apply geographic concepts, attend and participate in class. It is my educational philosophy that, since GEO-GRAPHY by definition is a description of the world, each student is expected to share their own perspectives, ideas, and experiences through participation in class discussion and in their approach to the class work.

For all work handed in save a copy. If you hand it in on paper- please write GEG 10, section number, FORSBERG, your name, and the date. Quizzes cannot be made up without prior approval or a written medical or family emergency excuse, but the lowest quiz grade will be dropped. Make-up assignments and exams should be arranged in advance when possible, and will probably be all essay. It is very important that you do your best on all class work and turn it in, because, even the lowest grade is much better than a zero. Any student who has questions, or who requires extra help for whatever reason should never hesitate to see me after class, or schedule an appointment to see me.

If you need reasonable accommodations based on a documented disability, have emergency information to share, or require special arrangements in case of emergency evacuation, please make a confidential appointment with me within the first two weeks of class.

Any student who misses more than 4 classes may be dropped from the course.

Grade breakdown 

Two Midterms - essay exams, and a non-cumulative
6 quizzes/class work (drop your lowest score)
Final Exam
 TOTAL (based on a total of 1000 points)

 A = 900-1000 pts.  B = 800-899 pts.   C = 700-799 pts.  D = at least 600 pts.

Texts (both textbooks are required reading)

GEOG 10 - Introduction to Geography
Schedule of Assigned Readings
subject to change
(Last updated September 30, 2003)

Week Date Readings & Tests
Aug 21
no book yet
Aug 26-28
Sept 2-4 Ch.1 pp.1-17, 30-41
Sept 9-11 Ch.2 pp.43-63 / Q2
Sept 16-18 Ch. 3
Sept 23-25 Ch. 3 / M1
Sept 30-2 Ch.4
Oct 7-9 Ch.7 & pp.17-30 / Q3
Oct 14-16 Ch.7-8 & pp.63-81
Oct 21-23 Ch.8 / M2
Oct 28-30 Ch.9 & pp.175-196
Nov 4-6 Ch.9 & pp.196-202 / Q4
Nov 13 Ch.10
Nov 18-20 Ch.10 / Q5
Nov 25 Ch.11
Dec 2-4 Ch.11 & pp.202-209/ Q6
Dec 9-11 Ch.12
Dec 16 Final Exam