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Introduction to Physical Geography: Weather and Climate

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1 Introduction to Physical Geography: Weather and Climate
Geography A Summer 2013 EVC-154, TTh 5:30pm Sonya Carlson Program Area: Social Sciences

2 About Me Now, tell me about you Your Name Fun Places you have visited?
Your Major First time at Metro?

3 Environmental Issues In the spirit of geography as a discipline we will be discussing environmental issues throughout the quarter that deal with human activities and the effect of those activities on the landscape. Follow along with the descriptions of the following 2 houses and see if you can tell which belongs to an environmentalist.

4 Description House #1 A 20-room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house all heated by gas. In ONE MONTH ALONE this mansion consumes more energy than the average American household in an ENTIRE YEAR. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2, per month. In natural gas alone (which last time we checked was a fossil fuel), this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not in a northern or Midwestern “snow belt” either. It’s in the South.

5 Description House #2 Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university, this house incorporates every “green” feature current home construction can provide. The house contains only 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on arid high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground. The water (usually 67 degrees F) heats the house in winter and cools it in summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas, and it consumes 25% of the electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Flowers and shrubs native to the area blend the property in the surrounding rural landscape.

6 So who’s the Environmentalist?
House #1 (20-room energy guzzling mansion) is outside Nashville, Tennessee. It is the abode of that renowned environmentalist (and film maker) … Al Gore House #2 (model eco-friendly house) is on a ranch near Crawford, Texas. Also known as “the Texas White House.” It is the private residence of … George W. Bush

7 Course Description This lecture and lab course introduces students to the ways in which the complex interplay of solar radiation, temperature, moisture, atmospheric pressure, and wind produce the short-term atmospheric conditions called weather, and the long-term atmospheric conditions called climate. It gives particular attention to the ways in which weather and climate influence human life and to evidence of climate changes, past and present.

8 Course Objectives Explain the origins of the earth, its size, shape, motions and relationship to the sun and the other planets of the solar system. Accurately interpret maps, including topographic maps. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of weather processes, including solar radiation, temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, atmospheric moisture and storms. Explain the global distribution of climates on earth. Diagram and explain the hydrologic cycle, and explain the basic distribution of water on the earth.

9 Required and Supplemental Materials
Required Text and Lab Manual:, Darrel Hess McKnight’s Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation. 10th Ed. Pearson Prentice Hall. Lab Materials recommended: A basic pocket calculator, a ruler, and a basic set of colored pencils.

10 Assessment of Student Work
Methods of Instruction: Lectures, demonstrations and discussions will be used to convey course information to students. Readings from the text and from handouts are required, and regular lab assignments will be used to further reinforce core concepts. Student progress in this course will be assessed by means of examinations aimed at understanding the degree to which students have achieved a satisfactory degree of mastery of the subject matter.

11 Course Grade (650 total points)
Three (3) non-comprehensive exams worth 100 points each (300 total points) Six (6) lab quizzes worth 30 points each worth 150 total points. (lowest score will be dropped) Ten (10) Lab assignments worth 10 points each (schedule to follow, 100 total points) Ten(10) In-class/Discussion assignments worth 10 points each worth 100 total points.

12 Make-up Exams and Late Assignments
Make-up exams and quizzes will be given only in the case of an excused absence, No exceptions. Excused absences include only: 1) serious illness or other health emergencies documented by your physician, and, 2) the death of a family member, documented by an obituary if necessary. If you know in advance that you will miss an exam, some provision may be made to take it early. All unauthorized missed exams will be assigned a score of 0 points. 25% of the total available points will be deducted for each day any assignment is late, beginning with day one.

13 Student Responsibilities
Your first responsibility in this course (or any other) is to make sure that you have read and understand the syllabus. The terms outlined in this document will bind both instructor and student for the coming quarter. Thereafter, your responsibilities, should you wish to succeed in the course, are: to come to class prepared and on time; to pay attention to lecture and take notes on important points raised therein; to ask questions when they occur to you and; to do your part to maintain a classroom atmosphere that facilitates learning for all. This means that you are to avoid behaviors that prevent others from learning (inappropriate talking in class etc.). Finally, remember to turn off your cell phone ringers during class.

14 Assessment of Student Learning Program
Metropolitan Community College is committed to continuous improvement of teaching and learning. You may be asked to help us to accomplish this objective. For example, you may be asked to respond to surveys or questionnaires. In other cases, tests or assignments you are required to do for this course may be shared with faculty and used for assessment purposes.

15 Attendance Regular and punctual attendance is a requirement of any college course. Here, a significant percentage of exam material will be taken from lecture and it is simply impossible to do well in the course if you do not attend. In addition, throughout the quarter 10 in class assignments will be given worth 10 points each for a total of 100 points. Unless previously arranged, any assignments given during a class missed will result in a score of zero for that assignment. Excessive absences (more than 4) during the quarter may result in an attendance related failure (FX), or in a significant reduction of your course grade. If you do miss class, you are still responsible for any information disseminated on that day (in any form). You should make arrangements to secure lecture notes from a willing class mate and you should see me immediately regarding any handouts you may have missed.

16 Student Withdrawal If for any reason you cannot attend and complete this course, you should officially withdraw by calling Central Registration, or Failure to officially withdraw will result in either an attendance-related failure (FX) or a failing course grade (F). It is always the student's responsibility to drop a class. The last day to withdraw from a course this quarter is 8/01/13.

17 Communication Expectations
When you communicate with others in this course, you must follow the Student Code of Conduct ( which calls for responsible and cooperative behavior. Please think critically, ask questions, and challenge ideas, but also show respect for the opinions of others, respond to them politely, and maintain the confidentiality of thoughts expressed in the class. You may also wish to review information at

18 Academic Honesty Students are reminded that materials they may use as sources for this course may be subject to copyright protection. Additional information about copyright is provided on the library webpage at In response to incidents of student dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism etc.), the College imposes specific actions that may include receiving a failing grade on a test, failure in the course, suspension from the College, or dismissal from the College. Current disciplinary procedures are available in the Counseling/Advising Centers or at .

19 Learning Support MCC's Academic Resource Centers, Math Centers, and Writing Centers offer friendly, supportive learning environments that can help students achieve educational success. Staff members in these centers provide free drop-in assistance with basic computing, reading, math, and writing skills. Self-paced, computer-assisted instructional support in reading, vocabulary, typing, English as a Second Language, and online course orientation is also available. Detailed information about the Academic Resource, Math, and Writing Centers is in the Student Handbook, College Catalog, and online at

20 Accommodations for Students with Disabilities
If you have a disability that may substantially limit your ability to participate in this class, please contact a Disability Support Services Counselor, located in the Student Services Office on each campus. Metropolitan Community College will provide reasonable accommodations for persons with documented qualifying disabilities. However, it is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations. For further information, please visit or contact Student Services.

21 Technology Resources By using the information technology at MCC (including the computer systems and phones) you acknowledge and consent to the conditions of use as set forth in the Metropolitan Community College Procedures Memorandum on Acceptable Use of Information Technology and Resources. It is your responsibility as a student to be familiar with these procedures. The full text of the Procedures Memorandum may be found at the following website: For assistance with student , passwords, and most other MCC technology, contact the help desk at or

22 Tentative* Schedule of Assignments
Week Lecture Topic Reading Week 1: Intro to the Earth Ch.1 Week 2: Portraying the Earth Ch.2 Week 3: Intro to the Atmosphere Ch.3 Exam 1 Week 4: Insolation and Temperature Ch.4 Week 5: Atmospheric Pressure and Wind Ch.5 Week 6 Atmospheric Moisture Ch.6 Exam 2 Week 7-8 Air Masses, Fronts and Storms Ch.7 Week 9: Climates of the Earth Ch.8 Week 10: The Hydrosphere Ch.9 Exam 3 Schedule subject to change per instructor.

23 Tentative* Schedule of Lab Assignments Quizzes
1 Ex. 1, all and Ex. 3, p. 13 #1-3 Ex. 7, p all and Ex. 8, p. 37 # 1-3 and p. 38 # 1 and #2 a, b (lab quiz 1) 2 Ex. 4, p. 17 all, p. 18 #1, Ex. 24, p. 168 #1-8 and Ex. 27, p.183 #1-3 (lab quiz 2) 4 Ex. 9, p #1-6 and Ex. 10, p. 52 all 5 Ex. 11, p. 57 #1-2, Ex. 12, p. 63 and 64 all. (lab quiz 3) 6 Ex. 13, p. 71 all, p. 72. # l and # 2, Ex. 14, p all (lab quiz 4) 7 Ex. 16, p all, Ex. 17, p all (counts as 2 assignments, 20 points total) (lab quiz 5) 8 Ex. 21 p all, p all (lab quiz 6) You may use both your lab manual and completed labs when you take quizzes, and labs will be handed in with the quiz. Prior to submission, remove relevant lab work neatly from your lab manual, arrange pages in the proper numerical order, and staple them.

24 Any Questions? Homework Latitude and Longitude Worksheet
Due in class next time

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