Robert Joseph Turner
Investigates the interactions of a dynamic planet and society. Analyzes geographic variability and the human consequences of environmental phenomena such as climate, natural resources, natural hazards, and infectious diseases. Emphasizes the application of geographic tools and methods.
Generally speaking, geography is the study of people and place. The sub-title of this Environmental Geography course is Earth, Oceans and Climate. Accordingly, we will be examing the Earth's surface and atmosphere as a physical system. The primary content objective will be to learn about the natural processes that control climate variability over time and space. We will also be learning how to make and interpret maps and work with remote sensing data/images. This course will feature a blend of lecture, lab, and seminar type formats. All students will be presenting research in class and leading discussions on course readings.
Student learning goals
Characterize the earth processes important in controlling climate.
Assess the uncertainty of models used to predict climate change and evaluate the likelihood and severity of projected impacts on ecosystems and people.
Apply geographic techniques in the analysis of environmental variability. This will include becoming adept at reading, interpreting, and creating maps; reading and interpreting air photos; and reading, interpreting, and creating graphs and charts.
Articulate learning gains in critical thinking and quantitative reasoning.
Demonstrate facility in working with a partner in a research collaboration by producing quality work on time and in a professional manner.
Articulate how they have improved in their ability to conduct research, write abstracts, format a bibliography, and design a research poster.
General method of instruction
This course features frequent lab exercises where students apply geographic methods to analyze or predict environmental change and societal impacts. Students will work in collaboration with a partner to conduct the lab exercises and the course research project. Assigned readings will be accompanied by group discussions in class and online.
Have an interest in the planet and our relationship with it. Be prepared to interact in class.
Class assignments and grading
Assignments turned in for grades will mostly be based on individual effort, although group and partner work will frequently occur in class. Students will be required to do weekly reading assignments, participate in discussions, submit lab and homework assignments, and collaborate with a partner on the creation and presentation of a research poster.
Mechanisms for evaluating your learning and their relative weight in determining your grade will include homework/lab assignments (~35%), 2 exams (~25%), a research poster and presentation (~33%), and participation (~7%).