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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Santiago Lopez
BIS 242
Bothell Campus

Environmental Geography

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.

Class description

In general terms, environmental geography is the branch of geography that describes the spatial aspects of the interactions between humans and our planet. It requires an understanding of the dynamics between a series of disciplines such meteorology, biogeography, ecology, and geomorphology, as well as the ways in which human societies conceptualize the environment. In this class, we will examine the Earth's surface and atmosphere as a physical system. The primary content objective will be to learn about the natural and anthropogenic forces that influence climate and land cover over time and space. We will also be learning how to make and interpret maps and work with remotely sensed data/images. This course will feature a blend of lecture, lab, and seminar type formats. All students will be presenting research in class and actively participate in class discussions.

Student learning goals

Characterize the earth and human induced processes important in controlling climate and shaping land cover.

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 capacity in working with a partner in a research collaboration by producing quality work on time and in a professional manner.

Articulate the 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 environmental changes and their 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.

Recommended preparation

Have an interest in the planet and our relationship with it. Be prepared to interact and participate 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 readings, 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 (40%), 2 exams (30%), a research poster and presentation (25%), and participation (5%).


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Santiago Lopez
Date: 11/13/2013