Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon

Course Number:
GEO 209
Course Title:
Physical Geography: Weather and Climate
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:
Special Fee:

Course Description

Examines the processes of the atmosphere, the distribution and character of climate types, climate change and humankind as a modifier of climate. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon successful completion of Geography 209 the student will be able to:

  • Use climate graphs, diagrams and maps to explain similarities and differences between climate types, and to explain how these climates change.
  • Predict the effects of extreme weather phenomena on the physical environment.
  • Create communities that are more eco-friendly based on an understanding of the science behind how humans may be contributing to global climate change.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students will be expected to demonstrate mastery of themes, concepts, issues, competencies and skills by any combination of the following:

  1. In-class, written responses
  2. Multiple choice exams
  3. Written results of class labs and exercises

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, Concepts, Issues:

  1. Introduction to the Atmosphere
  2. Insolation and Temperature
  3. Atmospheric Pressure and Wind
  4. Atmospheric Moisture
  5. Transient Atmospheric Flows and Disturbances
  6. Climatic Zone and Types

Competencies and Skills:

  1. Analyze the ocean circulation system and the way it affects climate.
  2. Analyze climate graphs for selected places and suggest reasons for similarities and differences in climates.
  3. Use diagrams and maps to describe ways in which the Sun's position with respect to Earth affects the horizontal and vertical distribution of energy on Earth.
  4. Attribute occurrences of weather phenomena to annual changes in Earth-Sun relationships.
  5. Explain the patterns of monsoon rainfall in terms of changing Earth-Sun relationships.
  6. Predict the effects of an extreme weather phenomena on the physical environment.