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CCOG for GEO 110 Winter 2024

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Course Number:
GEO 110
Course Title:
The Natural Environment
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines natural processes that create the diversity of physical landscapes on Earth. Analyzes local, regional, and global impacts of environmental events, climate change, and the connections between human activities and Earth systems. Focuses on atmosphere dynamics, ecosystems, biodiversity, water, and landforms. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Addendum to Course Description

The course is valuable for students seeking to understand human impacts on physical environments.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Analyze Earth’s physical processes using graphs, diagrams, and maps.
  • Explain the processes and evolution of Earth’s landforms, atmosphere, water systems, and biosphere.
  • Analyze climate change using an understanding of the relationship between human activities and the physical environment.

Social Inquiry and Analysis

Students completing an associate degree at Portland Community College will be able to apply methods of inquiry and analysis to examine social contexts and the diversity of human thought and experience.

General education philosophy statement

Physical Geography focuses on the spatial and environmental processes that shape our world such as climate, climate change, biogeography, geomorphology, as well as environmental issues of pollution, desertification, deforestation or species extinction. These issues cannot be discussed without analyzing the role of humans, cultural values, politics, economics, and the rise of societies. Students examine their own role in these issues at a local scale, as well as looking at their role at the global scale, creating more informed global citizens.

Course Activities and Design

Course activities and design will include some or all of the following: quizzes, essays, small and large group discussions, in class activities, and case studies. 

Outcome Assessment Strategies

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

  • In-class discussions

  • Exams and quizzes

  • Mapping activities

  • Class assignments and exercises

  • Conducting research

  • Field observation exercises and projects

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Themes, concepts, Issues:

  • Energy cycles

  • Atmospheric Systems

  • Water Processes

  • Biomes and ecosystems

  • Climate Change

  • Human-environmental Interactions