CCOG for GEO 209 Summer 2024

Course Number:
GEO 209
Course Title:
Climate Change and Human Systems
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Examines climate change by identifying atmospheric processes, climate types, and trends over time. Focuses on climatic variability, its causes, and the relationship between human activities and climate. Examines humankind as a modifier of climate, and explores adaptations and issues of climate justice. Prerequisites: WR 115, RD 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement test scores. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  • Identify trends and patterns in climate features over time using graphs, diagrams, and maps.
  • Evaluate similarities and differences between climate types and to how these climates change.
  • Explain the relationship between human activities and climatic processes.
  • Apply frameworks to analyze the impact of climate change on human and natural/physical systems at local, regional, and global scales.
  • Evaluate climate adaptation techniques and their application in context of current events. 

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.

Aspirational Goals

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • Maps, scales, and projections

  • Climate systems: Atmosphere and water cycles

  • Biomes and ecosystems

  • Climate Change and adaptation

  • Human-environmental Interactions

Competencies and Skills:

  • Describe the role of Earth-Sun relationships in weather and climate patterns. 

  • Analyze the ocean circulation system and the way it affects climate.

  • Analyze climate graphs for selected places and suggest reasons for similarities and differences in climates.

  • Predict the effects of an extreme weather phenomena on the physical environment and human systems.

  • Analyze the impact of climate on human-environment interactions.

  • Analyze the effects of human activity on weather and climate processes.