GEOG 1113K, Sections A, B, C, D, & E


Department of Physics, Astronomy, & Geosciences

College of Arts and Sciences

Valdosta State University


Spring, 2016



Contact Information



Departmental Office


Dr. Donald M. Thieme

Physics, Astronomy, & Geosciences

Office location:

Nevins Hall 2046

Nevins Hall 2006

Office phone:





Office hours:

M & W 2:00-3:00; R 10:00-12:00

Other times by appointment, and

I have an open door policy for walk-ins.

M-R 8:00-5:30

F 8:00-3:30

Grad. Assistant:



Supp. Instructor:






Course Information


MATH 1101 or higher.

Catalog description:

Introductory analysis and classification of major types of land surfaces, stressing geographic characteristics.  Study and interpretation of relationships between landforms and other phenomena through maps, aerial photos, and field observations.  World coverage with an emphasis on North America.

Learning outcome:

This course satisfies the learning outcome of VSU’s core curriculum for Area D:

“Students will demonstrate understanding of the physical universe and the nature of science, and they will use scientific methods and/or mathematical reasoning and concepts to solve problems.”

Lecture time & location:

MW 3:30-4:45 p.m.

JH 2211

Final Exam time:

Thursday 5/5/2016 at 2:45 in JH 2211

Labs times & locations:





Section A (21066)

T 9:00-10:50

BC 2203


Section B (21067)

T 11:00-12:50

BC 2203


Section C (21068)

W 10:00-11:50

NH 1042


Section D (21069)

W 12:00-1:50

NH 1042


Section E (21070)

F 1:00-2:50

NH 1042


You MUST attend the lab section for which you are registered.

Required textbook:

McKnight’s Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation, 11th edition.

By Darrel Hess  Published in 2013 by Pearson Education, Inc. (ISBN-13: 9780321864031).

Available in a variety of formats:

·       Loose leaf edition with Mastering Geography and e-Text (in bookstore);

·       e-Text only with Mastering Geography;

·       Rent or purchase used and purchase Mastering Geography separately.

There are many ways to purchase the book (You aren’t limited to selections only found in the bookstore).

Required lab manual:

Laboratory Manual for Introduction to Landforms, 2nd edition.

By Brevik and several others.

Published in 2005 by Pearson Custom Publishing, (ISBN 13: 97805369966254).

It can only be purchased locally (VSU or Dork’s).  DO NOT purchase a used copy!!!

You MUST have the lab manual.

BlazeView access:

BlazeView will be used in a variety of ways.  For this class, you will need to use the course with the name “Intro Land Forms Section X01 Spring 2016 CO”.  Verify that you are enrolled in that course.  If you do not have access to this class, let me know so I can add you to that section.

Other required supplies:

Access to MasteringGeography (Course ID: thieme33835).

·       “Clicker” Classroom Response device manufactured by Turning Technologies (there is a new style of clicker but both types should work).

·       A calculator with trigonometry functions.

·       Pencil and eraser are required for labs and exams.

Electronic devices:

When in class, please be respectful to others when using your personal electronic devices.  In particular, please note the following:

·       Use of ear buds and headphones is not allowed in lecture.

·       Use of cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers is not allowed in labs.

·       No electronics of any type during exams.

If you cannot restrain yourself then you will be asked to leave.




Course Objectives

By the end of the semester, students should be able to:

·       Define geography as a discipline which includes physical geography landform study;

·       Describe the age, size, shape, and movements of Planet Earth;

·       Describe the different techniques, tools, and ways to represent Earth;

·       Identify the four spheres of the Earth (lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere)

·       Explain how Earth’s surface is influenced by  Earth’s interior;

·       Explain how landforms are created and modified by both internal and external Earth processes

·       Explain weathering and erosion as processes which modify landforms on the Earth’s surface

·       Identify and describe landforms from tectonic, volcanic, mass wasting, fluvial, karst, aeolian, coastal





Your grade in this class will be determined by the following breakdown:

3 Exams—45% of your final grade;

11 Lab exercises—30% of your final grade;

Weekly Mastering Geography Exercises—10% of your final grade;

Attendance/participation—10% of your final grade;

Weekly BlazeView quizzes—5% of your final grade.

Your final grade will be a(n)…






If you have a…


80-89 %


60-69 %







Anticipated Schedule

Week of







Overview of Planet Earth & Earth in space

Ch 1





Globes, maps, & mapping technologies

Ch 2 &

Appendix II

Ch 4

BV Quiz 1




Earth’s structure and composition

Ch 13-14

Ch 2

BV Quiz 2




Plate tectonics and tectonic landforms

Ch 14

Ch 6

BV Quiz 3

MG 1



Volcanic and tectonic landforms

Ch 14


BV Quiz 4

MG 2

Test 1 (2/10)


Weathering and erosion

Ch 15

Ch 3

BV Quiz 5

MG 3



Mass wasting processes

Ch 15

Ch 1

BV Quiz 6

MG 4




Ch 12 &

Appendix VII

Ch 10

BV Quiz 7

MG 5



Hydrological cycle & climate classification

Ch 9 & 8


BV Quiz 8

MG 6





Fluvial processes and landforms

Ch 16

Ch 8

BV Quiz 9

MG 7




Ch 9


BV Quiz 10

MG 8

Test 2 (3/30)


Karst processes and landforms

Ch 17

Ch 7

BV Quiz 11

MG 9



Aeolian processes and Desert environments

Ch 18

Ch 11

BV Quiz 12

MG 10



Glacial processes and landforms

Ch 19

Ch 13

BV Quiz 13

MG 11



Coastal processes and landforms

Ch 20

Ch 12

BV Quiz 14

MG 12



Review for Final Test



MG Make Up

Test 3 (5/5)




Other important  dates to know:

Jan 15

Last day for Drop/Add

Jan 18

MLK holiday—no classes

Mar 3

Mid-term day

Mar 10

Last day to Withdraw from class without penalty

Mar 12-20

Spring break—no classes

May 2

Last day of classes

May 5

Final exam day for this class (@ 2:45 p.m.)

May 6 & 7

Graduation ceremonies






Overview of Assignments


Exams are non-comprehensive and will be given on the dates indicated in the course schedule.  Anything covered in lectures, labs, on-line through BlazeView and the Mastering Geography website, or other supplementary materials is fair game for test questions.  If you must miss a test, you will need to notify me and come in for the make up in advance of the test date. Make up tests will only be allowed if you have a documented, university-recognized reason for missing the test.


The lab is an integral part of this class and you will need to attend the correct lab section in order to get full credit.  There are 11 lab exercises; the lowest grade will be dropped so only 10 labs will count toward your final grade.  If you miss a lab, it will become your dropped grade because labs cannot be made up.  If you miss more than three labs you will receive an F for the course (see VSU’s attendance policy).  All sections will complete the same lab each week.  A separate syllabus will be provided for the labs.

Mastering Geography assignments:

Beginning in Week 3, there will be an on-line assignment using Pearson’s Mastering Geography website (  These assignments will open at midnight on Sunday night and will close at 11:59 p.m. the following Monday (this is the same timing as the BlazeView quizzes).  These assignments are open book and do not have to be completed in a single session.  The credit will automatically decrease by 5 percent for every day that you are late. If you complete an assignment after the due date, you must tell me (through e-mail) once you have done so in order for the grade to be updated in the course gradebook.


Please note that this website is accessed separately from BlazeView and you need to register using the information on the first page of this syllabus and the access code that came with your textbook.  If you purchased a used textbook or you are renting your textbook a code can be purchased separately at the MasteringGeography website.  If you encounter problems with the MasteringGeography website, you will need to contact their support personnel using the support links on that website.

Attendance and Participation:

Regular attendance is expected and you alone are responsible for attending class, obtaining all material covered in the class.  Clicker questions and a seating chart will typically be used to take attendance.  If you sit in the wrong seat, you will be considered absent.  However, other means may be used for attendance/participation.  I have found that students with good attendance have better grades and I recommend you attend every possible class meeting.

BlazeView quizzes:


Beginning with an initial quiz about the information in this syllabus, you will have weekly quizzes under the “Assessments” tab in BlazeView.  The quizzes will open at midnight on Sunday night and will close at 11:59 p.m. the following Monday (this is the same timing as the MasteringGeography assignments).   Quizzes will have 8-12 questions that are one point each.  The quizzes are open book and you will have 60 minutes to complete them.  There are no makeups for missed quizzes and the two lowest quiz grades will be dropped.  If you encounter problems with BlazeView contact the BlazeView (e-Learning) or D2L support personnel; I do not provide technical support for BlazeView and technical difficulties are not an excuse for not finishing the quizzes.





General Information


The VSU absence policy states: “A student who misses more than 20% of the scheduled classes of a course will be subject to receiving a failing grade in the course.”  For this course, that means six lectures or three labs.



You can officially withdraw from the class by completing the appropriate form on Banner.  If done before mid-term day (see the section of Other Important Dates to Know), there is no penalty to your grade.  You must complete this process, NOT the professor.  If you stop attending class after mid-term day without officially withdrawing you will likely receive a failing grade.

Scholastic dishonesty:

Cheating is not tolerated.  If you are caught then you will receive a zero on that test or assignment.  If you are caught a second time you will receive an “F” in the class.  With each incident, I will submit a Report of Academic Dishonesty to the Dean of Students.

Disruptive behavior

Actions that disrupt the concentration of your classmates or distract me are not tolerated.  This includes talking, laughing, shuffling papers, and using electronic devices (cell phones, laptops, etc.).  If your actions are disruptive I will ask you to stop.  If the disruption continues I will ask you to leave.  If you refuse, I will have the University Police remove you.

Special services:

Students requesting classroom accommodations or modifications due to a documented disability must contact the Access Office for Students with Disabilities located in the Farber Hall. The phone numbers are 245-2498 (V/VP) and 219-1348 (TTY).

Student Success Center:

The Student Success Center (SSC) provides free peer tutoring for this class.  The SSC also offers academic advising and workshops to help students improve their academic progress.  You can make appointments with the Supplemental Instructor (SI) for this class and learn more about the SSC and the services they offer at their website:


Out of respect for your privacy, I will only discuss your grades if we are face-to-face and I will discuss them only with you (there are limited exceptions to this that requires your signature on appropriate paperwork).  Grades are posted in Banner and BlazeView ONLY.  I do not give out grades over the phone or by e-mail.