Physical Geography 101
Physical Geography at Black Hawk College is an introductory course in geography. The course is a traditional lecture-style class, with a two hour lab. Through the use of lectures, textbook, and lab exercises, students explore and study the atmospheric and climatic processes of the Earth. The range of topics in this course is limited only by the events that have affected and shaped the Earth's atmosphere and climate, and the life that depends on it. The Sun, time, Earth/Sun energy interactions, composition and origin of the atmosphere, greenhouse effect, precipitation, pollution, weather patterns, climate, biomes and soils are but some of the subjects examined. We'll even ask the question, "What is Global Warming? Is Global Warming dangerous?" - the answers may surprise you!
The laboratory section of this course gives students a hands-on approach to learning about weather instruments, map reading, weather map interpretation and world weather patterns. Students will also participate in a field trip which examines local biodiversity, human influenced terrain and geomorphic processes.
Students will also complete a term project for this course. There are a variety of term projects that are available, including research papers and Geobrief reports. Research papers are typically 7 to 10 pages. The research papers are then either presented in an oral presentations of 7 to 10 minutes or developed into a web page. Each semester a list of topics are selected. One of these topics is chosen by the student, researched and submitted in a written paper or oral presentation. Topics are usually ones that are not covered in detail by the course materials or are topics of recent interest. Geobriefs are short reports on geographic events that are happening in the world today as reported in the news.
For those students needing a lab science course, this course meets the Lab Elective requirements.
Interested in seeing what students think after completing the course? This link will take you to a web page with recent student comments for the Physical Geography 101 course.