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Courses: a list of courses I currently teach

GEO 101 Atmospheric Processes

Syllabus - From Fall 2010

I teach this class every fall as an evening course and during the first summer session as a day course. During the semester, we explore the seasons, the atmosphere's composition, the dynamics of atmospheric moisture and temperature, the global pressures and winds, and the different global climates and biomes. Finally, we briefly explore the study of soils and biogeography. The same book, Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation, is used for all sections of GEO 101 and GEO 102 taught at South Alabama.

GEO 102 Landscape Processes

Syllabus - From Spring 2011

I teach this class every spring as an evening course. During the semester, we explore the processes responsible for shaping the land by studying volcanoes, earthquakes, and other land-building processes. We also study processes responsible for breaking down the land, including mass movements, water, wind, and glaciers. The same book, Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation, is used for all sections of GEO 101 and GEO 102 taught at South Alabama.

GEO 201 Geography Orientation

Syllabus - From Fall 2010

Taught every fall, this course is required 1-credit course for new geography majors, but geography minors are also welcome. The class meets once a week for the first six weeks of the semester. Students explore the fundamentals of the geographic discipline by listening to presentations by the geography faculty members. A mandatory 1-day field trip is also included in the course.

GEO/GY 310 Environmental Earth Sciences

Syllabus - From Spring 2010

This course will be taught again in Spring 2012. This course can either be taken as a geology or geography class. We cover natural resources and environmental issues. A few of the topics include convectional and alternative energy sources, resource consumption, water use, water wars, deforestation, and air pollution.A background in GEO 101, GEO 102, GY 111, or GY 112 is recommended.

GEO 385 Natural Hazards and Disasters

(taught as GEO 490.101 in Spring 2011)


This is a new course that will first be offered as a GEO 490 Special Topics course in Spring 2011. When the paperwork is approved, it will be offered as GEO 385 and will be taught every other spring (in odd years). We look at all aspects of natural hazards and disasters in the course, analyzing the underlying processes for their occurrence, the threat to human life and property, and the potential disasters. A prerequisites of either GEO 102 or GY 111 is required. It will be offered again in Spring 2013.

GEO 412 Physiography of North America

Syllabus - From Spring 2010

This course is taught every other spring semester. In the course, we look at the different regions of North America as defined by the processes that shaped the regions. We look at the Great Plains, Basin and Range, Rocky Mountains, the Appalachian region, and several other regions in North America. Readings are assigned from materials placed on reserve in the University Library. The course is a writing intensive course with students completing a series of short papers on different North American regions. The final paper is a revised paper based on the short papers students wrote throughout the semester.

GEO 435 Research Methods

Syllabus - From Fall 2010

This course is taught every fall semester and is a required class for all geography majors. Geographic research is conducted using several different methods, based on the particular problem or question being studied. This course explores muliple avenues that can be taken to obtain data. Other topics also covered in the course include data analysis and presentations.
I teach this course every other spring semester; however, the course is also taught by other instructors during the summer and fall semesters. In this course, the basics of using GIS software is taught, including importing data, creating data tables, and creating maps. All sections of the course uses Getting to know ArcGIS Desktop (for ArcGIS 9) as the textbook.

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Page maintained by Carol Sawyer. Last updated: 05-Jul-2011