Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences- Environmental Science
Laboratory Activity: The Sun and Climate part of Quantitative Skills:Activity Collection
In this physical geography lab, students examine the relationship between solar altitude, solar declination, and temperature regimes. The students begin by relating solar altitude to something that they have had practice observing (shadows). They then use a sextant to measure the sun's altitude more precisely. Students also make decisions about what other data and metadata to record in their field notes in order to determine how solar altitude is related to temperature. After comparing their measurements to the predicted solar altitude for San Diego, the students calculate solar altitudes for other locations on the globe. As a follow-up exercise, students compare their solar altitude graphs with temperature data, and qualitatively predict the temperature regime in the arctic based on solar altitude.
Geography 101 / 101L part of Quantitative Skills:Courses
(From catalog description) This course examines the major world patterns of the physical environment. The course covers the fundamental information and processes dealing with the earth's landforms, atmosphere, natural vegetation, water, and soils, along with the appropriate use of maps and charts. (Instructor's note) The course, as I teach it, emphasizes being able to "read" landscapes, and to interpret the natural processes and cycles that produce them. The lab (from which I submitted an exercise) offers hands-on training in some of the basic techniques used to study physical features, patterns, and landscapes.