Teach the Earth > Course Design > Course Goals/Syllabus Database > Geomorphic Processes with Lab

Geomorphic Processes with Lab

Martin Lafrenz

Portland State University
University with graduate programs, primarily masters programs


In this course we will study landform processes at the Earth's surface including the work of water, wind, and ice in erosion, transportation, and deposition on land and in the sea. The significance of geomorphic processes to human activities will also be covered. Using maps, aerial photographs, digital terrain models, and direct observation, we will discuss techniques for detecting patterns on the landscape and correlating those patterns to geomorphic processes. By observing the dynamic changes in landscapes and landforms, we will discover the art of both describing the cause of those changes and predicting the result of future geomorphic events. A two-day weekend field trip is required.

Course URL:
Subject: Geography
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14)
Course Type: Entry Level:Physical Geography
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an upper-division elective geography course with a prerequisite of introductory physical geography. The course has a required three-hour laboratory and a required two-day field trip.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to analyze and interpret the various landforms on the surface of the Earth.
Students should be able to link pattern with the process.
Students should be able to define how humans affect landform expression.
Students should be able to model geomorphic trends using MS Excel.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Through a series of exams, lab assignments, and a field trip, students learn about various types of landforms and the process that lead to landform development. Students are evaluated primarily on their narrative description of lab assignments and their description of the field trip.

Skills Goals

Student writing
Quantitative analysis

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Student writing is evaluated in conjunction with quantitative analysis by evaluating a student's ability to correctly and lucidly describe the results of lab assignments and a description of the features and processes observed on the field trip.

Attitudinal Goals

Improving students awareness of the human impact on the natural environment.


Exams, lab assignments, and written work.


Syllabus (Microsoft Word 64kB May5 08)

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