Physical Geography

Carla Grandy

City College of San Francisco
Two Year College


Introductory level physical geography course in which half of the semester is spent on geomorphology.

Course URL:
Subject: Geography
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Lower (13-14):Introductory Level, College Lower (13-14)
Course Type: Intro Level:Physical Geography
Earth System Topics: Geography
Theme: Teach the Earth:Teaching Environments:Intro Geoscience
Course Size:


Course Context:

This is an introductory course with no prerequisites. The students are primarily non-science majors. There is an optional 3 hour lab that accompanies the course.

Course Goals:

1. Students will understand tectonic setting and how it relates to geologic features.
2. Students will understand why earthquakes occur in the Bay Area.
3. When students are on a road trip they will look around and even if they don't understand the origin of the topographic and geologic features around them, then at least notice them and wonder why.
4. Students will be inspired to learn more about their surroundings.

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

As an introductory class students are introduced to the basic concepts of geomorphology and asked to relate them to their surroundings.

Attitudinal Goals

Developing students' sense of stewardship of the Earth.
Increasing student excitement about learning about the Earth.
Changing student attitudes about science.

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

In every section after presenting the basic science I try to include some aspect of resource management or hazard mitigation. Students are also given assignments which require them to investigate local geologic features.


Student learning is assessed based on exams and quizzes. The lab course is assessed separately.


Syllabus (Microsoft Word 42kB May7 08)