> > Physical Systems of the Environment

Physical Systems of the Environment

Prof. K. Solomon Isiorho, Biology Department (formerly with the now extinct Geosciences Department)
Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne

Summary


The course is designed to give students a basic understanding of the physical environment, which we will view as a complex system of interacting components. Emphasis will be given to the dynamics of the individual components, the way these interact, and the global patterns that result when the components are integrated. Students would be required to 'travel' around the world making observations of the climates, time zones, and vegetation type and other environmental features. Students will also be required to make observations (using a scientific method) for two weeks of an aspect of the environment and write a report. Students should compare the effects of "CLASS STANDING/STATUS" i.e. social economic standing/status, on water quality & quantity from any two different locations (one location from the African Continent and the other from North America Continent (outside of Indiana)). Students who successfully complete this course will relate their activities to the environment and the environment to their activities.

Course Size:
31-70

Course Format:
default

Institution Type:
Four-Year College

Course Context:

This is an introductory course with no pre-requisites and does not serve as a prerequisite for other courses. Typically, 50% of the students take the course as pre-service elementary teachers, and 50% of the students take the course to satisfy a general education requirement. The course has an optional lab. Students who decide to major in geology must take a subsequent course in physical geology.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to collect and analyze data
Students should be more aware of their surrounding (environment)
Students should be able to relate their activities to weather/surrounding

Course Features:

Students have a four-week window to collect weather data of a given region in the United States of America using either the national weather service or local TV stations. Students will then analyze, interpret and write a ten-page report on the weather of the region. Also, students are given the opportunity to "travel" to Africa to examine the role social and class standings play on water procurement. Students will then write a ten-page report, comparing the role social, class standing have on water procurement of that region to their own region. Class group discussions would be required and this, hopefully, would stimulate serious discussions amongst the students. The discussions may lead to some change in attitudes to their positions on the environment (weather and water).

Assessment:

Students would be assessed through exams, reports, and class discussions

Syllabus:

Slightly modified from my Spring 2017 Physical Systems of Environmental syllabus. Geog. G107 Physical Systems of the Environment (...). Tentative Syllabus.

Instructor: Prof. K. S. Isiorho E-mail: Isiorho@ipfw.edu Phone: (260) 481-6249

Course Description:

The course is designed to give students a basic understanding of the physical environment, which we will view as a complex system of interacting components (climate, soils, and other Earth materials and processes). Emphasis will be given to the dynamics of the individual components, the way these interact, and the global patterns that result when the components are integrated. Students would be required to 'travel' around the world making observations of the climates, time zones, and vegetation type and other environmental features. Students will also be required to make observations (using a scientific method) for two weeks of an aspect of the environment and write a report. Compare the effects of "CLASS STANDING/STATUS" i.e. social economic standing/status, on water quality & quantity from any two different locations (one location from the African Continent and the other from North America Continent (outside of Indiana)). Students who successfully complete this course will relate their activities to the environment and the environment to their activities. Students will be assessed through exams, class projects and reports.

NOTE: Check the syllabus on a weekly basis, as it is a living document. The content will not change, but new useful materials could be added.
READ AND MAKE SURE YOU UNDERSTAND THE SYLLABUS! The syllabus has four units and there are assignment and or exams in each unit.

Look at the Assignments link to the left for the assignment drop box. Don't forget to have a minimum of two postings per week to the discussion board...check the syllabus for instruction.

As an online course, think of me (the instructor) as living in MELBOURN, AUSTRALIA. You don't want to travel to Melbourne to ask me questions or show things to me. Everything will be done online.
You can make itJ

Objectives:

Provide students with a basic understanding of the earth, origin, and composition. Provide some geologic principles and processes in and on the earth.
Provide an understanding of landscapes in the world especially, within the United States. Improve student's skills in analyzing data.

Course learning activities: writing, tests and quiz will be used to assess progress toward the general education requirement

Discussion board postings: REQUIREMENT:
You are required to participate in the class board discussion. The discussion will begin ... to end ..., a ten- week posting. The discussion is worth 10% of your course grade.
- an introduction AND a photograph (portrait of yourself) ....1%. This should be done within the first week (....) of class
- over the time span stated in the syllabus (...), students are required to make two intelligent and meaningful postings per week. (A week is Monday through Sunday)

- students may have more than one post a day, BUT only one post will count (graded) for each date. (Therefore, you cannot complete all of your postings for the week in one day). [Two postings/week, 2%... ten weeks 10%...introduction with picture...1% (bonus)]
- you should put thought into your post AND make sure it is posted in the correct topic thread
- a thread could correspond to chapter material; for example, minerals. An example of a discussion under this thread may read something like ... I discovered this mineral and I am not sure what it is...it is bluish in color and hard and it is being sold for x$... see attached picture. Or ask some questions...what is the most useful mineral and how would you justify its usefulness? One can ask question or answer questions posted or share something that you saw around you/news relevant to the topic under the discussion thread
- avoid starting another thread if that thread already exists...for example.. thread on Igneous rocks already exists and someone starts another thread with granite will not be appropriate as granite is a type of igneous rock

- avoid previously posted information...do not repeat what other students have written

- a week is Monday through Sunday... (posting starts ..... and ends ...)
- be considerate and polite to others
- comments on topics other than the topic thread or inappropriate statements are not acceptable. Those postings will not be scored and may be removed

Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding the material. However, we encourage the use of the available tools, i.e. syllabus, textbook, and PowerPoint lectures before contacting me with trivial questions. I look forward to helping you succeed throughout the semester!

NOTE: All reports must be saved as portable digital format (PDF) or in Microsoft word and 'dropped' in the appropriate assignment drop box in blackboard. The titles of your reports must include your name, G107, and the type of report. EXAMPLE, IsiorhoaboutRptG107 ... failure to have your name as part of your file name will cost you points.

Your report must be sent before 11:00 p.m. OR as posted. Any report received after 11:00 p.m. or as posted, will not be graded. You are responsible for all materials in the textbook and or internet links and you could get questions outside of lectures/lecture outlines ... applied questions.
Grading scale: A=90-100; B=80-89; C=70-79; D=60-69; F=<60

I DO NOT CURVE. PLEASE DO NOT ASK ME FOR EXTRA CREDIT ... put that energy into your exams and reports.

Code of Student Rights, Responsibility, and Conduct:

Students are strongly advised to know the Code of Student Rights, Responsibility, and Conduct that can be found in the Student Handbook and Planner that is published each fall semester. Students are expected to read and understand the Code as it relates to cheating, plagiarizing, and aiding and abetting others to cheat and/or plagiarize. Students caught cheating and/or plagiarizing on tests, reports, or projects will receive a zero for that portion of the course.

"Part I.B.3 Individual Rights and Responsibility as Students

In the classroom, students have the freedom to raise relevant issues pertaining to classroom discussion, to offer reasonable doubts about data presented, and to express alternate opinions to those discussed. However, in exercising this freedom, students shall not interfere with the academic process of the class."

Students with Disabilities:

"If you have a disability and need assistance, special arrangements can be made to accommodate most needs. Contact the Director of Services for Students with Disabilities (Walb, room 113, telephone number (260) 481-6658), as soon as possible to work out the details. Once the Director has provided you with a letter attesting to your needs for modification, bring the letter to me. For more information, please visit the web site for SSD at http://www.ipfw.edu/ssd/"

Exams/Reports:

Three exams and finals. Course grades will be based on two exams (40%), finals (20%), Water report (16%), discussion (10%), Weather report (8%), Rock report (4%), and signed Gen Ed Quiz report (2%). NOTE: All reports must be sent as attachment (PDF or Microsoft word document) to me through Blackboard drop box. Your report should include your name, and type of report (water/group or rock). Your report must be sent before 5:00 p.m. any report received after 5 p.m. will have points deducted and report will not be graded if received than 24-hour late.

(Start early, no extension, no exemption, and no excuses will be accepted)

Weather report (8%). Make a four-week (28 consecutive days) weather observation in Fort Wayne or any NE Indiana location and write a one-page double space summary of your observation. You must include your readings in a table format (not included in the one-page write up limit). Choose any two weather elements such as precipitation, temperature, clouds type/cover, and wind speed/direction to monitor during the 28 continuous day observation. You could use any of the five (six) TV stations or the national weather station for NE Indiana to collect your data. Report is due .....

(Suggestion: collect your weather data within January/February/ early March)

Rock report (4%) A half page double space report on any rock in the Geogarden (need not follow the report format given below) is due ..., 20... Your report should include the name of the specific rock, mineral composition, why you chose the rock, and any use of the rock.

Water report (16%) Compare the effects of "CLASS STANDING/STATUS" i.e. social economic standing/status, on water quality & quantity from any two different locations (one location from the African Continent and the other from North America Continent (outside of Indiana)). NOTE: YOU COMPARE A COUNTRY TO COUNTRY, A STATE TO STATE, OR CITY TO A CITY. For North America, you can examine the political, economic, class and environmental implication for irrigation in the United States (would need to specify a place or region). Your report must follow the "Report Format" given below and it should also include the location (village/town/city, region, or country) gender and class standing. I will be looking for the role of diversity in water supply and your personal reflection in your water report. Write a minimum of 6-page double space report (don't count pictures or maps or graphs or tables as part of the 6 pages) with a minimum of three peer reviewed references. Use the report format given at the bottom of the syllabus. Draft report due, 20.. by 6:00 p.m. (bonus 1%) and Final Report (through Blackboard Assignment Box is due 3:00 pm .., 20.. (NO EXCUSE WILL BE ACCPETED. Report will not be graded if received late) (NO HARD COPY WILL BE GRADED).

You may use the discussion board for questions and answers. Tests will be taken online.

Tentative Schedule:
Note: The Headings may not correspond to your textbook chapter headings. The class notes (outlines) should help you in your reading. The draft power points are also important...to help you focus on some important topics that you should master.

UNIT I

Introduction to Earth (Chpt. 1)
Environmental sphere, size and shape of earth. The latitudes and longitudes, Earth movement, the seasons and time (Official time zones).

Portraying Earth (Chpt 1)
Maps and scales, introduction to remote sensing

Introduction to the Atmosphere (Chpt.)
Composition and structure of the atmosphere, elements of weather and climate
Insolation and Temperature (Chpt.)
Solar energy (insolation), basic process of heating and cooling of the atmosphere, mechanism of heat transfer, global temperature patterns.
CLASS NOTE I

Draft of PowerPoint slides

EXAM 1: Monday ... through Noon, Wednesday

UNIT II
Atmospheric Pressure and Wind (Chpt. 5)
Nature of atmospheric pressure and wind, nature of wind (direction of movement, cyclones, anticyclones) general circulation of the atmosphere, localized wind systems (sea and land breezes, katabatic, Chinook, Froehn, valley and mountain breezes).
Atmospheric Moisture (Chpt. 4)
Measures of humidity (absolute, specific, relative), condensation (clouds, fog, dew, adiabatic processes), precipitation (processes, forms, atmospheric lifting), global distribution of precipitation (average precipitation, seasonal precipitation patterns, variability).
Transient Atmospheric Flows and Disturbance (Chpt. 6)
Air masses (characteristics, origin, classification, movement and modification), fronts (cold, warm, stationary, occluded), atmospheric disturbances.
Climatic Zones and Types ( biomes ) (Chpt. 7)
Climatic classification (purpose, classification schemes, modified Koppen System, climographs), world distribution of climatic types (Tropical Humid, Dry, Mild Mid latitude, Sever mid latitude, polar, highland), global pattern.
Oct. 2, 2006 Cloud cover movie .... by Prof Isiorho... enjoy
CLASS NOTE II
Draft power point slide II
EXAM 2: Monday ... through Noon, ... Wednesday

UNIT III
Soils (Chpt. 10)
Soil and regolith, soil forming factors (geologic, climatic, topographic, biological, chronological), soil components (inorganic, organic, air, water) Soil properties (color, texture, structure), chemistry (colloids, cation exchange, acidity/alkalinity) soil profiles, pedogenic regimes (laterization, podsolization, gleization, calcification, salinization), soil classification, global distribution of major soils (entisols, vertisols, andisols, inceptisols, aridisol, mollisol, spodosol, alfisols, ultisols, oxisols, histosols)
Check this site for detailed Soil Science course (University of Minnesota). Compare this Amazon Rain Forest...forest fire...soil to the wildfires of October-December of 2016
Earth Materials (Chpt.)
Composition of the crust (igneous, sedimentary, metamorphic), some critical concepts (basic terms, uniformitarianism, geologic time), internal and external geomorphic processes.
(Geogarden: write a half-page report on any rock (that must include: name, mineral composition,

uses, and why you chose the rock) in the garden and send your report to me through email before 5:00 p.m., ... 20.. (4% of course grade))
The Internal Processes (Chpt)
Crustal rearrangement (continental drifts, plate tectonics), volcanism, diastrophism (folding and faulting) Weathering and Mass Wasting (Chpt.)

Weathering (physical, chemical), mass wasting (fall, slide, slump, flow, creep)

Draft power point slides

CLASS NOTE III

EXAM 3: Monday ... through Noon, Wednesday A

UNIT IV
The Hydrosphere (Chpt.)
The hydrologic cycle (surface to air, air to water, movement on and beneath surface, residence times, surface water (lakes, swarms and marshes, rivers and streams) Underground water (aeration, saturation zones, aquifer, pumping, drawdown)
The Fluvial Processes ( Chpt. 16)
Fundamental concepts (drainage basins), stream channels, stream systems (basins), valleys (deepening, widening, lengthening)

Power point slides (Quick review) for rivers and groundwater

Spectacular pictures for 2003 Courtesy of Kristi Emely
The Topography of Arid Lands ( Chpt. none)

The work of the wind (erosion, transportation, deposition), characteristics of desert landforms
(Dust aggravates droughts?)
Glacial Terrain
Impact of glacial on the landscape, types of glaciers (continental, mountain, how glaciers form), how glaciers form. Glaciated landforms

Class notes for Unit 4 Important words for test four EXAM 4 (Not comprehensive): Monday ... through Noon, Wednesday

REPORT FORMAT (you must follow this format): Use the red lettered words in your subheadings
 Title (what is your report about? not more than 15 words),


Abstract (a special type of summary of your report that includes problem/question asked, method, result and conclusion, about half page max... your name should be above the word abstract),


Introduction (what do you know about the topic and what has been done and why this report i.e. purpose?), Method/Approach (how did you you get your information result, data etc.),

Result/Data (self explanatory...could put your result(s) in table format and graph(s) your data if possible), Discussions (what does your result mean? .... include your opinion here),


Conclusion (two to four-sentence summary of your report),

Acknowledgment (if any),

References (what works did you cite?)
Minimum of Three references in APA format... (Wikipedia citing is not an acceptable reference)


ALL EXAMS WILL BE ONE SEVENTY MINUTES LONG

Isiorho's webpage Geogarden IPFW Other Links
The Hydrologic Cycle
USGS Surface runoff (Runoff)

Tsunamis animation
USGS Groundwater site
The Color of Water...maybe useful in your water report. For Test #3 ...check the drawing in "igneous" rocks
Last updated April 20, 2017

COURSE GRADE, EXAMS, REPORTS AND DUE DATES: Three exams and finals.

EXAM 1: Monday ... through Noon, Wednesday
EXAM 2: Monday ... through Noon, Wednesday ..., 20..
EXAM 3: Monday ... through Noon, Wednesday ... 20..
FINALS: (Not comprehensive): Monday ... through Noon, Wednesday ... 20..

Course grades will be based on

Two exams (40%) (will drop the lowest score of the first three tests), Finals (test #4) (20%)

Weather Report (8%) is due ..., 2017.

Rock report (4%), ..., 2017 Water report (16%) (Due ..., 2017).

Signed Gen Ed Quiz Form (2%) Due ... (to be turned in through blackboard assignment drop box. Will get CREDIT for only SIGNED quiz results).

DISCUSSIONS (10%)

Total =100%
NOTE: YOU CAN TURN IN YOUR REPORT/ASSIGNMENT BEFORE THEIR DUE DATES

ALL EXAMS ARE OPEN BOOK AND WILL BE TAKEN ONLINE IN BLACKBOARD. THE HONOR SYSTEM IS ASSUMED DURING TEST TAKING. DO NOT DISCUSS ANY EXAM QUESTIONS OR WORK IN GROUPS. ANYONE CAUGHT CHEATING WILL AUTOMATICALLY GET ZERO FOR THAT TEST.

References and Notes: