Cartography, Landforms and Landform Analysis

Charles Dodd

Shoreline Community College (Two Year College)


Geography 205 is an introductory course to physical geography. This course, the first of a two course series (the other is Geography 206: Weather, Climate and Ecosystems) for Physical Geography at Shoreline Community College. The course focuses on the formal study of the earth's surface and the various physical systems that interact with, and shape, its surface. Particular attention is given to the earth's landforms, including formation processes, interpretation and representation. These topics will be presented within the context of a global, North American and local (Pacific Northwest and the Puget Sound) perspective. In addition to the emphasis placed on map interpretation, some emphasis is also placed on graphic and statistical data interpretation.

Course Type: Intro Level:Physical Geography
Course Size:

Course Context:

This is an introductory physical geography course with no prerequisites. The course fulfills lab science distribution requirement. 80% of students take the course for science distribution requirements.

Course Goals:


1) Students should be able to use the tools and working terminology of physical geographers.
2) Students should be able to locate and interpret types of landforms that are represented on maps.
3) Students should be able to understand the physical processes influencing the earth's landforms.
4) Students should be able to appreciate the role of human activity on landform processes and the importance of different types of landforms to humans.


1) Interpret distances and elevations from cartographic, graphic and statistical sources.

2) Analyze and describe scale, direction and distance relationships quantitatively and qualitatively.

3) Establish elevation and distance estimates based on interpretation and calculation of information from topographic maps.

4) Use equations to represent physical processes influenceing the landscape.

5) Calculate probabilities and rates of events in the landscape.

6) Identify, interpret, analyze and describe physical processes in the landscape using topographic maps, statistical tables, visual images and graphic information.

7) Experience group problem solving.

8) Assess and describe limitations of quantitative descriptions and measurements of physical processes.



Syllabus (Microsoft Word 48kB Jun25 06)

Teaching Materials:

References and Notes:

Tom McKnight and Darrel Hess, Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation, Prentice Hall Pub., (8th ed.) 2004.

Geography 205 Reading Packet