Earth Environments: Weather and Climate

Faculty
Humanities & Social Sciences
Department
Geography and the Environment
Course Code
GEOG 1110
Credits
4.00
Semester Length
15
Max Class Size
28
Method Of Instruction
Lecture
Lab
Hybrid
Field Experience
Typically Offered
Fall
Summer
Winter
Campus
Online

Overview

Course Description
This introductory Physical Geography course explores Earth's atmosphere and biosphere by examining topics ranging from day-to-day weather variations to global climate change and the distribution of plants and animals on Earth. Using an Earth-systems approach and the concepts of energy balances and radiation laws, this course seeks to answer questions such as why do certain places have particular kinds of weather? How do forecasters predict the weather? What are the causes of global climate change? Human impacts on the atmosphere and biosphere are also examined.
Course Content

1. Introduction

Scientific method

Systems theory and its application to planet Earth

Sun / Earth geometry

2. Solar Energy and Radiation Laws

First Law of Thermodynamics

Electromagnetic radiation

Wien’s Displacement Law, Stephan-Boltzmann Law and the Inverse Square Law

Variation in the receipt of solar radiation

3. The Earth's Atmosphere

Evolution of the modern atmosphere

Classification of the atmosphere

Anthropogenic atmospheric pollutants and their effects

4. Energy Concepts, Energy Balance

Second Law of Thermodynamics

Energy transfer, transmission and absorption

Heat energy concepts

Radiation and energy balances

5. Temperature Variation

Influences on temperature

Temperature patterns

Measurement of temperature

6. Pressure and Atmospheric Circulation

Pressure and its variation, distribution and measurement

Gas Law

Forces influencing the direction and speed of upper level and surface winds

Patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation

Macro- and meso-scale winds

7. Moisture in the Atmosphere

Indices of water vapour content

Methods and forms of condensation

Mechanisms and forms of precipitation

8. Adiabatic Processes and Stability

Diabatic and adiabatic processes

Lapse rates

Concept and types of stability

9. Air Masses, Fronts, Mid-latitude Cyclones

Air mass formation, classification and modification

Front types, formation and characteristics

Development, evolution and movement of mid-latitude cyclones

Anticyclones

10 Severe Weather

Characteristics and life-cycles of air mass and severe thunderstorms

Tornado formation, characteristics and dimensions

Hurricane development, characteristics, structure, forecasts and damage

11. Biogeography

Ecological biogeography and its relationship to climatic patterns

Abiotic and biotic influences on primary productivity in various ecosystems

Trophic relationships in ecosystems

Stages of general ecological succession in ecosystems

12. Climate Change

Evidence for past climate variation

Urban heat island

Atmospheric greenhouse effect and critical analyses of global warming predictions

Local actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Methods Of Instruction

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following:  lecture, labs, field work, analysis and interpretation of surface weather charts and satellite images, multimedia, individual and/or team projects and small group discussions.

Means of Assessment

The evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy.  The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific evaluation criteria during the first week of classes.

 

An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Laboratory Assignments 10%
Laboratory Exams 30%
Midterm Exam 25%
Final Exam 25%
Term Project 10%
Total 100%

 

 

 

 

 

Note:  This course received a standing variance from Education Council in June 2016 to allow up to a 20% lab exam during the last 14 calendar days of the semester.  This is not a final exam; it is an assessment of student learning of lab work performed in the second half of the semester.

Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be  able to:

  1. Describe and use the frameworks of science applicable to 1st-year physical geography.
  2. Think critically and examine climatological, meteorological and biogeographical issues in a scientific context at local, regional and global scales.
  3. Describe and explain the processes that occur within earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere systems, and identify and describe interactions among these systems.
  4. Communicate effectively using the language, graphical presentation methods and quantitative methods employed in physical geography.
  5. Connect theoretical applications to “real-world” observations and measurements.

Textbook Materials

Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:

 

  • Christopherson, R. W., Birkeland, G., Byrne, M.L. and P. Giles  (2016). Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography, Fourth Canadian Edition.  Pearson /Prentice Hall.
  • Lutgens, F.K., Tarbuck, E.J., and D.G. Tasa (2016). Atmosphere: An Introduction to Meteorology, Thirteenth Edition. Pearson /Prentice Hall.

 

Requisites

Prerequisites

No prerequisite courses.

Corequisites

No corequisite courses.

Equivalencies

No equivalent courses.

Requisite for

Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Camosun College (CAMO) CAMO GEOG 272 (3) 2013/01/01 to -
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU GEOG 114 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2014/08/31
Capilano University (CAPU) CAPU GEOG 114 (4) 2014/09/01 to -
Coquitlam College (COQU) COQU GEOG 101 (3) 2008/09/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU GEOG 1110 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU GEOG 1110 (3) 2008/09/01 to 2020/08/31
Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOG 1180 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
Langara College (LANG) LANG GEOG 1180 (3) 2008/09/01 to -
Okanagan College (OC) OC GEOG 111 (3) 2015/09/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) DOUG EAES 1120 (3) & DOUG GEOG 1110 (4) = SFU EASC 101 (3) & SFU GEOG 111 (3) & SFU GEOG 1XX (1), B-Sci 2016/05/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GEOG 1XX (3), B-Sci & SFU GEOG 1XX (1), Physical A; DOUG GEOG 1110 (4) & DOUG GEOG 1120 (4) = SFU GEOG 111 (3), B-Sci & SFU EASC 101 (3) - B-Sci & SFU GEOG 1XX (1); DOUG GEOG 1110 (4) & DOUG GEOG 1120 (4) = SFU EASC 101 (3) & SFU GEOG 111 (3) & SFU GEOG 1XX (1), B-Sci 2008/09/01 to -
Simon Fraser University (SFU) SFU GEOG 1XX (3), B-Sci, Physical A; DOUG GEOG 1110 (3) & DOUG GEOG 1120 (3) = SFU GEOG 111 (3), B-Sci & SFU EASC 101 (3) - B-Sci; DOUG GEOG 1110 (3) & DOUG GEOG 1120 (4) = SFU EASC 101 (3) & SFU GEOG 111 (3), B-Sci 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
Simon Fraser University (SFU) DOUG GEOG 1110 (4) & DOUG GEOL 1120 (3) = SFU EASC 101 (3) & SFU GEOG 111 (3), B-Sci 2004/09/01 to 2019/04/30
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOG 122 (3) 2008/09/01 to 2010/08/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOG 122 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU GEOG 1220 (3) 2010/09/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GEOG 101 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GEOG 1XX (3), *NATS, lab 2009/09/01 to -
Trinity Western University (TWU) TWU GEOG 1XX (3) 2008/09/01 to 2009/08/31
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO GEOG 108 (3) 2005/05/01 to 2008/08/31
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO GEOG 108 (3) 2008/09/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV GEOG 102 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) UBCV GEOB 102 (3) 2008/09/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENSC 201 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC ENSC 201 (3) 2008/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 101 (4) 2008/09/01 to 2019/12/31
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 103 (4) 2019/09/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV GEOG 101 (3) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GEOG 110 (1.5) 2004/09/01 to 2008/08/31
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GEOG 1XX (1.5); DOUG GEOG 1110 (4) & DOUG GEOG 1120 (4) = UVIC GEOG 103 (1.5) & UVIC GEOG 1XX (1.5) 2011/09/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC GEOG 110 (1.5) 2008/09/01 to 2011/08/31
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOG 1st (3) 2004/09/01 to 2019/12/31
Vancouver Island University (VIU) VIU GEOG 211 (3) 2020/01/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2020

CRN
Days
Dates
Start Date
End Date
Instructor
Status
Location
32102
Mon Wed
08-Sep-2020
- 07-Dec-2020
08-Sep-2020
07-Dec-2020
Smythe
Susan
Waitlist
Online
Note: Considered UT Lab Science for Associate Degree

This course will include synchronous on-line activities. Students should plan to be available on-line at scheduled course times.
Max
Enrolled
Remaining
Waitlist
28
27
1
2
Days
Building
Room
Time
Mon Wed
11:30 - 13:20
CRN
Days
Dates
Start Date
End Date
Instructor
Status
Location
32444
Mon
08-Sep-2020
- 07-Dec-2020
08-Sep-2020
07-Dec-2020
Crowley
Rory
Waitlist
Online
GEOG 1110 004-Considered UT Lab Science for Associate Degree

This course will include synchronous on-line activities. Students should plan to be available on-line at scheduled course times.Note: Considered UT Lab Science for Associate Degree
Max
Enrolled
Remaining
Waitlist
28
28
0
2
Days
Building
Room
Time
Mon
16:30 - 18:20
CRN
Days
Dates
Start Date
End Date
Instructor
Status
Location
32445
Mon Wed
08-Sep-2020
- 07-Dec-2020
08-Sep-2020
07-Dec-2020
Smythe
Susan
Waitlist
Online
GEOG 1110 005-Considered UT Lab Science for Associate Degree

This course will include synchronous on-line activities. Students should plan to be available on-line at scheduled course times.
Max
Enrolled
Remaining
Waitlist
28
13
15
1
Days
Building
Room
Time
Mon Wed
14:30 - 16:20
CRN
Days
Dates
Start Date
End Date
Instructor
Status
Location
32446
Tue Thu
08-Sep-2020
- 07-Dec-2020
08-Sep-2020
07-Dec-2020
Smythe
Susan
Full
Online
GEOG 1110 006-Considered UT Lab Science for Associate Degree.

This course will include synchronous on-line activities. Students should plan to be available on-line at scheduled course times.
Max
Enrolled
Remaining
Waitlist
28
29
-1
0
Days
Building
Room
Time
Tue Thu
8:30 - 10:20