GEOG 1301
Physical Geography

Western Texas College
Department of Social Science

  1. Basic Course Information
    1. Course Description:  This course introduces students to the processes that drive Earth’s physical systems. Students will explore the relationships among these physical systems, with emphasis on weather and climate, water, ecosystems, geologic processes and landform development, and human interactions with the physical environment.
    2. Prerequisites:  Students should have a proficiency in reading.
  2. Student Learning Outcomes
    1. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of scientific investigation as they apply to Earth’s physical systems and processes.
    2. Describe and explain the processes of Earth’s physical systems: weather and climate, water, ecosystems, geologic processes and landform development.
    3. Demonstrate an understanding of the interactions among the Earth’s physical systems.
    4. Demonstrate an understanding of the modifications humans make to the environment through interactions with Earth’s physical systems.
  3. Major Course Requirements
    1. Exams:  There will be Five or Six Exams for the semester and questions may include any or all of the following:  multiple choices fill in the blanks, short answer, maps, graphs, and essay.
    2. Special Projects and map activities:  There will be fifteen to twenty projects involving observing and recording weather phenomenon, creating and interpreting maps, graphing demographic data and reporting observations involving human behavior.  Also included in this portion of the grade is the oral report on Traditional Cultures mentioned above. 
    3. Class Participation:  This grade will be determined by how well and how positively the student contributes to class discussion.
  4. Information on Books and Other Course Materials
    1. Pidwirny, Michael. Fundamentals of Physical Geography (2nd ed). Only available from :  (This is an E-Text and Free).
  5. Other Policies: Please refer to the WTC Course Catalog for the following:
    1. Campus Calendar
    2. Final Exam schedule
    3. How to drop a class
    4. Withdrawal information
    5. Student Conduct/Academic Integrity
    6. Students with disabilities.
  6. Course Organization & Tentative Schedule*




Week 1

Introduction to the discipline of geography

Chapter 1

Week 2

Continued Introduction to geography

Chapter 1

Week 3

Techniques of Geographic Analysis

Chapter 2

Week 4

System Theory

Chapter 4

Week 5

The Gaia Hypothesis

Chapter 5

Week 6

Energy and Matter

Chapter 6

Week 7

Introduction to the Atmosphere 

Chapter 7

Week 8

Continuation regarding the Atmosphere

Chapter 7

Week 9

Introduction to the Hydrosphere

Chapter 8

Week 10

Continuation regarding the Hydrosphere

Chapter 8

Week 11

Introduction to the Biosphere

Chapter 9

Week 12

Continuation regarding the Biosphere

Chapter 9

Week 13

Introduction to the Lithosphere

Chapter 10

Week 14

Continuation regarding the Lithosphere

Chapter 10

Week 15


Week 16

Final Exam


*Disclaimer: The above schedule, policies, procedures, and assignments in this course are subject to change at the discretion of the instructor.



Last Modified: August 31, 2017