Geography 1L - Physical Geography Laboratory

Instructor: Sean Booth
Phone: (916) 781-0437

Course Description

This lab is a companion to the Physical Geography course. Much of the scientific concepts are discussed in this lab, please note however, that it is very useful to have a background in physical geography or be taking a physical geography class concurrently. For those who are not well-versed in physical geography, it is essential to read all relevant textbook chapters (associated with the lab exercise) beforehand. You must read the lab exercises beforehand as well.

Most of the work is hands-on exercises provided in the lab manual -- using written explanations, diagrams, formulas, and models provided in class. In addition, a great deal of information will be obtained from lectures that are presented at the beginning of class to help you complete your exercises.

Course Goals & Objectives

By the end of this semester, the student should be able to recognize major physical characteristics and concepts of the Earth. Specifically your success depends on learning these concepts:

Earth-Sun relations, the atmosphere and atmospheric pressure, weather and climate, compass use and directions, volcanic landforms, streams and fluvial landforms, and more. (See Course Outline for details.)

Texts and Suggested Reading

Attendance, Expectations and Classroom Decorum

This class will meet one (1) time per week for three (3) hours. You are expected to come to class always, just like a job. This is not a self-guided course, and you cannot grasp the full scope of this subject on your own. There will be a roll sheet passed, which you are asked to sign.

Academic Honesty

Do not cheat, plagiarize, or furnish false information to the college as defined by the Sierra College academic regulations. If you are guilty of dishonesty, you will receive a failing grade. Sierra College may further discipline you through reprimand, probation, social probation, suspension or expulsion. I have failed students for cheating, so do your own work.


A = 90 - %100

Midterm Exam 1 = 100 points

B = 80 - % 89

Midterm Exam 2 = 100 points

C = 70 - % 79

Pop Quizzes = 25 points

D = 60 - % 69


F = < %60


Exams - Taking a mid-term exam is a big deal, especially in this class. There will be only two (2) open-book exams, so be completely prepared. You must have completed and understand all exercises up to that point!

For absences during one of these exams, you must tell me in advance! For extraordinary cases, such a dire medical illness, incarceration, an alien abduction or an event beyond your control, again you must contact me immediately and no later than the next class meeting. You must also provide proof of this situation. Do not miss an exam or risk failure of this class.

Credit / No Credit - You may take this course on a credit / no credit basis or a letter grade. A letter grade will be assigned unless you request a CR/NCR option.

Withdrawals - a "W" cannot and will not be granted to any student who is enrolled in the class after the semester deadline (beginning of Nov. (fall) and middle of April (spring). It is your responsibility to initiate this process! Students who do not request a "W" before the deadline and do not complete course work will receive a failing grade.

Incomplete - an incomplete "I" grade is rarely granted except under extraordinary circumstances with verified proof, such as a written medical notice.

Final Words - No assignments will be assigned outside of class, but you must read the lab exercise before class! Participation and working with your peers helps complete the exercises and learn the concepts. Finally, remember only two (2) exams are given based on you lab work -- so do the exercises when scheduled!