Westminster College

Instructor: Dr. Alan Goldin; Room: CSC106B
Office hours: MWF 10 A.M., T 1 P.M.
Phone: 592-5015 (
Class: MWF 1 - 1:50 A.M. WH144


This course explores the discipline of geography from the dual perspective of the natural and social sciences. Through an examination of key concepts, tools, and methodologies of both physical and human geography, students will be encouraged to develop an understanding of the interaction of human factors such as population, culture and economic or political organization with the physical environment.

Note: There may be slight alterations in this syllabus as the semester progresses. Any changes will be announced several times in class as well as announced on our Public Folders web site GEO101.


Week of Lecture Topic Chapter Reading* ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jan 13 & 20 Introduction to Geography, Weather & Climate 1,2

Jan 27 Weather and Climate 2

Feb 3 Landforms 3
**EXAM 1 Chapters 1 and 2 Feb 3 **

Feb 10 Landforms, Biogeochemical Cycles 3,4

Feb 17 & 24 Biogeochemical Cycles 4
**EXAM 2 Chapters 3 and 4 Feb 28 **

March 10 - April 30: Presentations given. Two presentations per class except April 7. Topics: Population, Migration, Cultural Geography, Geography of Languages, Geography of Religions, Human Food Supply, Earth's Resources, Cities and Urbanization, A World of States (Political Geography), National Paths to Economic Growth (Economic Geography), Global Economics, Political Regionalization and Globalization. See chapters 5-13 for ideas.
* Required: Introduction to Geography: People, Places and Environment by Edward Bergman and William Renwick. Second Edition, Prentice Hall, 2002.


Two exams will be given on the first four chapters related to physical geography (Feb 3 and Feb 28). These exams will be a combination of multiple choice, fill-in, definition, and essay.

A five-page paper on a cultural geography topic as well as the oral presentation of this topic during a class period are required. The presentation will be given by a pair of students, but the paper will be written and submitted individually. Presentations will be 30-40 minutes in length with time for questions. The students who make the presentation of each topic will also prepare a list of questions for a quiz either April 7 (presentations March 10 to April 4) or May 2 (presentations April 9 to April 30). The papers are due no later than two classes after your presentation. No extensions. Topic selection and name of partner are due February 10. Presentation date will be selected randomly on the tenth. Presentations will be evaluated by both instructor and fellow students for content, quality of presentation, and the ability of the students to answer questions. Audience will be expected to ask questions. The chapter for the particular topic should be read by the audience before coming to class.

A map quiz will be given on March 5 and will cover the location of countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The list of countries will be on the Public Folder GEO101.

Attending class is an essential part of your grade. You are allowed a maximum of three excused (or unexcused) absences. Each absence is worth 5 points. If you use <3 for the semester, your attendance grade will be 100. If you are absent 4 or more times, each of the absences will count its grade loss, so that with four absences, your attendance grade will be 80. It is YOUR responsibility to give me a doctor's or coach's note for each and every absence. This note MUST be delivered no later than the next class or the absence counts as "unexcused." The note from the coach can be similar to the following: "Mary Jones is on the softball team. She missed your class on February 4 due to her participation in a softball game in Springfield, Illinois." It MUST be signed and dated. Similarly, the physician's note must be specific. It is YOUR responsibility to get this note delivered on time. It is also your responsibility to sign in for class each day as well as to deliver ALL assignments on time. Lateness will result in a 10-point grade loss immediately after class ends and for each 24 hours thereafter.


Two exams 30%
Map quiz 13%
Presentation 12%
Quiz questions 5%
Paper 15%
Two quizzes on presentations 15%
Attendance 10%