Richard Harwood's Courses

Physical Geography 102

Physical Geography 102
Course Syllabus - Spring 2017

Pinnacles Desert, Nambung National Park, Western Australia

Course Description

GEOG 102: The changing earth's crust and surface; how natural forces such as rivers, streams, glaciers, weathering, earthquakes and volcanism affect the surface and composition of the earth; Man's interactions with his environment; fundamental map concepts. 3 lecture hours; 2 lab hours per week. IAI: P1 909L

Class Meetings

Building 2, Room 219
11:00-11:50 a.m. MWF - Lecture
1:00-2:50 p.m. W - Lab


Richard Harwood

Office Hours

Monday-Wednesday-Friday 9:00-9:50, Monday-Wednesday 12:00-12:50 p.m., To arrange a meeting at times other than those listed, talk to the instructor in class, or during office hours. E-mail: Click here to see Richard Harwood's regular semester and finals schedule.

Course Schedule

Date Subject Reading Articles Lab Schedule
Jan. 18 Introduction to Course, Outline, Expectations Expectations Article
Geography Articles
1 - Introduction to Lab, Philosophy of Science
Jan. 20 Maps and Location Systems Map Articles  
Jan. 23  
Jan. 25 Rocks and Minerals Rocks and Minerals Articles 2 - Metric System, Scientific Notation and Graph Analysis
Jan. 27 Igneous Rocks Igneous Rocks Articles  
Jan. 30 Sedimentary Rocks Sedimentary Rocks Articles  
Feb. 1 Metamorphic Rocks Metamorphic Rocks Articles 3 - Topographic Maps
Feb. 3 Open Date    
Feb. 6 EXAM I    
Feb. 8 Structure of the Earth Earth Interior Articles 4 - Mineral Physical Properties and Identification
Feb. 10 Continents and Oceans Continents and Oceans Articles  
Feb. 13 Plate Tectonics Plate Tectonics Articles  
Feb. 15 Lab Practical I - covers Labs 1-4
Feb. 17 Open Date    
Feb. 20 President's Day - NO CLASSES    
Feb. 22 EXAM II   5 - Igneous Rock Identification
Feb. 24 Volcanic Landforms Volcanic Landforms Articles  
Feb. 27  
Mar. 1 6 - Sedimentary Rock Identification
Mar. 3 Tectonic Landforms Tectonic Landforms Articles  
Mar. 6  
Mar. 8 Open Date   7 - Metamorphic Rock Identification
Mar. 10 EXAM III    
Mar. 13-17 Spring Break - NO CLASSES    
Mar. 20 Earthquakes Earthquakes Articles  
Mar. 22 8 - Plate Tectonics
Mar. 24 Physical Weathering Physical Weathering Articles  
Mar. 27 Chemical Weathering Chemical Weathering Articles  
Mar. 29 Mass Wasting Mass Wasting Articles Lab Practical II - covers Labs 5-9
Mar. 31  
Apr. 3 Open Date    
Apr. 5 EXAM IV   9 - Volcanoes
Apr. 7 Hydrosphere and Hydrologic Cycle Hydrologic Cycle Articles  
Apr. 10 Ground Water Ground Water Articles  
Apr. 12 Surface Water Surface Water Articles 11 - Surface Water
Apr. 14 Holiday - NO CLASSES    
Apr. 17 Surface Water    
Apr. 19 Fluvial Processes and Erosion Fluvial Processes Articles 12 - Fluvial Processes
Apr. 21  
Apr. 24  
Apr. 26 EXAM V   13 - Stream and Mass Wasting Field Trip
wear footwear for muddy conditions; rain gear if needed
Apr. 28 Desert Landforms Desert Landforms Articles
May 1  
May 3 Lab Practical III - covers Labs 10-13
May 5 Glacial Landforms Glacial Landforms Articles  
May 8  
May 10 Make up lab day if needed
May 15 EXAM VI - 11:00 a.m.-12:50 p.m.    

The schedule is subject to changes during the semester. Students are responsible for keeping track of changes. The web page schedule will be updated when changes occur.

A detailed outline of each day's topics is available at the Lecture Material link.

Reading Assignments

This course does not use a traditional textbook. However, that does not mean there isn't text material for the course. No single textbook covers all of the topics that will be covered in this course. As a result, the reading assignments use a variety of materials including journal articles, magazine articles, newspaper articles, selected text from books, web pages, and other web-based resources. The total amount of reading material for this course is equivalent to a full-sized textbook. The difference is that it is not all located in one source. The Reading Material page lists the articles and web pages that are the reading assignment for each lecture.

Lab Manuals - Required

Physical Geography Lab Manual, by Richard Harwood
Mineral and Rock Identification Atlas, by Richard Harwood

Web Page Study Materials

Lecture outlines, study material, additional information, reading material and study guide questions may be found on the BHC Physical Geography 102 web page under the Study Material link at the top of this web page.

NOTICE: It is strongly recommended that students access, print out and read the lecture notes prior to attending class.

WARNING: The web page lecture notes are intended to be used to enhance and assist students in acquiring and learning the material presented in the lectures. They are designed to allow students to follow along and contribute to lectures without the need to write everything down in notes. The web page lecture notes, however, do not contain all of the material presented in class. The web page lecture notes are not a substitute for coming to lecture - attendance is required for successful completion of the course. The web page lecture notes alone will not see you through this course without attending lecture.

Students may access the Internet at any of the open computer labs on campus. Computers are available in the Independent Learning Center, Library and the Science Resources Lab (Rm 2-210). Students do not need an account or login name to access the Internet in these labs. Assistance is available in the labs for students that have never accessed material on the World Wide Web.


There are six exams. Each exam will be comprehensive. The majority of questions, approximately 80%, will cover material from the most recent lectures, with additional questions covering major topics, concepts and definitions from the previous sections and exams. Exams may not be taken before the scheduled exam time - no exceptions.

Exam Format

Each exam may contain one or more of the following items: multiple choice questions, true/false statements, matching, fill-in-the-blank statements, short essay topics, and full length essay topics. Students should read the Essay Policy prior to taking an exam.

Missed Exams and Lab Practicals

Missed exams and lab practicals will be made up by class time the first day that the student returns to class - no exceptions. For example, let's say you miss the first exam Monday, Feb. 6th. You then come to the next class period on Wednesday, Feb. 8th. You would be required to take the exam at that time, during the class period. Failure to take the exam at that time will result in a score of zero. All missed exams will be taken in the ILC's Testing Center. Students may arrange to take the exam prior to the next class period, and are encouraged to do so. Contact the ILC for Testing Room hours.

Extra Credit

There are no extra credit assignments.


The final grade will be calculated according to the following percentages:
    Exams and Practicals - 75%
    Lab Assignments - 25%

Click here to use a Grade Calculator to figure out your grade in the course.


All grades will be assigned using the following scale:
    A = 90-100%
    B = 80-89%
    C = 70-79%
    D = 60-69%
    F = <60%
No incompletes (I) will be given for any reason.

My policy on grades is that you will receive the grade that you earn. I do not "give" grades, you earn them. The grade that you earn will be based upon your knowledge of the required material, your skills in the required activities and your participation, performance and attitude.


Daily attendance is taken in this course. If you miss four lecture class hours, either consecutively or cumulatively, you may be officially withdrawn from the class for non-attendance. For additional information see the attendance policy section in the Student Handbook.

Missed Classes

I am not interested in hearing excuses for missed classes. Whether you are in class or not, you are responsible for all material and announcements presented in the lecture and lab sections. It is your job to make sure you have all of the current information. Missed assignments must be turned in by class time the first day that the student returns to class - no exceptions. Missed exams and lab practicals will be made up by class time the first day that the student returns to class - no exceptions. Failure to take the exam at that time will result in a score of zero.


You are all adults and I expect you to have behavior appropriate to a college level class - this is not High School. The classroom environment should be professional and friendly. Anyone showing disruptive behavior will be asked to leave. Disruptive behavior includes but is not limited to: a) using profanities, b) intentionally damaging classroom or laboratory materials, c) using cellular phones (Cell phones are to be turned off during class, lab and exams), d) playing video games while the instructor is addressing the class, e) placing feet on the lab table tops while class is in session, f) excessive talking while the instructor is addressing the class, and g) creating an environment that is not conducive to learning for others.

Cheating in any form will not be tolerated. Copying another's work, plagiarism and cheating on tests may be punishable by a failing grade on that assignment or exam, or a failing grade for the course - depending on the severity of the incident.

Recording of Lectures

Whether in analog or digital format, audio recordings, video recordings and still imagery of lectures and lecture materials are permitted for the express purpose of assisting the student in learning the course materials. The instructor must be notified if you are making recordings. Recordings are for the personal use of the student only. No recording may be copied, reproduced, transferred, shared, sold or distributed for any reason. Recordings may not be posted on the internet or any intranet, web site, blog, social media site or any other electronically hosted site. Engaging in any of the proscribed activities may result in the student receiving a failing grade, and may result in additional legal actions. For additional information see the "Use of Copyright Materials" section in the Student Handbook.

Food in the Classroom

I have no objection to your bringing food or drink into lecture or lab. However, it is your responsibility to clean up after yourself. Because other instructors and students use the classroom, don't leave your trash on the lab benches. Put all aluminum cans, plastic bottles and office paper in the proper recycling containers in the hall. Throw all other trash in the waste can in the classroom. If I find trash being left on the lab benches in lab or lecture I will ban all food and drink for everyone for the remainder of the semester.

Due Dates

You are responsible for knowing due dates and exam dates. They are on your syllabus, know them, even if they are not announced in class.

Class Preparation

I expect you to have read the lecture assignments prior to coming to class. Be prepared to discuss the material. A discussion requires at least two people that have read the material and are prepared to examine that information. A discussion with only one participant is a lecture.

Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the student should be able to:
1) Identify and describe the formation and composition of common rocks and minerals.
2) Summarize the dynamics of plate tectonics.
3) Identify and describe landform types and processes of formation.
4) Read and interpret topographic maps.

Assessment of Student Learning

The following assessment methods, measures and techniques may be used during the semester to determine how well students are learning: Background Knowledge Probes; Muddiest Point; Classroom Opinion Polls; Misconception/Preconception Check; Formal student evaluations; Group discussions and comments; Student research papers; Student oral presentations; Written exams; Questioning of prior material; Questioning and discussions during lab periods; Analysis of individual student's comments, questions and answers to instructor questions during the class period; Analysis of lab activities for clarity, workability and content, based on student participation, questions, assignment answers and comments in lab; Individualized tutoring for students.

Withdrawal from the Course

Students are strongly encouraged to talk with the instructor before withdrawing from the course to discuss your reasons for withdrawal, and to discuss options other than withdrawal. If you need to withdraw from the course for any reason, you may do so without instructor approval prior to completion of three-quarters of the course. Withdrawal from the course is the responsibility of the student. Students may either complete the Black Hawk College Add/Drop form or send a letter, fax, or email from the student's myBlackHawk account to the Registrar. After three-quarters of the course is completed, but no later than the last scheduled day of instruction, students must obtain instructor permission to withdraw from the course. Students may not drop the course after the last day of instruction. (see the Student Handbook for the official college policy on withdrawals)

Lab Exercises

Lab exercises are to be completed during the lab period and evaluated by the end of the lab. Students are expected to remain in lab until the assignments are completed and evaluated, and are encouraged to remain in lab studying past lab assignments.

Missed Labs

Missed labs must be completed within one week of the date of the assigned lab. For example, if you miss Lab #2, it must be complete prior to Lab #3. Labs completed before the following week's lab will receive full credit for that lab. No credit will be given for labs completed after the one week grace period. However, it is to your advantage to complete all labs, even late labs, as you will be tested over the material on the lab practical. You are responsible for making arrangements to make up a lab.

Lab Practicals

There will be three lab practicals. These are equivalent to exams and will test your knowledge and skills on the lab material.Missed lab practicals will be made up by class time the first day that the student returns to class. Failure to take the lab practical at that time will result in a score of zero.

Each lab practical will be based directly on the activities in the lab exercises. For example, in the Igneous Rock Identification lab you will be given samples and identifying igneous rocks. On the Lab Practical, you can expect to be given a rock sample and to identify that igneous rock.

WARNING: Cell phones may not be used as calculators during the lab practicals.

WARNING: For Lab Practical I and II, students will be required to identify minerals, or rock textures, rock compositions and rock names. This requires practice - lots of practice. This requires that you spend time with the minerals and rocks - more time than one viewing of the material during the lab activity. For all labs, it is recommended that once you have completed a given week's lab activity, that you spend additional time in lab reviewing the previous week's materials. Failure to spend this additional time reviewing and studying the labs, rocks and other materials will greatly increase your chances of failing the Lab Practicals.

Lab Materials

The only materials that you will need to bring are your lab manual and writing utensils. A scientific calculator is recommended and should be brought to every lab. USE A PENCIL to complete each assignment. Errors will be made and are easier to correct in pencil than in pen. The lab manual, and the Mineral and Rock Identification Atlas should be brought to lab as well. All other materials will be provided.

A full set of mineral and rock samples, and testing equipment (excluding HCl) is available at the BHC Library's Circulation Desk. This material may only be checked for use in the library. An additional set of minerals and rocks are available in Room 210 in Building 2.

Working on Lab Assignments

Do your own work. You may work in groups or alone but you alone are responsible for knowing the material. Students often fail the lab portion of the course because they let someone else do the work. You will be tested as an individual on your knowledge and skills during the lab practical - you will not be tested as a group. Do your own work.

Evaluation of Completed Lab Assignments

Lab assignments will be evaluated prior to the student being dismissed from lab. The instructor and student will go over the lab assignment together to check for errors and make corrections. Upon completion the lab will contain all the correct answers. The student will only receive credit for the lab once the instructor and student have gone over the lab assignment.

Web Page Lab Supplements

Additional practice lab activities can be found Online. These activities include identification of minerals, igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks. To find this material, click on Lab Material.