Win21 GEOG 001 #10338 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY-Online

Win21 GEOG 001 #10338 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY-Online

Welcome to Online Physical Geography!

Grand Canyon, Arizona (2)

Instructor: Rhea Presiado, Ph.D

Welcome Video


Getting Started

Some of you may be new to an online course, or to using CANVAS, don't worry.  Since we don't meet Face to Face, It's important to CAREFULLY READ ALL the directions in this course.  ALL of the information you will need for the class are organized into WEEKLY MODULES. To access them each week, click on the MODULES button on the LEFT.  Modules are released 1 week ahead, and must be fully completed before moving ahead to unlock the next module. Each Module begins with an Overview page with a list of outcomes and assignments to complete for that week.   Each Module contains: TEXTBOOK Reading (in our free online textbook), VIDEO LECTURES, MULTIMEDIA Activities, QUIZZES, and DISCUSSIONS or ASSIGNMENTS.  NOTE: Do not rely on the Canvas "To Do List!"  Rely ONLY on the assignment due dates provided in each weekly MODULE.  Email me via Canvas with questions M-F 8 am-5 pm OR for MORE HELP:  Call the 24/7 Canvas Student Support Hotline  (844) 303-4497, read the Canvas Student Guide, post a question to the Extra Credit Q&A Discussion Forum

FIRST IMPORTANT ASSIGNMENTS: To confirm your enrollment in this class, complete the mandatory Course Check-In Activity (Discussion)  & Studying Online 101 SoftChalk Assignment no later than Friday 1/8  by 11:59 pm PST or you will be dropped as a "no show.".

Quick Reference Course Schedule





Geography & Sustainability


Week 1

Jan 6-10

  1.  Geography GPS & Location
  2.  Map Reading
  3. Sustainability

Course Check-In Activity Discussion 1: DUE FRI  at 11:59 pm PST

Studying Online 101 SoftChalk Assignment DUE FRI at 11:59 pm PST

Reading & Multimedia Quizzes DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST


Week 2

Jan 11-17

  1.  Seasons
  2. Atmosphere
  3. Wind
  4. Virtual Field Trip: Arroyo Seco Geography

Reading & Multimedia Quizzes DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST 

Citizen Science Assignment DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST


Week 3

Jan 18-24

  1. Rain
  2. Severe Weather
  3. Climate & Climate Change

Discussion 2: initial post DUE THURS at 11:59 pm PST

Reading & Multimedia Quizzes DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST

Midterm Exam  DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST


Week 4

Jan 25-31

  1. Earth's Structure and Scientific Method
  2. Rock Cycle and Dating
  3. Plate Tectonics
  4. Virtual Field Trip: Eaton Canyon Geography

Reading & Multimedia Quizzes DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST

Discussion 3: initial post DUE THURS at 11:59 pm PST

Physical Geography Map  Set DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST

Lithosphere/ Hydrosphere


Week 5

Feb 1-7 

  1. Earthquakes & Mountains
  2. Weathering & Erosion
  3. Glaciers
  4. Rivers

Reading & Multimedia Quizzes DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST

Earthquake Kit Assignment DUE SUN at 11:59 pm PST 


Week 6

Feb 8-10


  1. Ocean Circulation
  2. Waves, Tides, Rip Currents & Tsunami

Discussion 4: DUE WED at 11:59 pm PST

Reading & Multimedia Quizzes DUE WED at 11:59 pm PST 

Final Exam DUE WED at 11:59 pm PST


While I will try diligently to follow this schedule, I reserve the right to amend this schedule at any time during the course based on the needs, interests and progress of the class, and students are responsible for changes announced in CANVAS.


Course Description

This course is an introduction to Physical Geography, focusing on Earth’s physical environment including water, air, and land. We will discuss how an understanding of Physical Geography is relevant to your daily lives as students and citizens, and explore pertinent issues facing our Earth such as Climate Change, Sea Level Rise, Severe Weather, Earthquakes, Volcanic Eruptions, Wind, Solar Energy and much more.The goal of this class is to introduce you to the patterns and processes that occur on the Earth, and explain why they matter to your life.

Total of 54 hours of lecture.  Transfer Credit: CSU, UC.

Learning Outcomes

This course has 3 Course Learning Objectives SLO's and 7 Student Performance Objectives SPO's. They are the skills and knowledge that students taking this class should gain over the course of this class.  While SLO's are more general overarching course themes, the related course SPO's are more specific skills and knowledge.  Each assignment in the class connects with specific SLO's and SPO's.

  1. SLO 1: Demonstrate scientific literacy by analyzing and interpreting physical geography data (from the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere) and comprehending scientific methodology and its limitations.
    1. SPO 1:Analyze and interpret physical geography data in multiple forms (maps, graphs, tables, diagrams).
    2. SPO 2:Have the skills to read, analyze, and interpret maps
    3. SPO 3:Comprehend scientific methodology and its limitations
  2. SLO 2: Demonstrate global literacy and awareness by analysis and interpretation of the complex global patterns and processes of the atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere.
    1. SPO 4:Compare and contrast spatial variation and diversity of Earth’s physical geography at global, regional and local scales.
    2. SPO 5: Analysis and interpretation of global physical geography patterns including air temperature, air pressure, wind, precipitation, climate, landforms, ocean currents and biota.
  3. SLO 3: Formulate geographic research questions and hypothesis to evaluate solutions to complex real world physical geography problems.
    1. SPO 6: Formulate geographic research questions and hypothesis about geography patterns and processes.
    2. SPO 7: Evaluate and apply solutions to complex real world physical geography problems and hazards including Climate Change, Hazardous Landform Processes, Severe Weather, Water Resources, and Sea Level Rise.

Course Structure

This course is conducted entirely online, which means you do not have to be on campus to complete any portion of it. You will participate in the course using PCC’s learning management system called CANVAS (

Course Requirements


You can access a pdf file of the entire book HEREThis OER textbook is a free option, however you may choose to print it out at your own cost. 2020 PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY An Open Educational Resources (OER) Publication by College of the Canyons Authored and Compiled by former PCC Professor Jeremy Patrich is a free online open source textbook that explores topics in physical geography. All images have an alternative text and meet the current ADA guidelines. 

Computer Requirements


If you do not have access to a computer off campus, there are many computer labs on campus you can use to participate in the course. Most public libraries also have computers with internet access that you can use for free.

Computer Requirements

You will need to have an up-to-date browser, operating system and some additional software on your computer to take this class. Check this Distance Education page for hardware & software requirements. Some of the documents in this course will be available to you in PDF form. If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader software on your computer, you can download it by going to You will also need to download and use the free program Google Earth 

Course Communication


Announcements will be posted in CANVAS on a regular basis. They will appear on your CANVAS dashboard when you log in and/or will be sent to you directly through your preferred method of notification from CANVAS. Please make certain to check them regularly, as they will contain any important information about upcoming projects or class concerns.


In this course we will use the INBOX feature on the help corner (located in the upper right hand navigation links)to send email for private messages. You can either check your messages in the CANVAS system or set your notifications to your preferred method of contact. Please check your messages regularly.


In online courses it is normal to have many questions about things that relate to the course, such as clarification about assignments, course materials, or assessments. Please post these in the Q&A Forum which you can access by clicking the MODULES button in the course navigation links. This forum is in the COURSE SYLLABUS MODULE. This is an open forum, and you are encouraged to give answers and help each other. For each clear and comprehensive answer you give, you can receive 1 extra credit point for the course (up to 4 points maximum).

Discussion Forums

Discussion Forums are a way for you to engage with each other about the course content. Each lesson module will have a question that links to a forum. You can also access each forum by clicking on the MODULES button in the course navigation links and working on your weekly module. In order to get full credit for each discussion, you will need to post a thoughtful, well-written response to the question and respond to two of your classmates’ answers.


During the week (M-F) I will check Conversations and monitor the discussion board several times a day. If you have a concern and send me a message, you can expect a response within 24 hours M-F excluding holidays.


When posting on the discussion boards and chat rooms it is important to understand how to interact with one another online, netiquette. You can read more about the rules of netiquette at

In our class, where we have a large amount of digital communication, it is essential that we all create and maintain an atmosphere of tolerance and respect. Everybody should feel able to speak and everybody should be willing to listen. While we invite and encourage debate and differences of opinion, we will not tolerate hateful or malicious commentary. Conducting or participating in hateful or malicious commentary it may lead to disciplinary action via Student Conduct and Academic Honesty Policy no. 4520


Course Participation Policy

Participation is essential to your success in this class. In distance education courses you are required to participate just as if you were in a face-to-face course. This means that in order to get full credit for participation, you will have to complete your discussion assignments, lesson assignments and quizzes on a timely basis. Consistent failure to participate in class for a total of 1 week's worth of assignments will result in your being dropped from the course.

Course Assignments

Important Dates

The due dates for your assignments can be found in the CALENDAR in the global navigation links at the top of your screen. Please review these. In addition, I will post reminders prior to the due dates in the AnnouncementsNote: If you click on an assignment from the calendar, you will not be able to access it. You must access your course assignments through the MODULES.

Weekly Assignments

Each week you will need to complete the following:

  • Read the weekly module. This will be available 1 week in advance every Monday at 8AM PST .
  • Post in the weekly Discussion Forum by Thursday at 11:59 PM PST. Respond to two other students’ posts in the Discussion Forum by the following SUNDAY at 11:59 PM PST.
  • Complete the lesson assignments in each course lesson by the following Sunday at 11:59 PM PST.
  • The Last Week most assignments are due Wednesday at 11:59 PM PST


Grading Criteria

Points Possible



Participation (Weekly Quizzes) 




Assignments 30
Midterm and Final Exam 20



Grading Scale

Letter Grade





80-89 %


70-79 %




59% and below

 At the end of the course if you are within 1% of the next grade, I will give you a bump up as long as you have not missed any required assignments.


In order to understand what is expected of you for each assignment, please check out the rubric -- a table that details the requirements of each assignment and the benchmarks for success -- attached to each Assignment for the grading criteria.

Extra Credit

You can earn  extra credit points for Participating in the Q&A Forum.


You can view your grades using the GRADES button in the course navigation links. Please check your grades regularly to make certain that I have received all your assignments. If you have a question about a grade, email me through the CANVAS INBOX. Please do not post your personal concerns in a discussion forum.

Other Course Policies

Late work

Late work will not be accepted. Assignments will not be available after the deadline. If you have an extenuating circumstance, please contact me by private message before the assignment is due to make alternate arrangements.


All distance education courses currently follow the Pasadena Area Community College District Policy for Course Attendance, Adds, Drops, and Withdrawals. In order to avoid getting an F for the course, it is your responsibility to officially withdraw from the class prior to the deadline.

If you do not complete the course Check-In Activity by the first Friday  (11:59 PM PST) after this class begins, you will be dropped from class for non-attendance.

If you do not actively participate in class, that is, if you consistently do not complete assignments, quizzes, respond to forums or turn in other work for the total of 1 week's worth of assignments, you will be dropped from the class for non-participation.

Academic Honesty/Student Conduct

As a student at PCC, you are expected to follow the College’s guidelines for Academic Honesty/Student Conduct found in the Pasadena Area Community College District Policy for STANDARDS OF STUDENT CONDUCT. This means that you should not:

  • Cheat.
  • Plagiarize, that is, use another person’s words or ideas as your own.
  • Use or post instructors exams, quizzes, assignments on course sharing websites like Course Hero or Chegg, or others.
  • Collaborate with others unless specifically requested in an assignment or discussion.
  • Let another student login to your CANVAS account.
  • ALL content in your class is copyrighted by the instructor and that any sharing of this content requires your explicit permission

Special Needs

Online courses are required to meet ADA accessibility guidelines. This means that all aspects of the online learning experience are accessible. Please let me know if you have adaptive software and hardware to assist you with taking this course or if you have any specific needs I should be aware of. The PCC Disabled Students Programs and Services Department (RM D209) is available to assist you during this course. You can also email or call (626) 585-7127 for assistance. 

Additional Resources

Tech Support

If you need technical assistance at any time during the orientation or to report a problem you can contact PCC’s 24/7 Technical Support Center at

You can get in-person help on-campus at the Learning Assistance Center in the D Building. Tutors at the center are trained to help students with CANVAS and its tools.

It is also helpful if you let me know what kinds of technical difficulties you encounter so I can continue to improve the course. 

Additional Student Resources

There are many services on campus to help you achieve success in your courses. Check out this Student Services Link for information on library services, computer lab hours and research help.

Distance Education Website

The PCC Distance Education Department has resources to help you with your online learning experience. Check out their website at