GPHY 102

Earth System Science

Queen's University

This course introduces the major concepts studied in Earth System Science. The fundamental processes and interrelationships between the atmosphere, oceans, biosphere and the lithosphere are investigated to serve as a basis for understanding natural systems, particularly at or near the Earth?s surface.
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R. Danby

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GPHY 102
R. Danby
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Geography
GPHY 102
R. Danby

GPHY 102 Syllabus for R. Danby — Winter 2019

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GPHY 102
Physical Geography and Natural Resources
Queen’s University, Winter Term 2019
Monday 10:30, Wednesdays 9:30, Fridays 08:30 / Biosciences 1101
INSTRUCTOR
Dr. Ryan Danby
E-mail: ryan.danby@queensu.ca
Phone: 613.533.6000 x78540
Office Hours: MC-D131, Wednesday 10:30-12:30
COURSE DESCRIPTION
This course introduces the major concepts studied in physical geography and natural resources. The
processes and interrelationships between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and lithosphere,
particularly at, or near the Earth’s surface, are investigated to serve as a basis for understanding the
nature and distribution of natural resources.
INTENDED STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES
To complete this course, students will demonstrate:
Knowledge of key concepts and laws governing physical geography / Earth system science (e.g.,
electromagnetic radiation, climatology and meteorology, geomorphology, hydrology, geography of
soils, biogeography);
Understanding of the processes giving rise to patterns and phenomena observed in the Earth system
at local, regional and global scales;
Use and implementation of basic tools and techniques used by geographers to study spatial and
temporal patterns (maps, remote sensing, statistics); and
Appreciation of the manner in which humans are linked to and impact the Earth system (e.g.,
climate change, biodiversity, pollution, carbon and nutrient cycling).
REQUIRED TEXTBOOK
Strahler, A. and W.O. Archibald, 2011. Physical Geography, 5th Canadian Edition, John Wiley & Sons.
(Available at the bookstore in hardcopy for $123; many used copies are available as well. Also
available at the bookstore in e-version for $80.)
COURSE COMMUNICATION
There is an onQ site for this course and you will have access to this once you are registered in the
course. Lecture slides will be posted to the site and every attempt will be made to have them available
well ahead of class. Lab exercises and assignments will also be available for download. Note that due
to copyright protection, some figures or materials on lecture slides will not be available in the materials
posted to onQ.
I value direct communication with you wherever possible. Given that the class size is over 250
students I ask that you try and favour direct personal communication over email if possible. I will be
available for questions after most classes and during my office hours. Your TAs will also be available
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for consultation as well. When email communication is necessary you should include GPHY102 in the
subject heading of the message and be sure to sign your name.
Teaching assistants are the first point of contact for questions regarding labs and assignments. In
addition to scheduled tutorials, TAs will hold regular office hours and will be available for consultation
by email as well. A list of all TAs and their contact information and office hours will be posted to the
onQ site.
LAB PERIODS
All students are automatically enrolled in a scheduled lab held one hour each week in Mackintosh-
Corry Hall E104. The first lab will be held during the second week of classes (week of January 14).
You may attend only the lab section you are enrolled in. Under special circumstances (e.g. illness) you
may attend another lab section, but arrangements to do so must first be made with the appropriate TA.
There are three thematic units with an assignment due for each unit. Practical exercises form the basis
of lab activities. There are materials for you to work with during the lab period that are not available
outside of lab time, so it is important that you attend all labs. Instructions for all weekly lab exercises
and the three assignments will be available on the onQ site.
EVALUATION
All components of this course will receive numerical percentage marks. The final grade you receive for
the course will be derived by converting your numerical course average to a letter grade using the
Faculty of Arts and Science approved grade conversion scale (see below).
A. Lab Assignments – 36% (3 @ 10%, 16%, 10%)
The laboratory sessions meet most weeks (except the first week of classes). The goal of these sessions
is to introduce students to practical methods and techniques used in physical geography. Most weeks,
you will work on a short practice exercise and your TA will provide instruction and assistance during
the session. These skills will culminate in three assignments. Assignments will be available for
download from the course onQ page. Due Dates: Submit at the beginning of your scheduled lab
section during the weeks of February 3 / March 11 / April 1
B. Lecture Tests – 36% (3 @ 12% each)
The tests will focus on topics covered in lectures and assigned readings during the period between the
previous test and the lecture before the test. The tests will be multiple choice and short answer and will
be written in the lecture theatre during the assigned class time. Please be sure to be on time and be
prepared with pencils and an eraser to complete the test form. Dates: January 30 (Wed) / February
27 (Wed) / March 20 (Wed)
C. Final Exam – 28%
The final exam will be scheduled by the Exams Office during the final exam period. It will be
cumulative in nature and will focus on all topics covered in lecture and assigned readings over the
course of the term. Basic concepts and techniques introduced in the lab will also be covered. The exam
will contain a mixture of multiple choice and short answer questions of varied length, and diagram
interpretation. You may be asked to draw a diagram or a figure to answer some questions.
The exam dates for each Term are listed on the Faculty of Arts and Science webpage under “Important
Dates.” Student exam schedules for the Winter Term are posted via SOLUS on the Friday before
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Reading Week. Students should delay finalizing any travel plans until after the examination schedule
has been posted. Exams will not be moved or deferred to accommodate employment, travel/holiday
plans or flight reservations. Also, as indicated in Academic Regulation 8.3, students must write all final
examinations for on-campus courses on the Kingston campus.
GRADING METHOD
In this course, all components will be graded using numerical marks (percentage or equivalent
fraction). Your course average will then be converted to a final letter grade according to Queen’s
Official Grade Conversion Scale:
Queen’s Official Grade Conversion Scale
Grade
Numerical Course
Average (Range)
A+
90-100
A
85-89
A-
80-84
B+
77-79
B
73-76
B-
70-72
C+
67-69
C
63-66
C-
60-62
D+
57-59
D
53-56
D-
50-52
F
49 and below
ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
Academic Integrity is constituted by the six core fundamental values of honesty, trust, fairness, respect,
responsibility and courage (see www.academicintegrity.org). These values are central to the building,
nurturing and sustaining of an academic community in which all members of the community will
thrive. Adherence to the values expressed through academic integrity forms a foundation for the
"freedom of inquiry and exchange of ideas" essential to the intellectual life of the University (see the
Senate Report on Principles and Priorities http://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/policies/senate/report-
principles-and-priorities).
Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations concerning academic
integrity and for ensuring that their assignments conform to the principles of academic integrity.
Information on academic integrity is available in the Arts and Science Calendar (see Academic
Regulation 1 http://www.queensu.ca/artsci/academic-calendars/regulations/academic-
regulations/regulation-1), on the Arts and Science website (see http://www.queensu.ca/artsci/
academics/undergraduate/academic-integrity), and from the instructor of this course.
Departures from academic integrity include plagiarism, use of unauthorized materials, facilitation,
forgery and falsification, and are antithetical to the development of an academic community at Queen's.
Given the seriousness of these matters, actions which contravene the regulation on academic integrity
carry sanctions that can range from a warning or the loss of grades on an assignment to the failure of a
course to a requirement to withdraw from the university.
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Please ask Dr. Danby or your TA if you are at all unsure about this. It pays to clear up any uncertainties
in advance!
CALCULATOR POLICY
As noted in Academic Regulation 9.2, “Calculators acceptable for use during quizzes, tests and
examinations are intended to support the basic calculating functions required by most Arts and Science
courses. For this purpose, the use of the Casio 991 series calculator is permitted and is the only
approved calculator for Arts and Science students.”
COPYRIGHT OF COURSE MATERIALS
The material in this syllabus and on the course website (onQ) is copyrighted and is for the sole use of
students registered in GPHY 102. This material shall not be distributed or disseminated to anyone other
than students registered in GPHY 102. Failure to abide by these conditions is a breach of copyright,
and may also constitute a breach of academic integrity under the University Senate’s Academic
Integrity Policy Statement.
ACCOMODATIONS FOR DISABILITIES
Queen's University is committed to achieving full accessibility for people with disabilities. Part of this
commitm ent includes arranging academic accommodations for students with disabilities to ensure they
have an equitable opportunity to participate in all of their academic activities. The Senate Policy for
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities was approved at Senate in November 2016 (see
https://www.queensu.ca/secretariat/sites/webpublish.queensu.ca.uslcwww/files/files/policies/senateandt
rustees/ACADACCOMMPOLICY2016.pdf). If you are a student with a disability and think you may
need academic accommodations, you are strongly encouraged to contact the Queen's Student
Accessibility Services (QSAS) and register as early as possible. For more information, including
deadlines, visit the QSAS website: http://www.queensu.ca/studentwellness/accessibility-services/
ACADEMIC CONSIDERATION FOR EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES
Queen’s University is committed to providing academic consideration to students experiencing
extenuating circumstances that are beyond their control and are interfering with their ability to
complete academic requirements related to a course for a short period of time, not to exceed three
months. Students receiving academic consideration must meet all essential requirements of a course.
The Senate Policy on Academic Consideration for Students in Extenuating Circumstances was
approved at Senate in April, 2017. Each Faculty has developed a protocol to provide a consistent and
equitable approach in dealing with requests for academic consideration for students facing extenuating
circumstances. Arts and Science undergraduate students can find the Faculty of Arts and Science
protocol and the portal where a request can be submitted at: https://www.queensu.ca/artsci/undergrad-
students/academic-consideration-for-students. Students in other Faculties and Schools who are enrolled
in this course should refer to the protocol for their home Faculty.
If you need to request academic consideration for this course, you will be required to provide the name
and email address of the instructor/coordinator. Please use the following:
Instructor/Coordinator Name: Ryan Danby
Instructor/Coordinator email address: ryan.danby@queensu.ca

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