Geography 1 Online

Physical Geography

Winter 2009 – Section 7006

Instructor: Jack Kranz - Email:

 Welcome to my Physical Geography 1 online course!  I will assist you in every way possible to succeed provided that you make every effort to do so.   Online delivery of instruction is asynchronous, i.e. you can log into the course at anytime, 24/7.  Like in any “on-ground” class, you are responsible for completing and submitting assignments, quizzes, etc. on time.  It’s a good habit, and one that will help insure successful completion of the course, if you take the initiative to log in daily to look for announcements, messages from the instructor, assignments. etc.  Keeping up is important, because you will not be attending class to be physically reminded of where you should be, what textbook chapter you should be reading and the like.  I have a no makeup policy insofar as missed course responsibilities are concerned, so keeping in tune with what is expected of you is very important.

Please also keep in mind that a winter intersession course moves very rapidly.  We have five calendar weeks to deal with course content that is normally assimilated over a semester-long period.  You can do it if you are well-organized and determined to do your very best.

Course focus:

This course is fundamentally about how the Earth “works.”  Geography 1 examines the Earth’s physical environment from the perspective of the major features of the Earth’s four environmental realms (geospheres): the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and the biosphere.  The interactions between the variables that constitute the geospheres ultimately contribute to the Earth’s exceedingly complex physical environment.  This course focuses on a study of these interactive processes.  Because humans are a part of and therefore subject to the Earth’s “behavior”, an understanding of topics such as the cause of the seasons, how the atmosphere works to produce changes in weather and variation in climate, the planet’s water system, what causes the Earth’s landforms to be built and to change, continental drift, earthquakes, etc. makes for an informative as well as an interesting learning experience.


McKnight Tom L. and Darrel Hess.  Physical Geography: a Landscape Appreciation.  9th ed.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, c2008.   ISBN: 100132239019

Course logistics:

This course is fully online, i.e. there are no on-campus meeting.  Given this, the delivery of the course content and your course participation is dependent on a working computer and internet access, as well as your complete understanding of the use of the course-delivery software, ETUDES-NG.  Please do not ask any computer-related, internet-access related, or course software use questions to me.  All of these matters “go with the territory” of online course delivery and participation.  These are matters that you must take complete responsibility for and that you are expected and required to deal with when you enroll in an online course.  You do have a resource to assist you with online course-related mechanics.  Please go to “Virtual Valley” at for any logistical questions, problems using ETUDES-NG, including logging in to the course.

Scored course components:

*I will consider and adjudicate extenuating circumstances.

Course Grade:

Your grade for the course will be based on the percentage of the cumulative points that you earn:

A = 87% or >

B = 77%-86%

C = 67%-76%

D = 57%-66%

F = 56% or <

If you were unable to enroll in my Winter 2009 section, I am teaching two online sections of this course in the Spring, 2009 semester. 

“See” you online in a few weeks!