GEO 101 World Geography, Fall Semester 1999

Course Description and Objectives:

The primary objective of this course is to introduce and familiarize you with the range and diversity of people and places in the world. A study of the world's regions will enable your understanding of the relationships between physical, economic, political and cultural elements that characterize the world today. We explore how human and physical elements define the world's regions and investigate basic concepts related to: the contrast between developed and underdeveloped areas of the world, the growth and change of human populations, and regional variations in economic systems.

You will learn about geography as a field of study. As a discipline, geography is concerned with the distributions of all sorts of phenomena, human and physical, and with the interactions among the phenomena. We will learn about the geographer's craft and work to develop critical thinking and analytical skills related to geography.

While knowledge of people, places and their inter-relationships is important in and of itself, knowledge of geography has an important practical use. With telecommunication advances in this century, the world has become "smaller". That is, our world is more connected and interrelated than ever before. Knowing about other cultures and customs could be an important job skill since many of you are likely at some time in your career to be employed by a multi-national corporation and will spend time living in traveling to or working with colleagues from other cultures. Similarly, understanding linkages between international events and anticipating their outcomes will make you a more competitive member of the global workforce and community.

Textbook and Materials:

DeBlij, Marm and Peter Muller. Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts, 8th ed. New York: John Wiley and Sons. 1998.

Nostrom Desk Atlas.

Although it is not required, I urge you to read the New York Times or another publication that has extensive coverage of world news. The paper is available in the library. I will frequently be referring to current world news stories. The Resources page on this web site has links to other useful publications.

Class Format:

We will be following the topics as presented in the textbook. You will be responsible for completing the readings as they are assigned in the Class Schedule. Lectures will highlight topics presented in the text as well as present additional material and applications.


Four non-cumulative exams will be given at scheduled class periods. The fourth exam will be scheduled during finals week but will be non-cumulative. Exams will be multiple choice in format and questions will draw from lectures and readings. There will be no make-ups, unless you receive prior approval from the instructor. Each exam will be worth 15% of your final course grade.


Five map quizzes will be given at scheduled class periods. The lowest grade will be dropped and four will count toward your final grade. Together, the quizzes will be worth 15% of your final course grade.

Research Projects:

You will be required to complete two short research projects. In groups of four you will select a country for which you will research aspects of its geography. In the first week of class you will receive more detail and information on this assignment. Together, the projects will be worth 25% of your final grade.


Attendance is expected and the roll will be taken daily. Students with good attendance records (that is, two absences or less) will be eligible for a grade boost of one-third of a letter grade (B to B+, C+ to B-, A- to A, etc.)

Grading and Evaluation:

Exam I


Exam II


Exam III


Exam IV




Research Projects




Instructor Availability:

I am on campus Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. My official office hours are MWF 10-11 and M 1-2 and 3-4. I can also meet by appointment. While I welcome drop-in visitors, it is best to make an appointment even if you plan to meet during office hours. You can do so by speaking with me before or after class, via e-mail or by telephone message.

Learning and Testing Accommodation:

If you have an officially documented reason to request accommodation for specific learning or testing needs or limitations, you must make them known to the instructor during the first or second week of class.

Course Schedule:

The course follows the organization of the world presented in the textbook, with some modification. The tentative schedule is as follows:




Aug 30

Intro. to Course and Geography


Sep 6


Chap. One

Sep 13

Europe (Quiz #1 Sep 17)

Chap. One

Sep 20


EXAM I - Sep 24

Chap. Two

Sep 27

North America

Chap. Three

Oct 4

Middle America (Quiz #2 Oct 8)

Chap. Four

Oct 11

South America

EXAM II Oct 15

Chap. Five

Oct 18

Subsaharan Africa (Quiz # 3 Oct 22)

Chap. Seven

Oct 25

North Africa/Southwest Asia

Assignment #1 due Oct 29

Chap. Six

Nov 1

North Africa/Southwest Asia

Chap. Six

Nov 8

South Asia


Chap. Eight

Nov 15

East Asia (Quiz #4 Nov 19)

Chap. Nine

Nov 22

Southeast Asia

Chap. Ten

Nov 29

Southeast Asia (Quiz #5 Nov 3)

Chap. Ten

Dec 6

Australia/New Zealand/Pacific Islands

Assignment #2 due Dec 10

Chap. Eleven

Finals Week







 Class Resources:

Resources General Information


Dorothy Ives Dewey, Ph.D.

Ruby Jones Hall, Room 107

610-436-2724 voice

610-436-2343 Geography and Planning Dept.