GEOGRAPHY 1113K Sections A, B, C - Spring 2013

Introduction to Landforms

Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences

Valdosta State University

Professor: Dr. Donald Thieme                                    Meeting Time: 2:00-3:15 PM TR Jennett 1111

Office: 2046 Nevins Hall                                             Office Hours: M 10-12, W 1-3

Email:                                Phone: 333-5752

Web Site:


Hess, D., 2013, McKnight's Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation. 10th Edition.
ISBN-10: 032167734X, ISBN-13: 9780321677341


Course Overview

This course will introduce you to geomorphology, the scientific study of landforms and of all of the processes which create them. You will learn to identify, analyze, and classify major features of the Earth's land surface. We will examine the basic elements and processes of the physical world which make the Earth's surface the way that it is. Earth materials and plate tectonics are covered at the outset. These relate directly to features formed by relatively rapid events such as volcanoes, fault movements, and landslides. You will also learn to identify the effects of more slow-acting processes such as weathering, erosion, solution, running water, wind, waves, tides, currents, glacial ice, and biological agents including human beings.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

-          Identify landforms and the processes that produce them

-          Explain basic concepts in geomorphology

-          Explain the influence of humans on landforms and processes as well as the corresponding influence of Earth surface processes on human activity.

As a gateway course for students contemplating a major in Environmental Geosciences, GEOG 1113K is part of a degree program designed to:

-          provide knowledge and skills required to analyze environmental questions and recommend solutions

-          prepare students to enter graduate programs in geography, planning, and related fields, or to embark upon careers in industry, government, or education


Lecture Schedule





January 7-11

Course Introduction, Earth Materials

No labs first week of class

pp. 1-14, 27-37, 352-373


January 14-18

Plate Tectonics

No labs second week of class

pp. 374-390


January 21-25

Volcanic and Tectonic Landforms

pp. 390-415


Jan 28 - Feb 1

Exam 1 - January 31

Mechanical and Chemical Weathering

Chapter 15


February 4-8

Mass Wasting

Chapter 15


February 11-15

Karst and Groundwater


Chapter 17


February 18-22

Hydrology, Fluvial Processes

Chapters 9 and 16


Feb 25 - Mar 1

Fluvial Processes and Landforms

Chapter 16


Mar 4-8

Deserts and Desert Landforms


Chapter 18


March 11-15

Eolian Processes

Exam 2 - March 14

pp. 489-494


March 18-22

March 18-22 Spring Break




March 25-29

Coastal Processes and Landforms

Chapter 20


April 1-5

Glacial Processes and Landforms

Chapter 19


April 8-12

Glacial Processes and Landforms

Exam 3, April 11

Chapter 19


April 15-19


Chapter 12


April 22-26

Physiography, Bedrock Structure,

Historical Geomorphology

pp. 404-415 and handouts

Final Exam on Wednesday, May 1st from 2:45 - 4:45 PM



There will be three hour long exams (100 points each) and a final exam (200 points) given at the course's completion. Make up exams will only be given in the case of extreme circumstances. Illness will only be considered a valid excuse if the student can provide a doctor's note stating he/she was too ill to attend the test.

Attendance will be taken at each class meeting and will be worth a maximum of 50 points, two point per class attended. Seven videos with question sets worth 10 points each will be shown; you may drop two (50 points total). There will also be ten lab exercises (20 points each, 200 total) graded during the semester. A total of 800 points will be possible during the course of the semester (600 lecture, 200 lab). Final grades will be based upon the following scale:

























Attendance Policy

Valdosta State University expects that all students shall regularly attend all scheduled class meetings held for instruction or examination. If you know that you are going to miss class, and particularly if you need to reschedule an examination, you should immediately contact me by email, phone, or in person. If you miss more than five (5) classes, 20% of the scheduled classes for this course, you will be subject to receive a failing grade in the course. You will receive up to 50 credit points for attendance, as explained above.


Disability Policy

Valdosta State University complies fully with the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). If you believe that you are covered under this act, and if you have need for special arrangements to allow you to meet the requirements of this course, please discuss this with me during the first week of class. If you have not already done so, please also register with the Access Office for Students with Disabilities in Nevins Hall, 245-2498.


Student Success Center

Valdosta State University provides a Student Success Center in Langdale Hall to support good students who want to achieve excellence as well as those who feel they are struggling. Peer tutoring in core curriculum courses such as GEOG 1113K is one of the services provided.


Classroom Conduct

In order to maintain a good learning environment, rude or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. You will be asked to leave the class if your behavior is deemed inappropriate. The following are considered rude and disruptive:

(1) consistently late for class

(2) private conversations during lectures and discussions

(3) lack of attention during lectures and discussions

(4) habitually leave and return to class


Academic Honesty Policy

It is a part of your education to learn responsibility and self-discipline. Valdosta State University expects its students to obey all regulations: national, state, local, and those of the college. It is particularly important that you comply with our regulations on cheating and plagiarism while a student here at Valdosta State University.

Cheating includes any attempt to defraud, deceive, or mislead the instructor in arriving at an honest grade assessment. Plagiarism is a form of cheating that involves presenting as one's own work the ideas or work of another. All portions of any test, project, or final exam submitted by you for a grade must be your own work, unless you are instructed to work collaboratively. Specific requirements will be described for collaborative projects, but all work presented must be the work of members of that group. Research materials used must be properly cited.

Any student found by the instructor to have engaged in academic misconduct on a graded test, assignment, or examination may be assigned a zero for that assignment, assigned an F in the course, and/or reported to the Dean of Students office. The VSU Student Handbook describes the regulations governing these procedures.

Cell Phone Policy

Please turn your cell phone ringer off or set it on vibrate when you enter the classroom. If your cell phone or beeper goes off during class, I may insist that you leave the classroom or give me the device until class is finished for the day. When you are taking a test in my class, you are not to have a cell phone anywhere within view. Unless there is some exceptional emergency, please leave your cell phone at home, in your car, or with a friend when you come to class on test day. If I find you using a cell phone or looking at the screen during a test, I will have to assume that you are cheating on my test.

Equal Opportunity Statement

No person shall, on the grounds of race, color, sex, religion, creed, national origin, age or disability, be excluded from employment or participation in, be denied the benefits of, or otherwise be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity conducted by Valdosta State University.