About GEOG 1200 A

Introduction to the fundamentals of weather, climate, landform evolution, and plant distribution using a systems approach. Focus on variation in processes over space and time.


First years and sophomores only during week of registration; Juniors and seniors register in second week of registration; Junior and senior GEOG majors contact instructor; Fulfills natural science non-lab requirements; Open to Degree and PACE students

Section Description

Weather, Climate and Landscapes is an introduction to physical geography, the study of the earth’s atmosphere, weather and climate, water resources, landforms and ecosystems. In this course, we will explore the composition and function of the atmosphere, the flow of energy and mass between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and lithosphere, and the resulting climate patterns. We will explore how evidence of past climate can tell us about our current and future world. We will also examine how weather and climate influence those processes which shape the surface of the earth and influence ecosystems. Themes of global climate change and environmental change are explored in each unit. Finally, we will seek to understand how these processes affect and are affected by human activity. This course fulfills a three-credit science distribution requirement (no lab) in the College of Arts and Sciences. There are no prerequisites for this course. It also satisfies a major requirements for Geography and for the Global Climate and Environmental Change concentration in Environmental Sciences and is a pre-requisite for multiple geography and geosciences courses.

Section Expectation

Course Modality This course is designated as an in-person course. Course content will be organized into modules (i.e., weeks) with associated lectures, readings, videos, in-class assignments, and homework. For the fall 2023, course content will be delivered in-person through in-class lectures, small group exercises and videos. Homework exercises will be available on the course Bright Space page. Students will print out homework, complete exercise and turn in assignment in-class on the due date. In the case of a UVM-sanctioned change in learning modality (e.g., in-person to on-line), this course will follow a similar format (e.g., modules, readings, homework, exams) to that outlined above. Weekly Preparation To prepare for lecture, you are asked to review the weekly readings BEFORE class. It is suggested that you briefly review the readings for major themes, headings, vocabulary, and images prior to class and then fully read and take notes on the assigned readings after lecture. Readings provide a summary of important course material. Associated videos and on-line content will highlight important themes and current topics. Weekly preparation is necessary to complete in-class exercises and homework.


Graded Work Grades in the course will be based on in-class exercises, homework exercises, and exams as follows: In-class exercises (20%) will be given regularly (roughly once per week) throughout the semester. These are opportunities to review class material and practice concepts that will be on homework and exams. In-class exercises should be completed entirely and turned in at the end of class. Students who miss class on the day of an in-class activity will not be given a chance to make up the activity. However, your lowest two scores will be dropped, effectively giving you one week of “sick leave” for the semester. If you miss additional exercises, you cannot receive credit, regardless of the reason. You will not fail the class if you miss more than two, but attending regularly and earning full-credit on the exercises is a good way to ensure a solid grade in the course. Homework exercises (30%) are designed to keep you current with lecture material, draw upon material from the text and engage you in class discussions. Six homework exercises will be posted on Bright Space for you to download. Each homework assignment will help you to build your skills in making basic calculations, interpreting graphs and maps and synthesizing lecture and reading concepts. Due dates will be posted on each assignment and will be strictly adhered to. All homework exercises should be turned in on the day they are due IN CLASS. If you turn in your homework after class has ended, it is considered late. There is a 10% deduction per week day that the homework is late. Note that the homework exercises count for 30% of your final grade. Failing to turn in a homework assignment can seriously impact your final grade. Once I turn back the graded homework assignment to the class, you cannot turn in the homework for credit. Exams (50%) There will be three exams - Exam 1 (15%), Exam 2 (15%) and the Final Exam (20%). All exams will cover material in the course modules, including lectures, in-class exercises, homeworks, readings and videos. Exams will be given during the regularly scheduled class or final exam day and time. Exams will be closed book and you must do your own work (see UVM’s academic integrity policy). Exam I and II will be limited to 75 minutes to complete the exam. The exams are multiple choice, consist of 40 questions and are worth 80 points each. The final exam will be 2 hours and 45 minutes, but otherwise will be the same format and length as exams 1 and 2. A review sheet and practice exam questions will be made available on Bright Space one week prior to each exam. Prior to Exam 1, we will do a meta-cognition exercise to help students plan and prepare for the exam. Time in which to complete an exam will automatically be adjusted for SAS students based on information provided in accommodation letters. No make-up exams (I and II) or final exam will be given except in extenuating circumstances (e.g, serious illness) documented by your Dean’s Office.

Important Dates

Note: These dates may change before registration begins.

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw


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