Geography 3213 Spring 2004

World Regional Geography

Room: Sciences Complex 103
Section: 7175 T, 6:30-9:10 p.m.

Instructor: Douglas Catterall

Office: South Shepler Tower 634
Office Hours: M 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m. & 1-2 p.m., T, 2-6 p.m., & Th 1-4 p.m. and by appointment

work telephone: 581-2949

Course Overview:
As stated in the CU Undergraduate Catalog (online at: World Regional Geography consists of
a comparative study of the world's major geographic regions as defined by interrelated complexes of physiographic and cultural elements.  This is a fairly general description, so I will flesh it out a bit more for you.  We will be surveying all regions of the world, including that of North America, looking at their cultural, social, economic, environmental, political, and historical dimensions from a geographic perspective.  A geographic perspective, in essence, means that we will be looking at the way space and its different uses has an impact on societies.  This will seem like a fairly straight-forward thing, but it turns out to be more complex than one might think.  As this is the case, I have also structured the course around the theme of globalization.  Whether we like or not globalization is here to stay and this course will give you provide you with a "handbook" for how to understand its many impacts, whether positive or negative.

Specific Objectives of the Course:
This course will provide you with opportunities to improve in the following three areas of intellectual

Geographic Knowledge: This is a survey course, so you will learn many things, but there are some in particular that I hope you come away with.  First, you should know what the major world regions are on completing this course.  Next, while I do not expect you to learn where all major countries and cities are, I want yo to emerge from this course with a good sense of the major "players" in each of the world regions we examine.  You should also understand the most important cultural, political, social, economic, and environmental forces that are in play in each of these regions, and particularly as they pertain to how space is used.  Finally, you should leave this course with your own working definition of globalization and be able to discuss its various impacts.

Geographical Thinking and Research Skills: There are also some specific skills that I hope you will acquire during this term.  First, as the main course credit comes from a portfolio-based research project, I hope you will improve your research skills.  Next, as you will have to give several oral presentations, I expect that you will all improve your public speaking skills.  Finally, it is my hope that each of you will leave the course with some sense of how space and what human beings do with it has an influence on the societies in which we live and the world around us.

Texts and Other Aids

Rowntree, Lewis, Price, and Wyckoff, Diversity amid Globalization: World Regions, Environment, Development, Second Edition (Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc. , 2003), which includes an onliine Blackboard module.

John L. Allen and Elizabeth J. Leppman, Student Atlas of World Politics, Sixth Edition (Guilford, CT, Magraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2004)  

On-line Reference Aids (DO NOT use any others beside these and those you find directly linked to the Blackboard module for the course unless they are cleared with me first):

Blackboard Module: This course comes with a Blackboard Module as part of the price of the textbook for the course.  It is a very useful resource containing numerous web-sites to research the papers you need to write for the course as well as review material for every chapter of the textbook.  I DO NOT require that you use the Blackboard module and I do not at this time anticipate using the Blackboard Module to set instructions for assignments.  I do, however, think that Blackboard could be a very helpful tool and recommend you explore its possibilities.

Accessing Blackboard:

To access the Blackboard Module for the class you need to login to Blackboard.  The address for this at CU is: .  Once you reach the CU Blackboard page you need to login using the following rubric:

username: fl###### (first letter of first name, first letter of last name, student ID number).

password: fl#####(first letter of first name, first letter of last name, last 5 numbers of your Social Security Number).

           For Example:

          Assuming that your name, student id# and SSN# are as follows:
          John S. Compute, Student ID#: 123456, SSN#: 987-65-4321      

          Your user ID would be: jc123456 
          Your password would be:  jc54321
If you still have difficulty try the CU Blackboard for further instructions site by clicking on this hypertext sentence.

Online encyclopedias from this web-site:,

Online encyclopedia from the CU Library site: (n.b. you will need an access code, obtainable from the CU Library, for off-campus use of this resource.

Online News Sites:

Geography Sites of Interest for Assignment Research:

World-Focused Resources:
Africa Online:
Argus Clearinghouse:
Caribbean Community & Common Market:

CIA World Factbook (2003):
Council of Europe:
Dudley Knox Library:
Earth Observatory (NASA):

Environment Australia Online:
Environmental Change Institute (Oxford):
Global Trends (CIA):
Geography Net:

IMF (Globalization Reports):
Internation Institute for Sustainable Development (Canada):
Inside Indonesia:
Latrobe University Datalinks:
Library of Congress Country Studies:
Library of Congress Map Gallery:
NASA Earth Observing System:

Pakwatan (Pakistant Information Site):
People's Republic of China (Modern History Overview):
Red Cross/Red Crescent:
Russian Far East Photos & Maps:
Taiwan Government Information Office:
UNESCO Report on Afghanistan:
United Nations:
Urban Environment Gateway:
The World Bank:
World Data Center, Columbia University:
World Data Center, NOAA:

World Resources Institute:
World Environmental Library:
World Health Organization:

North America (esp. U.S.)-Focused Resources:

Communication Canada:

Lake Tahoe Information Site:
Land-Use History of North America:
Microsoft TerraServer (views of the U.S. down to neighborhood level):
Native American Ethnobotany:
National Atlas:

The National Policy Organization Archives:
People and Plants Online:
Pop.-Environment Research Network:
TerraLingua (Activist Bio-Diversity Society):
US Census Bureau:

USGS Image Collections:
USGS Home Page:

Mapping Clearinghouse:

Statistical Clearinghouse:


Course work consists of four elements: attendance and participation in discussion and other classroom activities, informal writings, formal writings/papers, and quizzes and an essay-based examination.

Participation (20% of the total course mark):

1. Attendance and Discussion (15% of the total course mark): Discussion may not seem like a big deal, but in fact it is worth a large part of your grade and it will help you in the quizzes and on the written assignments.  Thus, it is crucial that you do the reading assigned for each week before class meets.  If you do not, the quality of your participation, and thus your final mark in the course, will inevitably suffer.

2. Informal Writings (5% of the total grade): Occasionally I will assign short writing exercises to help focus our discussions. The emphasis will vary from paper to paper.  These will either be in-class exercises or will be due in the class meeting next following the meeting in which the assignment was first given.

3. Credit for Participation: Informal writing(s), attendance, and participation in class discussion will be worth 20% of the final grade. The single most important element in this grade will be your attendance and participation in class discussion.  You can earn up to 3 participation points for each day's attendance and participation (16 opportunities) and up to 3 points for an informal writing (4 opportunities available).  This yields a total of 60 participation points that are possible to earn, of which I hold you responsible for 50.  This means that a perfect score in participation is 50 points and that you need at least 45 points for an A, 40 points for a B, 35 points for a C, and 30 points for a D.  Below 30 points is a failing mark in participation.

Project Portfolio (40% of the course mark): As this course takes a practical approach to the teaching and learning of geography, you will demonstrate your overall mastery of the subject through a portfolio of assignments on a topic to which you will be assigned by lottery in the third week of term.  Due dates for the various papers that comprise the portfolio are listed below and unless otherwise specified all papers are to be typed, double-spaced, and in 12-pt. Times Roman font.  Generally the portfolio elements will be 2-3 pages in length (i.e. give me 2 full pages), though some may be less.  They must also be properly footnoted.  General guidelines are available by clicking on the words in hypertext in this sentence.  Papers will generally be no more and no less than two pages in length.  Specific guidelines for individual papers will be provided in a timely fashion and may be found by clicking on the hypertext for the appropriate paper listed immediately below:

Portfolio Piece #1
Portfolio Piece #2
Portfolio Piece #3
Porfolio Piece #4
Porfolio Piece #5

Portfolio Presentations (10%): On three occasions you will be asked to present the results of your work on your portfolio to myself and your classmates.  On those days attendance will be mandatory and failure to attend will result in an automatic loss of one grade on your final portfolio mark; no exceptions will be made to this rule as it is simply a matter of courtesy to me and your fellow classmates that you be present when they give their presentations.

Quizzes (30% of the course mark): This is a course that emphasizes a pratical approach to world regional geography.  As such there will be no cumulative examination.  You will demonstrate your cumulative mastery of concepts, terminology, and content knowledge through your portfolio and the activities associated with it.  There will, however, be six quizzes over the course of the term, each covering a period of from 2 to 3 weeks' worth of material.  They will always take place first thing on the days for which they are set, so don't be late.  I will drop your lowest quiz score and replace it with the average of all the others, so if you have to miss a quiz or you do poorly on a particular quiz, this will not have a negative impact on your mark.  Each quiz will be worth %5 of your mark and cumulatively they are worth fully 30% of the mark, so do take them seriously.

Grading Breakdown:

Component:                                Percentage:        
Participation                                               20
Presentations                                              10
Portfolio                                                      40
6 Quizzes of Equal Weight                        30          
Total                                                         100

General Policies:

Classroom Environment: Talking to your classmates or others outside the context of classroom activities is rude and will not be tolerated.  Reading outside materials, listening to music, taking telephone calls on your cell-phone, and similar non-class related activities are equally unacceptable.  I expect all students to be respectful of one another's right to speak and express opinions.  Disagreements and different viewpoints are welcome, but debates should not involve insults.  Finally, food and drink are permitted in class as long as courtesy is observed; e.g. if you haven't quite finished your cup of coffee, do bring it along to class, but turning the classroom into a cafeteria is not permissible.  

Attendance: As noted above, regular attendance is crucial to your success in this class.  If you miss class regularly, your grade will suffer.  I would also like to note that frequent lateness in coming to class and frequent early departures will also be penalized as these habits are rude to your fellow classmates and to me as the instructor.  I will take attendance daily in this class and an absence is an absence and will be counted as such.  In addition on those days when we have guest speakers you must be present.  There will be a mandatory 10% reduction from the mark on your final portfolio for every guest speaker presentation that you miss.

Preparation: All assignments for a given day, whether reading or writing, are to be completed before the class meets on that day.  I also recommend that you take notes as you read and during lectures and discussions as this will make studying for the quizzes and writing the papers for the class less of a challenge.

Late Formal Writings/Papers: The following policy applies to all late papers for this course that will receive a letter grade (i.e. all portfolio elements). All papers submitted at any time on the day that the paper is due will be considered on time. Papers submitted after that date, no matter what the reason may be, will be automatically marked down one grade. You will then have seven days from the original due date to turn in the paper. If in that time you are unable to complete the work, the paper will receive a zero.  The only exception to the above policy is the final piece of your poortfolio, which must be turned in on the day of the final examination without fail.

Late Informal Writings: No late informal writings will be accepted, so don't ask. Remember, though, that your participation grade is a composite of your performance in class and your marks on informal writings and I have designed the grading system to allow you a "head start" of 16 points.  Thus, as long as you manage to achieve the necessary points for participation, it will not matter to me how you do so. Although I will obviously keep track of what you do by way of participation.  I would advise you to remain aware of where you stand so that you know whether or not you are achieving what you wish in this important component of the course mark.

Missed Presentations: There are no make-ups for presentations.  It simply isn't possible to work around difficulties that may crop up in individual schedules.  So, if you miss a presentation, your mark for that element of the course is a zero.  There will be no exceptions and this policy equally to all presentations including the final presentation.

Missed Quizzes: Since I drop the lowest quiz score of your six quizzes there are no make-ups for quizzes.  Again, there are no exceptions to this policy.

Plagiarism is the representation of the work of another as your own. In all of the writing you do for this course you must make clear to me which ideas in a paper are your own and which come from someone else. This is especially important for any formal essays you write. In such essays you must cite all primary and secondary sources you use in accordance with the proper conventions. I will hand out a sheet explaining the basics of citation before any formal essays come due.  If for some reason you do not receive a copy of this hand-out, know that you will not be exempt from following its guidelines.  In cases of plagiarism, the Department of History and Government at CU follows the plagiarism policy in the current "Student Handbook," as described in sections 4.07 and 4.08 of the CU Code of Student Conduct.  Penalties for plagiarism as defined by the Student Code of Conduct include:

1) The student may be required to perform additional academic work/project not required of other students in the course;

2) The student may be required to withdraw from the course with a grade of "W" or "F"; or

3) The student's grade in the course or on the examination or other academic work affected by the dishonesty may be reduced to any extent, including a reduction to failure. 

Please heed this warning as I am quite serious about it.

Disability Statement: If you have a documented disability or suspect that you have a learning problem and need reasonable accommodations, please notify me as soon as possible so that appropriate arrangements can be made.

Schedule of Readings, Topics, Assignments and Activities

Assigned Topics Readings, Assignments, and Activities
Introduction: What is Geography?
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 1-47.
Geography & the Environment
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 48-75.
Applying Geographical Concepts to North America
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 76-123.
Take: Quiz #1
Latin America: the Western Hemisphere's Postcolonial Region
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 124-177.
Turn In: rough draft of Portfolio Piece #1
 The Caribbean: Legacy of the Atlantic World
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 178-217.
Turn In: final draft of Portfolio Piece #1
Sub-Saharan Africa I, Environment, Population, and Settlement
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 218-240.
Take: Quiz #2
Sub-Saharan Africa II: Culture and Politics
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 240-273.
Turn In: Portfolio Piece #2; Presentation #1
South Asia: Hub of the Indian Ocean
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 504-549.
North Africa and Southwest Asia: the Mediterranean World
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 275-319.
Take: Quiz #3
Spring Break
Europe: Bridging the Atlantic and the Mediterranean
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 320-371.
Turn In: Portfolio Piece #3 Take: Quiz #4
Russia: the Heart of Eurasia I
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 372-417.
Give: Presentation #2
Central Asia: the Heart of Eurasia II
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 418-453.
Turn In: Informal Writing #2
Southeast Asia
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 550-591.
Turn In: Portfolio Piece #4; Take: Quiz #5
East Asia
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 454-503.
Guest Speakers: Imam Rasheed, Muslim Cleric and Rev. Patrick McPherson of Cameron Campus Ministry
Turn In: Informal Writing #3
Australia and Oceania
Read: Diversity amid Globalization, 592-634.
Take: Quiz #6 Turn In: Informal Writing #4
Wrap-Up & Final Presentations
Give: Presentation #3
Turn In:
Portfolio Piece #5

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