Fall 2019 - GEOG 111 D100

Earth Systems (3)

Class Number: 4274

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Tu 10:30 AM – 12:20 PM
    SSCB 9201, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Dec 5, 2019
    12:00 PM – 3:00 PM
    SSCC 9001, Burnaby



An introduction to landforms, climates, soils and vegetation; their origins, distributions, interrelationships and roles in the ecosystem. Laboratory work and field trips are included. Breadth-Science.


An introduction to physical geography. This course covers principles and processes governing climate, landforms, and vegetation systems and interrelationships. Natural and human-induced changes to earth systems are discussed. There will be one 2-hour class per week plus a 2-hour laboratory in most weeks. Laboratories address techniques of measurement, representation and analysis of earth systems through maps, air photographs, and laboratory and field observations. Classes will be a mixture of lecture and group activities. Course content is divided into five case studies, such that students are introduced to a question in physical geography, then will learn global scale processes and apply them to local examples:  

1.      What factors govern the weather and climate of BC?
2.      Climate change: What are the actual and potential impacts in BC?
3.      How has glaciation shaped Canadian landscapes, and what is the status of contemporary glaciers in Canada?
4.      The Cascadia subduction zone: Will BC experience the Big One earthquake?
5.      How can we monitor the “health” of the Fraser River Basin?  

No labs in the first week of classes.


  • Develop a general understanding of the Earth system as studied in physical geography, including the processes, flows of energy, and inter-relationships between the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and biosphere.
  • Apply knowledge about how the above large-scale processes, energy flows, and inter-relationships to a local case example.
  • Explore and apply course concepts through Laboratory Exercises.
  • Critically and collaboratively synthesize core course material.


  • In-class activities 5%
  • Case Study Quizzes (5x2%) 10%
  • Laboratory Exercises 35%
  • Midterm 20%
  • Final 30%


Grade structure (subject to change)



Required Textbook: Christopherson et al. (2018) Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography. Updated 4th Canadian Edition. Pearson. ISBN: 9780134854052. This etext is available for purchase through the bookstore and is less expensive than the physical textbook. Access to a physical copy of the course text will be available through reserve in the library or can be ordered for a small fee after purchasing the etext.

Required Lab Manual: GEOG 111 Lab Manual (available in the SFU bookstore). 

Registrar Notes:

SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html