Spring 2023 - GEOG 215 D100

The Biosphere (3)

Class Number: 2506

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Fr 12:30 PM – 2:20 PM
    WMC 2220, Burnaby

  • Exam Times + Location:

    Apr 13, 2023
    3:30 PM – 6:30 PM
    SSCC 9000, Burnaby

  • Instructor:

    Margaret Schmidt
    1 778 782-3323
    Office: RCB 7133
  • Prerequisites:

    GEOG 111.



An introduction to the planetary biosphere, its living organisms, and their interactions with each other and the Earth system.


An introduction to the planetary biosphere, its living organisms, and their interactions with each other and the Earth system.

This course provides students with an introduction to the biosphere, including the living organisms of the Earth and the environments with which they interact. The main learning objectives are: to examine the biotic and abiotic factors that control the distribution and development of organisms; to understand the processes that produce these distribution patterns; to understand ecological concepts; and to examine the influence of humans on the biosphere.

Course organization:

One two-hour lecture and one two-hour laboratory session each week.  There will be no labs held in the first week of classes.


  • Laboratory exercises 30%
  • Midterm examination 30%
  • Final examination 40%


The final examination will be scheduled in the formally-scheduled university examination period. 



Under SFU's Education Site License, SFU students, staff, and researchers may download the following software to home computers for academic use ONLY. This includes teaching and classroom use and research purposes. 

Software available to download/install on home computers

  • Microsoft 365
  • ESRI Applications such as ArcGIS Desktop, ArcGIS Pro, ArcGIS Online, ESRI CityEngine, etc.
  • Matlab with Named User License
  • Adobe CC with Named User License*

* ONLY those who are in SFU payroll are eligible for Adobe CC with Named User License


On 4-hr reserve at Bennett Library:

Freedman, B. et al. 2016. Ecology: A Canadian Context. 2nd Edition. Publisher: Top Hat eText. eText ISBN: 9780176482008, 0176482008. (Available on VitalSource)

Any additional readings will be provided on Canvas.


Your personalized Course Material list, including digital and physical textbooks, are available through the SFU Bookstore website by simply entering your Computing ID at: shop.sfu.ca/course-materials/my-personalized-course-materials.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity website 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