Please note:

To view the Spring 2024 Academic Calendar, go to

Department of Geography | Faculty of Environment Simon Fraser University Calendar | Summer 2024

Physical Geography Minor

Program Requirements

Lower Division Requirements

GEOG 111 - Earth Systems (3)

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.

and two of

GEOG 213 - Introduction to Geomorphology (3)

An exploration of the processes that shape Earth's surface and the landforms that result. Prerequisite: GEOG 111 or EASC 101. Quantitative/Breadth-Science.

GEOG 214 - Weather and Climate (3)

An examination of the basic principles and processes governing the Earth's weather and climate. Topics include: radiation, greenhouse effect, clouds, precipitation, atmospheric circulation, mid-latitude cyclones, tropical storms, climate change. Prerequisite: GEOG 111. Quantitative.

GEOG 215 - The Biosphere (3)

An introduction to the planetary biosphere, its living organisms, and their interactions with each other and the Earth system. Prerequisite: GEOG 111.

Upper Division Requirements

A minimum of 15 units is required, to be selected from the following.

GEOG 310 - Physical Geography Field Course (4)

A twelve-day field camp with a focus on various measuring, surveying, recording and mapping skills in branches of physical geography. A selected project will be completed either by a team or by an individual. Field camp locations will vary from year to year. The timing for the camp might not follow the traditional course schedule, please read the outline carefully for further information. Prerequisite: GEOG 213 and one of GEOG 214 or 215. Prerequisite or Corequisite: One of GEOG 311, 313, 314, 315, 316, 317 or 319.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
D100 Jonathan Cripps
May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Wed, 10:30 a.m.–12:20 p.m.
May 6 – Aug 2, 2024: Wed, 1:30–3:20 p.m.
GEOG 311 - Hydrology (4)

Introduction to the hydrologic cycle, with an emphasis on the hydrology of British Columbia; description and analysis of the processes of water movement and storage measurements and analysis of hydrologic data. Prerequisite: GEOG 213 or 214; GEOG 251 or one of STAT 201, 203 (formerly 103), 205, or 270. Quantitative.

GEOG 312 - Geography of Natural Hazards (4)

An exploration of human response to our hazardous Earth. The dynamic causes of natural hazards such as earthquakes, hurricanes, landslides and floods will be illustrated. Students will gain an appreciation for how humans perceive, predict, and recover from hazards and how their effects may be reduced. Prerequisite: One of GEOG 100, 104 or 111 or one of EASC 101 or 104. Breadth-Social Sci/Science.

Section Instructor Day/Time Location
OL01 Jonathan Cripps
GEOG 313 - River Geomorphology (4)

Intermediate analysis in fluvial and coastal geomorphology with particular reference to British Columbia. Prerequisite: GEOG 213, or both EASC 209W and EASC 304. Quantitative.

GEOG 314 - The Climate System (4)

A survey of the climate system, with emphasis on the interactions among its components; radiation, energy and water balances; carbon cycle; climate sensitivity and feedbacks; natural and human-induced climate change. Prerequisite: GEOG 214. Quantitative.

GEOG 315 - World Ecosystems (4)

Distribution, structure, function, and dynamics of the world's major biomes. Attention to comparative aspects among terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and to environmental problems associated with the biomes. Prerequisite: GEOG 215 or BISC 204.

GEOG 316 - Global Biogeochemical and Water Cycles (4)

Introduction to the cycling of essential chemical elements through ecosystems. Interactions among biological, hydrological, and geological controls on the structure and function of ecosystems and the spatial-temporal scales of elemental cycling are emphasized. Environmental problems resulting from disturbance to natural equilibria in the elemental cycles are examined. Prerequisite: GEOG 215 or BISC 204 or permission of the instructor. Quantitative.

GEOG 317 - Soil Science (4)

An introduction to the study of soils: physical, chemical and biological properties of soils; soil formation, description, classification, survey and use. Field and laboratory techniques of soil analysis. Prerequisite: One of GEOG 213, 214, 215, or CHEM 121. Students with credit for GEOG 318 may not take this course for further credit.

GEOG 411 - Advanced Hydrology (4)

An examination of hydrologic processes at different scales; effects of climate and land use change on the hydrologic cycle; application of hydrologic models; recent research developments in selected sub-fields of hydrology. Prerequisite: one of GEOG 311, 313, or 314; one of GEOG 251 or one of STAT 201, 203 (formerly 103), 205, or 270. Quantitative.

GEOG 412W - Glacial Processes and Environments (4)

An examination of glacial processes and environments emphasizing landscapes and sediments resulting from the movement of ice, water, and sediment; application of field techniques. Prerequisite: 60 units, including GEOG 213; GEOG 313 and EASC 201 recommended. Writing.

GEOG 414 - Climate Change (4)

An examination of recent advances in climate change science drawing upon observational and theoretical studies; application of climate models. Prerequisite: GEOG 314. Quantitative.

GEOG 417W - Advanced Soil Science (4)

Advanced treatment of topics in soil science: soil physics, soil chemistry, soil biology, soil classification and/or forest soils. Prerequisite: GEOG 317. Students with credit for GEOG 417 may not take this course for further credit. Writing.