GEOG 103  Fall 2009

 

       Geographic Techniques

 

 

 

Class Hours:                Monday &Wednesday 9:10-10:25am       

Classroom:                  HSS 292

 

Instructor:                   XiaoHang Liu (xhliu@sfsu.edu)

Office:                         HSS 269, 415-338-7509

Office Hours:              M & W 10:30-11:30, 15:30-16:00

 

Guest Lecturer:           Lavonne Jacobsen (lavonne@sfsu.edu)

                                   Head, Collection Access & Management Services

                                   SFSU Library, 415-338-6953

                                   

Texts:

1.      H&L = Haring, Lounsbury, & Frazier, 1992. Introduction to Scientific Geography   Research.  McGraw Hill.

 

2.   E&H = Evans & Holzman, 2004. Geographical Measurement. Kendall/Hunt Publishing.

 

Course Description:   This course is an overview of geographic research methods and techniques. Topics covered include: library research, data acquisition, statistical analysis, topographic map reading, and introduction to remote sensing and GIS. Emphasis is on practical application of the techniques, skills, and methods presented.

 

Exercises, Grading, and Exams: There are 6 homeworks, 2 in-class exercises, 1 midterm, and 1 final exam. All homeworks, exercises, and exams are required to pass this class. According to University policy, incomplete grade is only assigned if 75% or more work has been completed. Exams must be taken on the due date. Students must provide proof in the case of strenuous situations.

 

Exercises are due during class on the dates listed. All homeworks, unless otherwise noted, must be typed and submitted in hard copy.  No late homework will be accepted without prior permission!

 

Exams will cover the material discussed in class and in the exercises. Exams will be collected after we have reviewed them in class. You may have access to them at any time, but you may not photocopy them or take them with you.

 

The course grade will be based on the following weight:  35.0% for the homeworks, 35.0% for the midterm, and 30% for the final exam.  

 

Grading will be on a percentage basis: 100-90% A, 89-80% B, 79-10% C, 69-60% D. Plus/minus grades will be assigned for points near the margins.

Comments:

 

  1. You will need a basic calculator for this course. The calculator must be able to perform the functions of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and square root at a minimum. Squaring a variable is a desirable function but not mandatory. Calculators at many price ranges are available at the bookstore.

 

  1. Teamwork on exercises is great. However, each student must submit their own work unless I specify otherwise. Be sure you understand each procedure and answer because exams are strictly individual.

 

  1. You will be better able to understand the lecture and complete the exercises efficiently if you read the material assigned in advance.

 

  1. This course must cover a lot of material, so it moves quickly. Try not to miss class and be sure to ask for help immediately when you don’t understand. You are responsible for all handouts and exercises given in class. It is up to you to get them if you miss a class.

 

  1. This is a four-unit class and it meets three “class-hour” per week. Expect to spend an additional 2 to 3 hours per week on homework and reading.

 

 

Housekeeping:

 

Statement on Cheating and Plagiarism: Cheating is the actual or attempted practice of fraudulent of deceptive acts for the purpose of improving one’s grade or obtaining course credit; such acts also include assisting another to do so. Typically, such acts occur in relation to examinations. However, it is the intent of this definition that the term “cheating” not be limited to examination situations only, but that it includes any and all actions by a student that are intended to gain an unearned academic advantage by fraudulent or deceptive means. Plagiarism is a specific form of cheating which consists of the misuse of the published and/or unpublished works of the others by misrepresenting the material (i.e. their intellectual property) so used as one’s own work. Penalties for cheating and plagiarism range from a 0 to F on a particular assignment, through an F for the course, to expulsion from the University. For more information on the University’s policy regarding cheating and plagiarism, refer to University Catalog (Policies and Regulations).

 

American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Accommodation: The University is committed to providing academic accommodation to students with disabilities. The Disabilities Resource Center provides support services and specialized assistance to students with disabilities. Individuals with physical, perceptual, or learning disabilities as addressed by the American with Disabilities Act should contact the Disabilities Resources Center for information regarding accommodations. Please notify your instructor so that reasonable efforts can be made to accommodate you. If you expect accommodation through the Act, you must make a formal request through the Disabilities Resources Center in Student Services Building 110, Telephone: 415-338-2472.

 

Statement on Disruptive Classroom Behavior: The classroom is a special environment in which students and faculty come together to promote learning and growth. It is essential to this learning environment that respect for the rights of others seeking to learn, respect for the professionalism of the instructor, and the general goals of academic freedom are maintained. Differences of viewpoint or concerns should be expressed in terms which students and faculty may learn to reason with clarity and compassion, to share of themselves without losing their identities, and to develop an understanding of the community in which they live. Student conduct that disrupts the learning process shall not be tolerated and may lead to disciplinary action and/or removal from class. Some specific examples include talking during lecture, cellular phones, and pagers.

 

Syllabus and schedule are subject to change in the event of extenuating circumstances. It is the student’s responsibility to catch up with the announcements and changes.

 

 

Schedule:

 

Week

Dates

Lecture

Exercise

Readings

1

8/26

Intro. to geographical techniques 

 

H&L Ch. 1 & 2

2

8/31

Literature research method

Homework 1, due 9/23

H&L 39-47

9/2

Literature research method

3

9/7

Labor day, no class

 

H&L 63-70

9/9

Sampling method (I)

4

9/14

Sampling method (II)

In-class Exercise  I & II

H&L 47-62

9/16

Field Techniques

5

9/21

Survey Technique

Homework 2, due 10/5

H&L 71-77

E&H Ch. 13

9/23

Measurement scale

6

9/28

Classification methods

 

E&H Ch. 14

9/30

Intro. to Excel

7

10/5

Charts and graphics with Excel

Homework 3, due 10/12

E&H Ch. 15, 16, 17

10/7

Mean and variance

8

10/12

Correlation

Homework 4, due 10/19

E&H Ch. 18 & 19

10/14

Regression  

9

10/19

Midterm

 

E&H Ch. 2 & 3

10/21

Intro. to cartography

10

10/26

Furlough day, no class

Homework 5, due 11/9

E&H Ch. 4

10/28

Lat/Lon coordinate systems, time zones

11

11/2

Location determination with lat/lon

 

E&H Ch. 5&6

11/4

Projection

12

11/9

Location determination with UTM

Homework 6, due 12/2

E&H Ch. 7

11/11

Veteran’s day, No class

13

11/16

UTM, Scale and distance

 

E&H Ch. 9 & 10

11/18

No class, instructor in conference

14

11/23 11/25

Fall Recess, no class

15

11/30

Elevation and relief

 

E&H Ch. 11

H&L 107

12/2

Intro. to GIS

16

12/7

GIS lab

 

H&L 111-126

12/9

Intro. to remote sensing and GPS

17

12/14

Remote sensing lab

 

 

12/16

Final Exam