STIA-311 Environmental Geomorphology
Fall for 2017-2018
This is a basic upper division course in geomorphology, a core subject of geography and geology and integral to many other sciences. Geomorphology is a science that studies the landforms of planetary surfaces and the processes that create these landforms. The field has a long history that stretches back to the earliest speculation about the earth; humans are innately interested in the landscape about them. Since many universities have many related courses where we have but one, I focus on three central themes: (1) a survey of geomorphic forms and processes, (2) some basic analytical skills including some field experience, and (3) some practical applications, especially to ecology and geological hazards. The analytical skills we develop in this course include: map and areal photography interpretation, landscape analysis, some field methods, natural hazards assessment, and the applications of some basic mathematical models. We will concentrate on the external agents of geomorphic change (water, ice, wind, and chemical change), but we must also study the tectonics and structure of the earth in order to understand its surface.
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