GEOG 1301 Unit 4


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Unit 4: The Hydrosphere



A.  Read the following selections from the Margin Notes by clicking on each link.


B.  Watch this presentation. When you click on the link below, a new screen will pop up. Use the scrollbar on the side of the new screen to navigate. You need Adobe Reader to view PDF filesHELP MESSAGE.

[May take a few minutes to download.]

The Hydrosphere



C.  (Optional) Read the following chapter from the textbook.

Chapter 09


D1 Print the Required Links documents below and include them in your field manual. (See Field Manual Protocols, available as a download on the Unit 8 page.)


D2. The following Optional Links will help you do better in your course but they are not required.


E.  Activity #3: Virtual River (10 points)To Do Note

For Activity #3 you are going to complete an online exercise designed to introduce you to some basic concepts about how rivers work.

The exercise requires you to make careful observations and measurements, do simple calculations and answer questions about your work. These things are not terribly complicated and the site instructions are clear and helpful BUT it is very important that you follow the instructions below carefully.

This activity is almost an “all or nothing” activity and if you don’t follow the instructions below – whether on purpose or because you weren’t paying close attention – you risk having to do the activity a second time and/or not earning any points for your work. I suggest you read through all of the instructions below before you begin this activity and then read them a 2nd time, following them step-by-step. Most students complete the online exercise in 1 – 1.5 hours so plan to allow yourself plenty of time.

  1. Go to Virtual River.

  2. If you are completing the exercise at home with an older computer and/or a slower connection, click on the Computer and Operating System Requirements link before you go any farther. If, after reading through the requirements, you don’t think your computer or connection is adequate you need to schedule time to complete the exercise on one of your campus' computers.

  3. Virtual River has two different exercises you may complete – River Discharge and River Flooding. For this activity you are required to complete the River Discharge exercise. Find the yellow box on the first page and look for the link for the discharge exercise. (If you accidentally choose the flooding link or the demonstration link that is above the yellow box, you will not earn any points for this activity.)

  4. Using the River Discharge link will take you to the first of the 25 pages in this exercise. When you finish each page, the Next link at the bottom will take you to the next page. If you need to go back to a previous page for some reason, use the Back link at the bottom.

  5. Some of the pages – such as the first two – contain information you need to read and understand. However, most of the pages contain one or more questions, problems, etc that you must answer correctly. If you skip questions or simply pick answers at random, the Next button on that page will not work.

  6. Continue to work through each page, taking care to answer the questions and/or complete the problems given.

  7. At the end of the exercise, you will see “Congratulations! You have successfully completed this activity about river discharge.” You will then be asked to type your name, your institution (college) and your location (city, state) in the spaces provided. Once you provide that information, you will see a table containing your work and a certificate of completion that will look much like the table (but with your data in it) and certificate below.


Summary of Discharge Data for this Hypothetical River





of Vertical
(sq m)

of Vertical
(cubic m/sec)

Total Discharge


(Value here) cu m/sec

(Value here) cu ft/sec



[Steps 8-12 are instructions on how to copy-and-paste your table and certificate. If you know how to do that, you can skip to step 13.]

  1. Use your mouse to click on a spot on the web page that is above the table. Hold down your left mouse key and drag your mouse to a spot below the certificate. Release your left mouse key. This will highlight the entire table and certificate. (Most of you already know how to do this but if this is your first time you may have to try a few times before you are able to highlight both the table and certificate.)

  2. There are two ways to copy your table and certificate. (a) After highlighting the table and certificate, use your mouse to move your pointer to any spot in the highlighted area and click your RIGHT mouse key. (If you accidentally click your left mouse key it will remove your highlighting and you’ll have to repeat the step above.) From the drop down list, choose Copy. (b) After highlighting the table and certificate, hold down the Ctrl and C keys together.

  3. Open a new Word document (or whatever software you use). Paste your table and certificate into the document. There are several ways to do this – (a) Click your mouse in the document and use the Paste icon from the toolbar. (b) Click your mouse in the document, right click and choose Paste from the drop down list. (c) Click your mouse in the document and hold down the Ctrl and V keys together.

  4. If for some reason you cannot copy-and-paste your table and/or certificate successfully there is one more method you can try. Use your mouse to click on a spot on the web page that is within (for example) the certificate. Click your RIGHT mouse key. From the drop down list, choose Save Picture As... When the Save Picture screen opens, type any name you wish in the File Name field. In the Save As Type field, choose Bitmap. (You can try another type if you wish but several students said they were only able to save their certificates as bitmaps.) Then hit the Save button.

  5. When you get ready to send your work, open My Pictures. (You should be able to access My Pictures in much the same way as you access My Documents.) Find the name under which you saved your certificate and click on it. The picture of your certificate that you saved will open in whatever picture editing software your computer uses. Copy the picture using File and Copy or using one of the methods in #9 above. Then paste it into your email using one of the methods in #10 above.

  6. Below your certificate, write at least a paragraph tying the concepts in the exercise to concepts you are learning from the margin notes and presentations. General, vague connections will not work. Be detailed and specific. Use correct spelling and grammar.

  7. To complete your activity send me those three items – your summary table from the website, your certificate from the website and your discussion tying exercise concepts to course concepts. (Simply copy everything from your Word document and paste it in the body of a new email much as you copied the first two items from the website and pasted them in your Word document.)

    Important: If you've set your email software to send and receive emails only in a Plain format, you will probably not be able to send the table and certificate successfully. You will need to change your format setting from Plain to Rich Text or to HTML. If you do not wish to change your format setting or if your software does not allow it, you will need to use another email address to send this assignment, making certain that the format setting is Rich Text or HTML.


Activity Submission Instructions

By the deadline shown in the Course Schedule on the main page of the syllabus:
  • Send the three items requested in the body of a new email to

  • Put only your name and Activity #3 at the beginning of your email.

  • Be careful to use the correct subject line.

  • Late summaries will lose one point per day late, including weekends and holidays



Copyright © 1996 Amy S Glenn    
Last updated:   03/01/2017   0130

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