GEOG 1301 Unit 2
Up Work Samples


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Unit 2: The Science of Geography



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


B.  Watch these presentations. When you click on one of the links 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 files.


There are no presentations to watch for this unit.



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

There are no chapters to read for this unit.


D1 Print the Required Links document below and include it 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.

GEOG 1301 Unit 2 Concept List

GEOG 1301 Activity #1 Rubric

GEOG 1301 Unit 2 Review

Designing True Experiments (PDF)

Observation vs Conclusion

Specimen Identification


For every assignment, I will give you a grading rubric.

If you look at the rubrics you will know exactly what I look for when I grade an assignment.

Each assignment's grading rubric will always be under Optional Links on the same unit page as the assignment instructions.


E.  Activity #1: Creating Your Own Planet (10 points)To Do Note

How would you like to make a planet? Here's your chance...

When you look at pictures of the planets, notice how unlike all the others the Earth appears. Saturn's and Jupiter's opaque gassy atmospheres are organized into parallel bands of ferocious wind. Mercury bakes in an eternal vacuum. Mars' thin, bone-dry atmosphere swirls with storms of dust. Even the Earth's near-twin, Venus, hides beneath an impenetrable shell of acid clouds. Only the Earth has weather compatible with life as we know it.

But what if the Earth's warm spots were a little colder or its cold spots a little warmer? What if it were to spin at a different speed or its axis of rotation was pointed in a different direction? What if the planet itself was bigger or smaller? How would our weather change? Would life still be possible?

No one yet knows the answers to these questions, but we can make some educated guesses. With the wise (and sometimes contradictory!) advice of experts, Nova has created a virtual planetary lab, where you can change a little of this, a little of that and see how your plan for global weather turns out. See if you can figure out the magic combination that might create conditions similar to our own planet's, and therefore possibly suitable for life.

The extremely simplified scheme used in this activity ignores many inevitable issues, such as changing the chemistry of the atmosphere, increased or decreased total heat absorption due to unforeseen effects on cloud formation, and a host of other things we can't even imagine. That's okay, the whole idea is to encourage you to think, rather than supply the "right" answers. At this point in the young science of planetary weather, there are no right answers, only educated guesses -- a hint to any future scientists looking for a field to conquer.


Step 1

To start your activity, go to Make the Earth's Weather (Shockwave plug in required). Begin by reading Global Weather Machine. It will be very useful as you play the game. [If you prefer, you can download a stand-alone (no browser or internet connection required) version at Windows 95/NT version (0.9MB) or Macintosh version (1.7MB)]


Step 2

Pick the ingredients for your planet. You can change size, spin, the presence of oceans and the relationship of the equator to the sun. As you make changes, use the See Effect button to gauge your progress. Keep trying different changes until you're satisfied.


Step 3

When everything is as you want it, write a summary of what you did that includes the 2 points below. Your summary should be thorough, specific, include relevant concepts from the course material and be free of spelling and grammar errors. [NOTE: As I've done below, I almost always list the things you need to include in your assignment so you won't miss anything. However, you should never write an assignment as a list unless the instructions specifically tell you to do so. Lists encourage short, quick responses, and they don't usually require much thought or much attention to spelling and grammar. They also won't earn you many points! Instead, write your assignment in complete sentences and paragraphs, using the list only to be certain you cover everything. Do your best to make your writing thorough, thoughtful and organized. Don't try to be concise ,,, Try to be complete.]

  1. a detailed description of what changes you made, why you made those changes and the final results

  2. specific and detailed connections to course content. Always include course concepts in your work. If you're reading your margin notes and watching the presentations, you'll have plenty of material from which to choose on every activity.


Activity Submission Instructions

By the deadline shown in the Course Schedule on the main page of the syllabus:
  • Send your summary containing the 2 items requested in the body of a new email to

  • Put only your name and Activity #1 at the beginning of your email.

  • Be careful to use the correct subject line. If you are not positive you know the correct subject line, go back and read your syllabus carefully. Emails with incorrect subject lines will not reach me. At best, you'll correct your mistake later and your assignment will be late. At worst, your assignment will never reach me and you'll receive no points for it.

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



Copyright 1996 Amy S Glenn
Last updated:   02/14/2018   0130

Creative Commons License