CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY-CHICO

Spring 2011

Geography/American Studies 435 (Sections 01 and 72)

HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF NORTH AMERICA

 

Instructor

 Dr. Guy King , Professor of Geography
E-mail: Use the class WebCT email
Phone: 530-898-4858
Office location: Butte Hall, Room 517, California State University, Chico.

Course Description

Welcome to GEOG/AMST 435.  This class examines the human occupation of North America from pre-historic times to the present day.  Topics include the natural environment in human context, exploration and mapping, cultural groups, population change/migration, agricultural and industrial development, and rural/urban settlement patterns.

Course Format

GEOG/AMST 435 is entirely web-based.  There are no meetings in a classroom.  Students learn about the historical geography of North America through textbook and website readings, and completion of a student research paper.  Student learning assessment is accomplished through graded evaluation of quizzes, the student paper, and a final exam.

Students are responsible for their own work.  This web-based class requires a lot of self-discipline, good writing skills, and a desire to learn.  Students in online courses need to allocate adequate time to complete the required assignments.  Six or more hours a week working on class assignments is typical for students in this class.  Students are required to complete all class assignments on time.

Effective communication is essential in an online class.  Students are required to read class announcements, discussion-board postings and emails.  In addition, students are encouraged to post discussion board questions, and to talk to the instructor via the class email.

Course Goals and Objectives

1. Examine how the forces of cooperation and conflict among different cultures influenced the division and control of the North American continent.

2. Study the characteristics, distribution, and complexity of North American cultural mosaics through time.

3. Understand the use and importance of natural resources in the cultural/economic development of North America.

4. Understand how the different geographical regions of North America developed through time.

5. Use geographical representations, such as maps and images, to examine the human and natural environments of North America.

Course Contents

- Introduction to class

- Exploration and discovery of North America
- The Spanish and French in North America
- Anglo-America origins and early development
- The new United States and early westward expansion
- Northeast United States and Canada late 1700s to mid 1800s

- Settling the American Great Plains

- The development of the American West
- Population and economic growth of the United States late 1800s to early 1900s
- The industrial development of American cities

- The idea of Canada
- America in the 1930s and 20th century rural America
- 20th century American and Canadian cities
- Conclusion of historical geography of North America

Class Requirements and Student Responsibilities

Students enrolled in GEOG/AMST 435 are required to learn and use Blackboard Vista software.  All quizzes, exams, exercises, and the student paper requirements are accessed and completed through the use of Blackboard Vista software.  For those students not familiar with this system, click on the Help link in the upper right corner of the class homepage.

Students enrolled in GEOG/AMST 435 are required to have an adequate computer and software that can access the Internet and allow completion of the class assignments.  See the Chico Distance and Online Education web site for specific technical requirements.  For help with computer problems, see ITSS: How to get help.

GEOG/AMST 435 students are advised to start and complete their required class work early.  All material in this class is accessed via the Internet.  Occasional technical problems with Internet access will occur (especially on weekends and evenings).  Computer problems are normal.  Make sure you have alternate access to the Internet (a second computer, public library, etc.)  Students are responsible for turning in all course assignments on time.

Students in this online course are responsible to respect the opinions of others.  Opinions on ethnic matters are commonly deeply felt.  Ridicule and provocation have no place in university education.  Student online behavior in classroom discussion board postings and email communications is governed by the CSU-Chico ITSS: Acceptable Use Policy.

Academic Honesty

Students are required to do their own work.  Using work done by other students is cheating.  If you include material in your class paper that is from a source not cited, that is plagiarism.  Both cheating and plagiarism are violations of CSU-Chico University Policy.  Student violations of University Policy will result in disciplinary action.  For more information on academic honesty, see the Student Judicial Affairs section of the University Catalog.

Class Assignments

Textbook Readings: Each week students will read assigned chapters from the course textbook.

Exercises:  Each week students will complete an exercise involving California ethnic history website material and questions from the assigned textbook reading.  These exercises are not submitted for grading.  Student learning of material in the exercises is assessed through weekly quizzes.  Exercise One is posted on January 28.

Quizzes:  Each week GEOG/AMST 435 students complete a quiz containing questions taken from the current exercise.  Each quiz consists of twenty-five questions worth one-point each.  Students have twenty minutes to complete each quiz.  Quiz question answers submitted after the twenty-minute time limit are not accepted.  These quizzes are due each Wednesday.  Missed quizzes cannot be made-up.  Quiz One is due February 9.

Student Paper Assignment: All GEOG/AMST 435 students are required to complete a writing assignment during the semester.  This research paper is worth 20 points.  The paper covers a specific topic on the historical geography of North America.  The research paper requirements are posted on Monday, February 7, and are due on Friday, April 15.  Student papers are submitted for grading via the class website assignment submission tool.  Papers turned in by other means (email attachment, snail mail, fax) will not be graded.

Final Exam:  This exam is an evaluation of student learning of material presented in this class.  The final exam contains one-hundred questions taken from all thirteen exercises.  The Final Exam is posted on Friday, May 13 and is due Wednesday, May 18.

Class Assignment Make-up Policy:  GEOG/AMST 435 students are required to complete all assignments by their due dates.  Quizzes, the final exam, and research paper normally cannot be submitted after their due date.  Twenty-five free points are given to all students to take care of a problem such as a missed quiz.  See the University Catalog for information concerning class incompletes, drops, and withdrawals from the university.  Students should contact the instructor as-soon-as-possible for major emergencies.

Grading

Thirteen quizzes                                          325 Points
Student Paper                                              20 Points
Final exam                                                    100 Points
Total                                                               420 Points (see note below)

Note:  25 points are not counted in the class grade computation.

Grading Rule

A 93-100%
A- 90-92.99%
B+ 87-89.99%
B 83-86.99%
B- 80-82.99%
C+ 77-79.99%,
C 73-76.99%
C- 70-72.99%
D+ 65-69.99%
D 60-64.99%
F <60%

Required Textbook

North America: The historical geography of a changing continent. Edited by Thomas F McIlwraith and Edward K. Muller. Rowan and Littlefield Publishers. 2001, Second edition. ISBN: 9780742500198 (Paperback). Do not use an earlier edition.  All course material is keyed to the Second edition.

The textbook can be ordered from the CSU Chico AS Bookstore or other online sources.  Students have the responsibility of obtaining the required textbook before the first quiz is due (February 9).  Note: Make sure the textbook vendor that you choose (this includes the AS Bookstore) has the book in stock and use priority shipping.

CLASS SCHEDULE

NOTE:  All weekly Exercises are posted on Fridays.  Weekly Quizzes are available on Thursdays and are due on the following Wednesday.  Quiz grades are normally posted on the Monday following a quiz due date.  The student paper assignment is posted on Monday, Feb 7, and the completed paper is due on Friday, April 15.  The Final Exam is posted on Friday, May 13, and the completed final exam is due on Wednesday, May 18.

Week One (Jan 24-28) Introduction to historical geography of North America.

Obtain the required class textbook.

Complete the Getting Started assignment (posted on the class homepage).

Exercise One posted on Friday, January 28.

Week Two (Jan 31-Feb 4) Exploration and discovery of North America.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 1 & 2.
Complete Exercise One.

Quiz One due by Feb 9.

Week Three (Feb 7-11) The Spanish and French in North America.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 3 & 4.
Complete Exercise Two.

Quiz Two due by Feb 16.

Week Four (Feb 14-18) Anglo-America origins and early development.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 5 & 6.
Complete Exercise Three.

Student Paper guidelines are posted on Monday, Feb 7 (Due Friday, April 15).

Quiz Three due by Feb 23.

Week Five (Feb 21-25) The new United States and early expansion.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 7 & 8.
Complete Exercise Four.

Quiz Four due by Mar 2.

Week Six (Feb 28-Mar 4) Northeast United States and Canada late 1700s to mid 1800s.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 9 & 10.
Complete Exercise Five.

Quiz Five due by Mar 9.

Week Seven (Mar 7-11) Settling the American Great Plains.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 11.
Complete Exercise Six.

Quiz Six due by Mar 23.

Campus Spring Break (Mar 14-18)

NO CLASS this week

Week Eight (Mar 21-25). The development of the American West.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 12.
Complete Exercise Seven.

Quiz Seven due by Mar 30.

Week Nine (Mar 28-Apr 1) Population and economic growth of the United States late 1800s to early 1900s.

Thursday, Mar 31 is Cesar Chavez Day (NO CLASS).

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 13 & 14.
Complete Exercise Eight.

Quiz Eight due by Apr 6.

Week Ten (Apr 4-8) The industrial development of American cities.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 15.
Complete Exercise Nine.

Quiz Nine due by Apr 13.

Week Eleven (Apr 11-15) The idea of Canada.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 16.
Complete Exercise Ten.

Student Paper is due Friday, April 15.

Quiz Ten due by Apr 20.

Week Twelve (Apr 18-22) America in the 1930s and 20th century rural America.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 17 & 18.
Complete Exercise Eleven.

Quiz Eleven due by Apr 27.

Week Thirteen (Apr 25-29) 20th century American and Canadian cities.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 19 & 20.
Complete Exercise Twelve.

Quiz Twelve due by May 4.

Week Fourteen (May 2-6) Conclusion of historical geography of North America.

Reading Assignment: McIlwraith and Muller Chapter 21 & 22. 
Complete Exercise Thirteen.

Quiz Thirteen due by May 11 (NOTE: quiz grades posted on May 12).

Week Fifteen (May 9-13)

Study for Final Exam.

Final Exam posted on May 13.

Week Sixteen (May 16-20) Finals Week.

Final Exam due by 5 PM on Wednesday, May 18.

Course grade points posted on May 19 (use grading rule on class syllabus to determine letter grade).

Semester ends on Friday, May 20.  Note: The class website closes at that time.