GEOG 140: California Geography

Citrus College Course Outline of Record

Citrus College Course Outline of Record
Heading Value
Effective Term: Fall 2021
Credits: 3
Total Contact Hours: 54
Lecture Hours : 54
Lab Hours: 0
Hours Arranged: 0
Outside of Class Hours: 108
District General Education: C2. Humanities
Transferable to CSU: Yes
Transferable to UC: Yes - Approved
Grading Method: Standard Letter

Catalog Course Description

This course is a survey of California's diverse physical and cultural patterns and environments. Topics will include geology, vegetation, climate, resources, population, migration, ethnic diversity, economics, urbanization and current issues related to the state's present biodiversity and the impact of climate change. Field trips may be required. 54 lecture hours.

Course Objectives

  • Examine the physical processes that shape California's natural and cultural environments.
  • Analyze and interpret the use of natural resources and water within California as they apply to the state's economic and cultural development.
  • Analyze the influence of California's various ethnic groups and migration trends in terms of their roles in shaping the state's historic and current cultural landscapes.
  • Evaluate the origins and development of industry and agriculture in California.

Major Course Content

  1. Overview of Geography and the State
    1. Map reading and types of maps
    2. Tools and methods of geographic inquiry
    3. California state regions and counties
  2. Geology of California
    1. Historical geology of California and formation of features
    2. Geomorphology of California and landscapes
    3. Present geologic features and processes of California
    4. San Andreas Fault line and earthquake activity
    5. Gold mining in California
  3. California’s Living Processes
    1. California's weather patterns and atmospheric circulation
    2. California's climate regions and impacts of climate change
    3. California's biodiversity zones and wildlife
  4. California Water
    1. Survey of natural water resources in the state
    2. California aqueduct system
    3. Los Angles aqueduct system
    4. The future of water in California
  5. California's Cultures
    1. Regional survey of ethnic, racial, religious and linguistic diversity
    2. Historic and modern migration patterns
    3. Historic and modern population statistics
  6. California Development
    1. Industry: Manufacturing, agriculture and service sector zones
    2. Historic and modern economic trends
    3. Development and settlement patterns
    4. Urban and rural landscapes of California

Suggested Reading Other Than Required Textbook

Richard A. Walker and Suresh K. Lodha, The Atlas of California: Mapping the Challenges of a New Era, Berkeley: Univ. of California Press, 2013

Examples of Required Writing Assignments

California Geography Field Trip. Students will be given the assignment to research and choose a ethnic, religious, economic or industrial site significant to the history or culture of the state. Students will write a 2-4-page report answering questions given to them in a prompt that require them to visit the site, observe patterns, research connections and discuss their findings. Students will be required to research statistics and historical background on the site, especially population, income and migration data and provide maps or charts to demonstrate their research and make connections between the site and its significance to the state. Students will also need to include aerial images of the site from Google Earth and images taken from the site on their own cameras. Rubric will be scored based on the student’s completion of the assigned steps and their written report. This assignment will be graded on the following - The site chosen is well researched, report demonstrates the sites significance to California’s industry, economy or culture, and writing is creative, clear, well organized and detailed. Assignment meets the requirements of 10 font, double-spaced. Sources are correctly cited in text and in a work cited page using MLA format.

Examples of Outside Assignments

Create a Google Earth Field Trip. Students will have the assignment to produce a virtual field trip using the free online program Google Earth and create a short video through Google Earth that include at least 5 placemarks they choose of locations in the state where they research, locate, create markers in Google Earth and produce the field trip that describes information about the chosen sites with textbook terminology and detail from internet research. Students must choose sites that are historically, culturally or economically significant to the state and design the short video field trip to be presented in an academic environment for middle/high school students to watch and learn about their state. Students will be instructed on how to create the virtual fieldtrip in Google earth and given the chance to choose their own sites and produce the short video with assistance from YouTube tutorial videos. Students will learn how to navigate Google Earth and use the “Fly to”, “pushpin”, “thumbtack” and “edit placemark” functions as they create their virtual field trip. Rubric score will be generated by the following rubric. A total of 20 points are possible on this assignment. The student created five place markers using Google Earth (0 -5 points). The five pop-up balloons associated with the place markers each have a paragraph useful information about the location/site (0-5 points). The five pop-up balloons associated with the place markers each have a question that prompts visitors to seek an answer at the site or through research (0-5 points). The overall presentation should be useful to visitors, has no significant grammatical problems, looks good, etc. (0-5 points). Extra credit can be an additional five points to the total and will be granted to students who include additional audio and/or visual components to their placemarks. Other inventive or creative applications may also be eligible for bonus points.

Instruction Type(s)

Lecture, Online Education Lecture

IGETC Area 2: Mathematical Concepts and Quantitative Reasoning


IGETC Area 6: Languages other than English