Geography Field Journal

Physical Geography is essentially a study of the landscape and weather. It addresses the processes that create the landscape including atmospheric conditions. As a student of Geography, you will be able to create a FIELD JOURNAL which will document your accumulated geographic knowledge. This project offers you an opportunity to apply critical thinking skills and hands-on experience addressing Geographic concepts and topics. You will be able to gain an in-depth understanding of the physical landscape as you observe and document aspects of the natural environment and atmospheric conditions. You will be working “in the field”. Which simply means going outdoors, weekly. This is not an online research project. It is a personal outdoor exploration and experience designed by you.
RESOURCES: Utililize your textbooks. There is great information that will help you! Online resources will also be helpful, but do not rely completely on “online” information.
PROJECT COMPONENTS This field journal is simply a weekly recording of your observations, analysis, and interpretations of the physical aspects of the landscape and atmosphere. Your journal, when completed, will include a cover page, weekly observations, labeled photos, maps, and a resource page.
WEEKLY ENTRY You are designing this journal. The only requirement is that the observations are made weekly throughout the remainder of the semester. You can choose which day of each week. Provide a few pages for each entry, including photos and maps for each entry. You will compile your finished product and submit it, via CANVAS, on the due date. *** At random times throughout the semester, I will ask to see one of your week’s entries, via CANVAS. This allows me to provide guidance or suggestions, if needed.
Heading for each weekly entry: • Date, Day, Time, Location • Description of the area
MAKE OBSERVATIONS. PROVIDE ANALYSIS. Complete these statements multiple times, as many as you can while studying your object of focus: • I notice…. • I wonder… • This reminds me of… The choice of topics for observation will be different for each student. There are many different aspects to focus on and observe. It really depends on your own location and what you are able to observe. No particular requirements.

PLE: Your focus one week may be the weather. Perhaps it’s cloudy, or a change in the weather is occurring. This is a great opportunity for observation and analysis of the atmosphere. Use this opportunity to observe cloud formation. Not all clouds are alike. They are classified by shape and altitude. ( Your text explains this in detail and provides illustrations/photos of cloud classification. Check chapter 6, pgs 151-154 ) Take photos of the clouds, edit your photos to include the best few as your documentation. Using your text, determine which type of clouds you are observing. (If you do not have your required textbook, explore online resources for guidance in cloud classification.) Include labeled photos, one with you in the photo at your location, and a map. *REMEMBER, YOU ONLY NEED TO MAKE ONE OBSERVATION PER WEEK.

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NATURAL ENVIRONMENT EXAMPLE: One week, your focus could be on the surrounding natural landscape near your home or wherever you choose. Take photos that best depict your observation and analysis. Determine what type of biome you may be observing. ( Information on “BIOMES” are found in Chapter 11 in your text.) Observe the density, or lack of density of the vegetation. Does it speak to the possible amount of water available? Or the steepness of the slope? Is the slope facing to the north or south? What is the difference? If you are observing trees, try to determine which species you see. Help for identification of trees can be found online. Yes, use online resources when necessary and include them on your “RESOURCE PAGE. Using information from Chapter 11, and finding the correct biome that exists in southern California, apply that information to what you are seeing. Are you seeing examples of what the text is discussing? Include labeled photos, one with you in the photo at your location, and a map. *REMEMBER, YOU ONLY NEED TO MAKE ONE OBSERVATION PER WEEK.

HUMAN/ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION EXAMPLE: One week, your focus could be on Human/Environment interaction. How do humans interact with their environment? Have humans built over the entire area within your location? Are there open spaces not built upon? What do you think are the reasons for how landscapes are modified to fit into human purposes? Be open to many types of possibilities when dealing with humans and how the landscape is modified or conformed to. How about houses built upon a hillside? Why is that? How do humans overcome the environment/nature? Include labeled photos, one with you in the photo at your location, and a map. *REMEMBER, YOU ONLY NEED TO MAKE ONE OBSERVATION PER WEEK.

SUNRISE/SUNSET EXAMPLE: Perhaps you are interested in observing Sunrise and Sunset. This is probably the most simple observation to make. Go outside to observe sunrise, just at the time of the sun breaking the horizon in your view. Same for sunset, just as the sun disappears from your horizon, wherever that is located within your own parameters. Do this for several weeks during the semester. This is not a “one-time” choice of observation. Take a photo each week to support your documentation. Be sure to take a photo without full sun on the screen. Meaning, do not take a photo of the sun while it is still visible. It will result in a poor quality photo. Just AT sunrise or sunset is best. If you have the opportunity to stand with your horizon not blocked by buildings, this would result in the best results. Be prepared. The sun will be moving quickly along the horizon each week. Allow for a large amount of horizon to be in your view to accurately follow the sun’s path over

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