Social Science Education

GEOG 130

GEOG 130: World Geography


Instructors: Jay D. Gatrell, Ph.D Email:

Homepage: Phone: x2256 or x2713

Office Hours: M-Th 7:30-9AM 262HH  & 159L Science (by appt)


Required Resources

National Geographic Society (NGS). 5 Themes of Geography.

Geog 130. World Geography Lecture Notes/PowerPoint Slides.

Bradshaw et al. 2004. Contemporary World Regional Geography. McGraw-Hill. (read chapters that correspond to lecture regions).


Course Detail:

The purpose of this course is to examine basic geographic concepts in a regional context. Furthermore, this course will apply a geographic perspective to the study of development issues at global scale.


GEOG130 is a general education course and meets the requirements for Multicultural Studies-International Cultures (MCS:IC) requirements for GE2000. The course also meets similar E3 requirements for GE89.

Course Requirements:

 1. Students are responsible for all lecture and assigned text materials.

 2. There will be 5 equally weighted exams. The final exam is not cumulative. Make-ups will occur only in EXTREME and DOCUMENTED circumstances.

3. Attendance “Counts”.

4. The grading scale is as follows:

A 90-100%

B 80-89%

C 70-79%

D 60-69%

 5. Students are responsible for maintaining academic integrity.

Exams (4x25=100)

5 Exams will be given. Each exam will be multiple choice and T/F. The exams will be based on both lecture and text based materials. The instructor will drop the lowest exam grade. PLEASE NOTE--ONLY ONE (1) EXAM GRADE CAN BE DROPPED. STUDENTS MUST TAKE ALL EXAMS. These exams will be comprised of multiple choice, T/F, and fill in the blank questions.

Attendance/Group Participation Policy (5x2=10) [EXTRA CREDIT]

A participation grade will be awarded based on random attendance. Attendance will be taken randomly 6 times throughout the semester. The purpose of this policy is to encourage attendance. STUDENTS MAY MISS ONE (1) RANDOM ATTENDANCE WITHOUT PENALTY. EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE ONLY IN EXTREME & DOCUMENTED CASES.

Social Justice 

ISU is committed to the ideals and principles of social justice. I agree with that commitment and expect to maintain a positive learning environment based upon open communication, mutual respect, and non-discrimination. ISU does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, color, or national origin. Any suggestions as to how to further a positive learning environment within the ISU community in this class will be greatly appreciated and given the utmost consideration.

Additionally, if you have any special needs please do not hesitate to bring those needs to my attention.

FERPA—Buckley Amendment Disclosure

To protect your privacy, I post grades using your 991 number. However, I will honor, and am obligated to respect, any request not to publish test grades by the last 4-digits of your social security. If you would not like your grade posted, I encourage you to exercise your rights. If you do not want your grades posted, I will make your grades available during office hours and via e-mail. With respect to e-mail distribution of grades and protecting your privacy, I will not distribute grades to any e-mail accounts.



Week1 Introduction CH 1-2

Course Outline

The Nature of Geography

-What is geography? What do Geographers Do?

-ISU Geography Program

-Pattison’s 4 Traditions & 5 Themes (see NGS website)

-Regional Concept

-Major World Regions

-Landscapes (rural, urban)

Week 2 Geography Basics CH 1-2


-Location, Direction, Scale, and Distance

-Maps, GIS, & Remote Sensing


-The 3-Ds: Distribution, Density, and Diffusion

-Malthus & Demographic Transition

-Population pyramids


-Differentiating Climate and Weather

-Physiography, Topography, and Plate Tectonics

-Natural Hazards and Resources & Vulnerability Issues

-Human Impacts

Week 3 EXAM 1 (45 Minutes) Sept 10

New Global Order CH 12

-Traditional Divisions: E/W, N/S, Occident/Orient

-Cold War Divisions: 1st, 2nd, & 3rd Worlds

-Post-Cold War: Magnified Core Periphery Relationships

1. Politics

2. Economics

3. Culture

Week 4 Africa South of the Sahara CH 9


-Extreme Periphery

-Tribal and Religious Cultures




Week 5/6 EXAM 2 (45 Minutes) Sept 22

North Africa and Southwest Asia Part 1 CH 8

-In the middle

-Religion and Language

-Natural Environment

-North Africa

-The Nile Valley

Week 6/7 North Africa & Southwest Asia Part 2

-Arab SW Asia

-Israel, Gaza, and WB


-Guest Lecture


Week 7/8 Southern Asia CH7

-Periphery with some promise


-India Up-Close 

Week 9/10 EXAM 3 (45 Minutes) OCT 18

Eastern Asia CH5 

-From periphery to core

-Internal and External Cultural Influences

-Natural Environment

-Begin China


-Countries of China’s Buffer Zone


Week 11 Eastern Europe CH 3, 4

-Countries in transition

-cultural history

-Natural environment


Week 12 EXAM 4 (45 Minutes) November 8

Latin America Part 1 CH 10

-From periphery to semi-periphery

-Hispanic Cultures

-Natural Environment


-Central America


-ROSA (Rest of South America) Overview 

Week 12/13 Core Regions

-W. Europe CH 3


Week 13/14 Core Region

-Anglo-America CH 11

Week 15 Core Region

-South Pacific



Final Exam Week EXAM 5


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