World Regional Geography 
GEO 120 with Professor Bertolas

Return to the World Regional Geography GEO 120 main page.   E-mail:

To obtain a complete course syllabus identical to the one provided on the first day of class, go to your G:drive.

Description of Course:
World Regional Geography examines the Earth's surface through the lens of geography.  It is a traditional survey and general education course.  We will classify the world into several interrelated regions for easier study and then investigate each region's physical setting, social and political systems, demographic trends, and land-use patterns.  Map work is essential and will be assigned throughout the course.  By taking this class, you have the opportunity to study outside your concentration and learn about another discipline. You will get a chance to study people and environments unfamiliar to you.  This kind of experience is designed to help students be more informed about the world, more sensitive to others, and more marketable to employers.

1.  To examine the distribution and characteristics of a variety of natural settings.
2.  To describe major political units, urban areas, physical features and resources.
3.  To show where and why humans have established cultural and social patterns.
4.  To explore the background of various regional conflicts and problems.
5.  To acquire a global perspective of interconnected places and space.

  Bertolas’ Teaching Philosophy: “I love to learn but I hate being taught.”

The World Today: Concepts and Regions in Geography, de Blij & Muller, 2013 (6th ed.).

Colored pencils (about a dozen), a small pencil sharpener, and very fine-point felt tip pens (blue and black recommended) will be required for map work.

Regular attendance is expected.  Frequently missing class may seriously hurt your chance of passing the course.

Exams:  Three exams plus a final exam, equally weighted and 50 points each.  Make-up exams are not automatic.
Talk to me BEFORE missing an exam.  If I am unavailable, send me an e-mail or leave a message on my answering machine at 375-7018. 

Web Site Review:  Student will answer questions and write a review of the WSC Geography Web Site.

Maps:  Students will be assigned to present geographic items in map form.
Items may be plotted using maps from the text, enhanced using colored pencils and fine-tip felt pens.
Work is graded on placement accuracy and clarity/neatness of presentation.

Internet:  Homework requiring the student to access Internet sites and answer questions.

GIS:  Students will create a computer map using the ArcGIS Geographic Information System.

  ** Note syllabus DUE DATES for assignments -- late homework will be penalized two points per day past due!

 200 = 4 Exams x 50 each
   10 = Web Site Review
   70 = 7 Maps x 10 each
   10 = Internet  Homework
   10 = GIS  Homework
 300 = Maximum possible points

>  279  (93%) A
>  270  (90%) A-
>  261  (87%) B+
>  249  (83%) B
>  240  (80%) B-
>  231  (77%) C+
  219  (73%) C
>  210  (70%) C-
>  201  (67%) D+
>  189  (63%) D
>  180  (60%) D-
<  179  = no credit

Note:  Under S-NC option, a minimum grade of C (219 points) is required to pass this course.
Extra credit:   Maybe.  Keep your ears open in class.  No substitutions.

In order to help you do your best in class, please inform the instructor of any conditions that may require modification of seating, testing, or other practices.  In addition, be aware that Wayne State College provides many services to assist students.  Conn Library has computers to aid in research and librarians to assist you.  STRIDE and the Learning Center, both located in the Student Center, provide advice in test-taking and help in writing term papers (e.g., working with word processing software, formats, punctuation, bibliographies, etc.). The Counseling Center can assist in career planning, stress management, and individual/group counseling.

 * Your peers’ #1 key to success?  Read assigned chapters in advance of the discussion. 
 * The use of any personal or portable electronic device (e.g., cell phone, laptop, MP3 player) in class is not allowed.
 * What is on the exams?  Lecture and text material, map information, and handout data.
 * Missed class?  You are responsible for obtaining any notes/distributed course materials.
 * Need a Grade Report filled out?  See me at my office (Connell 237) during office hours.