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GEOGRPH-100 - Physical Geography - Mary Bates

Course:Physical Geography
Professor:Mary Bates
  • Online
Course Length:
  • 8 Week
  • 16 Week


profile photo of Mary Bates

Welcome to Geography!  I am Mary Bates, your professor.  I love providing students with knowledge of nature and people, that opens up awareness of the world we take for granted. I get most excited about presenting facts and viewpoints on relevant issues that encourage you to critically think for yourselves and stretch the boundaries beyond your previously held perceptions.  I will not tell you what to think, but will show you how to think.  Everything about our planet (nature and people) is very dynamic and ever-changing.  Therefore, changes are not inherently "good" or inherently "bad".  There are pros and cons to everything, so I endeavor to remove all judgments and "sided" controversial interpretations from the scientific facts I provide.  This is my foundation that underlies how I teach Geography.

Course Description

You’ll be able to demonstrate basic cartographic skills of map reading, interpretation, construction, and analysis.  You’ll also know how to distinguish between different lithologic, atmospheric and hydrologic patterns and the processes that modify them.

What to Expect in this Course

The details of this course will be provided in the course syllabus on the first day of class.  You will have weekly discussions, exercises, and an exam.  There will also be weekly synchronous office hours on Zoom, which are highly recommended for success, since I will be open to lecturing on each session.  You will not be graded for attendance, though.  I am open to meeting with any student one-on-one through Zoom, for tutoring or anything that relates to your success in class.  Communicate with me anytime through the Canvas inbox.  I respond relatively quickly, most often within the same day, if not within hours.

Types of Assessments

Weekly exercises, discussion, and exams.

Textbook Information

No textbook needed. I provide a wide variety of diverse material in different formats that covers all you need.

Other Relevant Course Information

Basic required technical and personal study skills needed:

  • Basic computer literacy, including skills in Internet navigation and basic document creation.
  • Reliable, consistent Internet access such as Firefox, Explorer, Safari, Google Chrome, etc.).
  • There is a student Canvas app, but it is not as complete as a computer version.
  • You need to create a free Zoom account for synchronous office hours. (
  • Access to word processing required, such as Microsoft Word or Google docs, etc
  • You will need either a printer (ideally) or knowledge of editing a pdf in order to submit exercises. 
  • You will need either a scanner or a free scanning app on your phone (Genius Scan is one example).
  • Online courses require more time and effort than traditional, on-ground offerings. You are expected to handle a substantial workload in this time. Plan on this course taking at least 5-10 hours/week of your time. There is a considerable amount of reading and interactive activities online.
  • Students who do well in online courses tend to share the following qualities:
    • They are very self-motivated, consistently meet deadlines ahead of time, to bypass any tech issues.
    • They do not take shortcuts by googling questions without reading the material presented by professors.
    • They are strong, critical readers and communicate clearly and effectively.
    • They often communicate with the professor, via inbox messaging, or through Zoom office hours.
    • They have strong time management skills.
    • They do not plagiarize or cheat.
    • They know the core rules of Netiquette and how to communicate respectfully online. Check out: You as students, and I as your instructor, are all responsible for creating a safe and respectful learning environment in our class, by being mindful of diverse opinions and beliefs from a variety of lifestyles, backgrounds, and experiences.

Additional Resources


This course can be accessed on the first day of class via Canvas at Log into Canvas using your CanyonsID single sign-on:

  • CanyonsID Username is your COC student email address (Ex:
  • CanyonsID Password is your COC student email password

Please visit the Get to Know Your Online Classroom page for help logging into Canvas and for tips on using Canvas and Zoom. Canvas Chat Support is also available 24/7 for any Canvas related issues.

Online Education

Check out the Online Education website for more information on a variety of topics that can help you be a successful online student such as: exam proctoring, learning styles, computer skills, and tips for student success. If this is your first online course, feel free to take our online learning readiness assessment to assess your skills.

The Learning Center (TLC)

The TLC provides FREE online tutoring resources to COC students!

Academic Accommodation Center (AAC)

College of the Canyons AAC provides educational services and access for eligible students with documented disabilities who intend to pursue coursework at COC. A variety of programs and services are available which afford eligible students with disabilities the opportunity to participate fully in all aspects of the college programs and activities through appropriate and reasonable accommodations. For more information on their services visit the Academic Accomodation Center website.

Online Counseling

The Counseling Department offers appointments online. You can schedule an appointment by visiting the Online Counseling website. Counselors can help you map out a plan to reach your educational goals as well as advise you on course selection and registration.

Management of Stress and Mental Health

Often the pressure on our students is very strong, involving academic commitments, relationships, outside jobs and family pressure to name a few. The staff and faculty of College of the Canyons are here to see you succeed academically and care about your emotional and physical health. You can learn more about the broad range of confidential student services, including counseling and mental health services available on campus by visiting the Student Health & Wellness Center in the Student Services Building (across from the bookstore). The phone number is 661-362-3259 that you can call 24/7. You can also e mail for an appointment at At the Canyon Country Campus the Health Center will be in the new Student Services Building.

Also, the National Suicide & Crisis Lifeline number is now 988. All students at COC are encouraged to enter that phone number in their cells. You can call it when you, or someone you know, is having thoughts of suicide or is in severe distress.

You can also now use the Crisis Text Line: Just text "Courage" to 741741. Someone will get back to you immediately. Its free, 24/7, and confidential.

Veterans Resource Center

The College of the Canyons Veterans Resource Center is a department within the Student Services Division at the college, created to help veterans and veteran dependents with applying to College of the Canyons, enrolling in classes, and requesting VA Education or Vocational Benefits. For more information please visit the Veterans Resource Center website, email or phone (661) 362-3469.


The Library provides live online and in-person research help, access to a full range of e-resources and physical materials that support the curriculum, individual and group study areas, and much more!

Last updated: 09/14/2021 Sub#: 610