Instructor:   Yifei Sun

                        Associate Professor

Department of Geography

California State University, Northridge

                        (818) 677-3529


Office:        Sierra Hall 130 E

Office hours: 13:45 – 14:45 pm, Tuesdays and Thursdays



The United States and Canada: The Land and the People, 2nd edition

Getis, Getis, and Quastler. 2001. McGraw-Hill. ISBN: 0-07-235677-4

(you MUST use the second edition – there are significant differences between first and second)


Course Goals and Outcomes


This is a regional upper-division course on the geography of the United States. We'll look at the physical features, population and settlement patterns, political geography (important in the aftermath of the election), agriculture and industrialization, transportation and communications, urban geography, and also something about the cultural regions of the US - we'll also spend a week looking at recreation and tourism. The book has fourteen chapters (but we’ll exclude Chapter 14 because it covers Canada only) and we will cover one chapter per week. In addition to the assigned readings, I will post the relevant PowerPoint lecture each week and you will be expected to either view the lecture online or download it for viewing at your convenience.





We will have a series of mini-tests on each chapter (usually 25-35 questions, mostly multiple choice and designed in a way to get you to read through the material). Each week’s test will be made available at the beginning of the week so you can work on it as you read through the chapter and view the lecture.


In addition, because this is an online course, each student will be expected to create a webpage or a blog within our course site based on your current home, or your place of birth, or where you vacation, or just some place you are interested in – you will add information to your page based on the weekly chapter topics – preferably, this will be a photo or an image of some sort accompanied by a short paragraph explaining how your selection relates to the chapter. Even if you don’t have previous web experience, you can utilize a site such as or to easily complete this assignment. I expect all students to view all of these pages over the course of the semester to get some insight into the geography of the United States. Directions on how to do this assignment are available in the Webpage Assignment folder on the course homepage.


This webpage assignment is graded in a cumulative fashion – 5 points every four weeks. I will look at your pages after the first four weeks of class – you should have your page up by then and have added info on Chapters 1-4 of the text. After the next four weeks, you should have added information on Chapters 5-8 of the text and so on until the end of the semester. If you don’t post any information for that four-week period you will NOT receive any points even if you add those chapters at a later date. Again, complete instructions and due dates are available in the Webpage Assignment folder.




The weekly tests will account for eighty percent of your grade.

Please note: there will be absolutely NO make up tests!!


Your personal page will count for twenty percent of your grade.