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Geography Project Assignment
For the term project, imagine yourself as a tour guide leading adults for three days anywhere on
the planet where you can showcase and explore an area of Earth’s most interesting physical and
cultural features and phenomenon. Please select one particular geographic region and become an
expert of the area’s physical and cultural points of interest. On this three-day field excursion,
indicate where you will go and why (i.e. how do sites you stop at relate to information within
your textbook or topics covered in course lectures). Make sure that your trip provides a day-today scenario. In addition to describing the sites visited, indicate where you will be staying, how
you will be getting around, what local foods you intend to try, any local people you will meet,
unique species (flora/fauna) encountered, and/or any customs and festivities you intent to
participate in while there. Maps, images/photos, diagrams greatly aid in conveying information
about your project. You may choose any place on Earth that you find most interesting, but do
keep in mind scale. Places that may seem close to one another on a map might actually require
hours of flying or multiple days drive by car, particularly in rural areas not connected by modern
Writing the Field Report
Your term project is an opportunity to integrate what you have learned in class with personal
experiences or interests while practicing your writing and small group discussion skills. Be sure
to organize and summarize pertinent observations and conclusions gained from textbook
readings, lectures, and any additional sources. To avoid plagiarism reference ALL sources used
BOTH in text AND in a bibliography page (APA, MLA or Chicago styles are all acceptable
Field trip ideas: Below are a few examples, but your options are as diverse as Earth’s physical
and cultural landscape so please pick any place that interests you! Contact me if you have any
questions or need clarification.
• Alaska’s Mount Denali to Glacier Bay
• Yellowstone National Park & Grand Teton National Park Loop
• Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro from Base to Crest
• Hawaii – Best of the Big Island
Below are some helpful guidelines for the report:
In your introduction, outline the trip objective(s). A map with route and stops is required. There
are many map-making tools and programs freely available, but you are able to use Google Map
Engine or hand drawings so long as purposeful information is clearly conveyed.
Each day should have an itinerary table followed by in-depth narrative of key activities.
Geography Project Assignment
The itinerary table outlines brief descriptions, provides stop locations, arrival and departures
dates and times, plus activities planned. Think about how best to convey this information clearly
and briefly. Note: Also consider travel times and modes between stops plus any time zone
changes part of this project is to demonstrate basic logistics.
Then include narrative paragraph(s) offering longer description(s) of key each stop location and
the relevance to physical and cultural geography. This would be a great place for a few
representative images. Remember, as the tour guide, you want attendees to have an idea of what
to expect and prepare for. The last thing you want is an angry mob of confused exhausted
travelers who forgot to pack their parkas in Antarctica! Take your time with each
narratives. Make sure you have thoroughly related each stop to ideas and themes
represented during this course. I want to see your ability to apply course concepts into your
writing and their connections to the larger world. Doing this will merit a much higher grade than
just reciting destination information.
Cite ALL authors, publications, and/or websites you used as references.
Sample Geography Field Project
AMERICA’S GRAND CIRCLE – 7 NIGHTS @ $995 per person
Zion National Park Bryce Canyon National Park Capitol Reef National Park Arches
National Park Canyonlands National Park Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
Grand Canyon National Park
Enjoy, experience and learn about North America’s most spectacular oxidized sandstone
scenery! See aridisol sediment vistas carved out by rivers, mechanically weathered and eroded
by storms, and shaped by tectonics over geologic time. Spend seven remarkable days traveling
through the arid southwestern desert biome to explore orogenic wonders by car, plane,
helicopter, bicycle, on foot, and even by mule. Sleep in a tent and wake up to breathtaking
xerophytic nature only accessible to limited visitors of the National Parks. This tour includes
food, shelter, and transportation and is designed for all – from the avid outdoorsmen to more
reluctant city folk! Now, go grab your backpack.
For an interactive GIS map visit: https://mapsengine.google.com/map/u/0/edit?mid=zsGWPuYl46ik.kiQ3jMRePSdU
Summer & Winter Solstice Dates:
Saturday, June 15 – Friday, June 22
Saturday, December 21 – Friday, December 27
Vernal & Autumnal Equinox Dates:
September 21 – Friday, September 27
March 15 – Friday, March 21
TOURS ARE LIMITED TO 10 ADULTS SO SPACE IS LIMITED! BOOK NOW!
Arrival and departure plans are your responsibility as this official tour begins and at National Park Visitor Center
locations on specified times. For your convenience the following information may be helpful to your bookings. If
requested airport transportation arrangements can be made for an additional fee.
• Cedar City, Utah is the airport (CDC) closest to Zion National Park and is less than a 1-hour drive. There are
daily regional flights from Salt Lake City served by United Airlines.
• Phoenix, Arizona is the airport (PHX) closest to the Grand Canyon. As a major southwestern hub it is served by
all airlines. Though, some individuals prefer to fly into Las Vega (LAS) and enjoy its splendors as well as the
Sample Geography Field Project
Keep in mind we will be traveling in the desert biome where continental temperatures fluctuate
greatly between day and night. Also, we will be changing elevations from 2,000-ft up to nearly
9,000-ft above sea level (and may encounter snow or hail, especially in the early morning hours
when relative humidity is highest). Sturdy walking shoes, a hat with brim, and layered clothing
are important. Your attire should serve to protect you from daytime highs at +90°F down to
freezing (32°F) at night, block westerly winds and harsh solar radiation. It is easy to become
dehydrated in the desert so constant water hydration is recommended as humans are comprised
of nearly 70% water. To cool off, there will be ample opportunities to swim so bring your
bathing suit. That said, shortwave UV radiation from the sun, particularly at higher elevations
where the atmosphere is thinner and the ozone hole is recovering, can be dangerous and so
sunscreen is advisable during the daytime.
DAY 1 – ZION NATIONAL PARK
Follow paths where indigenous people and western pioneers walked. Utah’s first national park is
a splendor of massive red, orange and pink sandstone cliffs set against a bright blue sky.
Meet in front of the Visitor’s Center
9:00 am –
Welcome Home Breakfast @
10:00 am3:30 pm
Hiking the Narrows
3:30 pm5:30 pm
5:30 pm7:00 pm
7:00 pm –
3-Course Dinner Served
Cocktails & Games
Check-in with your Field Guide and then tour
the visit center and museum. Be sure to also
grab a map!
We will bus you over to our Group Campsite
so you can eat, mingle, and settle into your presetup camp space.
Challenge yourself by hiking Zion’s infamous
narrow ‘slot’ canyons. A packed lunch will be
We will light up the campfire and you can pour
yourself a drink. Relax in a camp armchair with
ottoman after a big hike, you earned it!
Our camp chef will offer you the finest
American BBQ. Vegetarian options available.
(Optional) After dinner, feel free to enjoy mysterious Zion by headlamp when most of the tourists have left, the area
boasts excellent stargazing and most nights, though chilly, offer clear skies.
Zion National Park, Photo from the National Park Service
Sample Geography Field Project
DAY 1 – ACTIVITIES
Tour the National Park Visitor Center
The Visitor Center Museum at Zion National Park
showcases excellent Native American artifacts. Zion’s
first people traveled through the area while hunting
megafuana mammals (Mammoth, Giant Sloth, and
Camels) almost 12,000 years ago (NPS 2013). As game
became scare, more permanent settlement in Zion by the
Virgin Anasazi began 2,600 years ago (NPS 2013). Later,
pioneer farmers saw the Colorado Plateau elevation of
Zion (3,666-8,726-ft above sea level) to be an ideal site
because of diverse plant life that supported deer, sheep,
and wild turkey; all excellent food sources (NPS 2013).
North Creek Bowl, 1100AD,
Photo: National Park Service
As the Anasazi relocated further southeast due to
resource depletion, the Paiute people settled there and
brought knowledge of desert dwelling from the Great Basin. Attempts were also made by early
Mormon settlers to lay claim to Zion but catastrophic flood events and socioeconomic droughts
during the 1860s proved to be too difficult a landscape for their inhabitation.
Hiking “The Narrows”
The perennial Virgin River trunk has carved out a narrow
gorge in the upper Zion Canyon. At points along the 16miles length is, at times, just 20-ft wide (NPS 2013). The
Narrows are stunning, with soaring walls, hidden grottos,
natural springs, and hanging gardens are sure to impress.
This hike means hiking in the river, though, depths change
with the seasons due to headwater melt in the Rockies and
high evaporation at least 60% of the time is spent wading
through uneven stream bed loads, sometimes swimming
upstream (NPS 2013). The current can be swift, the
snowmelt is cold, and rocks are slippery so you must be
extremely careful and you assume all risks associated with
The Virgin River, Photo: iStock
National Park Service. Zion National Park. Accessed 2013. http://www.nps.gov/zion/index.htm
TIPS FOR DOING WELL
THE TERM PROJECT IS WORTH 20% OF YOUR FINAL GRADE.
Use the Sample provided as a model to develop your own 3-DAY tour.
Review the explanation of the assignment
Include an original map of your sites (that you made), this is mandatory!
All photos should be given proper credit unless you personally took them, then note photo by
Cite your sources in text AND include a bibliography. Plagiarism will not be
tolerated. http://www.knightcite.com can be useful tool for assisting with APA, MLA, and
Chicago style bibliography – you just have to enter information, it formats it properly so you can
copy/paste the citation into your bibliography page.
Wikipedia does not peer review its content, so this is NOT an appropriate source.
Plagiarism will merit you 0 points
Late work will NOT be accepted.
BE sure to include information from your textbook and notes. Linking personal interests with
course material is after all the goal. So please demonstrate this as much as possible!
I will be glad to discuss your paper or review your rough draft prior to the due date. Not for
grammar but for content.
This assignment must be handed in ON TIME for credit on Catayst.
There is no page limit BUT doubled-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font and 1”
margins on all sides (including right, left top and bottom) is required. Name, date, course
section all belong in the header and page numbers should be on the footer.
Check out the rubric on the following page so you understand expectations for college-level
GOOD LUCK, BE CREATIVE, AND HAVE FUN!
Geography Field Project Rubric
Please write objectively and use an approved (APA, MLA, or Chicago) citation format.
Excels in responding to assignment.
sophistication of thought. Central
ideas are clearly communicated,
worth developing; limited enough to
be manageable. Recognizes
complexity of its topic: may
qualifications, or limits and follow out
their logical implications.
Understands and critically evaluates
Uses a logical structure appropriate
to paper’s subject, purpose,
audience, and disciplinary field.
Sophisticated development of ideas
and identifies logical relations. It
guides the reader through the chain
of reasoning or progression of ideas.
A solid paper, responding appropriately
to assignment. Clearly states a central
idea, but may have minor lapses in
development. Shows careful reading of
sources, but may not evaluate them
fully. Attempts to define terms, not
Adequate but weaker and less
effective, possibly responding less
well to assignment. Presents central
idea in general terms, often
depending on platitudes or clichés.
Shows basic comprehension of
sources, perhaps with lapses in
understanding. If it defines terms,
often depends on dictionary
Does not have a clear central idea
or does not respond appropriately
to the assignment. Idea may be
too vague or obvious to be
developed effectively. Paper may
Does not respond
to the assignment,
lacks a central idea,
and may neglect to
use sources where
Shows a logical progression of ideas
and uses fairly sophisticated
transitional devices; e.g. may move
from least to most important idea.
Some logical links may be faulty, but
each paragraph clearly relates to
paper’s central idea.
May have random organization
lacking internal paragraph
coherence and using few or
Paragraphs may lack topic
sentences or main ideas, or may
be too general or too specific to
be effective. Paragraphs may not
all relate to paper’s thesis.
Uses evidence appropriately and
effectively, providing sufficient
evidence and explanation to
Begins to offer reasons to support its
points, perhaps using varied kinds of
evidence. Begins to interpret the
evidence and explain connections
between evidence and main ideas. Its
examples bear some relevance.
Depends on clichés or
overgeneralizations for support, or
offers little evidence of any kind.
May be personal narrative rather
than essay, or summary rather
details or lacks
May be unduly
Chooses words for their precise
meaning and uses an appropriate
level of specificity. Sentence style fits
paper’s audience and purpose.
Sentences are varied, yet clearly
structured and carefully focused, not
long and rambling.
Almost entirely free of spelling,
punctuation, and grammatical errors.
Generally uses words accurately and
effectively, but may sometimes be too
general. Sentences generally clear,
well structured, and focused, though
some may be awkward or ineffective.
May list or arrange them randomly
rather than using any evident logical
structure. May use transitions, but
they are likely to be sequential (first,
second, third) rather than logicbased. While each paragraph may
relate to central idea, logic is not
always clear. Paragraphs have topic
sentences but may be overly genera,
and arrangement of sentences within
paragraphs may lack confidence.
Often uses generalizations to support
its points. May use examples, but
they may not be relevant. Often
depends on unsupported opinion or
personal experience, or assumes that
evidence speaks for itself and needs
no application to the point being
discussed. Often lapses in logic.
Uses relatively vague and general
words, may use some inappropriate
language. Sentence structures may
be wordy, unfocused, repetitive, or
Ma be too vague and abstract, or
very personal and specific.
Usually contains several awkward
or ungrammatical sentences;
sentence structure is simple or
Usually contains several mechanical
errors, which may temporarily
confuse the reader but not impede
the overall understanding.
Usually contains either many
mechanical errors or a few
important errors that block the
reader’s understanding and ability
to see connections between
Usually contains so
errors that it is
impossible for the
reader to follow the
May contain a few errors, which may
annoy the reader but not impede
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