GEO 108 Photo Interpretation Reflection Papers

Instructions for Preparation
Students will be required to complete four short reflection papers, all of which will be submitted

electronically through the TURNITIN feature on the course Blackboard site. Each reflection paper

will consist of an analytical interpretation of some aspect of the Atmosphere, Biosphere,

Lithosphere, and Hydrosphere, respectively, drawing from a series of appropriately themed images.

Image sets will be provided by Dr., and a grading rubric will be available. For each of the four

papers, students will choose ONE image from the image set provided.

Image Sets: Under the tab marked “Image Sets” students will find four sets of images in a

PowerPoint format – one set each for Atmosphere, Biopshere, Lithosphere, and Hydrosphere. Each

image in the set will be labeled with a number/letter combination. For each image, longitude and

latitude coordinates will be given, and in some cases additional information may be provided.


Content Requirements: Images will be representations of landscapes from a wide range of areas.

The images have been selected because a preponderance of their visual features relate directly to

the focus of each paper, respectively: atmosphere, biosphere, lithosphere, and hydrosphere. For

each reflection paper, students should do the following for the chosen image:

– Use Google Earth to determine the approximate location of the image. Use your common sense

for this, too! Some of the Lat/Long coordinates are approximate and could be off by very small

increments or fractions of a degree.

– Use the maps in your text book to correlate the location of the image with the spatial

processes and patterns that we talk about in class. By examining the location in the context of the

course material, you should be able to analyze the image with respect to the kind of temperature

patterns, weather systems, seasonal changes, vegetation patterns, soils, geomorphological

processes, water systems, etc., that we learn about in class. These are short papers – you should

focus on the specific “sphere,” and use the maps and other information in our text to help you

interpret the patterns & processes evident in the image.

– Avoid online research! These are NOT research papers! Besides using GoogleEarth to

determine the image location, you should NOT be using online sources. Your writing should clearly

demonstrate that your analysis is supported by concepts from the text and lecture material,

articulating and citing the connections.

Format: Each reflection paper should contain a minimum of 400 words of text, which is the

equivalent of about 1½ pages, double-spaced, with one-inch margins. Each reflection paper should

reflect the grammar, spelling and syntax standards of formal college writing. Standards for college

writing are summarized at Purdue Online Writing Lab; please visit this link if necessary: Papers should be typed with Times New Roman font, double-spaced,

with one-inch margins and 12-point font. When you integrate text references, you may refer to the

text as “Strahler” and include page numbers in parentheses. Full references should be listed at

the end, including any Internet-based references.

Note — Samples of A-range reflection papers can be found under the Syllabus & Samples tab, in the

folder marked “Sample Graded Work.”

Image Analysis Connection to Text Format/Instructions
A-Range (45-50) Image analysis is impressively thorough, with insightful attention to the “sphere”

in question, as well as to other features of the image. Through and comprehensive

connections made to text material, with many specific citations to text concepts. Exacting

and admirable attention to all instructions. Exacting attention to grammar, spelling, and syntax,

consistent with standards for college writing.
B-Range (40-44) Image analysis is decent and shows a strong effort, with attention focused on the

“sphere” in question. Solid connections to text material with several citations to text concepts.

Decent attention to all instructions. Generally meets standards for college writing.
C-Range (35-39) Image analysis is basic, but somewhat lackluster, with perfunctory attention to

only the most superficial aspects of the “sphere” in question. Some connections made to the more

obvious aspects of text material, and only a few citations to text concepts, or student mostly

circumvents text and instead draws connections to web-sources other than those specifically

recommended. Barely adequate attention to all instructions. Only casual attention to grammar,

spelling, and syntax.
D-Range (30-34) Image analysis is clearly inadequate, with clear shortcomings in observations and

little or no attempt to connect to the “sphere” in question. Little attempt to draw connections

to text concepts and only one or two citations to text, or student circumvents text in favor of

citing other sources entirely. Attention to instructions sloppy and inadequate. Falls below

standards for college writing with little attention to spelling, grammar, and syntax.

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