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GEOG 1001 Environmental Systems 1-Climate and Vegetation


Dr. Steven Welter



Steve Welter received his Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder (1995), focusing on soil-landscape interactions, mountain geography, and alpine glacial stratigraphy. His dissertation research investigated relationships between soil development, erosion, and topography in the mountains southwest of Denver, Colorado. Dr. Welter also holds a Master’s in Geography from Portland State University (1987) where he studied the climatic significance of rock glaciers in the Olympic Mountains of Washington. His Bachelor’s degree (1983) is from the University of California, Berkeley (B.A.).

Dr. Welter began teaching at the University of Colorado in 1987. He currently teaches both online and hybrid-style courses in Environmental Systems (GEOG 1001 and GEOG 1011). Through the years he has also taught courses in Climatology, Mountain Geography, Mountain Geomorphology, Global Environmental Change, and Field Techniques in Environmental Science. In his free time he enjoys hiking, gardening, keeping bees and leading backpacking and international hiking trips for the Sierra Club.


This term-based course introduces the atmospheric environment of the Earth: elements and controls of climate and their implications for hydrology, vegetation, and soils. It emphasizes distribution of physical features across the Earth’s surface and interactions between humans and their environment, especially those leading to global change on the decade to century time scale.

This 4-credit course includes a mandatory laboratory component that is also delivered online. This course meets MAPS requirement for natural science (non-lab or lab), and is approved for arts and sciences CORE curriculum (natural science). There are no pre-requisites.


By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  • describe the primary physical elements and processes that drive the Earth-atmosphere system
  • explain how these integrated dynamic processes affect the timing and pattern of Earth’s weather and climate systems
  • describe the essential principles of ecosystems and explain the characteristics and spatial distribution of Earth’s primary terrestrial ecosystems
  • interpret maps, graphs, and tabular data depicting atmospheric and ecologic phenomena
  • evaluate a variety of ways in which humans interact with and alter the atmospheric and biotic components of the Earth system


Christopherson, R.W., Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography, 9/E. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.

MasteringGeography®: This is a remote platform maintained by the Pearson Education network. This is an online homework and assessment program that is integrally linked to your textbook.
Use the course ID: MGEOGWELTER02936


Your final course grade will be based on the following:

Reading quizzes 20%
Laboratory exercises 25%
D2L discussion posts 25%
Exams 30%

** No extra credit is available for this course.


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Monday – Friday
7:30am to 4:30pm


We are located at the corner of University Avenue and 15th Street in a white brick building.


1505 University Avenue
University of Colorado Boulder
178 UCB
Boulder, Colorado