GEOG 431
Geography of Water Resources



This lesson will give you an overview of the physical and chemical properties of water, and some insight into how those properties define aquatic ecosystems and influence society's use of water. Read through Lesson 1 material, then review the Lecture 1.1 Microsoft PowerPoint. This Microsoft PowerPoint provides an introduction to Lesson 1 and the overall course. It includes definitions, a brief course outline, an introduction of water uses through time, and some visual impressions of water in art and aquatic ecosystems.

Learning Outcomes

After completing this lesson, you should be able to:

  • compare the physical and chemical properties of water in three different phases;
  • explain how the physical and chemical properties of water define aquatic ecosystems;
  • identify how the properties of water influence society's use of water.

Lesson Roadmap

This lesson is one week in length. Please refer to the Course Calendar in Canvas for specific time frames and due dates. To finish this lesson, you must complete the activities listed below.

Lesson 1: Activities
Requirements Assignment Details Access/Directions
To Watch

Watch/Read through the Lecture 1.1 - Introduction PowerPoint file.

Registered students can access the Microsoft PowerPoint file under Lesson 1 in Canvas.

To Read
  • Chapter 1 – Water Basics (p.1-19)
  • Familiarize yourself with the info available at the USGS Water Science School
To Do

Complete and submit your synopsis of a historic use of water (2 pages).

Submit your synopsis in the Assignment 1.1 - What is freshwater? dropbox under the Lesson 1 module in Canvas.


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? discussion forum located under Orientation and Resources in Canvas. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.