Open Educational Resources and Geography

This collection was curated by an ASCCC OERI discipline lead. A comprehensive list of current discipline leads is available.

OER and Geography/Physical Sciences2021/05/212021-05-21 10:30:00
OER for Geography2019/04/262019-04-26 10:00:00

Introduction to Physical Geography (C-ID GEOG 110)

The Physical Environment: an Introduction to Physical Geography (Ritter)  Accessed June 2021. (CC BY-SA 4.0) A textbook with 21 chapters covering concepts related to Earth Sciences. Chapters contain links to relevant videos, articles, website and instructional activities appropriate for studying the concepts and topics.

Supplemental Materials: Physical Geography (Lenkeit-Meezan) – LibreTexts  Accessed June 2021.  (CC BY-NC) This text is disseminated via the Open Education Resource (OER) LibreTexts Project ( and like the hundreds of other texts available within this powerful platform, it freely available for reading, printing and “consuming.” Most, but not all, pages in the library have licenses that may allow individuals to make changes, save, and print this book. Carefully consult the applicable license(s) before pursuing such effects. Instructors can adopt existing LibreTexts texts or Remix them to quickly build course-specific resources to meet the needs of their students. Unlike traditional textbooks, LibreTexts’ web based origins allow powerful integration of advanced features and new technologies to support learning. 

Physical Geography and Natural Disasters, by Adam Dastrup, Open Geography Education.  Accessed June 2021.  (CC BY-NC-SA). The intent of this textbook is to update and build upon the body of knowledge that exists within the geographic discipline. Unless otherwise noted within each chapter of the textbook, this body of work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Fundamentals of Physical Geography.  2nd edition.  2018.  Created by Dr. Michael Pidwirny & Scott Jones University of British Columbia Okanagan.  Accessed June 2021. contains six main components: Fundamentals (of Physical Geography) Online eBook, Understanding (Physical Geography) Online eBook, Learning Visualizations, Glossary of Terms, Internet Weblinks, and Search Site. The Fundamentals of Physical Geography (2nd Edition) online textbook contains over three hundred pages of information and more than four hundred 2-D illustrations, photographs, and animated graphics organized into ten chapters. Important key terms in the text are linked to an interactive Glossary of Terms. Nested within the pages of this online textbook are links to study guide pages and additional reading pages for each chapter. Please note that the pages found in this work are always in a state of being improved. Your comments and corrections, emailed to me, play an important role in this process.

Physical Geography – Version 1 (Patrich and Radtke, 2020); Physical Geography – Version 1 PDF (CC BY). Accessed July 2021. The textbook provides a comprehensive introduction to many topics in the field of physical geography, but it is unbalanced in favor of geology/geomorphology. There is no unit focused on the hydrosphere. Instead, there are two units – Unit 16: Shaped by Coastal Processes, and Unit 17: Shaped by Rivers & Running Water, discussing mostly the role of water as a geomorphic agent. Thus, the textbook falls short of information about important topics like the properties of water, ocean currents, lakes, etc. Also, there is no unit about the biosphere. Each unit starts with a Goals and Objectives section and ends up with a Summary. The text is well illustrated with tables and figures. However, there are no discussions, study questions, or other activities to help students understand the concepts introduced.

Physical Geography, Laboratory (C-ID GEOG 111)

Physical Geography Lab Manual (Ray et al., 2020) (CC BY-NC 4.0) This peer-reviewed lab manual includes twenty lab exercises designed for California community college students.

Physical Geography Lab Manual (Pesses, Welsh, and Adams, 2017) (CC BY 4.0)  Accessed June 2021. This lab manual is intended to be used in introductory physical geography lab courses. It is tailored to the Antelope Valley College program, but can be adapted for use elsewhere. Certain labs reference The Essential World Atlas, and Physical Geography, both published by Oxford University Press. Other textbooks can be substituted as needed.

Introduction to Physical Geography, with Lab (C-ID GEOG 115)

Geog 115 is a combination lecture and laboratory course. For a combination course, including lecture and laboratory components, refer to C-ID Geog 110 and C-ID Geog 111 resources as listed above.

Introduction to Human Geography (C-ID GEOG 120)

Introduction to Human Geography (Dastrup) (CC BY-SA 4.0) Accessed June 2021. Part of the Open Geography eTextbook Collection.  This eTextbook is freely available for use under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. All content will be mobile-friendly for smartphone and tablet use and could be used in face-to-face, flipped, blended/hybrid, or online teaching environments. 

Introduction to Human Geography: A Disciplinary Approach (Graves, 2020) (Free but not open) See site for information regarding ancillaries. Accessed June 2021. Introduction to Human Geography: A Disciplinary Approach is a free eText designed for students enrolled in survey courses in Human/Cultural Geography or US Geography.  This textbook is used by students at California State University, Northridge, and by students at several dozen other colleges and universities.  Some high schools are using it for AP Human Geography.

World Regional Geography (C-ID GEOG 125)

Introduction to World Regional Geography (Dastrup, 2019) (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0) The intent of this textbook is to update and build upon the body of knowledge that exists within the geographic discipline. Unless otherwise noted within each chapter of the textbook, this body of work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization (University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing, 2016); World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC-SA) World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization is designed for students to experience and study as much of the world as possible within a limited amount of time. It gives students the fundamental concepts and the latest data regarding world places in a concise, easy-to-read format. This textbook focuses on the primary issues that have created our cultural and societal structures, and presents them within a framework for global understanding

Introduction to Weather and Climate (C-ID GEOG 130)

Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions  (Veerabhadran, Aines and Auffhammer, 2019)  (CC BY-NC-SA). Climate change is an urgent problem. Because it is causing new weather extremes and fatal catastrophes, climate change is better-termed climate disruption. Bending the curve to flatten the upward trajectory of pollution emissions responsible for climate disruption is essential in order to protect billions of people from this global threat. Education is a key part of the solution. This textbook book lays out ten solutions that together can bend the curve of climate warming below dangerous levels. These solutions fall into six categories: science, societal transformation, governance, economics, technology, and ecosystem management

Introduction to Climate Science. 1st Edition.  Andreas Schmittner, 2018. (CC BY-NC-SA). This book describes how Earth’s climate is changing, how it has been changing in the recent geological past and how it may change in the future. It covers the physical sciences that build the foundations of our current understanding of global climate change such as radiation, Earth’s energy balance, the greenhouse effect and the carbon cycle. Both natural and human causes for climate change are discussed. Impacts of climate change on natural and human systems are summarized. Ethical and economical aspects of human-caused climate change and solutions are presented.

Climate Toolkit: A Resource Manual for Science and Action.  Frank Granshaw.  2020.  (CC BY-NC). The Climate Toolkit is a resource manual designed to help the reader navigate the complex and perplexing issue of climate change by providing tools and strategies to explore the underlying science. As such it contains a collection of activities that make use of readily available on-line resources developed by research groups and public agencies. These include web-based climate models, climate data archives, interactive atlases, policy papers, and “solution” catalogs. Unlike a standard textbook, it is designed to help readers do their own climate research and devise their own perspective rather than providing them with a script to assimilate and repeat. The activities in the manual are divided into five sections that include weather and climate basics, present climate impacts, past climate change, future change and impacts, and strategies for climate mitigation and adaptation. These are followed by three appendices which contain information about the on-line tools used in the activities in this manual; a catalog of on-line and print resources produced by research groups, government agencies, and community groups involved in climate and sustainability work; and background on the history and key players in the international climate negotiation process. Though originally aimed at undergraduate non-science majors, the manual has been broadened for a wider audience in non-academic settings like community groups, service organizations, workplace study groups, and faith communities.

California Geography (C-ID GEOG 140)

No resources identified.

Map Interpretation and Analysis (C-ID GEOG 150)

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems and Techniques, with Lab (C-ID GEOG 155)

As the title suggests, “Mapping, Society, and Technology” provides an excellent overview of the fundamentals of mapping as a technology in contemporary society (admittedly and understandably skewed towards the Global North). The book works well as an introductory text to how maps work, their basic components, and the challenges of understanding and displaying spatial data. Many of the topics covered are what one might expect to find in a beginning Geographic Information System (GIS) textbook, but are helpfully presented independently of GIS or a specific platform.

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (Dastrup) (CC BY)

Nature of Geographic Information Systems (DiBiase, Pennsylvania State University, 2014); Nature of Geographic Information (DiBiase) – LibreTexts (CC BY-NC-SA)

The purpose of this text is to promote understanding of the Geographic Information Science and Technology enterprise (GIS&T, also known as “geospatial”).

Essentials of Geographic Information Systems.  Campbell and Shin. 2011.  (CC BY-NC-SA).

Essentials of Geographic Information Systems integrates key concepts behind the technology with practical concerns and real-world applications. Recognizing that many potential GIS users are nonspecialists or may only need a few maps, this book is designed to be accessible, pragmatic, and concise. Essentials of Geographic Information Systems also illustrates how GIS is used to ask questions, inform choices, and guide policy. From the melting of the polar ice caps to privacy issues associated with mapping, this book provides a gentle, yet substantive, introduction to the use and application of digital maps, mapping, and GIS.

Regional Field Studies (C-ID GEOG 160)

World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization.  University of Minnesota Library Publishing.  2016.  (CC BY-NC-SA).

World Regional Geography: People, Places and Globalization is designed for students to experience and study as much of the world as possible within a limited amount of time. It gives students the fundamental concepts and the latest data regarding world places in a concise, easy-to-read format.

General Resources

Libre Texts – Bookshelves

This central Bookshelves area in this LibreTexts Library holds texts that are curated by the LibreTexts Development team and can be used either directly or as content for building customized remixes (i.e., texts that are generated from existing content often with customized editing and/or content interspersed) for use in Course Shells housed in Campus Bookshelves. There are two classes of texts found in the Bookshelves: “Textbooks” and “Textmaps”. Textbooks are the central spot for integrated content into our library and are identified by “Book:” in their titles. Textmaps are specialized remixes that are constructed to follow the organization of existing commercial textbooks. Textmaps facilitate adoption by faculty that are unable to switch from a commercial textbook to an OER alternative; these texts are identified by “Map:” in their titles. For details on how to have a text added to the bookshelves or how to remix content into your customized remix contact us at

Libre Texts, Campus Bookshelves

The Campus Bookshelves area holds campus-specific and faculty-specific course shells. Each shell is customized to address the needs of faculty and their students and typically contains text remixes (i. e., texts generated from existing content often with customized editing and/or content interspersed) that students and faculty can directly access for their class activities. While the textbooks in the Bookshelves are centrally curated by the development team, the text remixes in the course shells are primarily curated by the faculty that created them. The shells can be exported into Learning Management Systems or as PDFs or even as physical texts. For details in how to construct a shell for your class contact us at

Libre Texts, Geosciences. Learning Objects Learning objects are content items, practice items, and assessment items. These resources are self-contained, digital or non-digital resources that can be used for learning, education or training. Learning objects can be organized to easily form collections of themed content, including traditionally designed courses.

This page last updated April 14th, 2022.