Based on 52 Users
DISCLAIMER: I took this class when it was offered as an online course.
This class was super interesting but it was a lot more work than I expected. We were required to do a weekly discussion post, attend our discussion sections, a weekly quiz on our readings and lectures, and a weekly lab assignment. We also had a final paper due week 9. The first few weeks of this class were very technical as we were learning about climate, the carbon cycle, and other stuff. Later in the course, the material was a lot easier as we discussed population growth, environmental injustice, and other interesting topics. This class does require a lot of independent work but it is not too bad as long as you keep a consistent schedule. Participation is also really important in your discussion sections! Overall, I really enjoyed the class and would probably take it again. Just make sure to stay on top of your work and you will do fine.
(CORONA REVIEW) This class was extremely well-structured in that it had weekly discussion responses, weekly quizzes, weekly labs, and weekly discussion sections. The class was already supposed to be online so I am assuming that is the reason it worked out so well. Assignments were graded extremely fair and as long as you didn't miss any you should have been able to do extremely well in the class. There was no midterm or final exam, only a final paper that ended up being made optional given the circumstances. Section was also pretty cool thanks to Lisa M. where she'd do a fun participation question and then get into the week's topic. Our professor was very helpful too and answered emails very promptly. The only tough part of the class was the weekly quiz. It usually took me over an hour to complete despite being only 20 questions because the questions came from our online textbook and the multiple videos we had for the week. We also were able to get 2% of extra credit in the class from doing evaluations which made me go from A- to A. So, coming from someone who is normally pretty lazy, this class was well-worth the weekly hassle and I would definitely take it again.
It is obvious that the professor cares about his students. He asks for input and listens to student feedback. The labs were easy and straightforward and can all be done within the lab time. The midterm and final were both reasonable. He started using iClickers this quarter, which exposes you to the style of the questions on his tests. Some of the iClicker questions even showed up on the final. Towards the end of the quarter, he also started specifying the chapters of the textbook you should focus on, which greatly decreased the amount of reading. He gives 2% extra credit if you participate in lecture twice or if you attend every lecture and answer the iClicker questions (for the students who don't want to speak up). Overall, I really enjoyed this class.
This class was interesting and very bearable. If you show up to every lecture, takes notes, study for the tests, then you should be good. The lab section was tolerable. As long as you show up and complete the assignments for the lab that section then you are fine. The most we had to do was a final paper and presentation which was a group project but you can pick any environmental topic so that was easy.
Kyle offers extra credit by participating; do it!!
I got a B on the midterm and A- on the final. His tests are very fair. Read the textbook for backup on material you do not fully comprehend and go over his slides and your notes.
Go to his office hours!! He is really easy to talk to and answers any questions and fully addresses any concerns you might have. He was so much more approachable than my TA. Very nice guy.
I am selling my textbook! Text me 9493717372
Geog 5 With Professor Cavanaugh has been one of my favorite classes at UCLA so far. The course fulfills the lab demo GE, but is also useful in fulfilling some pre-major required courses. If you get the chance to learn about people and earth's ecosystems under this teacher, DO IT! Cavanaugh is extremely passionate about the course content, which is reflected in his engaging lectures and willingness to communicate with students, be it about grading concerns or potential interest in pursuing the geography major. He genuinely wants students to learn, and sets up his class in a way that can be achieved if the right amount of effort is put in (ie based on 1000 points, pretty even distribution across different assignments). The midterm and final were both fair in terms of material, and the prof and TA's are definitely helpful in preparation. The final is not cumulative, which is another plus.
All in all, 10/10 class: easy, interesting, and a professor who really cares! Go Cavanaugh!
This class was a real pain. About halfway through the quarter, my TA decided to tell us that the team behind Geog 5 was tired of people taking it for an easy GE (as almost everyone in the class is) so they were intentionally trying to make the grading more difficult. I found this to be extremely annoying especially considering I really did put a lot of effort into every assignment including all the labs and class activities and found myself getting grades that I felt were really harsh. The actual class itself is not difficult (if you took APES in high school you already have learned more than half the class content), but I found the grading to be overall much harsher than it should have been. The class is all online regardless of COVID, so lectures are just prerecorded videos from Prof. Cavanaugh which is nice to do on your own time, but I felt little connection or engagement with the professor overall. The class structure includes a discussion post weekly on Wednesdays, a discussion section, and a lab due on Sunday night. For my section at least you had to participate in the discussion. The last four weeks or so of lab assignments are all relating to the final paper (including a fully-fledged rough draft) which is nice, however, I thought my TA half-assed feedback on all of these assignments (for example, giving feedback on my rough draft in a voice memo format... and also giving no feedback on the detailed outline I made but being really harsh feedback on the 1600 word draft I had when a lot of the content could have been changed based on the outline before I spent a few hours writing a rough draft... ) and lacked some clarity in what she was looking for in a final paper... By the end of this class I (as a strong north campus major) couldn't wait to get the hell out... even though the content was really straightforward I don't think the constant busywork was worth it...
I wasn't the best student (in terms of discipline and punctuality) and neither was I particularly passionate about the material, but Iet me try and give an unbiased explanation of why I didn't really enjoy this class.
The material is EASY. It was like middle/high school level easy. SAT concepts were way harder. No complaints there, but the workload was definitely disproportionate to the difficulty. Every week, there were 3 things to submit: (1) a 20-30 question quiz (2) a 200-300 word response, and (3) a lab report. The lab report was the most time-consuming, and involved either playing around with some interactive data or doing independent research on an environmental issue. Maybe it's just me but I found that my reports ended up being 1000+ words long in order to answer all the prompts, and some were 10 pages long because of all the diagrams and charts I had to include. The lab reports were easy as they required almost no thinking (literally just following instructions and regurgitating class material) but god were they tedious. Now, there isn't an inherent issue with the workload, but for such an easy class (content-wise), I couldn't help feeling like I was spending so much time just to not learn anything new. For reference, I'm a STEM major and this class took more time commitment per week than another lower-div STEM class I was taking at the same time.
2. Strict grading policies
Warning, this class has a strict 'no late work' policy. Once I submitted a big assignment a few seconds past the deadline and got a zero out of 100 lol. Again, this isn't an inherently bad thing, but be warned. This is a class that has 3-4 things to submit per week (30+ deadlines over the course of the quarter), so if you're a procrastinator like me, you might want to reconsider. Likewise, attendance and participation is also graded pretty strictly. We were told that participation points would be awarded weekly, based on the number of times we each spoke during section, not including single-word responses to others. (My TA was Lisa Martinez for reference.) This resulted in people fighting for their turn to speak, even when they didn't have anything new to add to the convo. With section being ~45 mins long and 15-20 people just waiting to jump in and get their participation points in... it was bad. Because of this, section was a stressful time as well.
Overall, this class is alright. The textbook and lectures were concise and easy to understand. The class was well organized, and the assignments had clear instructions. If you manage your time well and are willing to put in several hours a week to study/write reports, you should breeze through it. Personally, I prefer taking classes where I feel like I'm learning something new and am able to comfortably manage the work, and the work should reinforce my learning. This class didn't really have those elements, so for that reason I kind of hated it. If you're like me, maybeeee consider another class. Hope this review helps!
Definitely an easy science GE class that I'd recommend. Cavanaugh was one of the professors that really tried to keep the students engaged during lectures & wanted to make his class enjoyable rather than impossible and challenging. Also, he genuinely seemed like a good person who cared about his students. Attending lectures is sorta required b/c he does make the students answer iClicker questions (X need to answer them correctly) & take attendance w/ it but he does offer flexibility w/ that as it allows you to miss up to 2 or 4 classes (can't remember precisely). I'd say the labs were kinda annoying b/c you actually had to pay attention & answer the lab worksheet correctly every week to get the credit, but my TA was really chill & helpful & I ended up w/ a high lab grade. There is this group lab report & presentation that could get annoying, but as long as you write some reasonable shit down & say some shit during your presentation, you will easily get a 90 or above on it. Cavanaugh did offer easy 2% EC of either answering all iClicker questions or speaking twice in lectures throughout quarter, which was a dub. The midterm wasn't the greatest & definitely thought I wouldn't end up w/ an A but w/ the lenient grading scheme, as long as you tried hard in your labs and answered iClicker questions, getting an A wasn't hard at all. Also the final was super easy w/ all MCQs which I did appreciate a lot. I'd say the content was pretty interesting as a science class. Definitely recommend GEO5 w/ Cavanaugh & Daniel Lu as your TA (he's really awesome).
If I could give Prof Kavanaugh a raise, I would. The amount of effort he puts into his class and his students is legendary. He makes the class engaging and expects the TA's to as well. Anytime I had questions he had ways of answering them that empowered me to ask more questions. He cares about his students so much and genuinely loves what he is teaching and it shows. If you have the opportunity to take this class for a science GE, take it. The class is very eye opening and I would take it again in a heartbeat.
I took this in my very first quarter here at UCLA and it was a great course! The asynchronous lectures made it easy to knock out a week's worth of learning in just 1-2 days, with a solid foundation to participate in lectures and the weekly lab assignment. The weekly quizzes are very easy if you've done the reading + watched the lectures, and my discussion sections helped connect the course concepts to the real world without adding much stress. The weekly lab assignments take a dedicated few hours to complete, but I had no problems with them. I've never seen Professor Cavanaugh in person or even in a live Zoom call, but his recorded lectures were put together nicely and he is clearly very familiar with the material. This class leaves me with what I feel to be valuable knowledge about natural ecosystems and their interactions with humans.