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What is geography?

The study of earth's landscapes, people, places and environments. It's simply about the world in which we live in.


Geography is a ____ and _____ science.

Geography is unique in the binding of social (human geography) and natural sciences (physical geography)


What are the two major branches of geography?

Human and Physical


Human Geography

Is largely concerned with the processes that shape the human landscape. "The understanding of the dynamics of cultures, societies and economies".


Branches of human geography:

- Cultural
- Social
- Population
- Development


Physical Geography:

Is largely concerned with processes that shape the physical landscape. "Understanding the dynamics of physical landscapes and the environment"


What do geographers ask?

- They ask questions about why these phenomena and relationships are like the way they are and how they could be.
- How societies and environments are connected to one another, how and why they change


Geography answers questions spanning....

The local to the global, in the past, present and future


Why do geographers matter?

Geographers are equipped to understand and address critical issues facing the world


5 Themes of Geography:

- Location
- Place
- Interaction
- Movement
- Region



- Where things happen
- Can be thought of in 2 ways : Relative or Absolute



People adapt to the environment, people change the environment



Seen as a point of reference, using landmarks to mark where we are or where we are trying to go



Being able to locate ourselves with maps, grids...etc.



Has physical and human features
Has 2 levels of meaning:
- An objective location that has both uniqueness and interdependence with other places
- Somewhere that has personal meaning for groups or individuals



Explains how places are connected or linked
- Movement of goods, people or ideas
1800's: No planes, automobiles, they followed rivers or which ever way they could get from point A to B
1850's: Established roads, the beginning of rail transportation allowed goods/people to move around easier
1930's: Air transport allowed quicker travel


Why does it take longer to travel today?

- Planes are having to circle around airports
- More people on the move
- Security issues



Address how places can be grouped. United by physical conditions and common cultural traits
Eg.) Ontario can be grouped by Niagara as it is associated with wine making. It has the physical climate in which we associate with a special agriculture.


Why is the interaction between people and the environment important?

- How we change or alter the environment will create a response from the environment in ways we do not really know until it happens.
Eg.) Pumping greenhouse gases has changed the effects of climate change



The general concept that there are various scales of analysis and they are linked therefore the effects of one scale can have consequences so big they can effect us on a national or global scale


Why bother with geography?

It provides people with a better understanding of the places, regions, and other countries in which they live as well as other countries and regions


Geography informs us of:

- Our natural environments and the pressures they face
- The interconnectedness of the world and our communities within it
- The choices that exist in managing our world for the future
- The places and environments in which we live and work


Geography of economic development:

Explores some of the stark inequalities and contrasts that exist in our world, at a variety of scales both within and among nations.
Eg.) How wealth is generated and distributed and whether it is fairly distributed


Environmental studies:

- Always considers the environment
- Has a greater tendency to consider philosophical, ethical and legal issues related to peoples interaction with nature


Human - Nature Relationships

- We think we are above nature
- Think about people as part of the environment


What is nature?

- The phenomena of the physical world
- Refers to all life forms of the physical world that include plants, people, animals


Religious philosophical perspectives on nature:

- Affects how we understand nature and how we interact with it
Eg.) Buddhism: Believe we are an integral part of nature, it is our responsibility to care for nature.
Judaism/Christianity: Nature was created by God, separately from humans
- Religious beliefs also affect how resources are used


Environmental values : Anthropocentrism (human centred)

- Views humans as managers rather than controllers of nature
- Belief that government has an important role to play in regulating human action in relation to the environment
- Utilitarian - conservation not preservation - resources are there for our use without restrictions


Environmental Values: Ecocentrism (Nature Centred)

- Goal is limiting/managing human/environment interaction usually enacted by government bodies
- Ecocentrism: The belief in the primacy of nature - having control over human society rather than the other way around.
- Belief that ecology is too complex for humans to fully understand and therefore be able to manage it


Environmental Values: Biocentrism (Life Centred)

- Rights of nature and dependence of humans on that nature - all life has intrinsic value
- Should not cause the premature extinction of other species, whether it does us harm, good or neither
- Extreme: Should cause no harm to any individual