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GEOG 205 - Introduction - What is Geography.docx

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GEOG 205
John Yackel

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GEOG 205 – January 10, 2013 Today: Overview of geography as an academic and professional field. Discussion of the core theme of GEOG 205. Introduction of the key areas of the course. Southern Alberta Flood Was it just a weather event? – watch CTV video of the 4 factors that led to the flooding Changing climate? Calgary’s snowfall this December, Slave Lake fires, more hurricanes (19 this year, average is 11), gale force winds in Alberta, arctic ice near record low. What is geography? - Diverse area of academic scholarship o Very broad – geographers know a little about a lot instead of a lot about a little - Field of study in secondary and post-secondary education o In high school, geography was naming locations on a map, capitals o Trivial pursuit brought it to light, but still locations and fun facts - Professional field o National Geographic – information about specific places and the people and animals that inhabit these locations Academic Geography - The systematic study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments - Geo-graphy o Geo meaning earth o Graphein meaning to write - Literal translation is ‘to describe or write about the Earth’ - Earth is not static, evolves through time and space Geographers study the spatial and temporal distribution of phenomena, processes and features as well as the interaction of humans and their environment. - Geography is one of the most diverse fields of academic study Geography is split into two main subsidiary fields: Human Geography – social science/qualitative Physical geography – natural science/quantitative Core concepts of geography: Space, Place, Environment Space: Physical dimensions - Where on the Earth’s s
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