GEOG 205 – January 10, 2013
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
- The systematic study of the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environments
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
- Where on the Earth’s s