GEOGRAPHY: the study and analysis of the spatial and temporal
distribution of phenomena on the Earth's surface, and the underlying
processes which cause the observed pattern
** the spatial science of areas, natural systems, & man-made systems.
Five Fundamental Themes of Geography: developed in the 1980's by the National
Geographic Society and numerous geographers in the U.S.
Location : both absolute and relative; the spatial component of Geography; being
concerned with where things are
Place : characteristics that make a location unique
Movement : the what, how, where and why of the diffusion of phenomena across the
Regions : regional science or study; studying all the various phenomena of a particular
area of the world EX: regional study of NorthAmerica, orAfrica, or the S.E.
Human-Earth Relationships : the impacts of the environment on people and their
impact on the environment; the relationship between human societies & their
environment EX: the impact of deforestation on a region and its people OR the
relationship between the environment and technological development
3 Main Sub-disciplines or areas in Geography
Physical Geography: Biogeography, Geomorphology, Climatology, Hydrogeography,
Human/Cultural Geography: Economic, Political, Historical, Population, Urban, etc.
Techniques: Cartography, Remote Sensing,Aerial Photography, Geographic Information
** in this course we are concerned with Physical Geography.
* As an area of study, Physical Geography is quite old.
** Eratosthenes, a Greek who lived from 275 to 195 B.C., is considered one of the first
"geographers". * measured the polar circumference of the Earth
* became an accomplished cartographer or map-maker
* developed the idea of environmental zones based on temperature (T°)
** Other famous early geographers:
* Greek scholars: Aristole, Hipparchus
* Roman scholars: Strabo, Ptolemy
* Muslim scholars: Edrisi, ibn-Batuta
* Chinese scholars: Phei Hsiu (Chinese geographical study has been dated as far back
as the 5 cent. B.C.)
* German scholars: Bernhardus Varenius (1622-1650)
* Alexander von Humboldt, (1769-1859), considered by some the "father" of modern
* traveled and studied throughout theAmericas, and Siberia
* credited with bringing "scientific study" to the field of physical geography
(Look over Insert 1.1 on pg. 6-7)
** More recent important geographers:
* Vladimir Köppen (1846-1940), developed the Köppen Classification System
for climates based on vegetation, temperature & precipitation patterns (pg. 257)
* Alfred Wegener (1880-1930), developed the theory of Continental Drift
which later became part of the theory of Plate Tectonics (pgs. 314)
* Charles Thornthwaite (1899-1963), developed another climate classification
system based on principles of water balance, precipitat