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Geog 210 Midterm 1 Notes

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McGill University
GEOG 210
Jon Unruh

Geography Midterm 1 Theme 1: Production of place Landscapes and Places: • Settings for social interactions • Structures of routines (social and economic) • Opportunities and Constraints • Contest social norms • Everyday context in which knowledge and experiences are gathered o Ex: Parliament Building (Canadian Place) Places and Regions are Interdependent = It is remote but not isolated ­ tied to a larger processes of change that are reflected in a larger scale geographical patterns ­ Example: Landscapes are connected such as the copper mine in Chile, where people work somewhere else and live somewhere else. The copper mine in Chile is connected to the world through the market economy Can we recognized the patterns and process of lands? YES we can . 1. Geographical Scale: human derived framework that we push onto nature to understand it better  however we cannot go from one scale to another scale 2. Reductionism: problems of human geography that exist at one scale can not be reduced to another scale  cannot be solved at another level/scale or else problems like climate change would cease to exist Interdependence of Places: ­ Process and Pattern  change in landscape ­ Is there a discernible direction in the change of landscapes due to the interaction of pattern and process? The direction and trajectory of a landscape can shift depending on one's perspective: o e.g. mesquite and cattle ranching in Arizona, USA (degradation or conservation?) o fruit trees in Peru o oil palm trees in Sierra Leone ­ We can’t always assume direction of landscape change ­ We can easily misread landscapes  not always clear which direction change is headed ­ Landscapes are in a constant directional change ­ Examples of Landscape Change: Arizona Mesquite and Cattle ranching  the trees were in the bottom land (the valley bottoms (where they initially were), there was over grazing by too many livestock and the deposits went back up allowing tress to grow into areas they were not in before. Cattle eat some of the mesquite trees from down by the river, plant some seeds up from the river, and birds carry it from there even farther, creating an abundance of trees where they would not normally be ­ Example: Peru Amazon Forest Fruit Trees: Nearby village in the forests created trails for food due to which when birds or bats found food took seeds and travelled along these trials causing dispersal seeds causing hyper abundance of fruit tress in the vicinity of trails near the villages. Abundance of fruit trees in the Amazon rain forests in Peru due to human activity creating trails, where birds disperse seeds more easily in those areas. Landscape Change: ­ temporal, spatial, and cultural windows of opportunity ­ Opportunities provided by landscape change o Socio-system: Peru Fruit Trees: as recognition grows  market opportunities grow o Ecosystem: o Patterns of living reflect opportunities and constraints of physical environment ­ How can we tell landscape change: o GIS Systems mapping Evolution and Regionalization of Landscapes ­ Land Settlement and Deforestation in the Amazon o People had to clear the forest to claim title to the land o Satellite imagery was used to show deforestation caused to claim land title Landscapes in Geography: ­ Produced of : o Air pollution o Diseases o Population o Internet use o Agriculture o Any sort of Spatial Data ­ Examples: o Countries shown proportional to their populations o Cost/ min. of telephone calls in US in 1998 o Maps of spatial data o Maps of distribution with diseases (worldwide distribution of malaria) ­ Spatial diffusion: a phenomena that moves across space (disease)  there are different ways in which a phenomena spreads o Expansion spread of diseases, agricultural practices o Relocation  movement of spices from Asia to Europe (also disease: Cholera) o Hierarchical  spread of a fashion trend from cities to smaller towns o Works together with globalization ­ Globalization: refers to processes of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture. ­ Glocalization: is a newly coined blend of globalization and localization refers to a concept to describe individual, group, organization, product or service that reflects not only global standard but also local one. The World Systems Theory ­ A system that has been created as a result of processes of economic and political competition ­ Core - dominates trade, advanced technologies, high productivity, diversified economies ­ Semi-periphery - are able to exploit peripheral regions, but are themselves exploited by the core regions ­ Periphery - dependent, disadvantageous trading relationships, older technologies, narrowly specialized economies, low levels of productivity ­ Cores and peripheries are usually embedded within another core and periphery ­ the relationship between them is the periphery provides natural resources to the core which then manufactures them ­ The world system is made up of nested cores and peripheries from the global level, down to the regional and local levels ­ Evolution of the World systems o First system establish in the 15 century o 18 century: new technologies brought with the industrial revolution  core of the world was the U.S, Japan, Europe ­ Globalization intensified the differences between core and periphery o Digital divide: fast worl (15%), Slow world (85%) o INTERNET Types of Agriculture ­ Subsistence agriculture: farming for direct consumption by the producers, not for sale. o you just subsist to feed you family and yourself o they produce enough to consume themselves and to sell ­ Commercial agriculture: farming primarily for sale, not for direct consumption. ­ Shifting cultivation: a system in which farmers aim to maintain soil fertility by rotating the fields within which cultivation occurs.  as a result of pest, declining soil fertility o Slash and burn or swidden o Nutrients are not in the soil, but in the vegetation, thus it is cutting and burning, letting the soil absorb its nutrients o Does not feed a lot of people o Usually found in the tropical forests  cut a field from forest, burn the cut trees, plant crops in cleared land, cultivate for 2-5 yrs.  pests increase, fertility decreases  land is then abandoned and a new land is cleared  cleared land then undergoes “succession” or a fallow period  it can be cleared again for agriculture ­ Land rights: through common tenure villagers hold land  then distributed to village families  cleared by the family for planting  as population increases sites are located farther and farther away or fallow period must decreases ­ Cons: environment damage ­ Intensive subsistence agriculture o involves the effective and efficient use of a small parcel of land in order to maximise crop yield o high input (considerable amount of labour and fertiliser) but also high output (often able to support large rural populations o e.g. rice terraces for long-term habitation in highland Ethiopia ­ Crop rotation: a method of maintaining soil fertility in which the fields under cultivation remain the same, but the crops being planted are changed. ­ Pastoralism: The branch of agriculture concerned with raising livestock, to broad types of subsistence pastoralism: o Transhumance: seasonal movements, Small time short migration to usually the same areas o Nomadism: pursuit of grazing, sometimes seasonal, longer movements Nomads are aware of areas they are moving too, they do not just wander around aimlessly ­ he old and traditional approaches have been replaced by newer practices, however they are still practiced in some countries  Development ­ Development in Agriculture: to seek improvements in: o Food security o Social welfare o Education, Laws ­ Technology has replace old agricultural practices ­ Biotechnology: any technique that uses living organism to make or modify products (improve plants, and animals) o Problems with Biotech. o Farmers may suffer because they lack the capital or the knowledge to participate, while the industry reaps economic benefits. o Plants grown outside of their most suitable environment creates market inefficiencies. o Biorevolution seeds replace the agricultural systems from which the initial genetic material was gathered. o Biotechnology is owned by private companies protect by patents which are limited to developing nations o Food aid: extra food and any other surpluses given to developing countries  Food recipients try to use grains as seeds which do not germinate o Biotechnology seeks to find new seed varieties that are for specific purposes such as high yielding but to obtain they need initial genetic material which is found in areas of developing nations Theme 2: Identity and Landscapes Living in the Environment: Perception and Behavior East African Livelihoods ­ The horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Sudan, Somalia) ­ Nomadic Pastoralism ­ Central Sudan: o Extreme variation in precipitation - rainfall cycles between 3-5 years of favourable and poor years each ­ Nomad moved from place to place when there was drought ­ They always knew where they were going …never wandered ­ They always moved closer to rivers when there was too much dry season ­ Multi-year droughts: When times are tough, there is frequent making and breaking of alliances, in order to get access to resources, bigger moves were made  Frequency and overlap of clan alliances in pursuit of grazing, watering resources ­ International development: o Construction of irrigation systems  government controlled land use  preventing Nomadic movements to those areas causing conflicts and deprivation of resources for the nomadic people o Property rights problems, where nomads only had access to the land for a segment of the year, while the farmer had access to the land year-round o Disruption of local economies o Increased Food aid dependency o Pastoralists excluded from riverine areas  caused people to not have access to the river during Dry seasons because of which they had to move back to dry lands (interior of the region) to locate water and grazing  causing over grazing  leading to years of major droughts  animals dying  hunger poverty ­ Ecology reworking: o Overgrazing o Carrying capacity o Recovering overgrazing o Rangeland equilibrium o Thus people switching between Cattle and camels as a result of international development ­ Problems of grazing extend into wildlife ­ Crop agriculture expands onto grazing lands during wetter seasons expansion of grazing into agricultural lands during drier seasons ­ Grazing vs. Browsing o Grazing: Cattles graze grass o Browsing: Camels browse bushes o Different areas are better for grazing and for browsing ­ Herd age structure o Their livelihoods are connected to livestock - they want certain proportions of males and females at different ages to account for food, trading, etc. o The more animals you have, the more resilient you are against ruining the structure (and therefore struggling to keep up your livelihood) ­ Production of Space  Different perceptions over the use of landscape and environment  Ex. Darfur: a large part of the problem was pastoralism vs. agriculture ­ Darfur: Pastoralism vs Agriculture- traditionally, farmers and herders made alliances as the herders came into the seasonally cultivated areas. The farmers were unhappy with the central government because their land is being sold to internationals. ­ Rebel's mode of attack was difficult to combat with traditional armies. They would scatter into the landscape and can group together to attack. This makes it difficult for government to fight. So, the government recruited the nomads (Janjaweed) to deal with the rebels in exchange for land. Instead of dealing with the farmers, the Janjaweed just went directly for the land. Identity and Landscapes ­ Hierarchy of identity o Factors that make up our identity or who we are and where we belong to o Family, religion, ethnicity, geogr
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