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Sarah Wakefield

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GGR107: Exam Review Notes Lecture 2: Chapter 1: A Practical Guide to Critical Thinking Critical Thinking Steps: 1: Adopt the attitude of a critical thinker (open-mindness, healthy skeptism, intellectual humility, free thinking, high motivation 2: Recognize and avoid critical thinking hindrances  Basic human limitations (bias, ignorance, prejudices, emotional hindrances, etc.)  Use of language (ambiguity, doublespeak jargon, false implications, etc.)  Faulty logic or perception (superstition, false analogies, irrelevant comparisons, etc.)  Psychological and sociological pitfalls (emotional appeals, lawsuit censorship, wishful thinking, self-deception, etc.) 3. Identify and characterize arguments (argument= reason + conclusion) 4. Evaluate information sources (Does the source have necessary qualifications to make the claim?) 5. Evaluate arguments (unwarranted assumption) Chapter 2: Introduction What is Geography?  The study of spatial variation, of how-and why- physical and cultural items differ from place to place on the surface of the earth KEY THEMES 1. Nature/Culture/System  the ways humans and nature are organized; the systems and structures (both environmental and social) that arrange our lives  the ways that “nature” contributes to (and is created by) culture 2. Interactions and Interdependence Change and Continuity  relationships within and among human and natural systems  how system components connect with, adapt to, and have an impact on one another  how and why things change (or stay the same) over time 3. Power and Governance  where “rules” come from, what they do, and how they are enforced  how particular social groups (or aspects of the environment, such as animals or biospheres) gain influence or privilege over others  how concepts such as fairness or justice can be applied to social and environmental issues Geographic Sub-disciplines 1. “Physical” geography  hydrology, geomorphology, climatology, etc. 2. “Human” geography  social, cultural, historical, urban, economic, industrial, medical/health, etc. 3. “Environmental” geography 4. “Regional” geography  specific area or region DEFINITIONS: Environmental determinism: how humans interact with their environment, assumed that the environment largely determined human activities and landscapes Possibilism: the environment places some limits on human activities, must consider the choices made bu people in response to the opportunities and constraints provided by the environment Probabilism: third perspective of human-environment interactions, and lies between environmental determinism and possibilism Relative Location: the position of a place in relation to that of other places or activies Site: an absolute location concept, refers to the physical and cultural characteristics and attributes of the place itself Absolute Distance: the special separation between two points on the earth’s surface measure by some accepted standard unit Relative Distance: transforms those linear measurements into other units more meaningful for the space relationship in question Connectivity: implying all the tangible and intangible ways in which places are connected Spatial Diffusion: process of dispersion of an idea or an item from a center of origin to more distant points with which it is directly or indirectly connected Lecture 3 Chapter 3: Agricultural Systems Environmental Constraints of Agriculture  Access to solar energy for photosynthesis (photo period, shading)  Temperature  Water availability and quality  Soil characteristics (depth, texture, acidity)  Soil nutrient availability  Inherent biological characteristics of plants and animals (adaptation) Possible Criteria for Identifying Agri-ecosystem Types  Access to solar energy for photosynthesis (photo period, shading)  Temperature  Water availability and quality  Soil characteristics (depth, texture, acidity)  Soil nutrient availability  Inherent biological characteristics of plants and animals (adaptation) Agricultural System Types  Nomadic herding  Livestock ranching  Shifting cultivation  Rudimentary sedentary tillage  Intensive subsistence tillage (with or without padi rice)  Commercial plantation farming  Commercial grain farming  Commercial livestock and crop farming  Commercial dairy farming  Specialized horticulture Soil Formation  The formation of one inch of soil takes approximately 500 years (much variation!)  Underlying rock is broken down through physical, chemical, or biological weathering  Factors: climate, organisms, topographical relief, parent material, time Soil Nutrients  Primary macronutrients: Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium  Secondary macronutrients: Calcium, Magnesium, Sulphur  Micronutrients: boron, copper, iron, chloride, manganese, molybdenum, zinc DEFINITIONS: Agriculture: “The active production of useful plants or animals in ecosystems that have been created by people. Agriculture may include cultivating the soil, growing and harvesting crops, and raising livestock” (Brittanica Concise Encyclopedia) Agri-ecosystem: “an ecological and socio-economic system, comprising domesticated plants and/or animals and the people who husband them, intended for the purpose of producing food, fibre, or other agricultural products” (Ch. 3) Lecture 4: Chapter 4: Soils and Agriculture MODIFYING THE ENVIRONMENTAL CONSTRAINTS ON AGRICULTURE 1. Increased Energy for Photosynthesis  Reduce shading (remove trees, other competition)  Increase energy available for photosynthesis (grow lights) Soil Erosion  Erosion – the removal of material from one place and transport toward another by the action of wind or water  Human-induced vulnerability through: – Clearing forests, esp. en masse or on slopes – Over-cultivating – Overgrazing 2. Control of Erosion/Soil Degradation  Crop rotation  Contour farming  Terracing  Intercropping  Shelterbelts  No-till farming Direct Benefits of No-till farming  Conserves biodiversity in soil and in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems  Produces sustainable, high crop yields  Heightens environmental awareness among farmers  Provides shelter and winter food for animals  Reduces irrigation demands by 10-20% 3. Control Temperature  Greenhouses  Row protection  Shading 4. Control Water Availability  Irrigation Systems PROBLEM: Soil Salinization  a build-up of salts in surface soil layers  results from irrigation, esp. in semi-arid regions  NB: 70% of fresh water used by humans is used for irrigation th  now inhibits 1/5 of all irrigated cropland  Can be minimized (but not eliminated) by efficient irrigation (e.g., drip), thoughtful crop selection, proper drainage 5. Change Soil Characteristics  Soil additives 6. Add/Replenish Nutrients  Farm practice (crop rotation)  Fertilizers (chemical and organic) 7. Enhance Adaptaion  Reduce competition (weeding, herbicides, pesticides)  Genetic modification Lecture 5: Chapter 5: Biotechnology and food resources Green Revolution  1940s onward  Increased crop output through technological innovation, selective breeding  Transfer of technology to the “developing world” Food Population Connection  Neo-Malthusian – Populations grow geometrically, agricultural supplies grow (at best) arithmetically – Unchecked population growth unavoidably exceeds the capacity of the environment to handle it, and starvation etc. occurs  Anti-Malthusian – Population pressure drives agricultural change, which in turn results in greater food production – Well-fed people with access to education and opportunities have fewer children (demographic transition) GMO`s in Food (genetically modified organisms)  Pros – Ability to enhance productivity, nutrition – Could allow more efficient use of resources/inputs – Encourages innovation  Cons – Evidence of benefits inconclusive – Concerns about health risks (esp. allergens, but also digestive and other ailments) – Genetic contamination – Lack of consumer support Underlying Issues in Food Production  Intense use of energy, esp. fossil fuel energy; low energy to output ratio (not efficient or sustainable)  Failure to complete cycle (nutrient, soil, water loss)  Control of technology (e.g., erosion, GMOs, nutrient pollution, waterlogging, salinization)  Lack of biodiversity (not resilient)  Magnitude of ecosystem change (e.g., California’s central valley, Okanagan Valley, climate change) Animals in the Food System  Labour  Increased consumption of animal products has driven the development of high-density feedlots  Feedlots create waste and other environmental impacts, but also relieve pressure on lands that could otherwise be overgrazed  Aquaculture provides economic benefits and food security Sustainable Agriculture  Agriculture that does not deplete soils faster than they form  agriculture… that does not reduce the amount of healthy soil, clean water, and genetic diversity essential to long-term crop and livestock production… agriculture that can be practiced in the same way far into the future  Organic agriculture has fewer environmental impacts than industrial agriculture. It is a small part of the market but is growing rapidly  Locally supported agriculture, as shown by farmers` markets and community supported agriculture, is also growing  On farm energy-efficiency, and renewable energy  Integrated pest management Lecture 6: Food and Unequal Development Chapter 6: Changing Geographies of Food Consumption and Production Chapter 7: Worlds Apart: Global Difference and Inequality Development  “The use of resources to reli
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