FSU GEO 2200C - Exam 1 Notes­ Book Material

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GEO2200 Exam 1 Notes- Book MaterialChapter 1: Introduction• The earth is a spherical island of life existing in the vast, dark emptiness of space.• Our planet is a self-contained system that has all the requirements to sustain life.• The natural characteristics of Earth and its environments provide the life-support systems for all living things. The Study of Geography• Geography- refers to the examination, description, and explanation of the Earth; its variability from place to place, how places and features change over time and the processes responsible for these variations and changes. • The word geography comes from the Greek languageo Geo- meaning “earth”o Graphy- meaning “picture or writing”• Geography is often called the “spatial science”o Because it includes analyzing and explaining the locations, distributions, patterns, variations, and similarities or differences among phenomena on Earth’s surfaceo Often has more to do with the asking of questions and solving of problems than it does with just memorization of facts.o It is an integrative discipline that brings together the physical and human dimensions of the world in the study of people, places, and environments. • Geographers study processes that influenced Earth’s landscapes in the past, how they affect them today, how a landscape may change in the future, and the significance of these changes.• Because geography embraces the study of virtually any global phenomena, it is not surprising that the subject has many subdivisions.\• Human geography- deals with peoples activities and their spatial natureo These geographers are concerned with population distributions, cultural patterns, cities and urbanization, industrial and commercial location, natural resource use, and transportation networks• Regions- areas that are identified by distinctive characteristics that distinguish them from other areas• regional geography- concentrates on the characteristics of a regionPhysical Geography• physical geography- focuses on the processes and features of the earth, including human activities where they interface with the environment• holistic approach- the way geographers often consider both the human and natural phenomena relevant to understanding aspects of our planet.o Physical geographers are concerned with nearly all aspects of earth and are trained to view a natural environment in its entirety; even though most focus their expertise on one or two specialties  Ex: meteorology, climatology, geomorphologyo Meteorologists are interested in the processes that affect daily weather and in forecasting weather conditionso Climatology- deals with regional climates, the averages and extremes of weather data, understanding climate change and climatic hazards, and the impact of climate on human activities and the environmento Geomorphology- the study of the characteristics of landforms and how interactions between earth processes and surface materials contribute to their development and modification Geomorphologists- are interested in understanding and explaining variations in landforms and landscapes, the processes involved and the nature of earth’s surface areas.o Biogeography- involves studying the geographic ranges and patterns of vegetation or animal species, seeking to discover the environmental factors that limit or facilitate their distributions Biogeographers- examine natural and human-modified environments and the ecological processes that influence environmental characteristics and distributions, including vegetation change over time Soil scientists- map and analyze soil types, determining the suitability of soils for certain uses such as agriculture, and work to conserve soil as a natural resource• Physical geographers are widely involved in the study of water bodies and water resources, including their processes, movements, impact, quality, and conservation o Hydrologists, oceanographers, glaciologists • The scientific method involves finding the answers to questions and determining the validity of new ideas by objectively testing all pertinent evidence and facts related to the issue being studied.Geographic Technologies and Tools• Satellite imaging of the earth has been ongoing for about 40 years now, and has heightened our ability to understand and study environmental changes.o We are able to see, measure, monitor and map processes and the effects of certain processes, including many that are invisible to the naked eye.• Cartography- the making of mapso Most of them today are computer assisted operations, although th ability to cisually interpret a map, a landscape, or an environmental image remains an important geographic skillo even though technology is important for making maps and analyzing them, the people who are knowledgeable about the maps being studied is still very essential to the processes of map analysis and problem solvingMajor Perspectives in physical geography • the three major perspectives that physical geography emphasizes areo Spatial perspectiveo Physical science perspectiveo Environmental perspectiveSpatial perspective • there are five examples illustrate spatial factors that geographers typically consider and the problems they address• Location o Absolute location- expressed by a coordinate locationo Relative location- identifies where a feature is in relation to something else, usually a fairly well-known locationo Typical spatial questions involving location would be: where is a certain type of earth feature found and not found? Why is a certain feature located where it is? How can we describe this location?• Characteristics of Places o Physical geographers are interested in the environmental features and processes that make a place unique and in the shared characteristics between places.  Ex: how are the Appalachian Mountains different from the Rockies? And what characteristics are common to both mountain ranges?o Another aspect of the characteristics of places is analyzing the environmental advantages and challenges that exist in a place. o Some questions about characteristics of places might be: What are the environmental conditions at a particular site? In what ways are places unique? And in what ways do they share similar characteristics with other places?• Spatial Distribution and Spatial Pattern o when studying how features are arranged in space, geographers are usually interested in two

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FSU GEO 2200C - Exam 1 Notes­ Book Material

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