Praxis II: Geography

study of the earth and its physical characteristics, distribution of life on the planet, and how different forms of life interact
4 major elements of the study of geography
1. locations
2. regional characteristics
3. spatial relations
4. natural and man made elements that change the earth
physical geography
study of the physical characteristics and how they related to each other, how they were formed, and how they develop
cultural geography
study of how the various aspects of physical geography affect individual cultures
-compares different cultures, how their lifestyles and customs are affected by their location, climate, and other factors
Four divisions of geographical study/tools:
1. topical
2. physical
3. regional
4. human
6 tools of geography
1. mapping
2. field studies
3. statistics
4. interviews
5. mathematics
6. scientific instruments
Three ancient geographers
1. Eratosthenes
2. Strabo
3. Ptolemy
lived in ancient Greece, calculated the circumference of the earth
17 volume description of the ancient world called Geographica
mapmaker who contributed knowledge to the earth’s geography
How do geographers study distribution of populations and cities?
1. mapping out locations of airports, cities and hospitals, and how they at distributed in relation to habituation
cities that merge into one another
What do mapmakers do?
detailed illustrations of geographic areas to record where features are located in that area
map does not represent proportions because the round earth is placed on a flat surface
map projection
accurately represents earth’s features on a flat surface
3 types of projection
1. cylindrical projection
2. conical projection
3. flat-plane projection
cylindrical projection
wrapping the globe around a cylindrical paper and using light
-distortion at outermost edges
conical projection
paper is shaped like a cone and contacts the globe only at the globe’s base
-most useful for middle latitude
flat plane projection
Gnomonic projection
-map projected on a flat surface and touches the globe at certain points
Great circle routes
the shortest distance between two points on the globe that form a straight line
4 specific types of map projections
1. Winkel tripel projection
2. Robinson projection
3. Goode’s equal area projection
4. Mercator projection
Five major elements of any map
1. title
2. legend
3. grid
4. direction
5. scale
equal area map
proportional sizes of various areas are accurate
-compensates for distortion at areas far away from equator
conformal map
represents the correct shape of the geographical area and less concerned with size
consistent scale map
map same scale used throughout
most often used for smaller areas
thematic map
map made to show specific information about a chosen theme
relief map
map made to show details of various elevations across the area of the map
On a relief map, how are mountains portrayed?
contour lines
lines that connect points of the same elevation and different textures and detail
mountains (4 characteristics)
-elevated areas 2,000 ft or more above sea level
-steep and rugged
-groups called chains or ranges
-6 of continents have at least one range
hills (2 characteristics)
-lower elevation 500-2000 ft
-more rounded and found everywhere
plains (2 characteristics)
-large flat areas that are very fertile
-most of earth’s population is supported by crops grown on the plains
valleys (3 characteristics)
-between hills and mountains
-can be fertile and habitable to
-rugged and inhospitable
elevated but flat on top
some can be extremely dry
less than 10 in of rain per year
usually occur in large areas
occur at river mouths
very fertile
flat, steep sided mountains or hills
areas of low elevation where rivers drain
transition area between the plains and the mountains, have hills that gradually increase in size as they approach the mountain range
marshes and swamps
lowlands, very wet and largely covered in vegetation such as reeds and rushes
5 categories of bodies of water
1. Oceans
2. Lakes
3. Rivers
4. Canals
groups of people who settle together in a specific area
3 conditions for communities
1. easy access to food, water, and materials
2. ability to easily transport raw materials and goods
3. rom to house sufficient work force
______ of the world’s people live in cities
over 50%
North American cities usually….
cover wide areas
European cities…
usually have better developed transportation systems
North American wealthier inhabitants live in the ______________.
Latin America’s richest inhabitants live in the ____ _______.
city centers
Urban areas must maintain communication with rural areas ln order to…
procure food, resources, and raw materials that can’t be produced in the city limits
daily conditions in the atmosphere that affect temperature, precipitation, wind speed, air pressure, other factors
-focused on the short term
information about daily and seasonal weather conditions in a region over a long period of time
-focused on the long term
3 major climate divisions
1. low latitudes 0-23.5
2. middle latitudes 23.5-66.5
3. high latitudes 66.5-poles
Rainforests climate (4 characteristics)
near the equator
low latitude
high average temperature and humidity
high rainfall
Deserts (4 characteristics)
low latitude
hot dry climate
sparse rainfall
temperature fluctuations
Savannas (4 characteristics)
low latitude
either side of rainforest regions
mostly grasslands
dry winters and wet summers
6 middle latitude regions
1. Mediterranean
2. Humid-subtropical
3. Humid-continental
4. Marine
5. Steppe
6. Deserts
Mediterranean climate (4 characteristics)
30-40 degrees latitude
year long growing season
hot dry summers and mild winters
sparse rainfall in winter
Humid subtropical (4 characteristics)
southeast coastal areas
long summers and mild winters
long growing season
support large part of Earth’s population more than any other climate
Humid continental (4 characteristics)
familiar four seasons
productive farming season
cold winters
hot summers
Marine (4 characteristics)
found near water or on islands
mild and rainy
cooler summers than humid subtropical
mild winter temperatures
Steppe (4 characteristics)
prairie climates
inland on large continents
hot summers and cold winters
rainfall more sparse than in continental
2 climates of high latitudes
1. Tundra
2. Taigas
tundra (5 characteristics)
ground is frozen throughout the cold long winters
few snowfall
short wet summers
not amenable to crops
taiga (7 characteristics)
south of tundra
large forest areas
large mineral deposits
animals valued for fur
colder winters than tundra
hotter summers than tundra
short growing season
vertical climate
climate that exists in high mountain ranges
increasing elevation means different temperatures, growing conditions, and plants and animals
4 factors that affect climate
1. location to equator
2. bodies of water
3. ocean currents and patterns
4. mountains
How do human systems affect geography?
affect geography in the way in which they settle, form groups that grown into large habituations, and create permanent settlements in the landscape
-affect spread of ideas, beliefs, resources, and conflict
North America (6 characteristics)
1. US and Canada
2. formed from groups of Native races and immigrants
3. functioned under British
4. agriculture, technology, and service play a large part in the economy
5. high standard of living
6. supports trade with countries throughout the world
Latin America (6 characteristics)
1. Mexico, South and Central America
2. most speak either Spanish or Portuguese
3. originally dominated by Native American cultures
4. rely on two exports, usually agriculture
5. large families control lands
6. major separations of classes
Europe (7 characteristics)
1. wide variety of cultures, ethnic groups, physical geographical features, climates, and resources
2. industrialized and developed
3. each own Stop correcting “country” with unique characteristics
4. spread of beliefs and elements, history of colonization
5. Western democratic
6. Eastern communist
7. EU: increased stability and relations between countries
Russia (6 characteristics)
1. started as the USSR
2. Became Russia in 1991
3. transition to market driven economy
4. problems with nuclear power
5. population not distributed evenly
6. 80% of population is ethnically Russian
North Africa and Southwest & Central Asia (6 characteristics)
1. population centers around sources of water
2. Nile River: early home of early religions
3. many countries got independence in the 18th and 19th cs.
4. Islam unifying force for these areas
5. agriculture large business
6. most valuable resource is oil
Southern Africa (7 characteristics)
1. divided into diverse nations
2. population unevenly distributed
3. AIDS crisis
4. extensive migration
5. subsistence farming
6. rampant starvation and poverty
7. some areas are far more stable than others
South Asia (7 characteristics)
1. one of first civilizations (Indus River Valley)
2. disparity between rural and urban life
3. Hinduism and Buddhism
4. some parts were subject to British rule
5. very culturally diverse: religions and languages
6. spread of high tech industries
7. social, political, economic, and environmental challenges
East Asia (5 characteristics)
1. communist to democratic governments
2. isolationism limited contact until the early 20th c
3. most residents lice in urban areas
4. China and Mongolia: more rural
5. Japan, Taiwan, and South Korea: more urban
What country is the most industrialized country of east Asia?
Southeast Asia (7 characteristics)
1. colonized by European countries during the 18th and 19th centuries
2. all countries are independent now
3. conflicts between communist and democratic forces
4. heavily influenced by both Buddhist and Muslim religions
5. industrialization is growing
6. people moving to avoid conflict, oppression, and poverty
7. natural disasters like typhoons, flooding, and volcanoes are common
Australia and Oceania (5 characteristics)
1. South pacific cultures migrated from southeast Asia, creating a hunter gather or settled communities
2. culture mixed of indigenous and modern culture
3. evenly distributed population
4. extremely hot deserts in Australia
5. agriculture and tourism
not claimed by any country
extremely cold
no human habituations
North American geography and climate
-7 characteristics
1. shared mountain ranges
2. shared lakes and waterways
3. highly fertile soil
4. shaped by glaciers
5. continental climates
6. tropical climates: north US
7. areas reshaped for economic transportation
Latin American geography and climate
(5 characteristics)
1. high mountains
2. high plateaus
3. natural resources, some unused
4. largely tropical climates
5. rainforests, savannahs, and grasslands
Europe geography and climate
(9 characteristics)
1. wide area of climate zones
2. east and south: mountain ranges
3. north: plains
4. long coastline and island nature of some countries (e.g. Britain)
5. area warmed by ocean currents
6. some moderate climates
7. Mediterranean climates
8. high level of natural resources
9. waterways
Russia climate and geography
(7 characteristics)
1. largest country in the world
2. harsh with frozen rivers
3. Siberia: permafrost
4. taiga
5. dense woods
6. temperate steppes
7. southwest grasslands
North Africa and Southwest and Central Asia: climate and geography
(5 characteristics)
1. complex gegoraphiy
2. earthquakes
3. pattern of drought and fertility
4. technology has advanced and land is more productive around rivers
5. need for irrigation for agriculture
Southern Africa climate and geography
geography and climate
(6 characteristics)
1. high elevations
2. series of plateaus
3. mountain ranges
4. lakes and famous waterfalls
5. tropical climates
6. natural resources: minerals, gems, and water
East Asia climate and geography
(6 characteristics)
1. lot of mineral resources, but not evenly distributed
2. long coastlines
3. sparse farmlands
4. use oceans for food
5. monsoons: majority of rainfall
6. typhoons, earthquakes, tsunamis
South east Asia climate and geography
(7 characteristics)
1. lies on equator
2. island nations with mountains
3. in Ring of Fire: tectonic plates remain active
4. rivers, natural resources
5. two season: wet and dry
6. wet season: monsoons
7. tropical rainforests, mountains, and savannas
Australia, Oceania, and Antarctica climate and geography
1. Australia: only island that is a continent
2. economy driven by agriculture and ranches and farms
3. steppes suitable for livestock
4. coastal areas get rain without irrigation
5. Oceania: islands with volcanic activity with wet and dry seasons
6. rich forests and mountain ranges, moderate temperatures
7. Antarctica: covered in ice, with penguins, little vegetation, and mostly mosses or lichens
Plate tectonics
Earth made of 10 major and minor plates that are solid areas in Earth’s crust. They float on the mantle and move causing earthquakes
convergent boundaries
plates move toward one another and collide directly to create high mountain ranges.
plates slide under one another to create intense volcanic activity
movement of loose fragments can be displaced by natural forces such as wind, water, ice, and plants
mechanical erosion
erosion due to natural forces
chemical erosion
erosion due to human intervention and activities
when atmospheric elements affect earth’s surface through water, heat, ice, and pressure
loose material being moved by wind, water, and ice
glacial movement
carries everything from pebbles to boulders, sometimes over long distances
the result of transportation, material deposits and builds up formations
3 reasons for divisions of territories
1. control of resources
2. control of important trade routes
3. control of populations
How does geography create conflict?
there can be religious, political, language, or race differences
-or there can be conflicts over finite natural resources
state sovereignty
recognizes the division of geographical areas controlled by various governments or groups of people
6 international alliances
2. Common Market
3. EU
4. UN
5. Caribbean Community
6. Council of Arab Economic Unity
Agricultural revolution
1. plow invented in Mesopotamia
2. cultivate crops in quantities
3. stable communities
4. trading livestock and surplus agriculture led to growth of large-scale commerce and trade routes
4 ways human societies began to change their surroundings
1. clearing ground
2. redirecting waterways
3. building permanent settlements
4. degraded air quality and pollution from creating big cities
environmental policy
the laws governments pass to reduce human impact on the environment and the damaging side effects
study of the way living creatures interact with their environment
the way physical features of the earth affect living creatures
3 levels of the environment
1. ecosystem
2. biomes
3. habitat
the environment and all the organisms that live there
group of ecosystems, using large area of similar flora, fauna, and climate and soil e.g. taigas, deserts, rainforests
an area in which a specific species lives
-includes the necessary soil, water, and resources for that particular species and others that compete for the same resources
3 categories of interactions with species
1. competition: diff animals of same or diff species compete for same resources
2. predation: one species depends on another for food
3. symbiosis: two different species exist in the environment without affecting one another, some are beneficial to one or both
3 ways a creature can adapt
1. behavior modification
2. structural changes
3. physical changes
the variety of habitats that exist on the planet as well as the variety of organisms
What happens when biodiversity is reduced?
extinction can result

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