Geography 111:
Introduction to Physical and Environmental Geography Geog 111 Main Page and Course Description Geog 111 Syllabus Geog 111 Course Schedule and Lecture Outlines Geog 111 Course Project

Geog 111 Exam 1 Review
Update: 10/5/05

General Comments on Exam 1:

The exam consists of about 40% multiple choice/true false questions, about 20% short answer and 40% label the diagram questions.

The following review touches on relevant concepts, definitions, ideas, etc. You will, of course, have to refer back to your notes and the lecture outlines and appropriate parts of the readings in McKnight and Middleton for the details. You are expected to know what was presented in lecture (which is more than is in the lecture outlines on the WWW) and you should expect to use the assigned readings to back up the material discussed in lecture. However, I do not expect you to know things from the readings that were not presented in lecture.

Students who have done well on my exams in the past have taken the time to rewrite their notes along with the lecture outlines, and have clarified missing details from their notes by contacting me (in person or via email) before the exam. Simply glancing over lecture outlines from the course WWW is not the best way to study for this course.

Do contact me (email is best) if you have any questions or problems in preparing for the exam:

Introduction to Earth's Physical Environment

1. Defining Geography

Geography: definitions

2. Introduction to Earth's Physical Environment

2a. The Solar System

2b. Size and Shape of Earth

2c. The Geographic Grid

Earth Coordinate Systems: arbitrary, graph-like grids imposed on the Earth

2d. Earth Movements

Two basic Earth movements are vital

2e. Earth's Seasons

3. Classifying the Natural World: Environmental Spheres, Ecosystems, and Biomes

3a. The Environmental Spheres

1. Lithosphere: Greek (litho) = stone

2. Atmosphere: Greek (atmo) = air

3) Hydrosphere: Greek (hydro) = water

4) Biosphere: Greek (bio) = life

The four spheres are not discrete and separate, but intermingled

3b. Ecosystems and Biomes

Ecosystem: a group of environmental characteristics which define a particular area; the totality of interactions among organisms and the environment in the area of consideration;elements from all the earthly spheres

Classify according to the relationship between climate (atmosphere) and the biosphere: biomes

Biomes: large areas of the earth can be categorized as relatively distinctive, with particular climate, animals, plants: a large, recognizable assemblage of plants and animals in functional interaction with its environment

Major World Biomes:McKnight fig 11.27: Major World Biomes

Note: particular world biomes are discussed briefly in Middleton Ch. 1 and in McKnight Ch. 11 (as well as the lecture outlines).

4. Natural Cycles

Natural cycles are cycles of matter in the natural world: where molecules are formed and re-formed by chemical and biological reactions, manifested as physical changes in the matter

4a. The Hydrologic Cycle

4b. The Carbon Cycle

What is most important is a sense of how natural systems work, and that humans modify these systems, and that one of the reasons we don't have a sense of the effects of our modification of these natural systems is that they are often out of sync with our particular time and location

5. Time and Space and Environmental Change

5a. Time and Environmental Change

Earth age: 4600 million years

Time scale chosen to study natural systems effects understanding

Dynamic equilibrium: input and output of matter in natural systems is balanced, but there are shorter term fluctuations: short term fluctuations, but longer term stability

Feedback in a natural system: negative feedback vs. positive feedback

Change in natural environment consists of

5b. Spatial Scales and Environmental Change

Spatial scale also effects our understanding of environmental change

Conclusions: The State of our Knowledge

1. Human Environmental Relations: Introduction

1a. Environmental Determinism: environment overpowers and shapes culture

1b. Human/Cultural Determinism: culture overpowers and shapes the environment

1c. Human Environmental Interaction

2. Human Environmental Relations: Examples

Examples: climate, vegetation, landforms

2a. Climate

Climate influences humans and cultures

However, people have learned to adapt to and even modify the climate

2b. Vegetation

Humans and cultures have been shaped by vegetation

But humans and cultures can adapt and change vegetation

2c. Landforms

Landforms shape human and cultural activities

Yet, humans and cultures adapt and change landforms

2d. Human Environmental Interaction: The Centralia Mine Fire

Mine fire, underground in Centralia Pennsylvania

3. Human Perspectives on the Physical Environment

There are many different ways of understanding the relationship between the environment and humans: vary over time, through space. In all cases these are human concepts: they are not natural to the world

Resources: anything in the natural world that is useful to humans; a cultural appraisal of the natural world, as different cultures (and the same cultures at different times) assume certain things to be resources and others not

4. Human Forces Behind Environmental Issues

Interactions between humans and natural environment results from our attempts to satisfy real and perceived needs and wants

Human behavior leads to

5. Human Induced Balances

6. Interest in Environmental Issues

Human interest in environmental issues: not recent

Middleton table 2.4: 20th century Western Environmental Thought

Technocentric approaches: technology and economics can be used to solve environmental problems; relatively easy to solve environmental problems without major social or economic or political change

Ecocentric approaches: deep rooted problems with ethics and morals lead to environmental problems; can't easily be fixed with economic or technological means; must change our world views

7. Sustainable Development

Sustainable development: an attempt a compromise between economic development, the creation of wealth, and the exploitation of natural resources on one hand, and stewardship and conservation of natural resources and the natural environment on the other

7a The Idea of Sustainable Development

Origins in a Report: World Conservation Strategy (1980)

Developed further by the Brundtland Commission: UN 1983

Six principles of sustainable development (from these two reports)

Sustainable development: "development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs" (World Commission on Environment and Development, 1987)

7b. Valuing Environmental Resources

ex) Environmental Economics: the world is based on money and costs and benefits and thus treat the environment in this manner

7c. Growth and Development

Basic belief of sustainable development: growing influence of idea that we can improve human lives and society (development) with very slow or no economic growth by being more efficient and careful with our use of resources

Portraying the Earth

1. The Nature of Maps

Map: a two dimensional representation of the spatial distribution of selected phenomena; usually components of the human or physical landscape

A scaled drawing of a portion of a landscape, representing the area at reduced scale and showing only selected data

1a. A Matter of Scale

Map scale

Map Scale Types

graphic scale: line or bar on map represents some set distance

word scales: describes the scale of the map in words

fractional scales: a proportion between map distance and Earth distance

Large and Small Scale Maps and examples of each

1b. Map Graticule

In order to locate phenomena on the earth we need some way to locate that phenomena: a system of location: latitude / longitude

1c. Map Projections

Problem: have to flatten out the Earth to get it on a flat surface

Inevitable distortions occur when you project a map

1d. Map Generalization: using judgement in the elimination of detail and reduction of the number of features on the original map

1e. Map Content: reference vs. thematic

reference maps: general use (for many purposes), focus on and emphasize the location of things in the environment - many different purposes; like a general world atlas or encyclopedia

thematic maps: particular use: focus on and emphasize the spatial patterns of one or several human or environmental phenomenon

1f. Map Symbolization

symbol: A thing representing something else because of relationship, association, convention, or resemblance.

2. Developments in Mapping: Computer aided Mapping (skip this section)

2a. Global Positioning System (GPS)

24 satellites around Earth, transmitting locational (positional) information back to earth

2b. Remote Sensing

Any measurement or acquisition of information by a recording device that is not in physical contact with the Earth's surface (air photo, satellite image)

2c. Geographic Information System

Automated systems for the capture, storage, retrieval, analysis, and display of spatial data

Important: GIS is digital maps linked to databases

Introduction to the Atmosphere

air: same as atmosphere

dimensions of the atmosphere

1. Composition of the Atmosphere

1a. The Gasses

1b. The Particles

2. Vertical Structure of the Atmosphere

2a. Atmospheric Temperature

Text) McKnight fig 3.5

2b. Atmospheric Pressure

2c. Atmospheric Composition

3. Weather and Climate

4. Elements of Weather and Climate

Four elements as the basis of weather and climate:

Changes in the four elements of weather and climate are driven by several controls

4a. Latitude

4b. General Atmospheric Circulation: Hadley Circulation

4c. General Circulation of Oceans

4d. Distribution of land and water

4e. Elevation of Landforms

4f. Topographic Barriers

These six factors drive day to day weather and longer term climate patterns

Introduction to the Hydrosphere

1. The Nature of Water

General characteristics:

Processes which cause it to change from one state to another

2. The Hydrologic Cycle

Important Diagram) McKnight fig 9.5

Residence Times: water remains for variable amounts of times at different stages in the hydro cycle

Seven components of the hydrological cycle and corresponding physical processes

2a. Surface to Air Water Movement

Two primary sources:

2b. Air to Surface Water Movement

Processes of condensation and precipitation

Condensation: what is it and how does it work?

Precipitation: what is it and how does it work?

Two processes result in precipitation

2c. Movement on and Beneath Earth's Surface

Geographic imbalances:

Due to advection: what is it?

Surface run-off, subsurface flow

2d. The Oceans

Characteristics of Ocean Waters

Movement of Ocean Waters

2e. Permanent Ice

2f. Surface Waters

2g. Underground Water

E-mail: Geog 111 Main Page and Course Description krygier teaching page. krygier top page.

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