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GEOG 1301Visualizing Physical GeographyChapter 1:Erastostheneswas the first person to realize that vertical objects cast no shadow atnoon on the summer solstice, because the sun is directly overhead.Geography has two major domains:physical geographyandhuman geography.Geography: an ancient discipline devoted to the study of the Earth. Takes intoaccount both spatial considerations (related to physical space) and temporalconsiderations (related to changes with the passage of time).5 essential themes of geography:location, place, region, human-earthrelationships,andmovement.Physical geography:addresses the study of the features of the Earth’s living andnonliving systems.Human geography: focuses on spatial interactions and patterns related to humanactivity, including social, cultural, and economic topics.Physical geography examines the earth in the four major systems oftheatmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere,andbiosphere.Atmosphere:composed of gases that envelop and protect the planet from harmfulsolar radiationHydrosphere:includes all the water in all its forms, oceans, ground water, water inthe atmosphere, precipitationLithosphere:structural rock foundation of the planet’s surfaceBiosphere:the earth’s living plants and organisms.Scientific method: the formal process that a scientist uses to solve a problem,which involves first observing and formulating a hypothesis and then testing andevaluating results.Steps of the scientific method: 1) generate critical inquiry from investigations andfield observations; 2) formalize questions into a testable hypothesis to explainobservations; 3) select method of analysis and control for variables and conditionsfor experiment; 4) collect data for controlled experiment; 5) conduct experiments totest hypothesis; 6) reject or accept the hypothesis (if rejected, return to step 1); 7)document results, provide new science facts, and apply them to support theory orgreater understanding.Hypothesis: a logical explanation for a process or phenomenon that allowsprediction and testing by experiment.Theory:a hypothesis that has been tested and is strongly supported byexperimentation, observation, and scientific evidence.Geographyis concerned with the study of places on Earth.Axis:an imaginary straight line through the center of the Earth around which theearth rotatesPole:one of the two points on the Earth’s surface where the axis emergesThe Earth isnot a perfect sphere; it bulges slightly around the equator and flattensat the poles.
Because the Earth’s surface is curved, it is impossible to make a paper map that is100% accurate. Because of this, we divide the earth into thegeographic grid, whichis made up of a system of imaginary circles.Geographic grid: a network of imaginary circles that segments the surface of theEarth.