Soil contains nutrients necessary for successful growth of plants, including those that are useful to humans ● Cultural ecology
○ The geographic study of human-environment relationships ● Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Ritter believed that the physical environment caused social development, an approach called environmental determinism ○ According to Humboldt and Ritter, human geography should apply laws from the physical environment and human actions ○ Humboldt and Ritter urged human geographers to adopt the methods of scientific inquiry used by natural scientists ● To explain relationships between human activities and the physical environment, modern geographers reject environmental determinism in favor of possibilism. ○ According to possibilism, the physical environment may limit some human actions, but people have the ability to adjust to their environment ○ They say that people can choose their course of action ■ For example farmer with a tractor does not see value in a hilly piece of land, where as a farmer with just a plow sees a good place to do some hand labor ● Polder ○ Is a piece of land that is created by draining water from an area ● The netherlands have used polders and dikes to gain land that they use primarily for farming so that they do not have to relion other countries and can be more sustainable ● California on the other hand is running out of water and is having to put constraints on the water this makes california an unsustainable ecosystem
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