Question Set #1

A Geography Student’s Beginning  (You will find it on the pages just before the Table of Contents)


What is a geographic realm?  Look it up in your book’s glossary (From now on, I’ll just write “glossary”).
basic spatial unit; defined by synthesis of: cultural, economic, historical, political, environmental features

What is a spatial perspective?  Can you use those terms (area, distance, clustering...) correctly?
Emphasis on locations and distributions of phenomena

 Contrast a geographer’s approach to a historians.
Time and chronology vs. space and place


Why do geographers need classification terms?
Establish order from vast data; it allows us to group and simplify data to understand more easily

Realms and Their Criteria

 What are some examples of spatial criteria that define a realm?
Physical: continents, rivers, deserts, mountains
Human: religion, language, economy

Look at Figure G-2.  Which realm are you most interested in other than North America?

What does regional interaction mean?
Separate realms influence each other. E.g., US markets for bananas and Middle America producers

Note the two groups of geographic realms.


What’s the relationship between region and sub-region?
They are both smaller parts of realms

What’s a scale?
Distance on map/distance on Earth’s surface


Will we be looking at large scale or small scale maps in this class?


What is physical geography?  Why is it important in this class?
Spatial study of earth’s natural phenomena, systems, processes, structures; allows us to understand what human societies have to work with

What is continental drift?  Why is it important in this class?  Are Europe and North America getting closer or farther away from each other?  Why?
Early explanation of plate tectonics; explains why land masses and mountain ranges are where they are; farther apart; seas floor spreading

What is interglaciation?  When and what is the Holocene?
warmer period that separates glacial periods, we are presently in an interglaciation; an interglaciation that began ~15,000 years ago

Review the hydrologic cycle.

Precipitation Distribution

Learn the general pattern of precipitation by interpreting the map and reading the text.

Climatic Regions

Spend some time looking G-8.  We’ll use it a lot to understand regions.

What are the problems of climate classification?  What’s the relationship between climate and vegetation?
Scarce data, short term data, difficult to draw climate transitions on map; natural vegetation is a response to climate

Learn the Climate letter symbols.  This will take time.

Write notes for each of the 6 Climate types (A, B, C, D, E, H).  Where are they? What are their characteristics (precipitation, temperature, soils)?


 What is physiography?  Why is it important for this class?
Total physical geography; = physical stage on which human societies are based

What is the primary determinant of realms and regions?

What is culture?  What aspects of culture will we focus on?
Totality of transmitted, learned behavior; language, religion, land use

Cultural Landscapes

How are we agents of change?
Human societies transform the surface of the earth with human artifacts: roads, fields, cities,

What is cultural landscape?  What were Sauer's ideas about cultural landscapes?  What are some features of the Central Valley’s cultural landscape?
Composite of human imprints on surface; Sauer: long term cultural transformation of surface; irrigation, ag, Hispanics, RR, farms towns

Culture and Ethnicity

What’s the difference between ethnicity and culture?  What do these two terms have to do with Yugoslavia?
Ethnicity: language, homeland; culture: larger, less specific; Yugoslavia composed of south Slavs culturally united and divided by religion and politics. Conflict based on religion (Islam, Christianity) not ethnicity.


This book has many large small-scale maps.  Do not ignore them.  When the text refers to them, you should also refer to them.  Look at them.

Look at the dots.  Approximately what % of the world’s population do North Americans comprise?

In what physical regions are the major population clusters? 
East Asia, South Asia, European lowlands;

Major Population Clusters

What is population density?  Where are the majority of China’s people?  What do they do for a living?
People/area; eastern river lowlands; agriculture

Where are the people of South Asia clustered?
Ganges valley

How is the European cluster different from the previous two?
Not only river valleys but also in regions of raw materials for industry 

How does Eastern North America’s cluster differ from the previous three?
smaller, rural areas=sparsely settled

What is urbanization?  How does it vary from region to region?
Concentration of population in cities; Latin America=75% urban vs. Subsaharan Africa’s 28%


What factors allowed states to develop?  What is the European state model?
Growth of agricultural surpluses allowed city and hinterland situation to develop; clearly, legally defined territory inhabited by population governed from a capital city by a representative govt.

What’s the relationship between state boundaries and realm boundaries?
State boundaries often coincide with realm boundaries, but there are exceptions (Sudan)


What is development?
Economic, social, and institutional growth of states

Learn the 4 World Bank groups and look at them on the map.
High income, upper-middle income, lower middle income, low income

Why does he mention regional disparity?
Some regions include areas of far different levels of development

What are advantages for development?  What are ours?
Location, raw materials, govt. system, political stability, productive skills (education)

What is neo-colonialism?
Refers to the persistent entrenchment of colonial system whereby poor countries serve as natural resource suppliers for rich countries and continue to depend on rich countries for development
Symptoms of Underdevelopment

What are the symptoms of underdevelopment?
UDCs export low value raw materials to DCs; corruption, misdirected priorities, poor health, high infant mortality rates, insufficient farming, overcrowded cities…

Specter of Debt

Be prepared to explain how former colonies have become debtor countries.  What is the role of the former colonial powers?
Former colonial powers benefited from loans to poor countries by securing the contracts for building the large projects: dams, bridges, roads...

What is the relationship between debt and GNP in many poor countries?
In many poor countries debt is greater  than GNP.  This means that the governments of poor countries must devote money to paying debt rather than social services.


Summarize the Peasant Federation's leader's definition of globalization? 
Americanization of France's traditions.

What are benefits of globalization?
Reduces barriers to trade which promotes commerce, brings jobs...

What are the arguments against globalization?
Negatives > Positives.  Increase trade benefits rich countries more than poor countries and further increases the gap between haves and have-nots.

What and when was the first globalization?
Spread of European colonialism (ideas, inventions, products, habits) during the 19th and 20th centuries.  Led to European control of resources throughout the world.

How does higher-speed communication make the "present globalization even more revolutionary."
Because it allows more rapid change and increased rapidity and volume of products transported.

Explain how political boundaries "are becoming increasingly porous."
Globalization, which is based on removing international trade barriers, is making political boundaries meaningless.  Movement of workers and products is controlled less by politics than by economics.

Learn the predicted results of the present globalization.


Note how DeBlij has divided the world into 12 different realms.


What are the differences between regional and systematic geography?
Regional = study of human and physical patterns according to regions.
Systematic geography = study of human and physical patterns independent of regions.

Which of these approaches will be used in this textbook? Regional