In my Introduction to Physical Geography class (GEOG 101), I define geography as "the study of the earth's surface as the space within which human population lives." My Web site's logo, which was developed by freelance designer Toni Allen, is a simple, graphic representation of my definition of geography.
I encourage you to explore the definition of geography further. To do so:
- Read William D. Pattison's classic 1964 article "The Four Traditions of Geography"; and
- Review "The Five Themes in Geography" written in 1984 by the Joint Committee on Geographic Education of the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers.
I also recommend you peruse the findings of the 2006 National Geography Roper Survey of Geographic Literacy. While geography is essential in today's interconnected world, children are not getting enough of it, either in or out of school. The Roper Survey shows that half of young Americans cannot locate world powers like Japan and India, and that twenty percent cannot even find the Pacific Ocean on a map or globe. Without geography, young people will not be ready to live and work in a world dominated by globalization. As Jimmy Buffet is purported to have observed, "... without geography you are nowhere." To learn more about what can be done about this problem, please visit MyWonderfulWorld.org.
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