Physical Geography Laboratory Manual for McKnight’s Physical Geography 11th Edition
IF YOU OPENED THIS BOOK EXPECTING THAT THE STUDY OF geography was going to be memorizing names and places on maps, you’ll be surprised to find that geography is much more than that. Geographers study the location and distribution of things—tangible things such as rainfall, mountains, and trees, as well as less tangible things such as language, migration, and voting patterns. In short, geographers look for and explain patterns in the physical and human landscape.
In this book you’ll learn about fundamental processes and patterns in the natural world—the kinds of things you can see whenever you walk outside: clouds in the sky, mountains, streams and valleys, and the plants and animals that inhabit the landscape.
You’ll also learn about human interactions with the natural environment—how events such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods affect our lives and the world around us, as well as how human activities are increasingly altering our environment. By the time you finish this book you’ll understand—in other words you’ll appreciate—the landscape in new ways.
This opening chapter sets the stage for your study of physical geography. Here we introduce concepts and terms used throughout the book.
As you study this chapter, think about these key questions:
– How do geographers study the world and use science to explain and understand the natural environment?
– What are the overlapping environmental “spheres” of Earth, and how does the concept of Earth systems help us understand the interrelationships of these spheres?
– How does Earth fit in with the solar system, and how does the size of Earth compare with the size of its surface features?
– How does the system of latitude and longitude describe location on Earth?
– What causes the annual change of seasons, and how do patterns of sunlight around Earth change during the year?
– How is the system of time zones used to establish times and dates around the world?
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