INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHY
Introduction to Geography
The meaning of Geography
- Scientific study of the earth as a home of man.
- Study of interrelationship on natural and human phenomena on the earth’s surface.
- The surroundings
- All external conditions surrounding an organism which has influence over its behavior.
Environment can be divided into two:
- The Physical Environment
- Natural physical conditions of weather, climate, vegetation, animals, soil, landforms and drainage.
- The Human Environment
- Human activities such as farming, forestry, mining, tourism, settlement, transportation, trade and industry.
INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHY
Branches of Geography
The TWO main Branches are Physical and Human and Economic Geography
- Physical Geography – Deals with the study of natural physical environment of human kind. The areas covered include:
- Geology-study of the origin, structure and composition of the earth. It includes study of rocks.
- Geomorphology- the study of internal and external land forming processes and landforms.
- Climatology- the study of climate and weather
- Pedology- the study of soils
- Biogeography – the study of soils, vegetation and animals.
- Hydrology- the study of water bodies
- Spatial geography-study of space
2.Human and Economic Geography – Study of people and their activities on the earth’s surface. The areas covered include:
- Wildlife and tourism
- Energy etc.
3. Practical Geography – A smaller branch which equips the learner with practical skills that enhance their understanding and interpretation of human and physical geographical information. The areas are:
- Statistical methods
- Map work
- Field work
- Photograph work
Importance of Studying Geography
- Facilitates good relationship among nations by studying geography of other regions of the world.
- it’s a career subject in that it enables one to go for advanced studies in specialised fields e.g. geography teachers, meteorology, surveying etc.
- Enables us to appreciate other people’s way of life by learning economic activities of different communities within our country and other parts of the world.
- Enables us to conserve our environment when we learn negative and positive effects of human activities on the environment.
- Enables us to conserve our resources when we learn wise use of resources in conservation and management of resources e.g. wildlife, forests, energy, etc.
- Inculcates in us virtues of cooperation and patience as we work in groups.
- Makes us to appreciate manual work as we are involved in practical geography which may lead to self employment.
- Promotion of industry such as tourism by guiding tourists to places of interest by using maps, calculations of distances etc.
Relationship between Geography and Other Subjects
- Mathematics-mathematical techniques are used in drawing graphs and pie charts and mathematical formulae are used in geography to calculate distances, areas, population density, population densities, etc.
- History-history uses geographical tools like maps, charts and graphs to show where past events took place e.g. the movement of people in the past.
- Biology-Geography explains the distribution of organisms and factors influencing their distribution on the earth’s surface.
- Physics-geography uses physics principles and formulae to calculate and describe aspects such as magnetic field, gravity, vibrations of the earth etc.
- Chemistry-geography applies chemistry in studying chemical composition and chemical changes which take place in soils and rocks.
- Agriculture-geography studies farming systems, their distribution and factors affecting farming activities.
- Meteorology-geography uses meteorological information in the study of weather and in classifying climatic regions and mapping them.
- Geology-geography studies rocks.