Week 1 Discussions: 

1. Think like a geographer

Imagine that you have been hired to find the best location for a landfill outside the growing city of Seattle, Washington. Explain from a physical geographer’s point of view your major considerations. Then explain from the perspective of a human geographer, what are your main considerations?

In your answers, keep in mind the difference between site and situation and be sure to address both.

Consider using the About Geography.com for assistance http://geography.about.com

2. GIS

Geographers have been working with geographic information systems (GIS) long before there were computers, using overlays and maps, which would seem crude today. Explore the advancement of GIS to its current state by answering the following questions:

  1. When were computers first used in GIS?
  2. What were the major advances in GIS within the last two decades?
  3. What are some of the most common uses for GIS?
  4. What are some strengths and weaknesses of particular GIS software?
  5. How has the availability of information changed in the last 10 years?

For assistance, consider using the following websites:

3. Concepts, Terms and Ideas

Select one of the concepts, ideas, or terms listed at the start of this week’s readings (Do not use a concept, term or idea that another student has already used.) Describe (in your own words) what the term means and describe something that illustrates that term. You may compare and contrast the term with other terms.  Read and comment on your peers’ posts, enhancing, clarifying, comparing, and contrasting these terms.

4. Regions

The Earth is divided into regions. The three main regions that geographers use are

1) formal (sometimes called uniform),

2) functional (sometimes called nodal) or

3) vernacular (sometimes called perceptual).

Your text gives you formal definitions for each. Please give me two of your own examples of each region to illustrate your knowledge.

5. The Field of Geography

Geography sometimes has the reputation for being interesting, but not very practical. That is only half true! Use search tools on the Internet or other resources to learn about employment opportunities for students trained in geography. Use your research to answer the following questions:

What do geographers do?

What are the growth areas for geography?

How broad or narrow are the job opportunities?

Do geographers work in the field, in the office or both?

What does the future look like for geography professionals?

Consider using the Association of American Geographers website for more assistance http://www.aag.org/

6. Controversial Geography

Geography is not just “about the facts”. Discuss 3 aspects of geography that can be controversial.  Write your main post and, at least, two substantial/detailed replies to promote discussion on the board with fellow classmates.

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