GEOG 10100 People and their Environment

Review the GUIDELINES before starting the written
required and extra credit assignments.
• A choice of 10 required assignments from a menu of topics must be
submitted for grading and accounts for 40% of your final grade. Missed
assignment(s) will earn 0 points and be included as such in your term average.
• Look over all your choices. Plan your response to this requirement and its
due dates.
• Assignment selection is from a menu and has due dates. Assignment
selection is limited to maximum/minimum choices from each of the
three instructional parts of the course for a total of 10 required assignments. Your options are: 2+4+4 or 2+5+3 or 3+4+3 or 3+5+2 (Part I +
Part II + Part III = 10).
• All assignments are due no later than 10 PM on the last Thursday of
the period for the instructional part to which the assignment is attached. You are encouraged to submit them before the deadline. Your selected assignments are due as follows:
▪ Part I assignments due date: February 25.
▪ Part II assignments due date: April 15.
▪ Part III assignments due date: May 13.
• A lateness penalty is applied beginning at 11 PM Thursday.
• Do not use a topic or news article for more than one question within
the same instructional part. You may use a topic or news article to discuss
pertinent aspects related to questions posed by other assignments in the
other two parts. If you do use the same topic or news article more than once
without addressing a different issue, the second assignment will be returned
✓ Each assignment must be typed and have a minimum length of one full page,
not counting the restated question and bibliography (Arial font, 11 pt. font size,1.0
line spacing with 1″ margins). Maximum length is two pages of text.
✓ Your bibliography and any optional illustrative material are not part of the
page count. Required attached articles or maps are also not part of the page
✓ Short and long responses will be returned ungraded, as will hand-written essays.
✓ Use footnotes where appropriate and create a bibliography of source material
at the end of each essay.
✓ Never rely on just one source of information.
✓ The bibliography must have at least two sources of information (not including
Wikipedia) to document your material.
✓ Do not use Wikipedia as your only sources of information. Always check other
verified sources to confirm information. This is basic academic research. List them
in your bibliography and footnotes.
✓ Address the question. Do not go off on a tangent. The boldfaced and underlined
portions of the assignments are meant to focus your response to the topic.
✓ Start with an introductory paragraph to tell the reader what you are doing and
why you addressing the topic.
✓ End with a concluding paragraph that summarizes the body of the essay and
does not contain any new information.
✓ Do not cut and paste without citation from electronic sources or retype (it is so
evident to the reader). Use your own words and phrasing.
✓ Assignments handed in late will be penalized with a grade reduction.
Neatness counts. Presentation matters.
❖ Just 10 assignments from the following menu of topics from each instructional part of the course totaling 10 for the semester are to be submitted by
the deadlines listed above and on the syllabus. Your choice of 2+4+4 or 2+5+3
or 3+4+3 or 3+5+2.
❖ Remember Part I + Part II + Part III must = 10.
❖ Late penalties apply.
PART I. Introduction to Geography: Concepts and Techniques.
(Select any 2-3 assignment questions from this section. One additional assignment question from this section may be used for extra credit. Deadlines apply.)
A. The field of Geography focuses on spatial analysis and characteristics of any
location on the earth’s surface (site) and its relationship to other locations (situation). Identify and explain the use of spatial analysis and site+situation
characteristics with regard to the landfall of one Atlantic Basin hurricane
in calendar year 2020.
B. Through the centuries people have observed and studied the earth and how
people have lived on the planet. Select a geographer, geoscientist, explorer,
conservationist, cartographer or other person born during the period 1750-1990
and discuss that person’s contribution to geographic thought and/or our
knowledge of the earth. Focus on the person’s contribution, not the person’s
C. The Five Fundamental Themes of Geography sum up the principles of geographic study. Find a news article from calendar year 2020 and identify an aspect of any four of the Five Fundamental Themes within the article. Attach
the article to your assignment.
D. Using the geographic definition of region, characterize the “New England”
portion of the United States as (1) a physical region and as (2) a cultural
E. The adjective “geographic” appears often when discussing Covid-19. The NYS
Health Department created Yellow, Orange and Red Zones to track Covid-19
cases (see How is the creation, designation and reevaluation of these zones related to the concept of
spatial distribution?
F. Maps convey a wealth of information at a glance. Select a non-political or nonCOVID map that was published by the NYTimes or any other news organization
during calendar year 2020. Identify and explain the map’s cartographic variables and how they are used to convey information. Attach the map to your
G. Remote sensing has become a tool for scholars (geographers, archeologists, geologists, historians, anthropologists) exploring and mapping areas that are difficult for
field teams to reach. Using surveys in Guatemala as a basis, explain how
long-lost remnants of the Mayan civilization were found and mapped using remote sensing techniques.
H. Geographic data and the use of geographic information systems has revolutionized retailing on the internet. Describe at least two aspects of how geographic information (GIS) is incorporated into the search, acquisition and
delivery of a product you researched and purchased online.
PART II. Physical Geography: Earth’s Natural Landscape and the Processes
that Created It. Corrected lecture slide references.
(Select any 4-5 assignment questions from this section. One additional assignment question from this section may be used for extra credit. Deadlines apply.)
A. The interrelationship between the individual aspects of the earth’s environment
(atmosphere, lithosphere, hydrosphere and biosphere) and the interrelationship
between people and earth environment is well documented. Select one from
the following 3 choices and explain a situation during calendar year 2020
where the actions of people over time contributed to the event.
1. Discuss the relationship of climate change to the occurrence or
spread of any climate-influenced disease in Africa. Be specific discussing the example you select. Document facts and opinions of others.
2. Discuss the relationship of climate change to the occurrence of any
one severe weather phenomena (except hurricanes) in North America. Be specific discussing the example you select. Document facts and
opinions of others. (If you wrote on a topic in Part II-K, you cannot use
that theme here.)
3. Discuss the relationship of climate change to the food security situation in Asia. Be specific when discussing the example you select.
Document facts and opinions of others.
B. Calendar year 2020 saw Greenland’s ice sheet melt faster than at any time in
the past 12,000 years. Discuss the environmental impacts will this have on
both (1) Greenland and (2) planet earth over the next 100 years.
C. The dynamic nature of the oceans is an important part of environmental science. Select one of the following two selections and write on this aspect of
ocean science.
1. From Lecture 11 Slide 6 select one aspect and discuss an example
using the Hawaiian Islands as an example.
2. The El Nino and La Nina phenomena are created by changes in ocean
surface temperatures. Relate these phenomena to the regional
weather patterns (see the 4 elements of weather).
D. The elements of weather are in a constant state of flux and as an element of
weather varies, so does its effect on the other three. Consult the local weather
page of the NYTimes or the local weather data from the Weather Channel for
any seven-day period. Discuss the changes that took place in our local
weather during the 7-day period of your choice. Also, was the forecast on
Day 1 for Day 7 correct? Be sure to address all four elements of weather in your
E. In South America, Patagonia and the Atacama are arid areas (BW climate) but
have different characteristics. Differentiate the creation of arid conditions of
the Atacama vs. Patagonia: What factors make them dry?
F. After viewing Lecture 9 Slide 12, create and explain a chart for global cooling.
G. Lithospheric plate boundaries are categorized as divergent, convergent and
transform. For each of the following 3 categories, describe the geologic
situation in each of the following situations: 1) divergent boundary between the African and Arabian plates at the Red Sea; 2) convergent
boundary between the Caribbean and Cocos plates at the West Indies;
and 3) transform boundary between the Pacific and Indo-Australian plates
at New Zealand.
H. The Rock Cycle explains the natural formation of minerals and rocks. From the
hundreds of minerals and rocks found in nature, select and explain the creation of: 1) any one mineral; 2) any one sedimentary rock; 3) any one igneous rock; and 4) any one metamorphic rock. Be sure to include all four in
your answer.
I. Topographic regions contain unique combinations of natural features that influence people’s use of the area. From Lecture 15 Slides 15-21, find an example of land use within any one topographic region of India and explain the
interrelationship between people and nature.
J. The biosphere exists at the interface of the atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere and is sunlight dependent. Biomes are unique zones of life within the biosphere. Explain the nitrogen cycle as an influence to biome development.
K. Natural processes are termed natural hazards when they adversely affect people (see Lecture 17). Select any one natural process and discuss why it is
now deemed a natural hazard by governmental agencies and insurance
companies. Use an example from calendar year 2020. Focus on “people interacting with nature” and also discuss a preventative measure espoused by governmental agencies and insurance companies to protect people. (If you wrote
on this topic in Part II-A-2, you cannot use that example here. Select a different
L. Sometimes the works of people cause an environmental hazard. Select one
from the following 2 selections and write on this aspect of people and nature.
1. After viewing the video in Lecture 18 Slide 17 search for information on
hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in Europe. Select one country that
banned fracking and one country that allows it and discuss the policy difference between them.
2. Salt water intrusion into freshwater supplies in an increasing phenomenon around the world. From calendar year 2020, select a study or report than focused on salt water intrusion and summarize its findings. Be sure to cite the source.
Part III. Human Geography: Earth’s Cultural Landscape and the Role of People in its Creation.
(Select any 2-4 assignment questions from this section. One additional assignment question from this section may be used for extra credit. Deadlines apply.)
A. Evidence of the Five Fundamental Themes of Geography and the application of
geographic principles can be found in all academic disciplines. Using your major
or intended major as a choice (geography and environmental science majors select your minor) explain how an aspect of geography is present in this discipline.
B. Culture is defined as a learned phenomenon. Select one from the following 4
selections and write on this aspect of cultural geography.
1. It is often said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Look through travel
brochures/advertisements paying close attention to photographs. Select
one travel photograph and discuss its “cultural landscape.” Attach a
copy of the photograph with your response.
2. Toponomy is the study of place names. Research the origin/meaning of
the name of the neighborhood in which you live or the name of a prominent feature within that area.
3. Cultural Ecology joins geography, anthropology, sociology and biology in
studying people’s interaction with other living things in nature. Using the
Southeast Asia culture realm as a stage, identify and discuss one example of cultural ecology in that region.
4. Cybergeography studies the spatial interaction provided to users of internetbased platforms. Identify and discuss how an aspect of cybergeography
has affected your life in during 2020. Do not use the same example if you
answered Part I-H.
C. Population Geography studies people with regard to their habitat. Historically,
people have congregated in certain areas of the world because of benefits afforded
them. Select one from the following 3 selections and write on this aspect of population geography.
1. Using the Islamic Cultural Realm of Northern Africa as a stage (do not
extend your discussion to the Arabian Peninsula and SW Asia), first consult a population density map for that area and then identify and discuss the areas accommodating the greatest and least numbers of
people. What accounts for the large concentrations of people in some areas
and the lack of people in other areas? Can it be linked to the Demographic
Transition Model?
2. Over time individuals and families make choices about relocation. Using
your family as an example, weave the push-pull-stay factors into your
individual or family history.
3. Overpopulation has a simple definition but in many areas of the world it is a
difficult problem to address and rectify. Using the Latin American Cultural
Realm as a stage, address an overpopulation issue in any one country.
D. While Medical Geography focuses on the well-being of people as an aspect of
habitat, it also studies the cause and spread of disease. Select a pandemic or
epidemic that was identified before 1975 and discuss its source, diffusion
and cure (or means of control).
E. In Economic Geography, the production, exchange and consumption of goods
and services is a product of spatial variabilities. Select one from the following 4
selections and write on this aspect of economic geography.
1. Address the concept of “production, exchange and consumption of
goods and services is a product of spatial variabilities” in light of any
end of year holiday shopping you or your family did in 2020.
2. The 2020 holiday season brought to light some limitations of the Just-inTime delivery system. From your personal experience discuss a Just-inTime delivery situation that affected your holiday purchases and gift
3. Regional food insecurity brought about by global climate change can be
magnified by population shifts and the changing focus of regional economic
activities. Discuss the relationship of climate change to the food security situation in Sub-Saharan Africa Cultural Realm when coupled with
the shift within the Demographic Transition Model from agricultural to
manufacturing/service activities in these areas. Be specific when discussing the selected example. Document facts and opinions of others.
4. A person’s interaction between places changes over time based on necessities, needs and preferences. Using the “Spatial Interaction as a Percent of
Time Spent Traveling Between Places” diagram in Lecture 22, construct a
comparison diagram comparing your movements in January 2020 vs.
those in January 2021. Explain the changes if any, including types of
activities, personal priorities, means of transportation and the like. Average the times between places over the course of a two-week period.
F. Globalization has its proponents and opponents. From the economic-culturalpolitical geography point of view, discuss (a) one positive and (b) one
negative outcome of globalization that occurred since 1950.
G. In Urban Geography, we study concentrations of people and their works and
how the urban phenomenon changes the physical landscape and creates a cultural landscape. Select one from the following 2 selections and write on this aspect of urban geography.
1. Urbanized areas, especially the larger cities, have been a magnet for people
since the mid-20th century. Select one city of East Africa and trace its
historic development (original site and situation, reason for being, economic/political base, population change) since its founding.
2. Urban neighborhoods are miniature world regions. Using your neighbor (or
one with which you are familiar) as an example, describe land use, population make-up, languages heard, cooking aromas and patterns of
movement. Can you determine where your neighborhood ends and another
H. Political Geography looks at the interaction between political decision making
and its effect on the physical and cultural landscape of an area. Select one from
the following 3 selections and write on this aspect of political geography.
1. International regional civil unrest has been tied to a nation of people wishing
to govern themselves (stateless nation). Locate and explain the geopolitical situation concerning ONE of the following ethnic groups: Baluchi;
Basques; Kurds; Tigre; Uighurs (Uyghurs).
2. The 2020 U.S. presidential election brought Electoral Geography into the focus as candidates and political parties concentrated on certain geographic
areas to gain the most benefit from the smallest number of people. Certain
parts of states were visited multiple times, while whole states did not receive
an in-person visit. Go to the New York Times election map at https://
-states.html. This is an interactive map that allows you to see different scenarios, and experiment with various combinations of state votes. We know
the result. However, explain other strategies by using different combinations of state tallies that could have achieved the 270 votes for either candidate.
3. Many currents events have geographical components or are influenced by
their location. Select a non-COVID or non-U.S. election newsworthy political story from 2020 and explain the geography behind it. Attach the
article to your response.
I. Zoning is a political process creating a human imprint on the landscape by dictating what type of land use is permissible. This encompasses many aspects of
human geography. Visit the New York City Department of Planning web site: Click on ZONING to access the Zoning and Land Use page. (Note the zoning map may be enlarged by using the “plus (+)
sign”, different layers may be added by using the “on-off switch” on the left side panel
and there is a 360° photographic street view, called Cyclomedia, available.) First enter
your home street address in the search to bring up your community information.
Then enter another address to compare areas (or use Hunter College’s address:
695 Park Ave, Manhattan as the second address). Compare both areas. Describe the similarities and differences in zoning and resultant land utilization in the area surrounding both addresses.
You have the option to submit for extra credit a maximum of five analytical essays from the
“Thinking Geographically” (TG) section at the end of each chapter. Write on just one discussion point from each TG box for the chapter selected.
IMPORTANT: This is NOT the “REVIEW & DISCUSSION” section at the end of the chapter.
**** You may substitute one response from each required Instructional Parts
above for a TG essay (maximum of three substitutions). ****
▪ Each essay must be typed and have a minimum length of one full page, not counting
the restated question and bibliography (Arial font, 11 pt. font size,1.0 line spacing with 1″
margins). Maximum length is two pages of text.
▪ In the first sentence of each TG essay, you are to note the textbook edition and the chapter
number and summarize the point being discussed.
▪ While this is an opinion piece, you still need to document facts or opinions of others by using a bibliography or footnotes.
See PRESENTATION GUIDELINES on page 2 for focus. Be sure to include introductory and concluding paragraphs.
At the end of the semester, each essay deemed “Good for Extra Credit” will earn you one percentage point over and above your final term average of test scores with a maximum of 5 percentage points added to your final term average. For example, if you hand in four acceptable essays, you will increase your final average by 4 points; if you hand in 2 essays you will increase
your final average by 2 points.
NOTE DEADLINE: Extra credit essays may be handed in at any time up to May 14, 2021.
It is best to write and submit an essay after you have read the chapter, rather than waiting for the
last week of the semester to do prepare them.
Neatness counts. Presentation matters.
No Extra Credit Essays will be accepted after May 14.
None will be accepted on the day of the final exam.

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