Integrated geography

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Rice terraces located in Mu Cang Chai district, Yen Bai province, Vietnam Rice terrace.png
Rice terraces located in Mù Cang Chải district, Yên Bái province, Vietnam

Environmental geography (also referred to as environmental geography, [1] Integrated geography or human–environment geography) is the branch of geography that describes and explains the spatial aspects of interactions between human individuals or societies and their natural environment, [2] these interactions being called coupled human–environment system. Summed up, environmental geography is about humans and nature and how we affect the environment and our planet.

Geography The science that studies the terrestrial surface, the societies that inhabit it and the territories, landscapes, places or regions that form it

Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes. Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Spatial analysis Formal techniques which study entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties

Spatial analysis or spatial statistics includes any of the formal techniques which study entities using their topological, geometric, or geographic properties. Spatial analysis includes a variety of techniques, many still in their early development, using different analytic approaches and applied in fields as diverse as astronomy, with its studies of the placement of galaxies in the cosmos, to chip fabrication engineering, with its use of "place and route" algorithms to build complex wiring structures. In a more restricted sense, spatial analysis is the technique applied to structures at the human scale, most notably in the analysis of geographic data.

A coupled human–environment system characterizes the dynamical two-way interactions between human systems and natural systems. This coupling expresses the idea that the evolution of humans and environmental systems may no longer be treated as individual isolated systems.



It requires an understanding of the dynamics of physical geography, as well as the ways in which human societies conceptualize the environment (human geography). Thus, to a certain degree, it may be seen as a successor of Physische Anthropogeographie (English: "physical anthropogeography")—a term coined by University of Vienna geographer Albrecht Penck in 1924 [3] —and geographical cultural or human ecology (Harlan H. Barrows 1923). Integrated geography in the United States is principally influenced by the schools of Carl O. Sauer (Berkeley), whose perspective was rather historical, and Gilbert F. White (Chicago), who developed a more applied view. Integrated geography (also, integrative geography, environmental geography or human–environment geography) is the branch of geography that describes and explains the spatial aspects of interactions between human individuals or societies and their natural environment, called coupled human–environment systems.

Physical geography The study of processes and patterns in the natural environment

Physical geography is one of the two major fields of geography. Physical geography is the branch of natural science which deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, as opposed to the cultural or built environment, the domain of human geography.

Human geography The study of cultures, communities and activities of peoples of the world

Human geography or anthropogeography is the branch of geography that deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Human geography attends to human patterns of social interaction, as well as spatial level interdependencies, and how they influence or affect the earth's environment. As an intellectual discipline, geography is divided into the sub-fields of physical geography and human geography, the latter concentrating upon the study of human activities, by the application of qualitative and quantitative research methods.

University of Vienna public university located in Vienna, Austria

The University of Vienna is a public university located in Vienna, Austria. It was founded by Duke Rudolph IV in 1365 and is the oldest university in the German-speaking world. With its long and rich history, the University of Vienna has developed into one of the largest universities in Europe, and also one of the most renowned, especially in the Humanities. It is associated with 20 Nobel prize winners and has been the academic home to many scholars of historical as well as of academic importance.


Wildlife refuge located in Oregon, United States. Finley wildlife refuge.jpg
Wildlife refuge located in Oregon, United States.

The links between human and physical geography were once more apparent than they are today. As human experience of the world is increasingly mediated by technology, the relationships between humans and the environment have often become obscured. Thereby, integrated geography represents a critically important set of analytical tools for assessing the impact of human presence on the environment. This is done by measuring the result of human activity on natural landforms and cycles. [4] Methods for which this information is gained include remote sensing, and geographic information systems. [5] Integrated geography helps us to ponder the environment in terms of its relationship to people. With integrated geography we can analyze different social science and humanities perspectives and their use in understanding people environment processes. [6] Hence, it is considered the third branch of geography, [7] the other branches being physical and human geography. [8]

Remote sensing Acquisition of information at a significant distance from the subject

Remote sensing is the acquisition of information about an object or phenomenon without making physical contact with the object and thus in contrast to on-site observation, especially the Earth. Remote sensing is used in numerous fields, including geography, land surveying and most Earth science disciplines ; it also has military, intelligence, commercial, economic, planning, and humanitarian applications.

A geographic information system (GIS) is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyze, manage, and present spatial or geographic data. GIS applications are tools that allow users to create interactive queries, analyze spatial information, edit data in maps, and present the results of all these operations. GIS sometimes refers to geographic information science (GIScience), the science underlying geographic concepts, applications, and systems.

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Political ecology study of political, economic and social factors about environmental issues

Political ecology is the study of the relationships between political, economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes. Political ecology differs from apolitical ecological studies by politicizing environmental issues and phenomena.

Environmental science The integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.

Environmental science is an interdisciplinary academic field that integrates physical, biological and information sciences to the study of the environment, and the solution of environmental problems. Environmental science emerged from the fields of natural history and medicine during the Enlightenment. Today it provides an integrated, quantitative, and interdisciplinary approach to the study of environmental systems.

Geographer scholar whose area of study is geography

A geographer is a scientist whose area of study is geography, the study of Earth's natural environment and human society. The Greek prefix, "geo," means "earth" and the Greek suffix, "graphy," meaning "description," so a geographer is someone who studies the earth. The word "geography" is a Middle French word that is believed to have been first used in 1540.

Landscape ecology The science of relationships between ecological processes in the environment and particular ecosystems

Landscape ecology is the science of studying and improving relationships between ecological processes in the environment and particular ecosystems. This is done within a variety of landscape scales, development spatial patterns, and organizational levels of research and policy.

Cultural ecology is the study of human adaptations to social and physical environments. Human adaptation refers to both biological and cultural processes that enable a population to survive and reproduce within a given or changing environment. This may be carried out diachronically, or synchronically. The central argument is that the natural environment, in small scale or subsistence societies dependent in part upon it, is a major contributor to social organization and other human institutions. In the academic realm, when combined with study of political economy, the study of economies as polities, it becomes political ecology, another academic subfield. It also helps interrogate historical events like the Easter Island Syndrome.

Urban geography subdiscipline of geography concentrating on urban areas

Urban geography is the subdiscipline of geography that derives from a study of cities and urban processes. Urban geographers and urbanists examine various aspects of urban life and the built environment. Scholars, activists, and the public have participated in, studied, and critiqued flows of economic and natural resources, human and non-human bodies, patterns of development and infrastructure, political and institutional activities, governance, decay and renewal, and notions of socio-spatial inclusions, exclusions, and everyday life.

Environmental archaeology is a sub-field of archaeology which emerged in 1970s and is the science of reconstructing the relationships between past societies and the environments they lived in. The field represents an archaeological-palaeoecological approach to studying the palaeoenvironment through the methods of human palaeoecology. Reconstructing past environments and past peoples' relationships and interactions with the landscapes they inhabited provides archaeologists with insights into the origin and evolution of anthropogenic environments, and prehistoric adaptations and economic practices.

Ellen Churchill Semple American geographer

Ellen Churchill Semple was an American geographer and the first female president of the Association of American Geographers. She contributed significantly to the early development of the discipline of geography in the United States, particularly studies of human geography. She is most closely associated with work in anthropogeography and environmentalism, and the debate about "environmental determinism".

Quantitative revolution

The quantitative revolution (QR)[n] was a paradigm shift that sought to develop a more rigorous and systematic methodology for the discipline of geography. It came as a response to the inadequacy of regional geography to explain general spatial dynamics. The main claim for the quantitative revolution is that it led to a shift from a descriptive (idiographic) geography to an empirical law-making (nomothetic) geography. The quantitative revolution occurred during the 1950s and 1960s and marked a rapid change in the method behind geographical research, from regional geography into a spatial science.

Cultural geography study of cultural products and norms and their variations across and relations to spaces and places.

Cultural geography is a subfield within human geography. Though the first traces of the study of different nations and cultures on Earth can be dated back to ancient geographers such as Ptolemy or Strabo, cultural geography as academic study firstly emerged as an alternative to the environmental determinist theories of the early Twentieth century, which had believed that people and societies are controlled by the environment in which they develop. Rather than studying pre-determined regions based upon environmental classifications, cultural geography became interested in cultural landscapes. This was led by Carl O. Sauer, at the University of California, Berkeley. As a result, cultural geography was long dominated by American writers.

Outline of Earth sciences Hierarchical outline list of articles related to Earth sciences

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Earth science:

Transport geography

Transport geography, also transportation geography, is a branch of geography that investigates the movement and connections between people, goods and information on the Earth's surface.

William G. Moseley is an author, scholar and professor of geography at Macalester College in Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA.

Outline of geography Hierarchical outline list of articles related to geography

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to geography:

A social-ecological system consists of 'a bio-geo-physical' unit and its associated social actors and institutions. Social-ecological systems are complex and adaptive and delimited by spatial or functional boundaries surrounding particular ecosystems and their context problems.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to social science:

Geography of aging or gerontological geography is an emerging field of knowledge of Human Geography that analyzes the socio-spatial implications of aging of the population from the understanding of the relationships between the physical-social environment and the elderly, at different scales, micro, etc.


  1. Nicolaas A. Rupke (2008): Alexander Von Humboldt: A Metabiography. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN   9780226731490
  2. Noel Castree et al. (2009): A Companion to Environmental Geography. London: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN   9781444305739
  3. Karlheinz Paffen (1959): Stellung und Bedeutung der Physischen Anthropogeographie. In: Erdkunde 13 (4), pp. 354–372. DOI: 10.3112/erdkunde.1959.04.08
  4. Garcia, Hector (2010). Environmental Geography. Apple Academic Press, Inc. ISBN   978-1926686684.
  5. G., Moseley, William (2014-01-01). An introduction to human-environment geography : local dynamics and global processes. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN   9781405189316. OCLC   921583361.
  6. Moseley, William G.; Perramond, Eric; Hapke, Holly M.; Laris, Paul (2014). An Introduction to Human-Environment Geography. Wiley Blackwell. pp. 26–27.
  7. David Demeritt (2009): From externality to inputs and interference: framing environmental research in geography. In: Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 34 (1), pp. 3–11, DOI: 10.1111/j.1475-5661.2008.00333.x.
  8. Arild Holt-Jensen (1999): Geography - History and Concepts: A Student's Guide. London: SAGE. ISBN   9780761961802