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Geology 101 Final

In: Philosophy and Psychology

Submitted By erose92
Words 2028
Pages 9
Geography 101
University of Mississippi
FAll 2010

Final exam: essay questions

Please prepare a typed answer to each of the two essay questions below. Your answers are due in class on the day of the scheduled final exam. Each essay question is worth 30 points on the exam (total of 60 points). Answers for EACH question should be at least 500 to 750 words (2-3 pages). NOTE: you may not use the same example for different essay questions. Please be diverse in the examples that you use to illustrate your answers. Be sure that you address ALL parts of each question. Format Each answer should be in the form of a typed, double-spaced document (12-point Times/Times Roman font) with margins no greater than 1 inch. Please include a title page (one for both answers is fine) and a complete and proper list of the sources (bibliography or references cited) that you used on a separate page. You should also include in-text citations for these sources as appropriate (any recognized academic format, such as MLA, is acceptable; for examples of MLA citation and bibliography formatting see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/557/01/). Indicate the source of specific data in the body of your answer where appropriate. Please do not repeat the questions in your answer. Please do your own work. Copying from another student’s work (past or present) or any other form of academic fraud will result in failure in the course and additional academic disciplinary action that may include expulsion from the university. There will be no exceptions. Questions 1. Standards and Themes of Geographic Knowledge * Identify and describe the SIX elements of the National Standards for geography in the United States. You are not required to list all 18 standards but you must use some of them to highlight the general content and purpose of each element. In your discussion, you must use actual examples of the earth’s physical and cultural diversity to illustrate the content and purpose of each element in the National Standards. * The National Standards were based on the classic FIVE themes of geography. Briefly discuss how the elements of the National Standards expand upon these classic themes.

2. One of the fundamental principles of geography is that “all things are connected.” What does this statement mean? Discuss THREE specific real-world (not abstract) examples of how things, places, and/or people are connected at various scales and in different ways. Use materials from the course (readings, lectures, films) or from your own research to fully illustrate your discussion.

Geography is not only the study of the world, but the way in which we interact within it. Therefore, it cannot be so easily defined. While the study of geology deals with rocks and astrology focuses on stars, geography is such a broad topic that it needs to be broken down to be understood more easily. In 1994, geographers came up with the first ever national geography standards by breaking eighteen national standards into six essential elements. These could then be used to better break down the teachings of geography and explain it more beneficially (NCG). While each theme is uniquely its own, they are all interconnected through the studies of geography.
The first essential element is the world in spatial terms; this means you are able to analyze the spatial organization of maps and other geographic representation in relation to the Earth’s surface. This skill comes in handy when plotting a hiking trip. The fastest way may require consistent hiking up and down hills, but by reading maps, you can find an alternative route that can get you down the mountain in an easier fashion. The second elements are place and regions; these show the human and physical characteristics of place. Furthermore, these elements illustrate how humans designate regions as a way to categorize the Earth’s complexity. For example, the United States is located in the Western Hemisphere of the globe, but it is broken down into many regions like the North, Midwest, and South. This is because that even though we are one country, we have many different types of environments agriculturally and culturally. A person from Boston, Massachusetts and a person from Savannah, Georgia grow up completely differently. This is partially due to the geography of the states. While Georgia’s hot and long summers are ideal for growing crops like peaches and tobacco, Boston’s port town focuses more on boating, trading, and fishing. These geographic elements affect every part of one’s life. While a person in Savannah’s most reliable pair of shoes may be their cowboy boots, it would be very impractical for a person working on a boat to wear them. This shows how the environment affects people and the development of their culture.
Along with the geographic location, the third elements describes how there are also other geographic processes that shape the land around it. The New Madrid Line is a complex zone of seismically active ancient fractures in bedrock buried several thousand feet beneath river sand and mud that lines the Mississippi River (Pagano). The movement of this plate can flood and destroy many cities built along the line. Therefore, it is very important for scientist to watch the plates shifting and keep citizens in these communities as safe as possible. Another important reason to watch the New Madrid line is because its affects are widespread. The soil which the plates rest upon can conduct the shock further than a quake in the North, which has more rocky and dense soil; meaning not only is the shock more destructive but will affect a larger area of land. This shows how characteristics and spatial distribution of land can determine its development.
While we have talked a lot about the environment, climate and other natural occurrences that shape the land, the fourth and most influential factor of shaping land is human influence. We are living in world dependent on nature, but we are taking advantage of its resources and destroying many of them. World time is the time it takes for a material to produce/ occur naturally. Unfortunately, world time is much slower than human time, and it seems humans are depleting these resources at a much faster rate than they are able to replenish. Less than 2.5% of Earth’s water is fresh, and only .5% is available to humans at one time (Murray). If current trends continue over the next 20 years, humans will use 40% more water than they do and an extra $10 billion each year will be needed to reach the target of halving the proportion of people without access to safe sanitary water (PWF). Besides the very uneven of ratio of human demand to earth supply, there is also a very uneven distribution of where the resources are in the world. Five countries are home to 77% of all proved oil reserves with the Middles East owning 38%, this global imbalance is the catalysts of many controversies and wars (Murray). Humans’ demands are destroying the world which we depend on. If we do not stop this destruction and start being more aware of our actions, the results can be detrimental to the world and our lives as we know it.
So, now that we have talked about the natural elements and the human elements of our society, the fifth element discusses how they coexist together. As previously mentioned global time is a lot slower than human time. Therefore, as humans dependent on the world, it is up us to try and protect and sustain it. Resource Management is the control of proved reserves of natural resources to reduce excessive exploitation and ensure continued availability (Murray). These global resources should be protected by the global community to protect the delicate balance of the interconnected network of ecosystems.
The sixth and final element asks us what we have learned through our past experience and how we use that knowledge to better our enviorment in the future.We have learned through our mistakes that not protecting our natural resources can come at an immeasurable price. In the case of the islands of Nauru, who in 1976 was called one of the world’s richest countries because of its successful trade of phosphate extraction, is now 90% wasteland with a 90% unemployment rate (Murray). Nauru is message to the world that without managing our resources we are at risk for losing them and our lifestyle that goes with them, forever. This has been a wakeup call to many countries that have now begun putting more importance on educating its citizens about preserving our natural resources. Our now ever growing knowledge of our earth and its resources has helped us plan ahead to make smart decisions to stop the depletion of its natural resources and aid its natural cycle of resource availability.

In this class we learned the delicate balance of the world and the affect a small imbalance in one ecosystem can have a great impact on the world’s natural flow. One issue that has been on the forefront of many people’s minds is the issue of population control. Population can illustrate a lot more than one may first believe. In developing countries like India, there is a population boom. Since India gained their independence 60 years ago their population has sky rocketed by growing three times their size from 350 million in 1947 to 1.15 billion in 2010 (2030). This rapid population growth has left India very overcrowded and increasingly impoverished (Rosenberg). Many people then decide to move to the city in hopes for a better life. However, the influx of mass population has left even the smallest apartments at alarmingly high prices, and with no jobs readily available it has forced many people onto the streets. The population boom has also put a higher demand to produce food which requires fertile farm land, however, with only three percent of the earth’s surface suitable for farming, the demand is eroding the soil at a much quicker rate than the soil can replenish its necessary nutrients (Murray). People have turned to cutting down arguably the world’s most valuable resources; the Tropical Rainforests. The tropical rainforest are often referred to as the “Lungs of the World” because of their production of 20% of the worlds oxygen supply. Scientist estimate that 10,000 years ago the world had 6 billion acres of tropical rainforests and by 1950 we had less than 2.8 billion. It is estimated that today there are less than 1.5 billion acres left, however, the clearing rate has increased to 30- 50 million acres per year, two to three times as rapidly as a few decades ago (Raelo). The loss of these global resources creates a severe drop in oxygen levels and rise of CO2 in the troposphere (Murray).Clearing land for human use also takes away land for wild animals and have threatened them with extinction. There are 370 0f 1480 birds species endemic and one hundred of the 500 mammal species are unique to the rain forests.With the destruction of their natural habitats, many of these animals go extinct. It is estimated we are losing approximately 100 species per day (Angelfire). The rainforest is also home to more than 90,000 identified plant species. Today ¼ of our medicines originate with plants and 70% of these plants are identified by the National Cancer Institute as useful in the treatment of cancer (Angelfire). Other uses of these plants are used in the cure for childhood leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, and other cancers, as well as heart ailments, hypertension and arthritis (Angelfire). These plants cannot be created in a lab and because of their necessary usage for treatments of diseases it is imperative we keep the lands in which they grow alive and not cut them down. So as you can see the world is set up in a very careful balance of natural and human interaction. As citizens of the planet it is our job to protect this balance and take care of the world that we are so dependent on before it is too late.

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