Keys to success in Geography of Utah - GEOG3600.


Know these concepts, follow these admonitions, and (a) you’ll do well in the course; and (b) may be empowered for life (acc. G. Atwood).

Coaching... bookmark this page, even print it off, so you can refer to it during lectures, while you do homework, and... especially for exams. There are four sections on this page:

A. Geography Is...

B. The 15 Themes of Geog3600 – Geography of Utah

C. Think Like a Geographer of Utah means… (a) introduce the issue; (b) gather evidence; (c) observe patterns and connections; (d) analyze/discuss in the context of Big Concepts; (e) evaluate and articulate importance based on impacts to diverse of the 15 themes.  

D. LINKS to Utah's regions based on the five subsystems of Earth systems... note... some folks would draw these differently... that's the nature of REGIONS.



Geography is:

 “Geography is the science of space and place on Earth’s surface. Its subject matter is the physical and human phenomena that make up the world’s environments and places. Geography asks us to look at the world as a whole, to understand connections between places, to recognize that the local affects the global and vice versa. The power and beauty of geography lies in seeing, understanding, and appreciating the web of relationships among people, places and environments.” According to National Geographic… standards…      

B. THE 15 Themes of Geog3600  -- when you (a) understand these themes; (b) appreciate their spatial distributions across Utah, (c) and see causal relationships and webs of connections among them, you're a Geographer of Utah.


          The FIVE Great Themes of Geography:


1- Location


2- Place


3- Interaction


4- Movement also called migration


5- Regions



FIVE ISSUES of SOCIAL and BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE to explore all semester long: :

6- Anthropology … specifically Utah’s early peoples

7- Economics … distributions of wealth  

8- Demographics … distributions of Utah’s peoples

9- Political Science … issues of power, partisan politics and government

10- Sociology … social institutions including religions.


The FIVE subsystems of Earth systems = PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY.  

11- Geosphere = the solid Earth. The geosphere largely determines topography; resources; geologic hazards; and scenery.

12- Hydrosphere = water Earth. The hydrosphere largely determines water supplies; water-related hazards including pollution; and waste disposal / isolation.

13- Atmosphere = gaseous Earth. The atmosphere largely determines weather; climate; quality of life such as recreation; natural hazards of air pollution; weather-related hazards including severe snows, climate change, heat waves; and critical component of water balance.

14- Biosphere = living Earth. The biosphere contributes to the balance among Earth’s modulating systems; globally it determines food sources; it is our niche (where we live, and what we eat).

15- Anthrosphere = the portion of Earth dominated by human activities, sometimes called the human footprint and includes direct impacts and indirect impacts.


C. What is meant by "THINK LIKE A GEOGRAPHER?"


Answer exam questions, create short reports (such as Atlas chapters or field reviews) in four steps:

FIRST SECTION – EVIDENCE -- gather evidence… be evidence driven

SECOND SECTION– OBSERVATIONS – observe spatial patterns, see the obvious, don’t confuse observation and interpretation.

THIRD SECTION– DISCUSSION - Think about what you're supposed to know, Analyze in the context of Big Concepts. Do more than “wing it”… think critically (examples, explore definitions, explain nuances, dig deeper into concepts

FOURTH SECTION– IMPORTANCE – Explain why the issue / theme / topic matters by pointing out causal relationships with others of the 15 Themes of Geog3600. If something impacts those themes… it’s important.



D. LINKS to useful maps... Utah's regions based on the five subsystems of Earth Systems.

GEOSPHERE - physiographic provinces LINK and LINK

HYDROSPHERE - drainage basins LINK contrast hydro - geo LINK

ATMOSPHERE - climate zones LINK

BIOSPHERE - bioregions LINK LINK as ecoregions

ANTHROSPHERE - counties LINK and counties with names simplified on UGS base LINK; and Utah's State Highway Map LINK