The natural world astonishes and inspires us. It’s the subject
of poetry, the cause of war, and is likely captured and framed on at least one
wall in your home.
Because nature is so important to all of us, today’s
Geography Awareness Week theme is “Physical Geography and the Environment,” and
we’re taking time to highlight the awesome forces of nature. Physical geography is the study of how the
Earth’s natural features (climate, soils, biodiversity, etc.) change over space
and time. However, these natural
processes aren’t purely natural, as humans are often the key instigators of
change. Thus, the second part of
physical geography looks at how humans redefine space and time through
technology, and the environmental impacts (and often degradation) that result.
To help you learn more about this fascinating and pertinent
topic of study, My Wonderful World’s offering some great online resources.
Begin by searching National
Geographic’s Earth Science page where you’ll find links to the latest earth
science topics (and some stellar photos, too).
See satellite images of environmental change on land through USGS’s Earthshots (but make sure to monitor changes
on the remaining 70% of the Earth’s surface with NOAA’s Integrated Ocean Observing System)! Next, make physical geography and oceanography
fun by piloting your own ROV underwater with the JASON
Planet Game, and
Once you’ve studied the Earth and threats to the
environment, check out the ways in which consumers are making a difference.
With Nat Geo’s Greendex,
you can track consumer progress towards environmentally sustainable consumption
in 14 countries. Tired of reading about
issues and want to do something about it?
Learn how to get involved with groups like Earthwatch, an organization
that is initiating scientific field research and education to promote
sustainable development. To top off your
day, simply find a nature center near you
and get outside!!
Keep coming back as we highlight notes from Enric Sala, a National
Geographic Emerging Explorer, and Danielle Williams, a member of National
Geographic’s Green Initiatives Subcommittee and fellow with HSBC and Earthwatch
Institute’s Climate Change program.