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North America. Regional Geography Two broad categories in geography: –Physical and human Overarching subfields –Integrate physical and human geography.

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Presentation on theme: "North America. Regional Geography Two broad categories in geography: –Physical and human Overarching subfields –Integrate physical and human geography."— Presentation transcript:

1 North America

2 Regional Geography Two broad categories in geography: –Physical and human Overarching subfields –Integrate physical and human geography skills –Focus on specific parts of the World Voilá: Regional Geography: –Selected parts of Earth defined and identified by similar spatiality

3 North America A Continent Four nation-states: –Canada, Greenland, Mexico, United States Nation-states divided further: –E.g., Pacific Northwest, Great Plains, etc. Regions may have distinct characteristics –E.g., Sun Belt, Bay Area, etc. –Physical features: e.g., watersheds, ecoregions, etc.

4 Region Types of Regions –Formal Institutional or political identity and distinct boundaries (e.g., “New England”) –Functional Interconnections or usefulness (Salt Lake City Metro Area) –Vernacular Defined by insiders who clearly know “their” regional boundaries (e.g., “Dixie”)

5 Regional Classification Homogeneous –Similar E.g., religion, language, climate, etc. Heterogeneous –Different E.g., Quebec Nodal –Core more important E.g., San Francisco

6 Regions of North America Bypassed Atlantic Periphery Megalopolis Quebec North America’s Heartland Inland South Coastal South Great Plains Rocky Mountains Intermontane West US-Mexico Borderlands California Pacific Northwest Far North Hawai’i

7 Basic Themes Urbanization Industrialization High Mobility Resource Abundance & Dependence High Income and Consumption Political Complexity Variety of Cultural Origins Environmental Impacts

8 Urbanization Why Do Cities Exist? –General Functions –Specialized Roles United States –75% Urbanized –1/4 in Megalopolis Canada –79% Urbanized –1/3 of Total Population along ecumene


10 Industrialization General Pattern Sectors of The Economy –Primary –Secondary –Tertiary –Quaternary Basic vs. Non-basic Economic Activities

11 High Mobility 20% of The US Population Moves Yearly Migration –Classifications Internal vs. External Voluntary vs. Forced –Explanations Pull Factors vs. Push Factors

12 Resources More than ½ world’s food exports originate in the US or Canada Tremendous Agricultural Productivity –Suitable Climate –Arable Land –Technology –Investment Capital Diversity of fossil fuels, ores, metallic minerals, timber

13 General Agricultural Scheme

14 High Income and Consumption Annual per capita incomes rank among the highest in the world Disposable incomes generate demands, ensure massive consumption, and propel the economies Retail establishments are ubiquitous US & Canada consume 28% of the world’s oil Implications of high consumption in a finite environment? Presence of poverty

15 Political Complexity

16 Variety of Cultural Origins United states –Native Americans –European –African –East Asian –Latin American Canada –European: split along British & French traditions –Native American

17 Environmental Impacts Most themes have negative environmental impact: –Urbanization –Industrialization –High mobility –Resource abundance & dependence –High income and consumption Middle ground?

18 Regional Organization Garreau’s Nine Nations

19 Our Scheme

20 Other Schema

21 Readings and Discussion Question Readings: –Robert Bailey, American Ecoregions, 2005 –John Garreau, quick bio –Agnew, John A. 1999. “Regions of the Mind Does Not Equal Regions of the Mind,” Progress in Human Geography 23: 91–96. A captivating insight of regions, perception, and mental maps. The regional organization of this course is pretty standard. Are there other ways the Region could be organized? If so, how and why?

22 Related Books Allen, James, Doreen Massey, and Allan Cochrane. 1998. Rethinking the Region. London: Routledge. –British geographers really think outside the box. This is no exception! Ayers, Edward L. and Peter S. Onuf. 1996. Introduction to All Over the Map: Rethinking American Regions, Edward L. Ayers, Patricia Nelson Limerick, Stephen Nissbaum, and Peter S. Onuf, eds. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1–10 –While the whole book is fun, this is a historical look at US regions, and why thinking regionally helps us better understand people and places. Haggett, Peter. 1995. The Geographer’s Art. London: Blackwell. –A superb study on geography’s ontology. Martin, Geoffrey J. and Preston E. James. 1993. All Possible Worlds: A History of Geographical Ideas. New York: John Wiley and Sons. –Often required reading in graduate geography programs because of its large scope. A solid overview of the history of geographic thought.

23 WebSources CIA World Factbook NAFTA Information U.S. Employees by Economic Sector The American Geographical Society Association of American Geographers The National Council for Geographic Education The National Geographic Society The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (Société géographique royale du Canada)

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