Sunday, June 29, 2014

The environment concept: The human-environment link

 Image above: Hunting and living with lions: from the BBC Human planet explorer site.

Related links to Spatialworlds 
Spatialworlds website

Australian Geography Teachers' Association website    

Where am I??  
Adelaide, Australia: S: 34º 55' E: 138º 36'

The human-environment link

A key aspect of the Environment concept of the Australian Curriculum: Geography is the fact that it is not only about the physical geography as an end in itself but about how physical geography (which encompasses the study of the environment) influences humans, and in turn how humans influence the environment. This is what makes geography geography, as opposed to Earth Science which is focussed wholly on the physical processes of the Earth. Such a statement certainly creates some interesting discussion, particularly with passionate physical geographers. An interesting side discussion is whether we can do the environmental geography of Mars, considering Mars does not have any human occupation. We certainly could do some spatial geography of the features of Mars but would it be environmental geography - some argue that it would be Mars Science!! 
To further the importance of the human link in geography is supported by the statement from the Australian Curriculum website which states that the Australian Curriculum: Geography Environment concept: 

... is about the significance of the environment in human life, and the important interrelationships between humans and the environment.

 An important aspect of the human-environment link is the associated phenomenon of interdependency. Although we are now moving into the Interconnection concept of the curriculum, it is important to note that the link is often two-way and in turn creates degrees of interdependencies between humans and the environment. To elucidate these links and interdependencies between humans and the environment in my workshops (and to clarify the Environment concept) I have been using  the fantastic video clips from the BBC Human Planet Explorer site.  These 3-4 minute clips from vastly contrasting world environments, show some amazing WOW (World of Wonder) geogstories about important interrelationships between humans and the environment.

Here are some amazing environment-human geogstories from the Human Planet Explorer site:

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