Fields of Study in Cultural/Human Environment
The courses (GEOG-1102(3)) Introductory Human Geography I and (GEOG-1103(3) Introductory Human Geography II are to some extent an overview of the fields of study within cultural geography. The fields of study include:
- Agriculture and Rural Settlement
- Economic Geography
- Recreation and Environmental Perception
- Regional Geography
- World Development
- Urban Planning
Agriculture and Rural Settlement:
A majority of the world's population is directly involved in agriculture and farmland occupies most of the inhabited area of the earth. The course, GEOG-2401(3) Agricultural Geography, is central to this topic. Particular emphasis is given in the course to the different problems facing temperate and tropical agriculturalists.
The course, GEOG-2503(3) Manitoba's Physical and Human Environment, deals in part with agriculture and rural development within Manitoba. This course should be of value and interest to a wide range of students, but it will be particularly valuable for students who intend to take Education degrees and those who hope to work eventually in government departments concerned with environmental issues.
Economic geography is a field of study concerning individuals, groups and societies that produce goods and services in order to satisfy human needs and wants over space and time. Such a field of study examines energy, resources, population characteristics and the economic systems that affect these factors. Many cultural geography courses deal with such topics, but courses that should be particularly noted are, GEOG-2401(3) Agricultural Geography, GEOG-2409(3) Energy, Resources and Development, GEOG-2410(3) Marketing Geography, GEOG-2411(3) Geography of Globalization, GEOG-2412(3) Tourism in the Global Village: A Geographical Perspective, GEOG-3411(3) Heritage Conservation and Tourism, GEOG-3401(3) Population Geography.
The objective of regional geography is to account for the physical and cultural landscapes of certain unified areas (often countries or groups of countries). Courses such as GEOG-2503(3) Manitoba's Physical and Human Environments, GEOG-3509(3) Canada's Physical and Human Environments, GEOG-3508(3) Geographical Issues in the Developing World are of particular value to prospective teachers.
The most striking cultural difference existing in today's world is the grossly uneven distribution of wealth and technology. On the one hand are the rich "developed" countries of North America, Europe, Russia, Japan and Australia; on the other the desperate poverty of the "third world" lands of Latin America, Africa and Asia. Three-quarters of the global population lives in these latter realms.
Clearly a reduction in the discrepancy is desirable, which must primarily be achieved by upgrading third world conditions. However, there exists no clear consensus on how such an aim could be best achieved. Nor is there agreement about the roles played by physical environment, spatial distributions and cultural attitudes in encouraging or discouraging development.
Students interested in a geography program with an urban and regional planning emphasis may pursue such a program at both the undergraduate and Honours levels. Students should understand that the following group of courses is not mandatory or rigid. It merely provides a guide to courses that are most relevant to the urban and planning geography program.
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