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Geography 106 Practice Questions

TEST ONE

INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHY

1. What is geography (subfields, this class)?

2. Compare and contrast lines of latitude and lines of longitude (names, start, max, etc.)?

3.  Make sure you can find locations when given coordinates and coordinates when given locations – practice using the map provided on page 2 of this handout.

4. Explain the basis and functionality of “political time” (where is GMT, what is the significance if the International Dateline, etc)

THEME 1 –PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY: GEOLOGY

1. Describe the major layers of the earth.

2. What is the theory of plate tectonics? Why is it important to understand?

3. Explain what happens along divergent (both oceanic and continental) plate boundaries.

Which direction are the plates moving relative to each other? What is driving them? What results (landforms) can be expected along this type of boundary?

4. Explain what happens along convergent (oceanic-continental and continental-continental and oceanic-oceanic) plate boundaries.

Which direction are the plates moving relative to each other? What is driving them? What results (landforms) can be expected along this type of boundary?

5. Explain what happens along transform plate boundaries

Which direction are the plates moving relative to each other? What is driving them? What results (landforms) can be expected along this type of boundary?

6. Explain the hot spot theory.

7. Where are some of the example locations on earth that have been created/influenced by these types of plate boundaries (from class)?

8. Compare and contrast the different plate boundaries!

9. Explain some of the exogenous forces that are responsible for shaping the earth (i.e. rivers, glaciers, ice sheets, etc.)

THEME 1 – PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY: CLIMATE

1. What are the 5 major climate controls we discussed in class?

2. What is insolation? What are the variables that influence insolation? What is the cause for the seasons on earth? Know the Earth-Sun model: what are the four major dates and where does the sun shine directly on on these dates? How does insolation influence climate?

3. What is the principle of continentality? How does it influence climate?

4. How does elevation and different topographic features (i.e. Mountains) influence climate?

5. How do ocean currents influence climates?

6. How does global atmospheric pressure influence climate? Where on earth do we find belts of high/low pressure and what climatic conditions are associated with these pressure belts? What are the monsoons?

7. Based on the variables above explain where (in terms of latitude and longitude positioning) the different climates discussed in class are found and what types of vegetation are associated with each (see: our idealized continent). How would topography change this picture?

You should really understand the five variables above and be able to APPLY them to explain why we find different climates where we do!

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES

1. What is deforestation and desertification?

2. What are the major “water” problems facing the world?

3. Explain why atmospheric problems are increasing. What is the number one contributor? What is the greenhouse effect/climate change?

THEME 2: POPULATION

1. Describe the change in population over the past 1000 years? How has population changed in the last century? How many people are there in the world? Where is growth concentrated today? Who are the big 3? Where do people live and not live?

2. Define the major population terms and more importantly what these terms mean and what they tell us about the world, a country or a region? (Arithmetic density, population density, Physiological density, Crude Birth Rate (CBR), Total Fertility Rate (TFR), Crude Death Rate (CDR), Infant Mortality Rate (IMR), Life Expectancy (LE), Rate of Natural Increase (RNI), Dependency Ratio)

3. Explain in detail the demographic transition theory and how it applies to societies (which stages do we find different regions in historically and currently, why do the changes occur, etc.)

4. Migration: explain the different types, the different regions for migration (the # one reason), and historical and current migration trends.

THEME 3: CULTURE

1. What is culture? What are some examples of culture?

2. What is language? How many languages are there/Is the number increasing or decreasing? What are the top three spoken languages and Why?

3. What is the world lingua franca and Why?

4. How do languages evolve? Explain these concepts using the evolution of the English language as an example?

5. How are languages classified and grouped?

6. Know a little about the major language families of the world (relationships, etc.)?

7. What is Religion? Explain the differences between Universalizing and Ethnic Religions; Provide examples of each.

8. What is a tribal religion? What is animism? What does it mean to be secular?

 You should be able to explain the main concepts of the major religions we covered in class:

9. Christianity- Founder, location, story, scripture, adherents, major tenets, major branches (and why/how these branches formed).

10. Islam- Founder, location, story, scripture, adherents, major tenets, major branches (and why/how these branches formed).

11. Buddhism- Founder, location, story, scripture, adherents, major tenets.

12. Hinduism- Founder, location, story, scripture, adherents, major tenets.

13. Confucianism- Founder, location, story, adherents, major tenets.

14. Taoism- Founder, location, story, adherents, major tenets.

15. Shintoism- Founder, location, story, adherents, major tenets.

16. Judaism- Founder, location, story, adherents, major tenets, relationship to Islam and Christianity.

THEME 4: GEOPOLITICS

1. What is a state, nation, stateless nation? How many “states” exist today?

2. What is a boundary and on what basis are they created?

3. Define the acronyms and briefly describe the following organizations: NATO, EU and UN.

4. Get familiar with the “global pattern of governance” (i.e. which political system dominates the western hemisphere, what’s a theocracy? Where are the remaining Monarchies, which system is China, etc.)

THEME 5: DEVELOPMENT

1. What is a MDC and LDC? How are these terms related to 1st, 2nd, and 3rd world?

2. Define the major development terms and more importantly what these terms mean and what they tell us about the world, a country or a region? (GDP, GNI, GNI per capita, PPP, economic growth rate, life expectancy, child mortality, adult illiteracy rate)

3. Where are MDCs and LDCs distributed and WHY?

CULTURAL ORIGINS

1. What are the six determinants of the switch to agriculture? (explain the significance of each)

2. What advantages do sedentary agricultural societies have over hunter-gatherer societies?

3. Explain the historical significance of the Fertile Crescent.

4. What important advantages come along with the domestication of animals?

5. Briefly explain the progression of societies from small bands to large states (mention changes in size, settlement type, leadership, hierarchy, etc.)

6. Why does the continent of Australia have a culture similar to that of Europe while the island of New Guinea, nearby and settled by the same ancestors, has a culture unique to the island; what happened when Europeans encountered the area AND WHY?

7. Why does the culture of the Americas share many similarities with that of Europe? What happened when Europeans encountered the people of the Americas and WHY was one group more successful than the other?

8. What was so different about Africa? Why was European culture not able to take root in that continent? 

NORTH AMERICA REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. What are the 5 basic introductory points to know about North America?

2. Explain the Physical Geography of North America:

ü  Explain the general physical geography (the blanks we filled in)

ü  Describe the specific physical features we noted in class, their formation (where applicable) and their importance

ü  Be able to locate these important features on a map

ü  Describe the general climate patterns found throughout the region (explain the basic reasons for the different climates using the 5 variables from class)

ü  How does the physical geography explain the other themes (e.g. population distribution, agricultural/economic activity, etc.)

3.  What are the general population characteristics of the region (total numbers, TFR, LE, average age, most people live where?)

4. Explain the history of settling the land of North America; starting with the first people and continuing through European colonization and focusing on the three main” waves” of immigration (Specifically  explain who came when, why, and where did they go). How has this immigration trend shaped North America’s cultural landscape (language, religion, etc.)?

5. How have immigration laws changed since colonization and what is the current general law?

6. How has the population center in America shifted since 1800 and why has it moved this way?

7. What other internal migration trends have shaped the cultural landscape (“black exodus,” changes in transportation, urbanization)?

 8. Explain the concentric city model which has been used to describe the typical American urban center.

 9. Locate specific cultural areas within North America and explain why those ethnic groups are present.

10. Using a map, explain the territorial political evolution of  North America (from the treaty of Paris through the Spanish American War)

11. What does the land division of the US look like and why is it so ordered (or not)?

12. What global issues have influenced the region in the past and presently?

13. Where does North America stand in terms of global economic and social indicators? What has allowed the region to attain this position? What is the “catch”?

14. How has North America’s economy changed over the past 200 years? What does it look like today (who works where, where is the money, how is the land used, what are the trends, etc.)?

15. Using a map explain what the manufacturing, raw material and agricultural landscape of North America look like. Why do you find these patterns?

16. What pressing social issues face the region?

17. What major environmental issues does the region face? What are the causes of these?

THE CARIBBEAN REVIEW QUESTIONS

1. What are the 5 basic introductory points to know about the Caribbean?

2. Explain the Physical Geography of the Caribbean:

ü  Explain the general physical geography (the blanks we filled in)

ü  Locate and compare the physical geography of the Greater Antilles with that of the Lesser Antilles

ü  How does the physical geography explain the other themes (e.g. population distribution, agricultural/economic activity, etc.)

3. Explain the colonization and settlement of the Caribbean (who were the colonizers, what happened to the local population, who replaced the local population)

4. Explain the culture (language, religion, etc.) of the Caribbean today as a result of the history of colonization.

5. What are the general population characteristics (TFR, NRI, migration, etc.)

6. What does the colonial history of the region look like?

ü  Who were the colonizers?

ü  When was independence achieved (or not)?

ü  What was the cause of and what is the significance of the Spanish American War?

7. What was the original economic activity in the region? How is has this changed over time?

8. Where does this region rank in terms of economic and social development (which direction is it headed)?

9. What major environmental issues does the region face? 

Last Updated: 03/01/2015
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