Five Themes of Geography

If you don't already know what the five themes are, that's okay. We've put them here for your reference. A few years ago, the Association of American Geographers (AAG) and the National Geographic Society put their heads together to come up with these themes that help to define and clarify the wide field of Geography, and its many sub-disciplines. To learn even more about this, please take a related course such as GGR105 - Introduction to Geography.


Of course, we geographers have to know where we are at all times. In order to do so, we use different tools to locate things. There are many grid systems that cover the world such as Latitude / Longitude and Universal Transverse Mercator, which give us our absolute location, but we also use other relative objects that range in size from a tree to a mountain.


Every location on earth is made up of a bunch of ingredients that make it unique. If you've ever been to New York City, the Grand Canyon, or the Australian Outback, you know that there's nowhere else in the world that could compare to them.


We live in a dynamic world where everything in the physical and cultural realms are on the move. Bird species migrate thousands of miles each year, weather systems spin and track in certain patterns, and people communicate loads of information around the world at lightning speed. And, yes, people love to travel for recreation.


Opposite of  "Place" above, certain patterns of similarity can be found across great distances which differ from surrounding areas. The Midwestern United States can be characterized as a prolific agricultural region, while the Amazon Basin is a huge, wild tropical rain forest region.

Human Earth Relationships

Humans have made a great impact on the planet for centuries. We posses the tools necessary to examine, exploit, modify and manage the natural environment. This theme seeks to explore methods that will help us manage our natural and man-made resources responsibly.

Some information above obtained from: Christopherson, Robert W. Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography. Third ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey. Prentice Hall: 1997. p. 3.