Preface and Geography I. D. Welcome toApplied Physical Geography!This is an exciting time to be taking a lab class in which many of the principles of physical geography are applied in specific exercises. This gives you an opportunity to work with practices and tools of geographic analysis. This laboratory manual helps you use essential geographic principles, methods, and tools to better relate your physical geography text to understanding Earth's systems. Applied Physical Geography: Geosystems in the Laboratory,fifth edition, can be supported by some of the currently available physical geography texts. A specific source for figures and materials used in this manual is Geosystems--An Introduction to Physical Geography,fifth edition, by Robert W Christopherson, Prentice Hall, 2003 (ISBN: 0-13-066824-9). Another by the same author is Elemental Geosystems,third edition, 2001 (ISBN: 0-13-055347-dash; although this lab manual does not follow the specific chapter sequence of either text. The Science of Geography Geography(from geo,"earth," and graphein,"to write") is the science that studies the interdependence among geographic areas, natural systems, society, and cultural activities over space.As a discipline that synthesizes knowledge from many fields, geography integrates spatial elements to form a coherent picture of Earth. The term spatialrefers to the nature and character of physical space: to measurements, relations, locations, and the distribution of things. Geography is governed by a method--a spatial approach--rather than by a specific body of knowledge. Physical geography,therefore, centers on the spatial analysis of all the physical elements and processes that comprise the environment: energy, air, water, weather, climate, landforms, soils, animals, plants, and Earth itself. Physical geography, as a spatial human-Earth science, is in a unique position among sciences to synthesize and integrate the great physical and cultural diversity facing us. Aspects of physical geography requiring spatial analysis are in the news daily for these are dramatic times relative to human-Earth relations and spatial change. Only through relevant education can an informed citizenry learn about the life-sustaining environment that surrounds and infuses our lives. Completing this laboratory manual is one way to begin this journey. As a science, geography uses the scientific method. A focus study in Chapter 1 of Geosystems--An Introduction to Physical Geographybriefly discusses this approach to problem solving. As you work through this laboratory manual, keep in mind this method of analyzing a problem, gathering data, organizing thought, and achieving the discovery of important principles. Each Lab Exercise is organized in the following sequence to help you. Each exercise and its steps will take varying lengths of time depending on the emphasis taken in lab. Organization of each lab exercise chapter: Introduction A brief overview of the subject and key terms and concepts involved in the exercise. Key Terms and Concepts Principal terms and concepts used in the exercise that are defined in the glossary and that you may want to check in a physical geography textbook. Objectives The skills and knowledge you should have on completion of the exercise. Materials/Sources Needed Items that you will need to complete the exercise. Lab Exercise and Activities *SECTION 1headings such as this denote parts of the exercise and include specific numbered questions and activities to complete. Your laboratory manual is designed for maximum utility--an asset to your learning activitiesChristopherson, Robert W. is the author of 'Applied Physical Geography: Geosystems in the Laboratory', published 2002 under ISBN 9780130348234 and ISBN 0130348236.