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Portal:Geography

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True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.
True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.
Physical map of Earth with political borders as of 2016

Geography (from Greek: γεωγραφία, geographia, literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Geography is often defined in terms of two branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

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Big Butte Creek
Big Butte Creek is a 12-mile (19 km) long tributary of the Rogue River located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It drains approximately 245 square miles (630 km2) of Jackson County. The north fork of the creek begins on Rustler Peak and the south fork's headwaters are near Mount McLoughlin. They meet near Butte Falls, and Big Butte Creek flows generally northwest until it empties into the Rogue River about 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of Lost Creek Dam (William L. Jess Dam). Big Butte Creek's watershed was originally settled over 8,000 years ago by the Klamath, Upper Umpqua, and Takelma tribes of Native Americans. In the Rogue River Wars of the 1850s, most of the Native Americans were either killed or forced into Indian reservations. The first non-indigenous settlers arrived in the 1860s, and the area was quickly developed. The creek was named after Snowy Butte, an early name for Mount McLoughlin. In the late 19th century, the watershed was primarily used for agriculture and logging. The small city of Butte Falls was incorporated in 1911.

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Alfred Russel Wallace was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist, and biologist. He is best known for independently proposing a theory of natural selection which prompted Charles Darwin to publish on his own theory. Wallace did extensive fieldwork, first in the Amazon River basin and then in the Malay Archipelago, where he identified the Wallace Line that divides Indonesia into two distinct parts, one with animals more closely related to those of Australia and the other with animals more closely related to those found in Asia. He was considered the 19th century's leading expert on the geographical distribution of animal species and is sometimes called the "father of bio-geography". Wallace was one of the leading evolutionary thinkers of the 19th century who made a number of other contributions to the development of evolutionary theory besides being co-discoverer of natural selection. These included the concept of warning coloration in animals, and the Wallace effect, a hypothesis on how natural selection could contribute to speciation by encouraging the development of barriers against hybridization. An account of his observations, The Malay Archipelago, is regarded as probably the best of all journals of scientific exploration published during the 19th century.

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Lake District
Credit: David Iliff

A panoramic view of Skiddaw mountain, the town of Keswick, and Derwentwater, as viewed from Walla Crag on a clear autumn afternoon in the Lake District. Located in North West England, the district is a popular tourist destination and is famous for its lakes and mountains, especially those within its national park.

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James A. Garfield

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