Geography and space: Human geography is inherently concerned with space. The followings are three important implications for the way we understand the world and conceptualize space.
- Absolute space - units of territory which can be numerically measured and are ontologically given (i.e. they exist independently of the way they are perceived - they are real). Space is ready to be filled by the features that make up geographies. Referred as cartographic space - measured in units
- Relative space - space is 'perceived' by humans and this perception may vary according to their culture, available technology and resources. It is the 'sense of space' rather than actual measurement. It constructs and is constructed by human activity and experience.
- Metaphorical space - Space that does not refer to any territorial unit at all. The 'space of views' - thinkers in one paradigm might be spread out but don't share an absolute space. For example, internet, virtual reality, and the advent of cyberspace. It doesn't exist 'on the ground' but it can have real effects.
(Murray W. E. (2005). Geographies of globalization. New York: Routledge)
Right at this very moment, my friends back in Korea would be writing their College Scholastic Ability Test.
This all-day test will evaluate their effort of the past years and determine their future path.
It's weird to think that I could've been one of those people writing this test of a lifetime.
I'm already too distant to the idea.
I had a 30-minute meeting with my favourite Environmental Science T.A. Nathan last Monday, and he was kind enough to answer all the questions I had about experience and prospect of being a physical geography major. I don't know if it's because he's done his Bachelor's at the OttawaU where I visited often or lived in Sandy Hill area where I used to skate, I feel very interested in talking to him.
His story was very interesting. He originally started off his undergraduate doing major in bioscience field, but later changed to geography in his second year. Along with his geography major, he has choose minor in Geomatics and has worked for the City of Ottawa as an environmental engineer for the co-op term. During his term, he has worked on a GIS project regarding environmental effects of road salt usage. Upon his graduation, he has done mapping expedition in various regions, including Yukon, Alaska, British Columbia, and most recently in Indoneisa. Oh yeah, and at some point of his career, he also worked for the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. Now, he is a graduate student and a teaching assistant at the University of Toronto, and I happen to be in his tutorial session.
It seems like he and I had similar interest of broad aspect of geography. He has answered my questions regarding the difference of geoscience and physical geography, and the level of science that is usually requirement to comprehend the subjects. Through out the whole time, I was just happy to be listening from someone who has close academic interest, but only a handful years ahead of me. I also thought myself, If I'm really willing to be in geography/geoscience field, he could be both my role model and best source of advice.
At the moment he's in Minnesota with Professor Mitchell, whose my EESA01H3 lecturer, for the purpose of collecting instruments that were used to gathering data of mercury bioaccumulation level in the wetlands of southern states.
Beside Nathan, I found all of my teaching assistants very helpful in terms of academics and beyond. They are more approachable than professors and have better understanding on what the undergraduate students go through. They are mostly graduate students but they and I have same common ground of being a student. How exciting is that!
I woke up 7 in the morning, just to watch this interesting live webcast. For a note, it means a lot for a college student to wake up early on the day that has no morning schedule.
The webcast briefly overviewed the newly updated human development index for the year 2011 and possible challenges for sustainable growth of human well being, equally for every nations. According to the presentation, two central challenges for the upcoming years are on equity amongst the nations and environmental sustainability. In the mean time, on going world issue includes, the people in disadvantageous part of the world taking both vulnerability and deprivation, as known as double burden, and climate change effecting the poorest nations that are incapable of self-recovery.