geography study guide

Study Guide When Good Rivers Turn Bad - Extreme Flooding

Extracts from the Queensland Senior Syllabus in Geography 1999

 (Click on links for direct access to course materials)

Theme 1: Managing the natural environment


This theme introduces students to physical studies in geography. The theme explores the relationships of people with the natural environment. The theme draws on studies in climatology, geomorphology, hydrology and biogeography.
The actions of people have an impact on the physical environment. These actions may or may not stem from management decisions. The core units illustrate the importance of understanding the operations of the natural environment, to mitigate hazards and manage catchments. The elective unit(s) may explore other examples of issues related to the management of natural environments.
The understanding of natural environment management encourages students to consider the links that exist between all components of the natural environment and the responsibilities this places on all people.


Core unit 1: Responding to natural hazards


Rationale
This unit introduces students to the geographical study of natural hazards. Natural hazards are relatively rare in most communities. However, their potential to cause immense damage and loss of life is substantial. The vulnerability of the Australian and Asia-Pacific environments to natural hazards means that it is important for geographers to understand their patterns of occurrence and causes, and help plan the strategies for prevention, mitigation, recovery and reconstruction.
The geographical study of natural hazards is a multidisciplinary one. It draws on ideas from geomorphology, climatology, psychology, economics, sociology and engineering. Geography’s special contribution to the study of natural hazards lies in its focus on synthesising ideas from the natural and social sciences to produce a comprehensive explanation of the causes and effects of natural hazards and detailed plans to minimise loss of life and damage to property.
This unit provides a focus for the study of a range of concepts and processes in physical geography and of the social processes that influence human responses to the physical environment.
Scales of study
The study of this unit should provide students with a broad understanding of the natural and social processes involved in the geographical study of natural hazards at a general level.


Key ideas
The investigation of these key questions should lead to an understanding and consideration of the following key geographical ideas, using the case studies selected by the school:

Core Unit 2: Managing catchments

Rationale


This unit introduces students to the geographical study of catchments. Catchment studies demonstrate the interrelatedness of people and the environment. A catchment is a dynamic system which includes land, water, vegetation, crops, wildlife, people, animals, farms, industries and cities. No matter where a person lives, that person lives in a catchment.
The geographical study of catchments is a multidisciplinary one, drawing on ideas from geomorphology, climatology, hydrology, economics and sociology. Geography’s special contribution to the study of catchments lies in its focus on synthesising ideas from the physical and social sciences to produce a comprehensive explanation of the health of a catchment. These explanations can help in the development of catchment management plans and biodiversity conservation.
This unit provides a focus for the study of a range of concepts and processes in physical and human geography.
Scales of study
The study of this unit should provide students with an awareness of catchment environments generally, including case studies illustrating the interrelationships within catchments and management strategies to ensure their sustainable and balanced use.
The unit should be illustrated by case studies representing the following two scales:

Sample learning experiences


Possible electives for theme 1


The choice of elective units is entirely at the discretion of the school, subject to resource availability, student interest, and other local conditions. The elective unit for a semester should relate to the theme for the semester. Provisions regarding the number and role of elective units is described in section 5. The following suggestions are intended to indicate case studies that might be appropriate for student geographical investigation.
There is some overlap with possible elective topics from other themes, to illustrate how a topic may be adapted to reflect different themes. The list is neither finite nor compulsory:

free hit counter