Human and Physical Geography is the study of the
people, and the resources they use. Geography determines
the way in which humans live, the
adaptations they have
developed to survive, and the alterations to the environment
they have made to better their existence. The impact of
human interaction with the environment has had mixed results.
While human life has been improved and made more comfortable,
the environment has been damaged in a variety of ways.
study of Human and Physical Geography has five themes, Location,
Place, Interaction between People and their Environment,
Movement, and Region.
Themes of Human and Physical Geography
- Describes where a place is -- its
position on the Earth's surface. Two ways to
describe location: Relative Location and Absolute
- Relative Location: The description of a
place in relation to another.
- Absolute Location: The exact location of
a place using lines of
- Describes an area in terms of it's physical and human
characteristics such as climate, landforms, waterways,
language, religion, social activities, etc...
- Describes how people change their environment or adapt
- Describes an area that has its own unifying
characteristics. This is done politically -- the
Middle East is a political region, physically -- the
rainforests of Brazil, and culturally -- Muslim areas are
influenced by the religion of Islam.
Climate is a very important part in the study of human and
physical geography. Climate is the usual weather patterns
that occur in an area over a long period of time. There
are four major climate zones, tropical, dry, mid-latitude, and
- Located near the equator.
- Little temperature change from year to year.
- Tropical Rainforests: warm and wet
most of the year. (Amazon Rainforest)
- Tropical Savanna: warm and dry part of
the year, warm and wet the other part. (African Savanna)
- Little or no rainfall, less than 10 inches per year.
- Temperature very hot during the day, very cold at
- Extremely cold winters.
- The Sahara Desert is a dry climate.
- Variety of climates due to mixing warm and
cold air masses.
- Variety of weather patterns
- Most people live in a mid latitude climate zone.
- Europe and North America are mid latitude climate
- Polar regions, very cold.
- Often have high mountains that remain cold at the
peak year round.
This site is designed to aid students in
reviewing the concept of Human and Physical Geography in preparation
for the New York State Regents Exam in Global History
and Geography. In addition, students may test their
knowledge of the material presented here by accessing
multiple-choice questions from past Regents Exams.