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Portal:Geography

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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 is concerned 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 is concerned with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

The four historical traditions in geographical research are spatial analyses of natural and the human phenomena, area studies of places and regions, studies of human-land relationships, and the Earth sciences. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical sciences". (Full article...)

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Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It comprises the westernmost peninsulas of the continental landmass of Eurasia, and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the east. Europe is commonly considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed of the Ural Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian Sea, the Greater Caucasus, the Black Sea, and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although much of this border is over land, Europe is generally accorded the status of a full continent because of its great physical size and the weight of its history and traditions. (Full article...)

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The last picture ever taken of Johnston, 13 hours before his death at the eruption site.

David Alexander Johnston (December 18, 1949 – May 18, 1980) was an American United States Geological Survey (USGS) volcanologist who was killed by the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in the U.S. state of Washington. A principal scientist on the USGS monitoring team, Johnston was killed in the eruption while manning an observation post six miles (10 km) away on the morning of May 18, 1980. He was the first to report the eruption, transmitting "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!" before he was swept away by a lateral blast, never to be seen or heard from again. Despite a thorough search, Johnston's body was never found, but state highway workers discovered remnants of his USGS trailer in 1993.

Johnston's career took him across the United States, where he studied the Augustine Volcano in Alaska, the San Juan volcanic field in Colorado, and long-extinct volcanoes in Michigan. Johnston was a meticulous and talented scientist, known for his analyses of volcanic gases and their relationship to eruptions. This, along with his enthusiasm and positive attitude, made him liked and respected by many co-workers. After his death, other scientists lauded his character, both verbally and in dedications and letters. Johnston felt scientists must do what is necessary, including taking risks, to help protect the public from natural disasters. His work, and that of fellow USGS scientists, convinced authorities to close Mount St. Helens to the public before the 1980 eruption. They maintained the closure despite heavy pressure to re-open the area; their work saved thousands of lives. His story became intertwined with the popular image of volcanic eruptions and their threat to society, and a part of volcanology's history. To date, Johnston, along with Harry Glicken, is one of two American volcanologists known to have died in a volcanic eruption. (Full article...)

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