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Settlement geography

[[Image:|200px|Settlement geography]]

Geography is the science that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), the area studies (places and regions), the study of the human-land relationship, and research in the Earth sciences. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical science". Geography is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography.

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Antarctica is the continent at the extreme southern latitudes of the Earth, containing the South Pole. It is surrounded by the Southern Ocean and divided in two by the Transantarctic Mountains. On average, it is the coldest, driest, windiest, and highest of all the continents. Although it is 98% covered in ice, because there is little precipitation, the entire continent is technically a desert and is thus the largest desert in the world. Cold-adapted plants and animals, including penguins, fur seals, mosses, lichens, and many types of algae live on the continent. Although myths and speculation about a Terra Australis ("Southern Land") go back to antiquity, the first sighting of the continent is commonly accepted to have occurred in 1821 by the Russian expedition of Mikhail Lazarev and Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen. Antarctica is not under the political sovereignty of any nation, although seven countries ( Argentina, Australia, Chile, France, New Zealand, Norway and the United Kingdom) maintain territorial claims, which are not recognized by other countries. Human activity on the continent is regulated by the Antarctic Treaty, which was signed in 1959 by 12 countries and prohibits any military activity, supports scientific research, and protects the continent's ecozone.

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Friedrich Ratzel

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Mary Anning
Mary Anning was a British fossil collector, dealer and palaeontologist who became known around the world for important finds she made in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis where she lived. Her work contributed to fundamental changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the earth. Her discoveries included the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified, found when she was just twelve years old; the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and important fish fossils. Her observations were critical to the discovery that coprolites were fossilised faeces. Geologist Henry De la Beche's Duria Antiquior, the first widely circulated pictorial representation of a scene from prehistoric life derived from fossil reconstructions, was based largely on fossils Anning had found. Her gender and social class prevented her from fully participating in the scientific community of 19th-century Britain, prevented her from joining the Geological Society of London, and prevented her from getting full credit for her work during her lifetime. After her death her unusual life story attracted increasing interest. In 2010 the Royal Society included Anning in a list of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science.

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Laguna Beach, California
Credit: Photo: D Ramey Logan

An aerial view of Laguna Beach, a seaside resort city and artist community located in southern Orange County, California, US. The region was originally known to the Spanish as "La Cañada de Las Lagunas" which means "The Canyon of the Small Lakes", in reference to two lakes found near the head of Laguna Canyon.

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Stephen F. Chadwick
Stephen F. Chadwick, Governor's Biennial Message (1878)

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