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GEOG 1191: Introduction to Human Geography 1: People and the Environment

Open Learning course registration will be unavailable due to maintenance on Friday, September 30, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.

This course traces the development of present-day attitudes concerning the complex interrelationship between people and the environment. Students examine both "determinist" and "possibilist" views and focus on topics such as resource exploitation, population growth, and the impact of human activities on the environment.

Learning outcomes

The main purpose of GEOG 1191 is to introduce you to the contemporary geography of human-environment relationships. The course may provide you with some insights into, and questions about, your own relationships with your environment. Once you have finished the course, you should be able to:

  • Identify changing ideas used by geographers in their attempt to understand human-environment relations.
  • Understand and implement basic concepts on maps and mapping.
  • Consider how individuals and societies perceive and behave in their environment and understand the relationships that arise from those perceptions.
  • Appreciate the important role that ecological thinking has had in the development of human geography.
  • Analyze the concept of the ecosystem model, and discuss how the model of the ecosystem is used by geographers.
  • Discuss the changing uses of environmental resources and modifications of the environment that have occurred in different cultures and past time periods.
  • Describe contemporary human impacts on land and soil, atmosphere and climate, water, and living organisms.

Course topics

GEOG 1191 includes the following five units:

  • Unit 1 (Modules 1, 2, and 3): Introduction, Historical Evolution of Geographic Thought, and Maps and Mapping
  • Unit 2 (Modules 4 and 5): The Importance of the Perceived Environment
  • Unit 3 (Modules 6 and 7): The Role of Ecology in Human Geography
  • Unit 4 (Modules 8 and 9): Human-Environment Interactions
  • Unit 5 (Modules 10, 11, and 12): Human-Environment Interactions--Limitations

Required text and materials

Students will receive the following:

  1. Norton, W., & Mercier, M. (2019). Human geography (10th ed.). Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.
    Type: Textbook ISBN: 978-0-19-903293-8.


Please be aware that should your course have a final exam, you are responsible for the fee to the online proctoring service, ProctorU, or to the in-person approved Testing Centre. Please contact with any questions about this.

To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 50% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project and Final Exam.

The following table shows how your final grade will be determined for this course:

Assignment 1: Unit 1, Modules 1-3: Introduction, Historical Evolution of Geographic Thought, and Maps and Mapping 10%
Assignment 2: Unit 2, Modules 4 and 5: Knowing and Perceiving the Environment 10%
Assignment 3: Unit 3, Modules 6 and 7: Ecology 10%
Assignment 4: Unit 4, Modules 8 and 9: Impacts on the Environment 10%
Assignment 5: Unit 5: Modules 10-12: Resource Use Within a Populated World 10%
Assignment 6: Mapping Interactions Between People and the Environment 20%
Final Project (mandatory) 20%
Final Exam (mandatory) 10%
TOTAL 100%


Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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