GEOG 1191: Introduction to Human Geography 1

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.


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 outline

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

Norton, W., & Mercier, M. Human geography (9th ed.) . Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press, 2016.
Type: ISBN: 978-0-19-901955-7

Additional requirements

Computer with Internet is required for this course.


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.

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%
Essay 20%
Final Project* 30%
TOTAL 100%


Open Learning Faculty Member

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Primary communication is through the "mail" tool in the Learning Environment or by phone. You will receive the necessary contact information when you start your course.

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