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Bruce Gervais' new text offers a fresh approach to the study of physical geography, combining print and digital media to create a scientifically substantive work that is written for students. Living Physical Geography focuses on human-physical geography interactions, using pedagogical features in the textbook and online to create a modern synthesis of the science of physical geography. Each of the four major parts in Living Physical Geography is identified by energy flows within Earth's physical systems. Additionally, landscape analysis underpins the body of the text. Step-by-step examples are used to illustrate how landforms and systems develop, evolve, and change through time.
Living Physical Geography is accompanied by its own dedicated version of W.H. Freeman's breakthrough online course space, LaunchPad. LaunchPad offers acclaimed media content, curated and organized for easy assignability and presented in an intuitive interface that combines power and simplicity.
- Explores the Human-Physical Interface
Living Physical Geography was written to highlight the role of people in changing and being changed by Earth's physical systems. Students learn how human activity influences Earth's physical systems, ranging from local stream erosion to global climate change. Students also learn how scientists investigate geographical phenomena (such as earthquakes, volcanoes, severe weather, and stream flooding) to mitigate their human cost and reduce human vulnerability to these events.
- Emphasizes the Process of Science, the Scientific Method, and the Importance of Critical Thinking
Living Physical Geography grounds students in the process of science and the scientific method, helping students understand how we know what we know about physical geography. It also addresses students as citizens, helping them develop their own independent and informed ideas about geographic issues based on observation and scientific evidence.
- Balances Coverage of Atmosphere and Biosphere
Living Physical Geography balances coverage of the atmosphere with coverage of terrestrial and marine biospheres, tectonic systems, and geomorphic systems. Living Physical Geography highlights the importance of the oceans to atmospheric chemistry, the climate system, and food resources, as well as gauging the significance of human influences on ocean ecosystems.
Part I Atmospheric Systems: Weather and Climate
Part I explores how solar energy in the atmosphere creates atmospheric phenomena and organized systems. One chapter is devoted to the topic of climate change.
1. Portrait of the Atmosphere
2. Seasons and Solar Energy
3. Water in the Atmosphere
4. Atmospheric Circulation and Wind Systems
5. The Restless Sky: Storm Systems and El Niño
6. The Changing Climate
Part II The Biosphere and the Geography of Life
Part II is contextualized around solar energy’s work in the biosphere. Major ecological units and human modification of the biosphere are emphasized. One chapter is devoted to marine ecosystems.
7. Patterns of Life: Biogeography
8. Climate and Life: Biomes
9. Soil and Water Resources
10. The Living Hydrosphere: Ocean Ecosystems
Part III Tectonic Systems: Building the Lithosphere
Part III explores uplift and building topographic relief via geothermal energy.
11. Earth History, Earth Interior
12. Drifting Continents: Plate Tectonics
13. Building the Crust with Rocks
14. Geohazards: Volcanoes and Earthquakes
Part IV Erosion and Deposition: Sculpting the Earth
Part IV examines the work of solar energy, water, chemical reactions, and gravity in grading the Earths surface.
15. Weathering and Mass Movement
16. Flowing Water: Fluvial Systems
17. The Work of Ice: The Cryosphere and Glacial Landforms
18. Water, Wind, and Time: Desert Landforms
19. The Work of Waves: Coastal Landforms
Bruce Gervais is a professor of geography at California State University, Sacramento. He holds a B.A. in geography from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in geography from the University of California at Los Angeles. Bruce's research focus is paleoclimatology.