It takes millions of systems to keep the world running. 

Of course, behind these systems are hard-working professionals who have mastered their craft and are dedicating a huge chunk of their lives to make sure everything’s working. 

One of these hard-working professionals are geographers. These people have made significant contributions to the world and are part of the reasons why, as a civilization, we still move forward. 

If there’s a profession we shouldn’t take for granted, it’s this one. The costs of studying this one might make you scratch your head a bit, but it’s significance definitely outshines the money you need to shell out. 

Curious about how they became important? Read on to know more about their significant contributions, some famous geographers, and fields that badly need geographers

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Significant Contributions of Geography

Even before the word came about, several “geographers” of ancient times have already paved the way for today’s professionals.

Map-making was already a thing of the past, especially when a huge chunk of the earth still remained undiscovered or undefined. It was through these maps that people were able to navigate around without getting lost or putting themselves in danger. 

Fast-forward to present-day earth, geographers still prove that they’re important to different fields everyday. But it’s no longer just for navigating around, it’s also for making sure that we, as humans, can still keep up with how the world and cultures are changing. 

So, without further ado, here are the significant contributions that of geographers and geography continuously make today:

Application of Systems Theory 

There’s a lot going on earth and sometimes, these things are hard to make sense of. One of the most complex interactions are between nature and society, some of these resulting in natural disasters causing huge losses and deaths of many people

It wasn’t long ago that geographers discovered the impact humans have on the natural environment—to the extent that we play a colossal role in climate change and catastrophic natural disasters. 

Through the application of systems theory, they were able to make sense of what largely impacted the environment and how to lessen, if not stop, their consequences.

 

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Recognizing Implications of Economic Change

There’s absolutely no guarantee when it comes to the stability of economies. We could say it’s quite delicate, considering how easy things would go downhill with just one unexpected event—like a pandemic. 

To geographers, changes in the economy isn’t just about the spiking of unemployment rates all over the world. It actually includes the effects of an economic imbalance to different groups of people within a society, whether it’s social classes, genders, or races. 

Along with economic changes are drastic effects that can be felt even in various industries. Through geographers, we get to recognize these implications and how to work our way around them. 

Identifying Changes in the Environment 

The earth that we’re living in today is far different from the earth a few decades ago. In just a short span of time, massive changes have occurred due to urbanization. A simple example would be how patches of forests disappeared and replaced with barren lands. 

As we progress and become more urbanized, the earth’s surfaces and climate also change with time. Geographers contribute, through research and analysis, to the understanding of how these changes are caused by humans. 

If not for these researchers, we wouldn’t have an idea of the consequences of our present-day actions to future generations. 

Famous Geographers in the World

Geography is such a great topic to study that, without a doubt, has produced famous people since it became an official branch of science. Sure, it makes great contributions every day, but pearls stand out in a sea of gold. 

Sadly, these names are just probably famous with fellow geographers and not as much with professionals from other fields. 

So, to give them their well-deserved recognition and praise, listed below are some famous geographers and their renowned contributions:

 

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Eratosthenes of Cyrene

Eratosthenes of Cyrene was the first person to use the word “geography” and is known as the father of geography. He was a Greek mathematician, poet, and astronomer who have made contributions still being used today. 

When Eratosthenes was the head librarian and scholar at the Library of Alexandria, he was keen on introducing concepts about the frigid and temperate climate zones. He created the first map of the world, although it’s no longer being used today. 

However, the map he created is considered to be one of the first examples of political geography in the world. It was a map that divided the earth into different countries and territories.

Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt studied the flora, fauna, and topography of South America after obtaining special permission and a passport from King Charles II. By the year 1800, he had already created a map for over 1700 miles of the Orinoco River. 

As if that wasn’t already enough, he also went on a trip to the Andres and climbed what was then believed as the tallest mountain in the world, Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador. The Peruvian Current was also known as the Humboldt current due to the fact that Humboldt discovered and measured it. 

To cement his great contributions, the Father of Evolution, Charles Darwin, described him as one of the greatest scientific travellers who have ever lived. Today, Humboldt is known to be one of the founders of modern geography. 

William Morris Davis

Known as the “father of American geography”, William Morris Davis played an essential role in established geography as an academic discipline. 

He was a former instructor in physical geography at Harvard in 1878 and was part of a committee that established geography standards in public schools. He felt that geography should be treated as a science in both primary and secondary schools

He also worked hard on advancing physical geography and founded geomorphology, a subfield of geography—a study of the earth’s landforms. Along with fellow great minds, Davis believed that there were several factors involved in how the earth is shaped

Harm de Blij

Now this is probably a name you’re somehow familiar with. Harm de Blij was a famous geographer editor for ABC’s Good Morning America for 6 years, from 1990 to 1996. After that, he became a geography analyst for NBC News. 

Famous for his studies in regional, geopolitical, and environmental geography, he had authored over 30 books and 100 articles during his lifetime. One of the well-known books was his Geography: Realms, Regions and Concepts

This is a pivotal textbook in explaining complex geography and a method to organize the world. The book’s aim is to help students learn the important concepts and ideas in geography and have an understanding of the rapidly changing work, as stated in its preface. 

Getting a Private Tutor for Geography Subjects

From simple map-making to analyzing the factors that contribute to climate, geography has indeed come a long way. Its long journey to where it is today gives us an idea of just how broad—and possibly, challenging—this subject is. 

Although, there’s no need to get intimidated by the long list of courses you need to take before becoming a full-fledged geographer. You have the internet as a gold mine for resources and your professors will surely teach you everything that’ll come out of your exams. 

But if this doesn’t lessen the intimidation, then you can just go get yourself a geography tutor. That’s right, a tutor. 

Tutors are incredible in finding ways to help their students master lessons easily. It’s not just about giving you reviewers or clues, it’s also helping you develop great habits and giving you exercises to constantly challenge your mind. 

Not only will you get one-on-one sessions discussing challenging topics, you’ll also receive these lessons in a method or medium that works best for you. This is a great supplement to your formal geography education, as well. 

To find your own tutor, just go to Superprof and type in your location—wherever it may be in Canada. In a matter of seconds, you’ll see a list of tutors near you. 

Choose a tutor that you think will be the best learning partner and try out the first session for free to see if you guys are a good fit. You heard that right, it’s free! Most tutors on the virtual platform give the first hour off for free.

Start looking for a tutor today!

Conclusion

Geographers are just some of the people who make sure that the world will still function and humans will still see another day. With all the knowledge and research they put out in the world, we should be thanking them for their great contributions. 

Such a great profession surely produced famous people over the years and have put out great contributions that the world is still grateful for today. It may not be the most common geography career to pursue, but it’s surely one of the most important.

So, if you ever get to meet a geographer—or become one in the future—thank them for their hard-work. 

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Mike is a freelance writer with a passion for continuous learning, self-improvement, and helping others through education.