Geography Basics

Geography is the study of the Earth’s physical and human features, their spatial relationships, and the processes that shape them. It is a broad and interdisciplinary field that incorporates elements of natural science, social science, and the humanities.

Geographers seek to understand the complex interactions between the natural environment and human societies, and the ways in which these interactions vary across different regions and cultures.

This category contains articles about introductory concepts in geography. Find resources, books, lesson plans, and maps for teaching geography to all ages. A fun way to learn about geography is through the use of quizzes which are also listed in this category.

A purple gradient map of a section of Maui in Hawaii showing in bright orange areas where wildfires are burning.

Wildfires in Hawaii

Caitlin Dempsey

Fueled by high winds and drought, a wildfire has destroyed much of Lahaina on the Hawaiian island of Maui.

A satellite image of Vancouver island showing puffy clouds and swirling green phytoplankton blooms.

Phytoplankton Blooms in the Northeast Pacific Ocean

Caitlin Dempsey

During summer in the Northeast Pacific Ocean, phytoplankton blooms proliferate due to the nutrient-rich upwelling along the continental shelf.

The earth against a dark background with stars and a line through the middle showing the earth's axis with the labels 23.5 degrees, Earth's Axis, and equator.

Removing Groundwater is Affecting the Earth’s Axis

Mark Altaweel

Researchers have found that the enormous amount of groundwater being pumped is changing the Earth’s tilt and increasing sea level rise.

An advertisement for the Baldwin Auto Guide.

Creative Car Navigation Before the Invention of GPS

Caitlin Dempsey

With the advent of mass produced automobiles, mechanical car navigation guides became a population invention.

Is this a ridge or a canyon? Relief inversion plays tricks on the brain with this image of the Colorado River in Arizona. Photo: NASA

Relief Inversion

Caitlin Dempsey

When looking at aerial and satellite imagery, telling the difference between a canyon and a mountain can sometimes be tricky due to an optical illusion known as relief inversion.