Human geography in the field

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Population and economics

Human geography is the less obvious half of the school subject for many people. Volcanoes spewing lava and ice-shelves ejecting bergs into the Southern Ocean are part of what make physical geography a very visual subject. But with human geography you often have to look a lot closer to discover the mechanics that shape population growth and development. Human geography, whether from a historical perspective, or modern day, is concerned with land use and the balance between urban and rural development, with population demographics such as migration or birth rates, it also looks at the pressures and opportunities caused by tourism, and the characteristics of economics and globalisation.

In fact, once you start looking, you will see it everywhere. A cursory glance at today's news headlines includes EU fishing regulations and how they will affect the future of the Scottish industry, the impact of global food prices following poor harvests around the globe, and fears in Wales about how increases in flooding could negatively affect tourism.

When you are teaching the subject, fieldwork is a vital part of helping students to understand how complicated processes take place. You can learn the theory of everything you need to pass an exam, while sitting in a classroom, but you only really start to understand a subject when you marry that written knowledge with first hand experience.

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