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Portal:Geography

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Geography is the science that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), the area studies (places and regions), the study of the human-land relationship, and research in the Earth sciences. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical science". Geography is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography.

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Relief map of Australia
The Commonwealth of Australia is a country in the Oceania region of the southern hemisphere, consisting of the world's smallest continent, the island of Tasmania, and over eight thousand smaller islands. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area. Australia has been inhabited for about 50,000 years by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. After discovery by Dutch explorers in 1606, Eastern Australia was claimed by the British in 1770, and officially settled as a British penal colony in 1788. As the population grew and new areas were explored, six largely self-governing Crown colonies were established within Australia over the course of the 19th century. On 1 January 1901, the six colonies federated and the Commonwealth of Australia was formed. Since federation, Australia has had a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations and a Commonwealth realm. Australia has a population of about 20 million, concentrated mainly in the coastal cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. A highly developed country and one of the wealthiest, Australia is the world's 12th-largest economy and has the world's fifth-highest per capita income.

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Stevens Arch

*...that Stevens Arch (pictured) is one of the many geological features formed from Navajo Sandstone along Coyote Gulch in southern Utah, USA? *...that the Praetorian Building, a high-rise in Dallas, is regarded to be the first skyscraper constructed in the Southwestern United States? *...that the Mustagh Pass crosses the Baltoro Muztagh range in the Karakorams, from Pakistan to China?

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Mary Anning
Mary Anning was a British fossil collector, dealer and palaeontologist who became known around the world for important finds she made in the Jurassic marine fossil beds at Lyme Regis where she lived. Her work contributed to fundamental changes in scientific thinking about prehistoric life and the history of the earth. Her discoveries included the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified, found when she was just twelve years old; the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found; the first pterosaur skeleton located outside Germany; and important fish fossils. Her observations were critical to the discovery that coprolites were fossilised faeces. Geologist Henry De la Beche's Duria Antiquior, the first widely circulated pictorial representation of a scene from prehistoric life derived from fossil reconstructions, was based largely on fossils Anning had found. Her gender and social class prevented her from fully participating in the scientific community of 19th-century Britain, prevented her from joining the Geological Society of London, and prevented her from getting full credit for her work during her lifetime. After her death her unusual life story attracted increasing interest. In 2010 the Royal Society included Anning in a list of the ten British women who have most influenced the history of science.

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Shasta Dam
Credit: Photo: Russell Lee, FSA-OWI; Restoration: Chick Bowen

Shasta Dam, an arch dam across the Sacramento River at the north end of the Sacramento Valley, California, during its construction in June 1942. The dam mainly serves long-term water storage and flood control in its reservoir, Shasta Lake, and also generates hydroelectric power. At 602 ft (183 m) high, it is the ninth-tallest dam in the United States and forms the largest reservoir in California.

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