Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography / Edition 8

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Upper Saddle River 2010 Hard cover United States ed of 8th revised ed. New. 688 p. Colour illustrations, maps, frontispiece, figures. Intended for college/higher education ... audience. Read more Show Less

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Among the most highly regarded in physical geography, Robert Christopherson’s bestselling texts are known for meticulous attention to detail, currency, accuracy, rich integration of climate change science, and strong multimedia program. Geosystems: An Introduction to Physical Geography, Eighth Edition is organized around the natural flow of energy, materials, and information, presenting subjects in the same sequence in which they occur in nature—an organic, holistic approach that is unique in this discipline. Each chapter also includes strong learning tools and a structured learning path, with Key Learning Concepts presented at the start of the chapter, Key Learning Concepts Review at the end of the chapter, and Critical Thinking questions integrated throughout. Offering current examples and modern science within a one-of-a-kind Earth systems organization, Christopherson combines student-friendly writing, outstanding art, and a strong multimedia program for a truly unique physical geography experience.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
This textbook supplies an introduction to the major aspects of physical geography: the energy-atmosphere system; the water, weather, and climate systems; the earth-atmosphere interface; and, soil, ecosystems, and biomes. Particular chapters discuss the seasons, global temperatures, atmospheric and oceanic circulation's, weather, water resources, tectonics and volcanism, weathering, river systems and landforms, the oceans, glaciers, soil geography, and the human factor. The book is heavily illustrated with maps, graphs, and color photographs. Christopherson's credentials are not noted. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780321706225
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall
  • Publication date: 1/12/2011
  • Edition number: 8
  • Pages: 688
  • Product dimensions: 8.60 (w) x 10.90 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert W. Christopherson is Professor Emeritus of Geography, having taught 30 years at American River College, and is the author of the leading physical geography texts in the US and Canada.

He attended Cal State University-Chico, and Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. His first textbook was published in 1992. His textbooks have received several national textbook awards. Also, he was recognized for excellence in teaching with the 1999 “Distinguished Teaching Achievement Award” from the National Council for Geographic Education and the “Outstanding Educator Award” from the California Geographical Society. He was selected by American River College students as "Teacher of the Year" and received the “ARC Patrons Award” for teaching. In 2009 he was elected to the Textbook and Authors Association prestigious Council of Fellows. He has spoken across the US and Canada to hundreds of colleges, groups, and at professional meetings. Robert was a key member of the Editorial Board for Goode's World Atlas, 22/E, published by Rand McNally.

Robert and his nature photographer wife, Bobbé Christopherson, completed eleven scientific expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctic regions since 2003. They returned May 2 from Antarctica and an expedition northward across the Atlantic Ocean to Cape Verde Islands off the coast of Africa. On these trips they gather materials for Christopherson's physical geography textbooks.

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Table of Contents

1 Essentials of Geography

The Energy-Atmosphere System

2 Solar Energy to Earth and the Seasons
3 Earth’s Modern Atmosphere
4 Atmosphere and Surface Energy Balances
5 Global Temperatures
6 Atmospheric and Oceanic Circulations

The Water, Weather, and Climate Systems

7 Water and Atmospheric Moisture
8 Weather
9 Water Resources
10 Global Climate Systems

The Earth-Atmosphere Interface

11 The Dynamic Planet
12 Tectonics, Earthquakes, and Volcanism
13 Weathering, Karst Landscapes, and Mass Movement
14 River Systems and Landforms
15 Eolian Processes and Arid Landscapes
16 The Oceans, Coastal Processes, and Landforms
17 Glacial and Periglacial Processes and Landforms

Soils, Ecosystems, and Biomes

18 The Geography of Soils
19 Ecosystem Essentials
20 Terrestrial Biomes
21 Earth and the Human Denominator

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Welcome to physical geography and the fifth edition of Geosystems! We begin this new century with a sense that the world community is responding to global concerns as to the status and conditions of Earth's physical, biological, and chemical systems. The globalization of the world economies seems paralleled by a global scientific inquiry into the state of the environment. Marking this awareness is the second Earth Summit held in 2002 in Johannesburg, South Africa, with an agenda including climate change, freshwater, and the five Rio Conventions, among other topics.

Armed with the spatial analysis tools of geographic science, physical geographers are well equipped to participate in a planetary understanding of environmental conditions. U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, recipient of the 2001 Nobel Peace Prize, spoke to the Association of American Geographers annual meeting in 2001, stating,

As you know only too well the signs of severe environmental
distress are all around us .... The idea of interdependence is
old hat to geographers, but for most people it is a new garment
they are only now trying on for size . . . I look forward to working
with you in that all-important journey.

This edition of Geosystems, with its contemporary global scope, builds on the success achieved by the first four editions in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere. Students and teachers alike continue to express appreciation for the systems organization, readability, scientific accuracy, up-to-date coverage and relevancy, clarity of the summary and review sections, the functional beauty of the photographs, art,cartography, and the many integrated figures in the text that combine media.

Geosystems Communicates the Science of Physical Geography

The goal of physical geography is to explain the spatial dimension of Earth's dynamic systems—its energy, air, water, weather, climate, tectonics, landforms, rocks, soils, plants, ecosystems, and biomes. Understanding human-Earth relations is part of the challenge of physical geography—to create a holistic (or complete) view of the planet and its inhabitants.

Geosystems analyzes the worldwide impact of environmental events, synthesizing many physical factors into a complete picture of Earth system operations. A good example is the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines. The global implications of this major event (one of the largest eruptions in the 20th century) are woven through seven chapters of the book (see Figure 1.6 for a summary). Our update on global climate change and its related potential effects is part of the fabric in six chapters. These content threads weave together the variety of interesting and diverse topics crucial to a thorough understanding of physical geography.

This edition of Geosystems features more than 500 photographs from across the globe and 105 remote-sensing images from a wide variety of orbital platforms. Twenty-nine of these images are from the Terra satellite and its five sensor packages. To assist with spatial analysis and location, 121 maps are utilized, and more than 300 illustrations explain concepts.

Systems Organization Makes Geosystems Flow

Each section of this book is organized around the flow of energy, materials, and information. Geosystems presents subjects in the same sequence in which they occur in nature. In this way you and your teacher logically progress through topics which unfold according to the flow of individual systems, or in accord with time and the flow of events. See Figure 1.7 in the text for an illustration of this systems organization.

For flexibility, Geosystems is divided into four parts, each containing chapters that link content in logical groupings. The diagram on the next page from Figure 1.8 illustrates our part structure. A quick check of the Table of Contents and this illustration shows you the order of chapters within these four parts.

The text culminates with Chapter 21, "Earth and the Human Denominator," a unique capstone chapter that summarizes physical geography as an important discipline to help us understand Earth's present status and possible future. Think of the world's population and the totality of our impact as the human denominator. Just as the denominator in a fraction tells how many parts a whole is divided into, so the growing human population and the increasing demand for resources and rising planetary impact suggest how much the whole Earth system must adjust. This chapter is sure to stimulate further thought and discussion, dealing as it does with the most profound issue of our time, Earth's stewardship.

Geosystems is a Text That Teaches

Teaching and learning begin with the front and back cover images of the Pacific Northwest, two detail photos, and locator map. Geosystems is written to assist you in the learning process. Three heading levels are used throughout the text and precise topic sentences begin each paragraph to help you outline and review material. Boldface words are defined where they first appear in the text. These terms and concepts are collected in the Glossary alphabetically, with a chapter-number reference. Italics are used in the text to emphasize other words and phrases of importance. Every figure has a title that summarizes the caption. Also, in the introduction to each chapter, a new feature called "In this chapter:" gives you an overview.

An important continuing feature is a list of Key Learning Concepts that opens each chapter, stating what you should be able to do upon completing the chapter. These objectives are keyed to the main headings in the chapter. At the end of each chapter is a unique Summary and Review section that corresponds to the Key Learning Concepts. Grouped under each learning concept is a narrative review that redefines the boldfaced terms, a key terms list with page numbers, and specific review questions for that concept. You can conveniently review each concept, test your understanding with review questions, and check key terms in the glossary, then return to the chapter and the next learning concept. In this way, the chapter content is woven together using specific concepts.

A Critical Thinking section ends each chapter, challenging you to take the next step with information from the chapter. The key learning concepts help you determine what you want to learn, the text helps you develop information and more questions, the summary and review helps you assess what you have learned and what more you might want to know about the subject, and the critical thinking provokes action and application.

New Career Link essays feature geographers and other scientists in a variety of professional fields practicing their spatial analysis craft. You will read about an astronaut with over 1200 hours in orbit, a weather forecaster at the Forecast Systems Lab, an environmental scientist, a hydrologist with the National Weather Service, a snow avalanche specialist, and an expert on global scale ecosystems, among others.

Coverage of Canadian physical geography in the text and figures throughout the book continues. Canadian data en a variety of subjects are portrayed on 30 different maps in combination with the United States—physical geography does not stop at the United States-Canadian border!

Twenty "Focus Study" essays, some completely revised and several new to this edition, provide additional explanation of key topics. A few examples from this diverse collection include: the stratospheric ozone predicament, solar energy collection and wind power, the newly (2001) calibrated wind-chill chart, forecasting the near-record 1995-2000 hurricane seasons, the 1997-1998 El Nino phenomenon, geothermal energy development, status of the High Plains Aquifer using new maps, floodplain strategies, an environmental approach to shoreline planning, the Mount St. Helens eruption, the 2001 status of the Colorado River, and the continuing global loss of biodiversity.

Forty-three "News Reports" relate topics of special interest. For example: GPS, careers in GIS, a 34-kilometer sky dive to study the atmosphere, jet streams and airline flight times, how one culture harvests fog, the UV Index, coordination of global climate change research with many URLs presented, the disappearing Nile Delta, water issues in the Middle East, artificial scouring of the Grand Canyon to restore beaches and habitats, how sea turtles read Earth's magnetic field, alien and exotic plant and animal invasions, and threats to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

We now live on a planet served by the Internet and its World Wide Web, a resource that weaves threads of information from around the globe into a vast fabric. The fact that we have Internet access into almost all the compartments aboard Spaceship Earth is clearly evident in Geosystems. Many entry points link directly from the words in a chapter to an Internet source allowing you to be up-to-the minute in understanding the facts. You will find more than 200 URLs (Internet addresses) in the body of the text (printed in blue color and boldface). Given the fluid nature of the Internet, URLs were rechecked at press time for accuracy. If some URLs changed since publication, you can most likely find the new location using elements of the old address. Textbooks, especially in dynamic fields like geography must be tapped into these streams of scientific discoveries and environmental events. This Internet link begins with a new Table 1.1 presenting the URLs for major geography organizations.

The Geosystems Learning/ Teaching Package

The fifth edition provides a complete physical geography program for you and your teacher.

For You the Student:

  • Student Study Guide, Fifth Edition (ISBN: 0-13034822-8), by Robert Christopherson. The study guide includes additional learning objectives, a complete chapter outline, critical thinking exercises, problems and short essay work using actual figures from the text, and a self-test with answer key in the back.
  • Geosystems WWW Site: This site gives you the opportunity to further explore topics presented in the book using the Internet. The site contains numerous review exercises (from which you get immediate feedback), exercises to expand students' understanding of physical geography and resources for further exploration. This web site provides an excellent opportunity from which to start using the Internet for the study of geography.
  • Science on the Internet: A Student's Guide (ISBN: 0-13-021308-X) by Andrew T Stull is a guide to the Internet and World Wide Web specific to geography.

Virtual Fieldtrip 3.0 CD, (ISBN: 0-13009750-0) a CD-ROM by Jeremy Dunning, Larry Onesti, and Robert Christopherson. This revised CD contains support material for every chapter in the text and more than a dozen virtual field trips. If your instructor chooses, the Virtual Field Trip 3.0 CD-ROM can be packaged free of charge with Geosystems, 5e. Please see your local Prentice Hall representative for details.

For You the Teacher:

Geosystems is designed to give you flexibility in presenting your course. The text is comprehensive in that it is true to each scientific discipline from which it draws subject matter. This diversity is a strength of physical geography, yet makes it difficult to cover the entire book in a school term. You should feel free to customize use of the text based on your specialty or emphasis. The four-part structure of chapters, systems organization within each chapter, focus study and news report features, all will assist you in sampling some chapters while covering others to greater depth. The following materials are available to assist you—have a great class!

  • Instructor's Resource Manual, Fifth Edition (ISBN: 0-13-034808-2), by Robert Christopherson. The Instructor's Resource Manual, intended as a resource for both new and experienced teachers, includes lecture outlines and key terms, additional source materials, teaching tips, complete annotation of chapter review questions, and a list of overhead transparencies.
  • Digital Image Gallery for Interactive Teaching (D.LG.LT.), Fifth Edition (ISBN: 0-13-034814-7), contains most of the figures and some of the photographs from the text. Images are high-resolution, low compression in high quality digital form. The software makes customizing your multimedia presentations easy. You can organize figures in any order you want, add labels, lines, and your own artwork to them using an overlay tool, integrate materials from other sources, and edit and annotate lecture notes. New to this edition is a complete PowerPoint presentation for the book, ready for classroom presentation, prepared by Charlie Thomsen.
  • Test Item File (ISBN: 0-13-034809-0), the Test Item File contains many test questions drawn from the book, available in printed format.
  • Test Manager Geosystems Test Bank (ISBN: 0-13034800-2), by Robert Christopherson and Charlie Thomsen. This collaboration has produced the most extensive and fully revised test item file available in physical geography. This test bank employs TestGenEQ software. TestGen-EQ is a computerized test generator that lets you view and edit test bank questions, transfer questions to tests, and print customized formats. Included is the QuizMaster-EQ program that lets you administer tests on a computer network, record student scores, and print diagnostic reports. Mac and IBM/DOS computer formats are served.
  • Overhead Transparencies (ISBN: 0-13-034811-2) includes more than 350 illustrations from the text on 300 transparencies, all enlarged for excellent classroom visibility. And, Slide Set (ISBN: 0-13-034812-0) includes the complete set of figures from the transparency set selected from the text.
  • Applied Physical Geography—Geosystems in the Laboratory, Fifth Edition (ISBN: 0-13-034823-6), by Robert Christopherson and Gail Hobbs of Pierce College. Reviewer comments and the feedback from users were very positive for the third edition. The new fifth edition is the result of a careful revision. Twenty lab exercises, divided into logical sections, allow flexibility in presentation. Each exercise comes with a list of learning concepts. Our manual is the only one that comes with its own complete glossary and stereolenses and stereomaps for viewing photo stereopairs in the manual. A complete Solutions and Answers Manual is available to teachers (ISBN: 0-13034815-5).

Prentice Hall-New York Times Themes of the Times supplements, especially The Changing Earth, and also Geography, reprint significant recent articles on related topics. These are available at no charge from your local Prentice Hall representative, in quantities for all your students.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2013



    The application frequently crashes or doesn't load and while this app was meant to imitate the true study/note taking experience, it is limited.

    The savings in ordering an eBook was NOT worth it. I highly recommend using Amazon or other next time.

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