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Portal:Geography

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Introduction

Physical map of Earth with political borders as of 2016

Geography (from Greek: γεωγραφία, geographia, literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. The first person to use the word γεωγραφία was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Geography is an all-encompassing discipline that seeks an understanding of Earth and its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but also how they have changed and come to be.

Geography is often defined in terms of two branches: human geography and physical geography. Human geography deals with the study of people and their communities, cultures, economies, and interactions with the environment by studying their relations with and across space and place. Physical geography deals with the study of processes and patterns in the natural environment like the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere.

True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.
True-color image of the Earth's surface and atmosphere. NASA Goddard Space Flight Center image.

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Big Butte Creek
Big Butte Creek is a 12-mile (19 km) long tributary of the Rogue River located in the U.S. state of Oregon. It drains approximately 245 square miles (630 km2) of Jackson County. The north fork of the creek begins on Rustler Peak and the south fork's headwaters are near Mount McLoughlin. They meet near Butte Falls, and Big Butte Creek flows generally northwest until it empties into the Rogue River about 1 mile (1.6 km) southwest of Lost Creek Dam (William L. Jess Dam). Big Butte Creek's watershed was originally settled over 8,000 years ago by the Klamath, Upper Umpqua, and Takelma tribes of Native Americans. In the Rogue River Wars of the 1850s, most of the Native Americans were either killed or forced into Indian reservations. The first non-indigenous settlers arrived in the 1860s, and the area was quickly developed. The creek was named after Snowy Butte, an early name for Mount McLoughlin. In the late 19th century, the watershed was primarily used for agriculture and logging. The small city of Butte Falls was incorporated in 1911.

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Amundsen's party at the South Pole, December 1911

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Sylvanus Morley
Sylvanus Morley was an American archaeologist, epigrapher and Mayanist scholar who made significant contributions towards the study of the pre-Columbian Maya civilization in the early 20th century. He is particularly noted for his extensive excavations of the Maya site of Chichen Itza. He also published several large compilations and treatises on Maya hieroglyphic writing, and wrote popular accounts on the Maya for a general audience. To his contemporaries he was one of the leading Mesoamerican archaeologists of his day; although more recent developments in the field have resulted in a re-evaluation of his theories and works, his publications (particularly on calendric inscriptions) are still cited. Overall, his commitment and enthusiasm for Maya studies would generate the interest and win the necessary sponsorship and backing to finance projects which would ultimately reveal much about the Maya of former times. In his role as director of various projects sponsored by the Carnegie Institution, he oversaw and encouraged many others who later established notable careers in their own right. His involvement in clandestine espionage activities at the behest of the U.S. Office of Naval Intelligence was another, surprising, aspect of his career, which came to light only well after his death.

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