The Geography Portal
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.
Yellowstone National Park
is a national park
located in the U.S. states of Wyoming
, and Idaho
. Yellowstone, widely held to be the first national park in the world, was established in 1872 by the United States Congress and is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features
, especially Old Faithful Geyser
, one of the most popular features in the park. It has many types of ecosystems
, but the subalpine
forest is dominant. Yellowstone National Park spans an area of 3,468.4 square miles (8,983 km2
), comprising lakes, canyons, rivers, and mountain ranges
. Yellowstone Lake
is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America and is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera
, the largest supervolcano
on the continent. The caldera
is considered an active volcano. It has erupted with tremendous force several times in the last two million years. Half of the world's geothermal features are in Yellowstone, fueled by this ongoing volcanism. Hundreds of species of mammals, birds, fish and reptiles have been documented, including several that are either endangered
. The vast forests and grasslands also include unique species of plants. Yellowstone Park is the largest and most famous megafauna
location in the continental United States.
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David Alexander Johnston
was a volcanologist
with the United States Geological Survey
(USGS) who was killed by the 1980 eruption
of Mount St. Helens
in Washington. One of the principal scientists on the monitoring team, Johnston died while manning an observation post on the morning of May 18, 1980. He was the first to report the eruption, transmitting the famous message "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!" before being swept away by the lateral blast
created by the collapse of the mountain's north flank. His work and that of his fellow USGS scientists had convinced the authorities to close Mount St. Helens to the general public and to maintain the closure in spite of heavy pressure to re-open the area; their work saved thousands of lives. His story has become part of the popular image of volcanic eruptions and their threat to society, and also part of the history of volcanology. Following his death, Johnston was commemorated in several ways, including a memorial fund set up in his name at the University of Washington
, and two volcano observatories that were named after him. Johnston's life and death have been featured in several documentaries, films, docudramas and books about the eruption. Along with other people killed by the volcano, Johnston's name is inscribed on memorials dedicated to their memory.
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