Why Geography Is A Key Part Of Fighting The COVID-19 Coronavirus Outbreak
By Marshall Shepherd
I am an atmospheric scientist with three degrees in meteorology. However my tenured home at the University of Georgia is the Department of Geography. Like many of you reading this, I had a rather narrow understanding of geography when I left NASA to join the faculty at the university. Over the years, I have certainly heard people describe geography as maps, capitals, rivers, and so forth. While these things are definitely a part of the discipline, there is far more complexity and rigor than memorization of facts or your recollections of the elementary Geography Bee.
Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences and the natural sciences. There
are two main branches of geography: human geography and physical geography. Human
geography is concerned with the spatial aspects of human existence. Physical geographers
study patterns of climates, landforms, vegetation, soils, and water. Geographers use
many tools and techniques in their work, and geographic technologies are increasingly
important for understanding our complex world. They include Geographic Information
Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and online mapping
such as Google Earth.
American Association of Geographers (AAG) website
I have noticed very important roles that the discipline of geography is playing in the fight against the virus SARS-CoV-2, which causes coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Here are some of them.