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Welcome to Crash Course Geography hosted by Alizé Carrère! This 50-episode course will be split into two parts. In the first half, we will focus on physical geography or the processes and phenomena of the physical world both above and below the Earth's surface. We'll ask questions like, "why is the seafloor so young when the Earth is so old?" or try to identify why winds and ocean currents are so important to life on Earth. Then we'll turn our focus to human geography and explore the ways people occupy the Earth's surface. Like how we've moved, settled, and used the land, resources, and space. Join us as we tell the story of the Earth.

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CC Kids:
Geography is maps, and rivers, and  mountains.

But, it’s more than that.   Geography is cities and cultures and  people. But it’s more than that too.   Geography is finding patterns and connections  between places and seemingly unrelated processes,   digging deeper into the stories behind facts,  and asking “why is this happening here?” Hi, I’m Alizé Carrère and welcome  to Crash Course Geography!  I’m so excited to embark with you on this  journey around the world to explore the   ins and outs of everything above and below the  surface of the Earth over the next year.

To me,   geography is about understanding  the dynamic relationship between   us humans and the incredible  place we get to call our home. It’s an inquisitive, close-up look at how we shape  the land and how in turn the land shapes us. Like   where and how we choose to produce our food,  move our goods, and build our economies -- and   what happens when natural or human-caused  forces change or disrupt entire ecosystems.

My own research has taken me to the  far corners of the Earth to explore,   study, and document these types of issues. In the Middle East I spent time looking at   electronic waste disposal and the impact it  has on water, livestock, and human health. As a National Geographic Explorer, I  traveled to Madagascar to study how   farmers are adapting their agricultural  practices to cope with severe erosion,   and to Bangladesh to study how people are adapting  to sea level rise by building floating gardens.

As a documentary filmmaker, I trekked through  the Himalayas to learn firsthand how communities   live with the consequences of glacial melt, then  through the muddy backwaters of the Mississippi  . River to understand the fate of the most prolific  invasive fish species in the United States. And one of the most amazing things I’ve learned  while traveling across such distant and diverse   locations is how remarkably connected  we are to each other and our planet.  I’ve seen how our individual and  collective actions affect the systems   and landscapes around us -- whether  it’s a swift change at the local level   or a slow-moving shift over an entire hemisphere.

Geography teaches us about the profound  interconnectedness of the world. Traditionally, geography is split  into two tightly intertwined parts.   So we’ll begin our time together studying  physical geography or the processes and   phenomena of the physical world both  above and below the Earth’s surface. We’ll ask lots of questions like, why is  the seafloor so young when the Earth is   so old?

Or try to identify why winds and  ocean currents are so important to life   on Earth. Or explain why the Aral  sea in Central Asia has been called   “one of the worst environmental  disasters in modern history.” Halfway through, we’ll turn our focus to  human geography and explore the ways people   occupy the Earth’s surface. Like how we’ve moved,  settled, and used the land, resources and space.

So we’ll look at how languages migrate and  change, like how the Bantu language spread   throughout Africa. Or how humans interact with  their environment, like how for centuries people   have relied on the seasonal monsoon rains in India  to bring life-giving moisture to their crops. But there’s not a clear line  dividing the physical and the human,   which is where geography gets its strength.  Because, really, geography is telling the story   of the Earth.

Even something as commonplace  as a banana has a complicated backstory that   twists across continents and climates and turns  between vast trade networks and political coups. We’ll get to all that and more, and in the end  well...we’ll probably still have questions.   I hope you’ll join me on this journey as we  unravel the tale in Crash Course Geography. Crash Course Geography is made with  the help of all these nice people!   If you’d like to help keep Crash Course free, for  everyone, forever, please consider supporting us   on Patreon, and if you’d like to keep learning  from this course click the playlist below.