ABC-CLIO/Greenwood - Reference

Environmental Geography

People and the Environment

by Leslie A. Duram


As the world's population increases, so too does demand on our environment through resource use and abuse.

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Cover image for Environmental Geography

October 2018


Pages 318
Volumes 1
Size 7x10
Topics Geography and World Cultures/Physical Geography and Environment

Explores the complex relationship humans have with the environment. It is one of both responsibility—including the sustainable or unsustainable management of natural resources—and emotion, like the elation gleaned from a beautiful landscape or the devastation experienced from a natural disaster.

Human-induced damage to the environment has widespread consequences for Earth and its inhabitants that have already included sea level rise, increased wildlife extinctions, heatwaves, droughts, intensified air pollution, and water shortages.

This book provides comprehensive coverage of the complex interactions between people and the environment. It presents three clear, honest, and down-to-earth essays that cover the devastating impact humans have on the environment; the equally devastating impact the environment has on humans at times; and the positive impact that increasing awareness of our effect on the planet is having on the movement to create a more sustainable future.

In addition, in-depth entries on 60 key environmental geography terms, such as deforestation, ecotourism, and environmental justice, provide a deeper dive into the topic; 15 real-world case studies on topics like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the Great Green Wall of Africa illustrate geography in action; and 10 brief spotlights from around the world draw the reader in with relevant facts.


  • Documents human modification of the Eearth on topics such asthrough deforestation, land use change, agricultural soil degradation, water pollution, waste generation, and the ultimate impact: climate change.
  • Describes policies at national and global scales that have exacerbated environmental degradation (such as subsidies to fossil fuels) or acted to reduce such harm (such as pollution control regulations).
  • Explains how richer and poorer nations are affected by and able to mitigate environmental degradation.
  • Describes the interrelationships among people and the environment at various geographic scales: (individuals, communities, national policies, global initiatives); and alsoas well as the influence of public policies and community organizations such as (non-profit groups).
  • Suggests how individuals can make better decisions and have a positive impact on future environmental conditions.
Author Info

Leslie A. Duram, PhD, is professor of geography and director of environmental studies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She is an award-winning author of over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and three books: Good Growing: Why Organic Farming Works, The Encyclopedia of Organic, Sustainable, and Local Food, and America Goes Green: An Encyclopedia of Eco-Friendly Culture in the U.S. Dr. Duram was selected as a Fulbright Scholar, recognized by the Association of American Geographers Rural Geography Specialty Group, and elected to several governance positions in environmental organizations and policy councils.



"A well-researched reference for those who want to learn more about humanity's impact on the environment, for students from middle school to college."Library Journal

"A little more in-depth than a general reference book but not quite as thorough as a textbook, this work will give the reader a good introduction to issues related to human interaction with the environment."Booklist

"With complete candor, and sometimes humor, author Leslie A. Duram (Southern Illinois University, Carbondale) provides an updated look at the complicated relationship between people and the environment."ARBA

In the News

Washington Post, In planting campus gardens, university students root themselves in the larger world, 9/6/2018

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