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Fieldwork In Human Geography

  • By: Paul Rollinson
  • In: Encyclopedia of Geography
  • Edited by: Barney Warf
  • Subject:General Geography, Earth & Environmental Science

Fieldwork has long been recognized as an important activity for geographers, in both teaching and research. Carl Sauer, one of the most influential geographers of the 20th century, stated that the principal training of a geographer should come from doing fieldwork. One of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of being a geographer is spending time understanding the world through direct experience, gathering data about the world, and leading field experiences as a method of geographical education. This entry briefly reviews the history of fieldwork, examines its characteristics, and considers its role in geography today.

However, despite the recognized importance of fieldwork, many have lamented its decline, particularly in the field of human geography. Wilbur Zelinsky, a respected human geographer, finds the basic explanation to be ...

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