Introduction to Population Geography

This course grew out of the interests of the ten participants of the VIU Elder College Population Geography course (with six classes, each two hours long), held at the Parksville Campus thru March and into April 2010.
Therefore, this course starts with how do populations change, (births, deaths, and in-migration and out-migration by single year of age for males and females), followed by "what is science", or "how do we know what is really going on?", meant to help put into perspective, various descriptions of Earth over time, the creation and evolution of life, to early humans, their migrations, settlement and a population geography perspective of the modern state.
So much information was gathered that this output will continue to be refined over the next few months. The course continues to evolve. Changes have been made to consolidate topics into 6 chapters. Your edits corrections, interests are appreciated so please email.

Course Content
Chapter 1: Population Change
We covered many diverse topics related to human population change, including current age distributions; negative natural change; United Nations global and continental forecasts to 2150; and the transition from an expansion / growth culture, to a stabilizing / sustainable one.
Main points include: Age Distribution, Population Change, locally and globally. Aging "baby boomers" and declining births in Canada. Locally, deaths exceed births since 1999 (Regional District of Nanaimo ). Declining population in Europe. Comparison of continents. Role of Industrialization and Urbanization. Role of refinement in tools in previous growth. Hunting for carrying capacity. (html not yet available) (pdf)

Chapter 2: Measurement, and referring to reality
In order to be able to make decisions, it is helpful to be able to put issues in perspective. Therefore, we consider proportions, measurements, and weighting...for example, how much confidence do we have in a statement? We also examine ways of relating to and conceptualizing large and small distances and time periods. Then, we look at moving across scale and levels of aggregation, as well as logarithms. We look at what science is, and what the social sciences are.
Main points include: Measurement, perspective, proportion, distances, weighting, confidence level and confidence interval, types of measurement. (html not yet available) (pdf)

Chapter 3: Earth
Starting with graphic representations of Geological time, we considered Earth formation and evolution into the creation of oceans, and the role of the gradations in movement of the substrata that allows an atmosphere to exist. To know Earth is to know the sun, its variations in energy output. To know Earth is to know about the lithosphere, bio and atmo spheres.
Main points include: Earth formation, oceans, life, anaerobic bacteria, chlorophyll, oxygen waste, aerobic bacteria, plate tectonics, pangaea, and ice ages. (html not yet available) (pdf)

Chapter 4: Life Begins
Mineralized oceans provide primordial soup ready for life to begin. Amino acids strands and organisms develop that eat rock. Sugars joining to benefit from cooperation, strands grow. Anaerobic bacteria waste is oxygen, causing the first mass extinction and allowing aerobic bacteria to flourish. eventually gathering energy from the sun thru chlorophyll creating flora. Also discussed is cell division, mutation, bio diversity, sponges to biomes, bio diversity to mass extinctions to bio diversity and the hunt for stability and instability.
Main points include: Feedback loops, amino acids, blue-green algae, cellular nucleus, Gaia. (html not yet available) (pdf)

Chapter 5: Early Human Migrations
Early Humans - Homo Erectus to Homo Sapiens. Early migrations, the fossil record and DNA. Ice ages and the human family tree with population estimates.
Main points include: Population dispersion and DNA. (html not yet available) (pdf)

Chapter 6: Settlement and the Modern State
Domestication of Flora and Fauna. From agrarian societies, to industrialization, and rapid urbanization. Moving across scale and density gradients to examine human to human interaction in relation to population geography and the Modern State.
The role of education, both private and the state run. (html not yet available) (pdf)

Students Comments
"Warren is very genuine and has so much knowledge that the course needed to be longer."
"Warren's enthusiasm carried the course. He is very stimulating."
Was the instructor knowledgeable? 90% Strongly agreed, 10% Agreed.

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