In ESSENTIALS OF WORLD REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY, 4th Edition, Kit Salter and Joe Hobbs build the story of each region using contemporary concerns, global issues, and historical themes to create a complete picture of our ever-changing planet and its people. The authors help students understand what aspects of a place give it identity and personality by detailing what features make it newsworthy now and what features might make it critical in the 21st century. ESSENTIALS OF WORLD REGIONAL GEOGRAPHY, 4th Edition, is a market leading text with a unique chapter layout that allows for flexibility of topic coverage. "Profile Chapters" introduce a region in global terms by discussing the overall physiographic, economic, historical, economic, and cultural attributes that characterize a large world region (such as Europe or Monsoon Asia). Subsequent chapters then elaborate at a more local level (i.e., subregions and countries) about the finer-scale details, e.g. what geographical factors have made Germany a very different place from France. The advantages of this approach are that the profile chapters allow an instructor a great amount of latitude in how to cover a region. In a one-semester course, for example, many professors might choose to focus on covering only the profile chapters for many of the regions. In that way, the book lends itself very well to semester- or even quarter-length courses. Coverage of global themes is given strong focus and is integrated within a traditional regional organization. Another key strength of the book is its pedagogical structure, accented by a number of boxed elements: "Definitions and Insights", "Regional Perspectives", "Problem Landscapes", "Landscape in Literature", and "Perspectives from the Field" (see description below). These boxed elements combine to identify common themes across regional boundaries, as well as to clarify terms of common usage that may nevertheless be less than familiar to today' s students.
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Christopher "Kit" Salter did his undergraduate work at Oberlin College, with a major in Geography and Geology. He spent three years teaching English at a Chinese university in Taiwan immediately following Oberlin. Graduate work for both the M.A. and the Ph.D. was done at the University of California, Berkeley. He taught at UCLA from 1968 to 1987, when he took on fulltime employment with the National Geographic Society in Washington with his wife, Cathy. They were both involved in the Society's campaign to bring geography back into the American school system. Kit has been professor and chair of the Department of Geography at the University of Missouri, Columbia since moving to the heartland in 1988. Themes that have made Salter glad he choose geography as a life field include landscape study and interpretation in both domestic and foreign settings; landscape study and literature to show students that geography occurs in all writing, not just in textbooks; and geography education to help learners at all levels see the critical nature of geographic issues. He has written more than 125 articles in various aspects of geography; has traveled to a lot of the places that he writes about in his text; and has been wise enough to have a son who is an architect in Los Angeles; a daughter who is a teacher in San Francisco Bay Area; and a neat wife who is a writer in the heart of the heartland in Breakfast Creek, Missouri.
Joseph J. Hobbs received his B.A. at the University of California Santa Cruz in 1978 and his M.A and Ph.D. at the University of Texas-Austin in 1980 and 1986. He is a professor at the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a geographer of the Middle East with many years of field research on biogeography and Bedouin peoples in the deserts of Egypt. Hobbs's interests in the region grew from a boyhood lived in Saudi Arabia and India. His research in Egypt has been supported by Fulbright fellowships, the American Council of Learned Societies, the American Research Center in Egypt, and the National Geographic Society Committee for Research and Exploration. He served as the team leader of the Bedouin Support Program, a component of the St. Katherine National Park project in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. His current research interests are indigenous peoples participation in protected areas in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Central America; human uses of caves worldwide; and the global narcotics trade. He is the author of BEDOUIN LIFE IN THE EGYPTIAN WILDERNESS and MOUNT SINAI (both University of Texas Press), co-author of THE BIRDS OF EGYPT (Oxford University Press), and co-editor of DANGEROUS HARVEST: DRUG PLANTS AND THE TRANSFORMATION OF INDIGENOUS LANDSCAPES (Oxford). He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in world regional geography, environmental geography, the geography of the Middle East, the geography of caves, the geography of global current events, the geographies of drugs and terrorism, and a field course on the ancient Maya geography of Belize. He has received the University of Missouri's highest teaching award, the Kemper Fellowship. In summers from 1984 to 1999, he led "adventure travel" tours to remote areas in Latin America, Africa, the Indian Ocean, Asia, Europe, and the High Arctic. Hobbs lives in Missouri with his wife Cindy, daughters Katherine and Lily, and an animal menagerie.
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