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Title:Conceptualizing Anthropogenic Change in Fluvial Systems: Drainage Development on the Upper Embarras River, Illinois
Author(s):Urban, Michael Andrew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rhoads, Bruce L.
Department / Program:Geography
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Physical Geography
Abstract:The goal of this study is to examine the "meeting ground" between physical and human geography, essentially the interface between human society and the biophysical environment, and to make an attempt at negotiating the conceptual bridge between many of the dichotomies existing in contemporary geography. While the geomorphic structure of the landscape is materially molded, shaped and transformed by human practices, it is at the same time experienced and perceived through the mediation of cultural discourse and representation. The objective is twofold: (1) to establish a conceptual framework for integrated analysis of human and biophysical dimensions of landscape change; and (2) to demonstrate how such integrated analysis can produce knowledge of landscape change that transcends that which is likely to emerge from separate investigations of human and biophysical processes. At the core is the analysis of the philosophical and theoretical foundations behind the separation of humans and society from the biophysical geomorphic system with the goal being the reconstruction of the system to include the human species. This perspective offers one way in which human agency can be integrated into aspects of physical geography, specifically fluvial geomorphology, from both a conceptual and pragmatic point of view. The upper Embarras River in east central Illinois was utilized as an example of how such an approach can be utilized for a greater understanding of anthropogenically modified landscapes as its physical planform has been shown to be catastrophically affected by agricultural drainage in the area over the past century and a half.
Issue Date:2000
Description:558 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2000.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI9971214
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2000

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