Using Our Physical Environment by Cindy Rutherford
NC Standard Course of Study • Goal 1: The learner will apply key geographic concepts to the US and other countries of North America. • Objective 1.06 Explain how people of the US and other countries of North American adapt to, modify, and use their physical environment.
Natural resources are something found in nature that people can use. These resources can include such things as soil, water, minerals, fossil fuels and vegetation.
Modify is to change an environment. People modify their environments based on how they value and use Earth’s resources.
Nonrenewable means that a resource can not be made again by nature or people. Such resources are water, minerals, and fuels.
Renewable means that a resource can be made again by nature or people. Some examples of these resources are trees and crops.
Erosion is the wearing away of the Earth’s surface, usually by wind and rain.
Land use is how most of the land in a place is used. For example, in the United States, about half of the land is used as farmland.
How do people modify their environment? • People sometimes modify their environment by digging wells in the ground for water. They also build dams across rivers and streams.
People modify their environment when they lay pipes and build highways.
People modify their environment when they plow the grassland to plant crops. Plowing the land can speed up the process of erosion.
How do people use the land? • People use the Earth’s surface in a variety of ways. They divide it into nations, states and other government units.
People use land to build communities, transportation systems, and businesses on it.
Vocabulary and information from Harcourt Horizons, United States History, Mexico & Central America