Getting to Know you – Syed Amirul

Salam Sejahtera!

My name is Syed Amirul, I am currently a Senior majoring in Economics (BA). I have now lived in State College, Pennsylvania for four years, but I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (which was why I greeted you in Bahasa Malaysia- it means hello!). I have a keen interest in photography so I might pursue a career in doing commercial photography while helping my family run our business. My interest in this course is to generally learn about the Earth. I’m always interested in learning about the nature ( I took meteorology and astronomy classes) and I think learning geography will help me connect the dots between human and environment interaction and its effects towards one another. One fun fact about me- I can solve a Rubik’s cube in 40 seconds. If anyone could solve it faster, please teach me!

Now that we’ve been introduced to some perspectives in the field of geography, one example that came in mind was an issue that’s becoming a national controversy in my country. In Pahang, the largest state in Peninsula Malaysia, the government are being condemned after active bauxite mining that has turned into a harmful economic activity to the locals of the area. Many reports have address the issue and its negative impact, one coming from Malaysian Society of Marine Sciences chairman Dr Harinder Rai Singh who said the contamination would be fatal to marine life. The coast of Pahang are mostly contaminated and is bound to be ‘dead sea’ within three years. This issue is important to be scrutinized on, mainly on how the human-environment interaction caused these harmful conditions, and how that in turn will affect the lives of humans living in the vicinity of the polluted area.

Getting to Know You

I am a senior here at Penn State at the Worthington Scranton campus. I live in Archbald which is a small town near Scranton, PA. I also lived there all my life. My major is Information Sciences and Technology: Design and Development with a minor in Security Risk Analysis. I would like to do software developer in my career. I am interested in this course because I want to expand my knowledge of geography with this being my first geography course in my college career. When not doing school work, I maintain and do small jobs around different properties my family owns. I also like to watch television, some of the shows I like are House of Cards on Netflix, and I recently finished season one of Mr. Robot on the USA network.

While reading the first module, the topic that interested me the most was the human-environment interactions section. Today I read an article that stated that by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in terms of weight in the world’s oceans. This is a startling prediction that was made by the World Economic Forum. This ties into this section with the concept of sustainability. If we do nothing and let this happen, undesirable consequences will occur. Counties have to do more by recycling more plastic, preventing plastic from entering the oceans, and make more environment friendly alternatives. There are simple steps that every day people can do like using a reusable bag when going to the store. Ethics also ties into this by having different people or counties having different priorities or not taking this issue seriously.

Module 1: Getting to know you

My name is Jason Brown, but I like to go by J.R. I am a freshman here at Penn State University. I am originally from Canton, Ohio, but moved to McMurray, PA when I was three years old. I’ve lived there my whole life basically. McMurray is about 30 minutes south of Pittsburgh, PA. I am currently pursuing a degree in marketing and someday hope to obtain a job with an NHL teams’ marketing department. This course interests me because I have never gotten to take an extensive geography class before. I want to learn more on the subject and see its impact on our lives. Also, I thought it would be great to take this as an intro to my first online class at PSU because of its different components. Other facts about me are that I love hockey and grew up playing the sport and someday hope to be able to travel to all of the 50 US states.


In Module 1, one of the main pages that interested me was human- environment interactions. I want to study more about how human decision making have changed the Earth’s ecosystems. Also, the concepts of governance and ethics stuck out to me. I want to study how humans make these decisions that can highly impact the environment. Geography is interesting to me after reading module 1 because before this I had no clue how much is involved in it. In high school when we talked about geography, we always just learned about the different types of maps and the continents different ecosystems/ features. I cannot wait to learn about this topic and get more info than ever before.