Human environment interaction refers to the ways people change their environment and how the environment changes them. Human environment interaction is one of the five themes of geography created by the National Council for Geographic Education and the Association of American Geographers in 1984.
Human environment interaction is an overarching theme in the study of geography that concerns the many relationships, both positive and negative, between people and their surroundings. This examination includes how people depend on and modify the environment and how people adapt behaviorally and physically in response to the environment. The study of human environment interaction focuses more on groups of people or cultures rather than on individuals. Therefore, human environment interaction looks at the interplay between human social systems and larger ecosystems.
An illustration of human environment interaction is found in the discussions about climate change. The majority of scientists believe there is evidence that human activities contributed to the on-going changes in global temperatures and climates. In response, people are now attempting to change these actions. Many speculate on how humans will be forced to adapt to the effects of climate change in the future, as well as how humans might modify the environment in attempts at countering the changes.