Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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America’s Empty-Church Problem

America’s Empty-Church Problem | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The culture war over religious morality has faded; in its place is something much worse.

 

In his book Twilight of the Elites, the MSNBC host Chris Hayes divides American politics between “institutionalists,” who believe in preserving and adapting the political and economic system, and “insurrectionists,” who believe it’s rotten to the core. The 2016 election represents an extraordinary shift in power from the former to the latter. The loss of manufacturing jobs has made Americans more insurrectionist. So have the Iraq War, the financial crisis, and a black president’s inability to stop the police from killing unarmed African Americans. And so has disengagement from organized religion.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Forgive the inflammatory title and the partisan source of this article if those are things that would worry you.  This discussion of how secularization is (and is not) changing the nature of American politics gives people much to consider--no matter where you fit on any political or religious spectrum. 

 

Tagsop-ed, religion, culture, political, USA.

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Why Did Americans Stop Moving?

Why Did Americans Stop Moving? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Census reports that a record-low share of Americans are moving. A recent paper suggests government policies might be curbing mobility.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the past, when I've taught world regional geography, I've often discussed a major regional characteristic of North America is the high degree of internal mobility...that appears to be changing and it brings up more questions than answers.  

 

Questions to Ponder: Are there regions in the United States where people are less likely to move?  How does mobility impact economic, cultural, and political patterns in the United States? Why are less people moving now than before?  

 

Tags: mobilitymigration, USA, statistics.

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The silent minority

The silent minority | Geography Education | Scoop.it
America’s largest ethnic group has assimilated so well that people barely notice it

 

German-Americans are America’s largest single ethnic group (if you divide Hispanics into Mexican-Americans, Cuban-Americans, etc). Yet despite their numbers, they are barely visible. During the first world war, parts of America grew hysterically anti-German. Many stopped speaking German and anglicized their names. The second world war saw less anti-German hysteria, but Hitler and the Holocaust gave German-Americans more reasons to hide their origins.

 

Tagsculturemigrationhistorical, ethnicityUSA.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, January 20, 8:57 AM
Where Germans live in America for the most part.
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America's 'Megaregions' using Commuter Data

America's 'Megaregions' using Commuter Data | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New maps use math to define the amorphous term.
Seth Dixon's insight:

By now I'm sure many of you have seen some iteration of this research and data visualization circulating through social media outlets (you can see the article from City Lab, Atlas Obscura or an urban planning program).  We use terms like the greater metropolitan area to express the idea that areas beyond the city boundaries and even beyond the metropolitan statistical areas are linked with cities.  These 'mega-regions' are in part the hinterlands of a city, a functional region where the cities act as hubs of economic regions.   

Tags: regions, urban, transportationeconomicvisualization, mapping, USA, planning.

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Boris Limpopo's curator insight, December 11, 2016 1:43 AM
Le macroregioni americane con i dati del pendolarismo
Tom Cockburn's curator insight, December 13, 2016 3:53 AM
Plenty of space in the middle it seems
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What This 2012 Map Tells Us About America, and the Election

What This 2012 Map Tells Us About America, and the Election | Geography Education | Scoop.it
History, race, religion, identity, geography: The 2012 election county-level map has many stories to tell, including about the 2016 race.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The coverage of this election feels less objective than in past years (maybe that's just my perception, but that is why I've shared less electoral resources than in past years).  This article show's good map analysis and electoral patterns without much of any ideological or partisan analysis of the political platforms.  

 

Tags: electoral, political, mapping.

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Remembering September 11th

"Video and Photographs of the event. All media is from the internet and not my own. I compiled all media from the internet and edited them together to tell the story of the deadliest attack on America."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The compilation above was created by a teacher who realized that now none of his students were alive to remember how emotional it was for people to watch the horrific news unfold.  Additionally, this video of how Canadians helped the U.S. paired with this lesson plan from the Choices Program will help students explore the human dimension of the September 11 attacks as will this lesson from Teaching History. For a geospatial perspective on 9/11, this page from the Library of Congress, hosted by the Geography and Map Division is a visually rich resources (aerial photography, thermal imagery, LiDAR, etc.)  that show the extent of the damage and the physical change to the region that the terrorist attacks brought.  The images from that day are a part of American memory and change how the event is remembered and memorialized in public spaces (if you want a touching story of heroism, the Red Bandana is moving). 

 
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Colleen Blankenship's curator insight, September 10, 2016 11:16 PM
Because many students were not born when 9/11 occurred, or don't remember, it is important to have sources like this available.  Take a moment and look at this information about this time in U.S. history.
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‘Normal America’ Is Not A Small Town Of White People

‘Normal America’ Is Not A Small Town Of White People | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The sense that the normal America is out there somewhere in a hamlet is misplaced: it’s not in a small town at all.  I calculated how demographically similar each U.S. metropolitan area is to the U.S. overall, based on age, educational attainment, and race and ethnicity.1 The index equals 100 if a metro’s demographic mix were identical to that of the U.S. overall."

Seth Dixon's insight:

We often do imagine that your typical American is from the Heartland, and that very term, strengthens that connotation.  100 years ago that was true that your average American was one a farm or a small town, as 72% of Americans lived in rural areas.  Today, that is decidedly not the case but we still sometimes think (and act) as if it were (84% today live in urban areas).  The United States is urban, diverse, and bi-coastal in it's primary demographic composition.   

 

Tag: rural, migration, USA, census.

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$75 a day vs. $75,000 a year: How we lost jobs to Mexico

$75 a day vs. $75,000 a year: How we lost jobs to Mexico | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A college-educated, manufacturing engineer makes $1,500 a month working the production line at a GE plant in Mexico (about $75 a day). A typical manufacturing engineer that works for GE in the United States makes nearly $75,000 a year, (about $312 a day ... or 4X the rate in Mexico).  That wage gap can easily explain why so many manufacturing jobs have left the United States. Since 2000, the U.S. has lost about 5 million manufacturing jobs.  Manufacturing has crossed the Rubicon -- or Rio Grande -- and it's hard to see those jobs returning to the U.S."

Seth Dixon's insight:

A huge wage gap between American and Mexican workers stands center in the debate over how the U.S. has lost so many blue collar jobs.  We can bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but it is incredibly unlikely that low-skilled manufacturing will become a viable means to achieve a middle class income in the future because of fundamental shifts in economic geography.  

 

Tags: industrymanufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA, Mexicoglobalization, technology.  

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Leonardo Wild's curator insight, April 4, 2016 9:35 AM

A huge wage gap between American and Mexican workers stands center in the debate over how the U.S. has lost so many blue collar jobs.  We can bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but it is incredibly unlikely that low-skilled manufacturing will become a viable means to achieve a middle class income in the future because of fundamental shifts in economic geography.  

 

Tags: industry, manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA, Mexico, globalization, technology.  

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 4, 2016 3:16 PM

A huge wage gap between American and Mexican workers stands center in the debate over how the U.S. has lost so many blue collar jobs.  We can bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but it is incredibly unlikely that low-skilled manufacturing will become a viable means to achieve a middle class income in the future because of fundamental shifts in economic geography.  

 

Tags: industry, manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA, Mexico, globalization, technology.  

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 4, 2016 9:00 PM

A huge wage gap between American and Mexican workers stands center in the debate over how the U.S. has lost so many blue collar jobs.  We can bemoan the loss of manufacturing jobs in the United States, but it is incredibly unlikely that low-skilled manufacturing will become a viable means to achieve a middle class income in the future because of fundamental shifts in economic geography.  

 

Tags: industry, manufacturing, economic, North America, labor, USA, Mexico, globalization, technology.  

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The U.S. Is Pumping All This Oil, So Where Are The Benefits?

The U.S. Is Pumping All This Oil, So Where Are The Benefits? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
America has joined Saudi Arabia and Russia as one of the world's leading oil producers. Forecasters predicted this would usher in a golden age. It hasn't worked out that way.

 

Tags: environment, resources, economic.

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Rural US disappearing? Population share hits low

Rural US disappearing? Population share hits low | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Rural America now accounts for just 16 percent of the nation's population, the lowest ever. The latest 2010 census numbers hint at an emerging America where, by mid-century, city boundaries become indistinct and rural areas grow ever less relevant. Many communities could shrink to virtual ghost towns as they shutter businesses and close down schools, demographers say."

Seth Dixon's insight:

1910: 72% of USA rural

2010: 16% of USA rural

 

This is an old article, but it highlights the stark reversal that has profoundly reshaped our society.  The patterns noted in Peirce Lewis's 1972 classic article "Small Town in Pennsylvania" have just continued and accelerated. 

 

Question to Ponder: What forces are driving the change?  What other parts of society are impacted by this shift?

 

Tag: rural, migration, USA, census.

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L.Long's curator insight, February 19, 2016 10:56 PM

Demise of small towns

 

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How To Travel While Black During Jim Crow

How To Travel While Black During Jim Crow | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A postal worker created a guide for black travelers that was published almost every year from 1936 to 1966."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The effects of globalization and technologies are uneven; this is a very clear example of how mobility and access to other places can be limited based on various segments of the population. It is repugnant to think that such a book was ever necessary in this country, but it is heartening to see the evidence of an organized network that worked to lessen the pain of those oppressed by it (podcast on the Green Book and an additional article).     

Geographer Derek Alderman complied these resources for teachers wanting to use the example of the Green Book in their classrooms.   

 

Tagsmobilitytransportationrace, classculture, historical, USA, ethnicity.

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Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, December 22, 2015 7:56 AM

Back in the day when one travelled while being black there were restrictions in many places. There also were places where one could not stay , and places where you would not be safe.

The confederate flag was a marker , most of the time to let you know that you were not welcome. Of course there were restrictions on busses, trains, and in some cities you had to take a black cab.

 

Lots of people belonged to social clubs , sororities, fraternities and those memberships encouraged people to invite guests into their homes. Many of us did the relatives map. ie. traveled to where family lived. It was magic to be able to go to places in New York, Philadelphia and Boston.,Still you needed to know little things.

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Every Job in America, Mapped

Every Job in America, Mapped | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Are you one of the millions of Americans opting into "job sprawl" over a short commute?


Before you dig in to “Where are the Jobs?: Employment in America 2010,” it may help to note that each dot represents a single job—and you can tell what kind of job it is because of its color. Manufacturing and trade jobs are red; professional services jobs are blue; healthcare, education, and government jobs are green; and retail, hospitality, and other service jobs are yellow. You won’t find any dots for federal jobs (no available data), and Massachusetts is missing entirely—the only state to opt out of reporting its employment trends. The end result is a highly detailed map that gives viewers a quick summary of how many and what types of jobs are a part of the economy.


Tags: economic, labor, USA, transportation, industry.

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What are El Niño and La Niña?

What are El Niño and La Niña? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"El Niño and La Niña are complex weather patterns resulting from variations in ocean temperatures in the Equatorial Pacific--officially known as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. These deviations from normal surface temperatures can have large-scale impacts not only on ocean processes, but also on global weather and climate."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This short video from NOAA is an excellent summary that explains the ENSO cycle.  The video has a particular emphasis on how changing patterns in the Pacific Ocean currents can impact weather patterns in various regions of the United States.  

 

Tagsphysical, weather and climateregions, USA.

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ROCAFORT's curator insight, February 24, 2:31 AM
What are El Niño and La Niña?
Loreto Vargas's curator insight, February 24, 12:45 PM
It’s a complicated phenomenon but El Niño is not the same as La Niña... Read the article.
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Minnesota becomes a gateway to Canada for rejected African migrants

More than 430 African migrants have arrived in Winnipeg since April, up from 70 three years ago. Most come by way of Minneapolis, sometimes after grueling treks across Latin America and stints in U.S. immigration detention.

 

A tangle of factors is fueling the surge: brisker traffic along an immigrant smuggling route out of East Africa, stepped-up deportations under the Obama administration and the lure of Canada’s gentler welcome. Advocates expect the Trump administration’s harder line on immigration will spur even more illegal crossings into Canada, where some nonprofits serving asylum seekers are already overwhelmed. Now Canadians worry smugglers are making fresh profits from asylum seekers and migrants take more risks to make the crossing.

 

Tags: migration, USACanada, borders, political.

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Americans Moving at Historically Low Rates

Americans Moving at Historically Low Rates | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The percentage of Americans moving over a one-year period fell to an all time low in the United States to 11.2 percent in 2016.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In the past, when I've taught world regional geography, I've often discussed a major regional characteristic of North America is the high degree of internal mobility...that appears to be changing and it brings up more questions than answers.  

 

Questions to Ponder: Are there regions in the United States where people are less likely to move?  How does mobility impact economic, cultural, and political patterns in the United States? Why are less people moving now than before?  

 

Tags: mobilitymigration, USA, statistics.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, December 30, 2016 8:29 PM

Internal migration in USA can make an interesting comparison with Australia 

 

Syllabus 

Internal migration  

Students investigate reasons for and effects of internal migration in Australia and another country, for example: 

  • analysis of trends in temporary and permanent internal migration
  • discussion of economic, social or environmental
  • consequences of internal migration on places of origin and destination

Geoworld 9 NSW

Chapter 7: Urban settlement patterns Australia and USA

 

Chapter 8: Migration changes Australia and USA

8.8 Australians are mobile people

8.9 Mobile indigenous populations

8.10 Lifestyle migration

8.11 The power of resources

8.12 Migration changes the USA

 

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Clinton would have won if the United States looked like the top map

Clinton would have won if the United States looked like the top map | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Can you tell what’s wrong with this map of the United States? I’ll give you a hint: Look near the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. Spot the problem yet? A further hint: Look at the border of Wisconsin and Illinois as well as the Florida Panhandle. See it now? The Wisconsin-Illinois border is slightly more southern and the Florida Panhandle is slightly shorter.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This mapping application is my favorite discovery after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election.  The election was obviously very contentious and incredibly close, both in regard to the popular vote as well as the Electoral College.  Using this mapping application, you can re-divide the states of the union by shifting the counties around.  Using the voting patterns based on the county-level data, you can see how your proposed divisions would have impacted the 2016 presidential election. 

There have been many plans on how to divide the 50 states into various regional configurations (50 states of equal population, regions of economic interactions, cultural regions, and the Nine Nations of America), and this is another iteration of that age-old theme. While this isn’t an activity in gerrymandering in the strictest sense (this is not reapportioning within the state based on population change but between states), it shows just how gerrymandering works.  It takes 270 electoral votes to win the presidency, but you could make it a landslide (in either direction) if you manipulate the current state borders.  The highest electoral vote I could engineer for Donald Trump was 407, and the highest electoral total I could manufacture for Hillary Clinton was 402.  The point of this is to show that the balance within and among states can be far more delicate than we might presume.  Just a line here or a line there can dramatically alter the balance of power.        

Activity #1: Try to make this a landslide victory for the Republican Party.  How many electoral votes could you garner for the Republicans? Add a screenshot.

Activity #2: Try to make this a landslide victory for the Democratic Party.  How many electoral votes could you garner for the Democrats? Add a screenshot.

Activity #3: Try to tip the election to the Democrats with the most subtle, minor changes that might go under the radar. Explain your changes to the state map.  Add a screenshot.   

 

Tags: gerrymandering, political, mapping, census, unit 4 political, regionsNorth America.

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Why America’s ‘nones’ left religion behind

Why America’s ‘nones’ left religion behind | Geography Education | Scoop.it
With the percentage of U.S. adults who do not identify with a religious group growing, we asked these people to explain, in their own words, why they left.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The United States' population is becoming increasingly secularized.  The U.S. used to be predominantly a white, Christian country but that is no longer the case.  As religion becomes less of a factor in the lives of many individuals, it also has larger cultural ramifications. 

 

Tags: culturereligionUSA, Christianity.

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21 charts that explain how the US is changing

21 charts that explain how the US is changing | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The US is a big, complicated place that has undergone some big changes over its 238 years, and even in the last few decades. Here are 21 charts that explain what life is like today in the US — who we are, where we live, how we work, how we have fun, and how we relate to each other.

 

Tags: USA, map, map archives

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Ms.Bright's curator insight, July 9, 2016 10:21 AM
Unit II
Michael Harding's curator insight, July 11, 2016 7:22 PM

A really challenging set of charts from the US. 


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220 years of US population changes in one map

Every 10 years, the Census Bureau calculates the exact center of the US population. Here's what that statistic shows about our history.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Every 10 years the centroid (the center of U.S. population) is calculated using the latest census data.  As the video above shows, the centroid has continued moved west throughout history, but in the last 60 years has moved to the south and west.  The recent shift to the south coincides with the mass availability of air conditioning (among other factors) which opened up the Sun Belt.  In this article in Orion Magazine, Jeremy Miller discusses the historical shifts in the spatial patterns of the U.S. population and the history of the centroid.  you can listen to the podcast version of the article or a shorter podcast by NPR

 

Questions to Ponder:  Would the centroids of other countries be as mobile or predictable?  Why or why not?  What does the centroid tell us?

 

Tags: statistics, census, mappingmigration, populationhistoricalUSA.

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U.S. religious groups and their political leanings

U.S. religious groups and their political leanings | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Mormons are the most heavily Republican-leaning religious group in the U.S., while a pair of major historically black Protestant denominations – the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church and the National Baptist Convention – are two of the most reliably Democratic groups, according to data from Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religionUSA, electoral, political

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Dewayne Goad's curator insight, March 9, 2016 9:40 AM

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religion, USA, electoral, political. 

Danielle Yen's curator insight, March 10, 2016 9:22 AM

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religionUSA, electoral, political

NADINE BURCHI SCORP's curator insight, March 10, 2016 1:22 PM

Happy Super Tuesday.  While there are people of all political stripes within any given religious affiliation, the geography of religion really matters in electoral geography as well.    

 

Tags: religion, USA, electoral, political. 

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The states people really want to move to — and those they don’t

The states people really want to move to — and those they don’t | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A national trend has reversed.

 

When the U.S. economy slowed during the recession, so did one of the major demographic shifts of the last several decades. For a brief respite, the Northeast and Midwest stopped shedding quite so many residents to the burgeoning Sun Belt. That trend, though — which has big consequences for politics, among other things — has been picking back up.  New census data shows the trend accelerating back to its pre-recession pace.

 

Tags: migrationeconomic, USA.

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Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims fit a pattern of persecution. Just ask Jews, Catholics and Mormons.

Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims fit a pattern of persecution. Just ask Jews, Catholics and Mormons. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Persecuting religious minorities that are perceived as a political threat is a time-honored American tradition.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is not intended to be a political post, but one that reflects of the history of religious persecution in the United States.  If you find that to be a controversial political topic, so be it.  In the past, when Americans have suspected that a religious group is undermining it's country’s free, democratic political order, we have demanded—often violently—some radical action against that group.  Let that past stay in the past.  

 

Tags: religionUSA, historical, conflict

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Chelsea Martines's curator insight, December 12, 2015 3:45 PM
The author is the article, Henry Farrell, interviews David T. Smith about Donald Trump's statement about not allowing anymore Muslims to come to the U.S. He says that this is a pattern of persecutions, as many religions have been persecuted through the history of the U.S. He uses examples from Jews, Catholics, and Mormons. They have all been restricted income rights, or attacked by the government in the 19 and 20 centuries. DTS says that what the current president and the old president have done regarding Islamic extremist is controversial. Both president Bush and Obama have said that ISIS and other terrier groups could be considered not even Islamic or religious as to not be labeled as attacking a religion, so it can rather be seen as simply terrorist and then have the peaceful Muslims be kept protected.
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Jim Crow-Era Travel Guides

Jim Crow-Era Travel Guides | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"From 1936 to 1966, the 'Green Book' was a travel guide that provided black motorists with peace of mind while they drove through a country where racial segregation was the norm and sundown towns — where African-Americans had to leave after dark — were not uncommon."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The effects of globalization and technologies are uneven; this is a very clear example of how mobility and access to other places can be limited based on various segments of the population. It is repugnant to think that such a book was ever necessary in this country, but it is heartening to see the evidence of an organized network that worked to lessen the pain of those oppressed by it.    


This year's Geography Awareness Week's theme is "Explore! The Power of Maps."  Geographer Derek Alderman complied these resources for teachers wanting to use the example of the Green Book in their classrooms.  


Tags: mobility, transportation, race, class, culture, historical, USA, ethnicity.

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John Puchein's curator insight, November 12, 2015 8:08 AM

All I have to say is....wow.