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Thanks to Humans, the Great Salt Lake Is Drying Up

Thanks to Humans, the Great Salt Lake Is Drying Up | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Diverting more water could pose serious health and economic threats to Utah.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Follow-up: The drying up of the lake can't be blamed on the current drought, this is a human-induced modification of the environment.  This lake is not exceptional, even if the imagery is startling.  Like many lakes in dry climates with growing populations, the people are using the freshwater flow into the lakes more extensively than they have in the past.  The Great Salt Lake, the Aral Sea, Lake Chad, Lake Urmia, and the Dead Sea are all drying up.  

 

Tags: physical, Utah, environment modifyenvironment, water.

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Teagan M's curator insight, April 21, 9:13 AM
Date: April 21think that we should stop using up the lake and keep it as is because any more damage could cause it to be totally destroyed and potentially bad for the economy. Protecting the lake is the best thing they could do right now, but Any more damage and they might never be able to make it go back to the way it was, and it could stay dry forever.
Mary Grace Bunch's comment, April 21, 10:21 PM
The Great Salt Lake in Utah is drying up which will lead to an unpromising future for the environmental health of the area. This is occurring due to the consistent reductions from rivers feeding into the lake that have been taking plays for 150 years. This past year the Great Salt Lake reached record low levels, dropping 11 feet. As a result of this increase in salinity and loss in half the volume of the lake, there is going to be trouble involving the economy and ecology of the state of Utah. This can be seen by dust storms or pollution.

The agglomeration of these rivers and gateways into the lake for human use are leading to the backwash effect. The backwash effect can be seen as the drained/dried out of water, an important resource to Salt Lake City, being drained in its regions. The impacts of the rivers outside of the lake are affecting the resources of the lake, even though it may not seem direct. Primary Economic Activities such as fishing will be impacted by the drying up of the Great Salt Lake. As a result of this, the development of Utah will be threatened. Utah is very reliant on the lake for it’s valuable resources that help them develop. A solution may be found through ecotourism. If the city is motivated in solving this problem, they could very well promote ecotourism in order to preserve the lake since Salt Lake City is very popular and many people travel there.

This article was relative to the Development Unit we are in now. It made me aware of what is going on in Utah. I never would have known this issue was occurring until I took the time to read it. I look forward to following along with this issue in the future and to see how the state of Utah will deal with it.
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Large Flash Flood

"A nice flood rolled down Johnson Canyon (southern Utah) on July 6th, 2015."

Seth Dixon's insight:

The raw power of Earth's natural forces can be truly amazing. 


Tags: physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms, Utah, water, disasters.

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China’s hungry cattle feasting on alfalfa grown on Utah farm

China’s hungry cattle feasting on alfalfa grown on Utah farm | Geography Education | Scoop.it
China has long depended on the U.S. breadbasket, importing up to $26 billion in U.S. agricultural products yearly. But increasingly, Chinese investors aren’t just buying from farms abroad. They’re buying the farms.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Globalization is often described as a homogenizing force, but is also pairs together odd bed fellows.  A small Utah town near the Colorado border, Jensen is now home to the largest Chinese-owned hay farm in the United States. Utah's climate is right for growing alfalfa, and China's growing cattle industry make this a natural global partnership.  Large container ships come to the United States from China, and return fairly empty, making the transportation price relatively affordable.  While this might make economic sense on a global scale, local water concerns in the west show that this isn't without it's problems.  Water resources are scarce and many see this as a depletion of local water exported to China.  Some states see this as a threat and are considering banning foreign ownership of farmland.  This article shows the merging of various geographic themes: the global and local, the industrial and the agricultural, the human and the physical.         


Tags: agriculture, agribusinesstransportation, globalizationwaterChinaindustry, economic, physical, Utah.

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Stephen Zimmett's curator insight, July 7, 2014 10:41 AM
strong>Seth Dixon's insight: China buying farm land
MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:06 PM

APHG-U5

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:15 PM

APHG-U5

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Great Salt Lake: Landsat Science

Great Salt Lake: Landsat Science | Geography Education | Scoop.it

With imagination one can explore and understand how very different life was for people in the United States before the Golden Spike was hammered into the ground in Utah in 1869. That was a much-hailed event that knitted the country together by linking two railroad lines from the eastern and western ends of the continent. Just ten years earlier, when the map at left was made, life was more centered on local transactions. It was hard for families with children to visit friends because travel in this part of the country was slow and arduous, over bumpy dirt roads by horse and wagon. A life involving daily travel for several miles from home each day to work was not feasible. Yet change was in the air even then.

Engineers had put together the recently-invented steam engine with the practicality of a road made of rails and cross-ties, and businessmen and politicians were envisioning a national transportation network – a railroad system. What a difference that could make in the life of this still-young nation! The federal government began sending dozens of mapmakers across the country to identify and draw the best routes for a national railroad in an initiative called “the Great Reconnaissance.”

The national railroad system brought a revolution in commerce and mind-set to the United States in the 19th century. Landsat technology has fomented a revolution of its own, making hundreds of maps of landscapes around the globe daily and becoming an integral part of our national infrastructure just as the railway system and automobile Interstate Highway Systems did in previous eras. With Landsat we have our own 21st century Great Reconnaissance.

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Religious Geographies

Religious Geographies | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

I recently got my hands on a fabulous atlas entitled Mapping Mormonism which shows the historical geographies of this particular Christian denomination (see a review here).  I'll briefly share just this one cartogram above that is from the atlas; it displays territory not by the size of the landmass but by the LDS population living within the given territory.  While we would expect to see Utah to be very large on this cartogram, are there other pockets of large LDS populations that are surprising to you?  What explains the small spatial distribution patterns of limited diffusion that you see?  The LDS church is well-known for its missionary program and proselytizing efforts—does that play a role in this map?


On a related side note I found a curious political/religious map of the United States (a map that is partially explained by understanding some of the patterns on the map above).  The most typical religious maps show where particular religions are pre-dominant.  This map shows territories marked not by the faith of the residents but by the religion of the local congressmen.  This make me wonder:  Is this map religious or political? Is there valuable information to glean from this maps or is it simply a fun curiosity?  How does the religious geography of the United States impact political geography (or vice versa)?    


Tags: religion, culture, diffusion, mapping, historical, cartography.

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Jacob Ramsey's comment, September 1, 2013 10:42 PM
Its really interesting how a so many people can collaborate on one topic to bring not only the history of a ideal, but the true history of a long line of people that were a big part of the development of the west in the United States. We always learn about how this and that president did something to help the country expand but it would very interesting to see how we as a country grew from the influences of someone outside of our own society. And not only does this book offer maps but it also includes charts and timelines!
Kendall Belleville's comment, September 2, 2013 5:11 PM
It is really cool to see how much of tho religions are in the United States. it is really nice to see that people are being supportive of them. It is interesting that there are large areas of religion and then some areas have very little.
Sid McIntyre-DeLaMelena's curator insight, May 29, 2014 12:30 AM

This map conveys the population of Mormons in each state. The sizes of the states are presented as corresponding the the Mormon population in each. The map links to more than what it shows. When you ask why are so many Mormons in Utah you can look into the past of Utah and the past of Mormons and you will find that Mormons settled in Utah following one of their leaders. You can then even ask the question why are Mormons still migrating to Utah or the question why did they stay there. Human geography can help us find the answers to these questions. A shared ideology among the community. A lack of repercussion for being open about their belief. A sense of belonging. Family connections. Human Geography help us unravel these mysteries which were brought to our attention by a simple map.

Regional spaces of Mormon's (such as the rather Formal region of Utah) are shown through the map and show the distribution of Mormonism throughout the world.

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States With Most and Least Stress

States With Most and Least Stress | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"For the past five years, Hawaii has consistently ranked as the least stressed state, while West Virginia, Kentucky, and Utah have been among the most stressed states. Despite this, Utah residents join Hawaii residents in reporting among the highest levels of enjoyment in the U.S., while West Virginia and Kentucky residents report some of the lowest levels of enjoyment.  While the relationship between stress and enjoyment is not clear, states with the highest stress levels tend to report less daily enjoyment."

Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to being the state with the least joy, Rhode Island is ranked as the 2nd most stressed out state.  I think that means it's time to to get out of the Ocean State for a while. 


Questions to Ponder: what are some factors that may account for this regional variation?  What explains your states relative levels of stress and enjoyment?   

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Amber Nicole Bogie's curator insight, May 29, 2013 12:00 PM

I can guess what Hawaii is the least stressed. Where does your state rank and why? 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 4:12 PM

Woohoo!! Most stressful state. This is no surprise with Rhode Island only being behind Neveda for highest unemploment. Also the poor quality can easily make up that .9% which put us in the lead. This article also goes to show that if you live in a beautiful place your more likely to have a higher enjoyment the concrete jungles.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 15, 2015 8:28 AM

Rhode Islands are stressed out and unhappy. I think the findings in this survey by Gallup will surprise  no one in this state. The Great Recession of 2008 hit our state hard. Throughout the crises our state had some of the highest levels of unemployment in the nation. The recovery from the recession has been particularly slow in Rhode Island. Our utter lack of industry and high tax structure does not help matters. Hawaii being the less stressed state is also of little surprise to most people. Hawaii is as close to paradise on earth as man is likely to achieve. Three of the bottom five states in the category of daily enjoyment, are in the Northeastern portion of the nation. Life in the Northeast is full of headaches. The weather is often nasty. The economic development is often stalled. I do not find it surprising, that the Northeast is near the bottom of the enjoyment portion of the survey.

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America's Most (and Least) Religious Metro Areas

America's Most (and Least) Religious Metro Areas | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Provo, Utah, and Burlington, Vermont, represent opposite ends of the U.S. religiosity spectrum.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The majority of the most religious metros are concentrated in the South or Utah.  This particular weekend, many of the rythmns of urban life in Utah cities are remarkably visible as the LDS church holds it's semi-annual General Conference.  On the opposite side of spectrum, 5 of the 10 least religious metros are in New England; the west coast is the other center of diminished religiosity (with a mini-center in Colorado). 


Questions to ponder: What cultural patterns help to partially explain the levels of religiosity in the United States?  What other factors explain the patterns of religiosity in your in your local area? 


Tags: USA, culture, religion, Christianity.

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Lyn Leech's comment, August 23, 2013 5:45 PM
The fact that as you get more westward (disregarding Utah,) religion looses popularity has to do with the people who, in the past, migrated there. It could be argued that super-religious people back in the old days who came from England to escape religious prosecution tended to get to the east coast and then settle there, whereas people who didn't have a church as a tether would be more likely to go out east to look for gold and things. It's an interesting map, regardless and the west's seeming lack of religion may be due to the fact that most of the population of the US is based on the east, due to extreme conditions in the west such as mountains and deserts.
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Fulgurites

Fulgurites | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Fulgurites are the rocks that form when lightning strikes sand (there are other types as well) and it creates a hollow tube.  Think of it as petrified lightning--super cool! 

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Kimberly Hordern's comment, April 28, 2013 8:46 PM
I have never heard of these before. I thought it was really interesting how they a made. It is confusing however how the article talks about lighting being able to create these almost every time it strikes then how come they are not more common?
Seth Dixon's comment, April 28, 2013 9:02 PM
If you want to see how to coax nature into producing these things while watching a rom-com, see "Sweet Home Alabama" w/Reese Witherspoon.
Thomas D's comment, April 29, 2013 4:53 PM
I find this article very interesting, I have never heard about or seen this in my life. I had no idea that these types of things could be formed from a lightning strike. The article is a little confusing however saying that these can happen all the time. Maybe it’s because I’ve never seen a lightning bolt directly hit the ground in front of me and see the reaction of the earth. I just find it hard to see as this being the first time I would come across something like this.
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Cathedral Valley Night Timelapse

Cathedral Valley is a remote area of Capitol Reef National park in Utah. These pictures were taken 3/16/2012 Taken with a D700 Pictures edited in Lightroom s...

 

This is just a beautiful depiction of a beautiful place.   For more by this photographer, see: http://jarviedigital.com

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Landscapes: Volume II

This is an incredibly beautiful time-lapse HD video.  Breathtaking physical landscapes of the "Four Corners" region in the U.S. southwest (mainly Arizona and Utah) with a smattering of cultural landscapes interspersed.  For many students, seeing a beautiful landform piques their interest to then understand the geomorphological processes that made them.   

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Lisa Fonseca's comment, October 19, 2011 5:58 PM
ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! These incredibly beautiful physical landscapes were gorgeous. With the help of the HD video it all felt so real and breath taking. While I was watching this video I was keeping in mind the thought of the geomorphological process but more importantly how I feel as though we take for granted to not see what else is out there in the country. I myself knew we live in a beautiful country but after watching this video I just grew much much more appreciation for the countries gorgeous landscapes. I also have saved this video because I believe it is so important to show to many others.
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Utah's Great Salt Lake is shrinking

Utah's Great Salt Lake is shrinking | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Human activity is playing a role in the dwindling size of Utah's Great Salt Lake, according to new research.While the research group acknowledged the role that climate fluctuations, such as droughts and floods, have played in the shift of the lake's water levels over time, the decrease in the lake's size is predominantly due to human causes. According to the report, the heavy reliance on consumptive water uses has reduced the lake level by 11 feet and its volume by 48 percent.

 

Tags: physical, Utah, environment modifyenvironment, water.

Seth Dixon's insight:

The railroad causeway that creates the color difference between the northern and sotuhern portions of the Great Lake is as the Union Pacific plans to change the causeway; the proposed bridge would allow for the two distinct salinities to intermingle more.  Environmentally, this lake is not exceptional.  Like many lakes in dry climates with growing populations, the people are using the freshwater flow into the lakes more extensively than they have in the past.  The Great Salt Lake, the Aral Sea, Lake Chad, Lake Urmia, and the Dead Sea are all drying up.  

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Sally Egan's curator insight, April 10, 11:05 PM
Another great example of human activities changing the biophysical environment.
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Eerie Landforms

Eerie Landforms | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Utah's Fantasy Canyon features mudstone eroded into bizarre shapes. This one's called "Flying Witch". #Halloween


Tags: physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms, Utah.

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Angels Landing

"Since 2004, six people have died falling from the cliffs on this route." is what the sign says. Only one step from a 1400 foot fall.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Angel's Landing in Utah's Zion National Park (map) is one of my favorite hikes with an amazing view.The geomorphology of 'red rock' country is stunning and it's sheer cliffs are bound to captivate the imagination.  If you want something like this but with a more European flavor, watch National Geographic's Andrew Evans climb Preikestolen in Norway.   


Tags: physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms, Utah.

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Utah Geographical Alliance's curator insight, March 25, 2014 7:22 PM

Thank you @APHumanGeog beautiful video of #Utah to remind us it is spring! Get your students outside and enjoy our beautiful home, teaching students outside can be very rewarding in teaching them about the world we live in.  

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What's a Hoodoo?

What's a Hoodoo? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Utah Boy Scout leaders who filmed themselves knocking over the top of a rock formation called a hoodoo have faced a firestorm of criticism. An expert weighs in.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I was toying with writing about the landforms in Goblin Valley after the hearing of vandals destroying part of this gorgeous landscape. Differential erosion is the key to making these formations as a resistant cap protects some of the softer rock underneath.  This article should answer most of your questions about the physical geography behind this current event.   

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The New Places Where America's Tech Future Is Taking Shape

The New Places Where America's Tech Future Is Taking Shape | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Technology is reshaping our economic geography, but there’s disagreement as to how. Much of the media and pundits like Richard Florida assert that the tech revolution is bound to be centralized in the dense, often 'hip' places where 'smart' people cluster.


From 2001 to 2012, STEM employment actually was essentially flat in the San Francisco and Boston regions and  declined 12.6% in San Jose. The country’s three largest mega regions — Chicago, New York and Los Angeles — all lost tech jobs over the past decade. In contrast, double-digit rate expansions of tech employment have occurred in lower-density metro areas such as Austin, Texas; Raleigh, N.C.; Columbus, Ohio; Houston and Salt Lake City. Indeed, among the larger established tech regions, the only real winners have been Seattle, with its diversified and heavily suburbanized economy, and greater Washington, D.C., the parasitical beneficiary of an ever-expanding federal power, where the number of STEM jobs grew 21% from 2001 to 2012, better than any other of the 51 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas over that period."  Read more.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, June 14, 2013 8:10 AM

Goes to the 2013 FRQ #1

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 4:07 PM

" Facebook LinkedIn and Twitter only have 6500 empolyees" crazy to think that these million dollar companys have such few employess. This article has shown me that in the economy nothing is a gurrantee. Companys like Groupon and Zynga had ingenius ideas that quickly became nationally known brands are treading water while still in the infancy of their corporation. This difinetly is partly due to their local areas being not very cost effective. So to make it in this world you need a good idea and to hub your company in a middle tier city where it is most cost effective.

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A 'Ziggy' Path to the NFL

Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah's journey to the NFL, beginning as a walk-on to the Brigham Young University football team from Accra, Ghana, who had never played foot...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Ezekiel loved playing soccer and never played American football until he was in his 20's; that is NOT a typical path to the NFL.  Ziggy's life represents the geography of opportunity.  If he had grown up in the United States, a boy with his physical abilities would have been funneled into football leagues at an early age.  If he lived his whole life in Africa, he would never become a millionaire (probably not anyway).  However, global diffusion of religious ideas brought LDS missionaries to his home in Ghana; enhanced migrational opportunities took him to Utah and all of these geographic factors (combined with his personal skills and ambition) helped him to become the fifth overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft and a member of the Detroit Lions.  Read here for more on Ziggy.  


This story also makes be wonder if those with the greatest physical talent for a sport always gets the opportunity.  I'm sure some kids in tropical countries have the physical tools to be fantastic hockey players, but without access to participation at an early age because of the cultural preferences of the area (although with hockey you could argue it's also climatically determined), they are geographically constrained to a different set of possibilities for their lives.  

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Seth Dixon's comment, April 26, 2013 7:36 PM
I have (and forgot that's where the nugget of the 'hockey' idea came from). I just wish I had those cool glasses! Poor Eagles, Ziggy is ultimate high risk/high reward pick.
megan b clement's curator insight, October 13, 2013 12:30 AM

"The article discusses Ziggy who is orginally from Ghana who came to America and usually played soccer. As a result of coming to America and his profound athletic ability adjusted to the American tradition of playing football one of America's number one past times. He came into a foreign country and not only made it his home but made football a challlenge he was going to conquere. It was not always easy but with the talent, right tools, and the right people to inspire and push him he is one of the best players in 2013."

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, October 31, 2013 1:53 PM

The story of Ziggy is a great one; it not only shows how hard work and perseverance pay off, but also the importance of cultural diffusion. After hearing how ziggy grew up it was clear that he had some natural athletic talent, but with out the ability to come to school in America he would have never had a chance to explore his football abilities. I liked how in the video they showed a clip of him talking to the head coach when he first asked to play and he said, “ You know this isn’t soccer.” And Ziggy responded by saying, “Yes I understand but if you give me a chance I believe I can do well.”

This just shows how much geography can limit possibilities, Ziggy had never even had the opportunity to try out, train or play football from a young age. I guess it all kind of reminds me of how America is really a land of opportunities, and how a sophomore at BYU with no prior football experience can go to being the 2013 number five overall draft pick in the NHL.

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Pacific Islanders transform Utah’s football scene

Pacific Islanders transform Utah’s football scene | Geography Education | Scoop.it
New demographic study in California reveals nation’s changing face. Plus how Pacific Islanders changed high school football in Utah and why a Somali Bantu band from Vermont is in demand around the country.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This news article of 'odds and ends' has some interesting geographic content.  Having lived in Utah for many years, I can attest to the fact that the "Polynesian Pipeline" for Utah schools is incredibly important and represents a chain migration that has culturally shifted both the 'host' and 'migrant' population.  The 'haka' is now institutionized as a part of Intermountain West football culture.   


Also in this article:

--Hispanics to outnumber whites in California by 2014

--Somali Bantu band from Burlington, VT in demand across the country


Tags: migration, culture, diffusionreligion.

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Jessica Rieman's curator insight, April 23, 2014 6:30 PM

Pacific islanders transform the Utah football team. Yes, that's right now football has a more diverse team roster and they said they are going to keep on expanding to receive top players from these countries and states in order to build a new kind of diverse team. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 10:06 PM

Going to school in another place is a great experience. For these pacific islanders they get the chance to get an education in the U.S. while playing a game they love. Utah was the first of many states to start this trend and now other states are trying to do the same.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 26, 2015 4:28 PM

This article shows how ethnic groups who come the US adopt the culture of the country in their own unique way.  Polynesians are known for being great at football due to their size, and some even make it into the NFL.  However, the reason many Pacific Islanders come to the US is for better opportunity and education than they would have had at home.  It is interesting to see how the face of a sport can change, and how some ethnic groups who come to the nation are drawn towards certain sports.  Whereas Dominicans love Baseball, Pacific Islanders love Football.  In fact, Troy Palamalu, who just retired from the Steelers during the offseason has Polynesian heritage and he was a great football player in his prime.  The inclusion of the haka into football games out west,  as noted by Professor Dixon, is also interesting due to the fact that parts of Polynesian culture are becoming part of American sport culture as well. 

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The Geography of Charitable Giving

Ever wonder how charitable the people are who live in your area? It turns out that lower-income people tend to donate a much bigger share of their discretionary incomes than wealthier people, according to a new study.

 

Questions to ponder: What are some reasons that Providence RI is the 'least charitable' metropolitan area in the United States according to this data?  Why is the state of Utah ranked as the 'most charitable state?'  Why are the bottom 3 states all in the New England region? 

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New group opposes corridor plan

New group opposes corridor plan | Geography Education | Scoop.it
SYRACUSE —— The state altered the West Davis Corridor to appease one group, but now another group is opposing those changes. Earlier this...

 

This issue in Syracuse, Utah is not that Earth-shattering, yet it is a perfect case-study that highlights the local city planning politics of NIMBY (Not in my backyard).  While a road through a certain neighborhood might solve the regional transit issue, for local residents it can dramatically change the character of the neighborhood, provoking vociferous complaints.

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