Geography Education
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Curated by Seth Dixon
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Who Owns The North Pole?

"Though uninhabited and full of melting ice caps, the Arctic is surprisingly an appealing piece of real estate. Many countries have already claimed parts of the region. So who technically owns the North Pole? And why do these nations want it so bad?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Denmark is now being more assertive in their claimsWhy is this happening now?  As climate change threatens polar ice caps, some see the receding ice as an economic and political opportunity.  Canada, Russia, Denmark (Greenland) and the U.S. are all seeking to expand their maritime claims in the Arctic.  When trapped under ice, extracting resources is cost prohibitive, but the melting sea ice will make the Arctic's resources all the more valuable (including the expanded shipping lanes).  Even a global disaster like climate change can make countries behave like jackals, ready to feast on a dead carcass.  For more, read this National Geographic blogpost.  


TagsArctic, economic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, unit 4 politicalclimate change, political ecology.

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Rich Schultz's curator insight, January 2, 2015 5:52 PM

Great question!  I think we all know the answer...Santa Claus!! ;)

Sammy Shershevsky's curator insight, January 17, 2015 4:57 PM

The video discusses a big topic in discussion today - Who really owns the North Pole? Although the North Pole is uninhabited, many countries have claimed to take ownership of the vast majority of land (or, ice). Canada has already claimed that the North Pole is part of its nation. Russia has put up Russian flags on the North Pole (such as underwater) but does that really make North Pole a Russian territory? The media plays a role in this by offering different opinions on who should and who deserves the right to own the North Pole. You might read a Canadian article that lists all the outright reasons why the North Pole is or deserves to be a Canadian territory. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 6, 2015 7:26 PM

In my opinion, I don't understand how the United nations can be seen as an entity that, essentially, controls who would have rights to a place like the North Pole(technically, not owned by anyone).  I, naively, understand the basics of the U.N.  In short, it is an organization that was formed, post-WW I or II, as a governing board for world-issues.

 

 With that being said, how can they believe that their "law" is the all-powerful one?  If I'm a leader of a country who is not a member of the U.N., do I really care what they say?   I just find it odd that this narrator speaks about the issue while holding the U.N. as a supreme authority.  I know that this video is just a quick fun type of video but it leaves me with wanting to hear the perspective of a non-U.N. member.  But a very interesting topic, none the less.

 

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The Strategic Importance of the Caspian Sea

"Stratfor Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky examines the Caspian Sea's large energy reserves and its conflicting maritime boundaries."

Seth Dixon's insight:

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the world's largest lake went from having just two countries on its shores to five. Dividing the maritime borders has been especially difficult since the Caspian Sea has rich energy reserves and this lake will remain a place of strategic interest for many regional powers.  This video has been added to my ESRI StoryMap that spatially organizes place-based videos for the geography classroom.    


Tags: borders, political, geopolitics, Central Asia, energy, resources, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, Russiaeconomic, water.

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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:48 PM

The Caspian Sea, an area of importance for the middle east, is divided between 5 countries. It was once divided between 2 but was divided post soviet era. The sea is a area of importance because it is a hub of transportation and economic significance for transporting goods and services. Because of the waterway in Azerbaijan they have a significant way of gaining ecnomic growth by controlling the trade in and out of the Caspian sea.  

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:09 PM

The Caspian Sea which is bordered by five countries, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kazakstan and Azerbaijan. The seas importance come from its abundance of resources. It contains large volumes of oil and gas, an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil lies within and 8.7 trillion cubic meters of gas. Much of offshore oil has not been tapped because of disputes over maritime borders. Europe is interested in energy sources as well in the southern corner as a release from Russia's grip. Both Iran and Russia seem to disagree because of the idea of a TransCaspian pipeline.    

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 12:44 PM

The Caspian Sea is an intriguing geopolitical situation. The region was once dominated by the Soviet Union but  after the collapse is shared by multiple countries. Further complicating matters is the sea is full of untapped oil deposits. Territory disputes in such a situation are almost inevitable raising tensions in the region. Azerbaijan also wants to make a deal with Turkmenistan and Europe to move gas through a pipeline to diversify their income and provide Europe and alternative to Russian fuel. Naturally the Russians with the help of Iranians are making this difficult because it would threaten their profits. It seems that  the whole area likely needs a neutral party to try and arrange fair economic usage zones in the area. The Ukrainian conflict has further exasperated this since Europe is sanctioning their key fuel provider which in turn leads to more tension over pipelines. Hopefully all the oil exploitation doesn't also lead to poor environmental consequences such as the Aral sea economic usage. It is clear that central Asia while free from communist rule is still very much tied to Russia and its past decisions.

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Brazil's ethanol revolution

"United Nations, June 2008 - The bio-fuel, ethanol, is generating a revolution in renewable energy that could help reduce the world's thirst for oil. In Brazil, the production of ethanol from sugarcane is booming, but what is not clear is the impact it is having on the industry's sugarcane cutters."  Transcript of video available here.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  Click here for a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol.  


Tagsenergy, resourcespolitical ecologyagriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

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Patty B's curator insight, November 10, 2015 5:19 PM

S. AMERICA SCOOP:

The 'ethanol revolution' occurring in Brazil is a critical topic to examine in terms of global geography. With it's ethanol export rising 70% as of 2007-08, and with an abundance of sugarcane, Brazil is now beginning to offer an alternative to tradition fuels (especially for cars). Brazil is exporting a great deal of ethanol which is stimulating its economy, but there is a negative side to this energy boom. It's causing a great deal of unemployment in Brazil due to the mechanization of the process of sugarcane cultivation. The effects of a country or region's main commodity always goes under this mechanization process, it just depends on when the need for that commodity arises (this kind of relates to "Guns, Germs, and Steel" and the idea of determinism).

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:01 PM
This sounds like something that people need to learn from, making fuel from sugar and alcohol. It is said that because of this Brazil is a world leader in in this sector. Doing so reduces emissions making a cleaner environment. This is future. .Doing things such as this and making machine mechanized cutters is good too, because now humans do not have to do it. When humans by hand get the sugar they have to burn plants, and burning plants pollutes the air because of the fire and the fire can cause severe destruction if it gets out of hand. With hand picking going out, it will be better overall. Delivering ethanol to the rest of the world is believed to lift the developing world out of poverty. .
BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, March 16, 3:43 PM

Although ethanol is working well for Brazil, there is a growing literature supporting the idea that wide-scale ethanol production is not sustainable or environmentally beneficial.  This is a great example to demonstrate that economic and environmental policies are locally dependent on geographic factors and are not universally transferable.  Click here for a simple explanation of the differences in the economic and environmental differences in the production of sugar and corn-based ethanol.  

 

Tagsenergy, resources, political ecology, agriculture, food production, land use, Brazil, South America.

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Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S.

Mapping the Spread of Drought Across the U.S. | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Maps and charts updated weekly show the latest extent of the drought in the United States.
Seth Dixon's insight:

I've shared numerous links here about the drought situation in California over the past few months, but the situation extends far beyond California as these animated maps and charts demonstrate. Some of the best public data on drought can be found at the National Drought Mitigation Center


Tags: wateragriculture, environmentresources, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, consumptionCalifornia.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, August 24, 2014 8:00 PM

Whether global warming or just one of the heat and cooling cycles, this drought is extensive and making an impact on food prices.

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Donut Holes in Law of the Sea

Donut Holes in Law of the Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Sovereignty over land defines nation states since 1648. In contrast, sovereign right over the sea was formalised only in 1982. While land borders are well-known, sea borders escape the limelight."

Seth Dixon's insight:

These maritime borders mark the economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line.  This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).  This interactive map of the EEZs also shows the 'donut holes,' or the seas that are no state can claim that no state can claim.  Given the number of conflicts that are occurring--especially in East Asia--this map becomes a very valuable online resource for teaching political geography. 


Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies?  Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions? 


Tagseconomic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, states, conflict, unit 4 political.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, July 29, 2014 5:48 PM

Option topic Marine  Environments and management

MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 6:52 PM

APHG-U4

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Welcome to Baku, the Fiercely Modern, Millennia-Old, Capitalist-Socialist, Filthy-Rich Capital of Azerbaijan

Welcome to Baku, the Fiercely Modern, Millennia-Old, Capitalist-Socialist, Filthy-Rich Capital of Azerbaijan | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Since 2006, when the opening of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline prompted a surge in crude oil exports -- up to a million barrels a day travel through neighboring Georgia and on to Turkey and the West -- there’s been no shortage of cash in Baku. Now, the city is eager for the prestige that goes with it."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Baku is described in this article as an East-West, socialist-capitalist, Muslim-secular, ancient-modern mishmash due to the numerous cultural and political interactions that it has had.  This makes for a fascinating cultural landscape emerging in a city that has been dubbed "the Dubai of the Caucasus" but still has a rich Silk Road history.  Caspian Sea oil lies at the heart of Azerbaijan's geopolitical importance and cultural aspirations. 


Tags: Azerbaijan, political, Central Asia.

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Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 15, 2014 5:21 PM

I'm not on the oil or gas business, or a follower of the Eurovision Song Contest, so it's unlikely that Baku is top in my mind. The pictures of the building looks classic. The Russian taxi looks like if was built in 1940, but it was recently. Russia because the embargo, along side cuba, has the oldest looks cars.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 19, 2015 1:20 PM

Baku is a very interesting city, because of how much of a mish-mash the city is.  What always interests me as an American, is the fact that how varied the old world can be.  In the article it shows the modern, opulent Four Seasons hotel, behind an old government building that looks like it belongs in 18th Century Europe.  It is also crazy how the Maiden Tower from the 6th Century sits right across from Designer Clothes retailers.  Once again, as an American this is very hard for me to visulize, our oldest buildings still standing in cities date back to the 1800s, maybe 1700s, if you are in a city like Newport, RI.  The fact that an ancient tower still stands in a modern city is absolutely fascinating.  Also described in the article is a Bentley dealership (a British Luxury car).  This shows that the city is growing in wealth and changing.  The country of Azerbaijan is certainly on the path (as mentioned in my scoop about Azerbaijan wanting to be famous) to become a world destination.  I think it will be interesting to keep following what is going on in this region, as the country continues to transition.   

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 8, 2015 9:40 AM

People will come if there is something exciting to see.  Also if they feel there is relatively little danger.  I'd say they need to keep on developing and make it glitter.  Once the wealthy are attracted and the celebrities then maybe more tourism might happen.  

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California's Drought

California's Drought | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"California has had three consecutive years of below average rainfall and most reservoirs are far below their designed capacity; for a state with a growing population with limited water resources this is alarming news that has many politicians, officials and residents worried. This winter was especially mild; nice for bragging to friend back East about how gorgeous the weather is during a polar vortex spell, but horrible for the snow pack and accumulation."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Most of California’s water originates for the snow pack in Western mountains ranges so this drought is expected to get worse this summer. The major urban areas have limited local water resources so they draw water from large area to bring in sufficient water for these burgeoning metropolitan regions.


Questions to Consider: What are some reasons (both from human and physical geography) for this severe drought? What can be done in the short-term to lessen the problem? What can be done to make California’s water situation better for the next 50 years?


Tags: physical, weather and climate, consumptionCaliforniaLos Angeles, water, environment, resources, environment dependurban ecology.

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Global Oil Reserves

Global Oil Reserves | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Who has the oil? http://pic.twitter.com/7Njc7OD8rw

Seth Dixon's insight:

Natural resources are not evenly distributed...this distribution pattern impacts global economics, industrialization, development and politics tremendously.  


Tags: industry, economic, energy, resources.

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Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 1, 12:19 AM

Natural resources are not evenly distributed...this distribution pattern impacts global economics, industrialization, development and politics tremendously.  


Tags: industry, economic, energy, resources.

Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks's curator insight, April 1, 7:35 PM

Natural resources are not evenly distributed...this distribution pattern impacts global economics, industrialization, development and politics tremendously.  


Tags: industry, economic, energy, resources.

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 8:17 AM

Natural resources are not evenly distributed...this distribution pattern impacts global economics, industrialization, development and politics tremendously.  


Tags: industry, economic, energy, resources.

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Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil

Pipeline On Wheels: Trains Are Winning Big Off U.S. Oil | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The railroad industry is eager to be the go-to oil shipper, but some worry it's moving too fast.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers.  As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.  Trains, however, are not the safest way to transport oil, even if they are efficient in the short run.    


Tagstransportation, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

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Connie Anderson's curator insight, December 8, 2013 3:01 PM

"Forward on climate?" This news is backwards and at least 40,000 people who attended "Forward on Climate" rallies throughout our nation in February 2013 will continue to question, protest peacefully, and convince others that we MUST reduce our dependence on oil no matter how it is transported!

ManuMan's curator insight, December 8, 2013 10:55 PM

As steel and rail built this county, oil and rail will rebuild it. 

BrianCaldwell7's curator insight, April 5, 8:19 AM

Many hoping to stop environmental degradation of Canada's Tar Sands and the Dakotas "Kuwait on the Prairie" have opposed the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  It's been decades since crude oil has been shipped by rail in the United States but fracking technologies have opened up areas without oil pipelines to become major producers.  As demonstrated in this NPR podcast, the railroad industry has seized on this vacuum and since 2009 has been supplying the oil industry the means to get their product to the market.  Trains, however, are not the safest way to transport oil, even if they are efficient in the short run.    


Tags:  transportation, industry, economic, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

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MOOC on Water

"Water is an essential theme in social studies, science, and geography. Whether teaching about natural or human systems, water is part of the story. This course, framed around California's Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), focuses on ocean and freshwater topics and strategies for teaching environmental topics in Grades 4-8. Resources and support are provided for how to use EEI to implement Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This new MOOC on water resources in California is project supported by National Geographic Education and Annenberg Learner.  This is a course is designed to span the disciplines and create an awareness in students about environmental issues that impact them. 


Tags: consumptionCalifornia, water, environment, resources, environment depend.

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Top Free Classes's curator insight, September 10, 2013 12:45 AM

Starts in October.

Ana Cristina Gil's curator insight, October 12, 2013 6:53 PM

I find this video very informative because I didn’t know, that they have this type of course. I feel this course should be teach in every classroom around the United States, because is not only the adult that needs to learn how to protect the environment. We also need to educate our children because they are the future of America.  I think that by taking this class people will learn which places have the more environmental problem, and by becoming more aware of the issue , we all together will find the solution.

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What will you do?

What will you do? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

The world is in the palm of your hand; what will you do?  This is a question that each generation collectively needs to ask itself.  We can consider ourselves stewards of this planet with its vast natural resources and abundant potential.  If we make choices that are sustainable for the future we will keep many of these amazing possibilities open to future generations.  (For Hi-res image click here).  Just one more reason to read Geography Education.  


Tags: resources, sustainability.

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Hoàng Phương's comment, July 8, 2013 5:22 AM
My hand make all thing.
Susana Negrin's comment, July 8, 2013 1:17 PM
Excelente estrategia para visitar el blog que es muy interesante!!
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Keystone Pipeline and Canadian Tar Sands

Keystone Pipeline and Canadian Tar Sands | Geography Education | Scoop.it
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM and Maps.com KEYSTONE PIPELINE AND CANADIAN TAR SANDS CONTROVERSY Supporters and protesters continue to lobby both the White House and U.S.

Via Neal G. Lineback
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Paige Therien's curator insight, February 22, 2014 4:01 PM

This controversial pipeline project would allow the transportation of crude oil from Alberta, Canada's Athabasca Oil Sands to the United State's Gulf Cost.  This proves to be a difficult feat.  Extracting oil from this source is very difficult since it is also mixed with clay and sand, making it very dirty.  Transportation of this dirty substance through the pipeline would be equally as hard and risky since there is a risk that the oil could corrode the pipe.  This poses severe environmental and safety risks.  This pipeline passes through an international border and seven U.S. states which play huge roles in feeding the country.  A pipeline passing through this area could easily pollute the Mississippi River Basin, which is the main water source for the people and the crops located in the central area of the country.  There have also been cases where corroded pipelines have allowed widespread fires to occur, which is a possibility here.  Extracting oil from this source would allow North America to be self-reliant, however, there are many drawbacks to creating such a huge pipeline which originates in such dirty oil sources.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 15, 2014 12:57 PM

The three main arguments against Keystone XL is, one; making liquid fuel from tar sands keeps the United States dependent on a very polluting source of energy. Instead of moving towards cleaner sources of energy, the US would continue being one of the highest in CO2 in emissions. Secondly; the pipeline  has risks that include spills because the tar sands oil could corrode the pipe line and leak. And thirdly, the oil from keystone could be sold to foreign markets instead of staying domestic. Although the US needs to start being less dependent on foreign oil the Keystone pipeline is not the way to do so. Oil itself is not a permanent solution, it will run out and it continues to harm the environment. This pipeline defiantly poses more risks than anyone should be comfortable with.

Raymond Dolloff's curator insight, November 23, 2015 2:43 PM

The Keystone Pipeline is a pipeline bringing natural gas from Canada into the States. Many politicians are against the XL project to connect the pipeline from the Tar Sands in Alberta to the Gulf Coast. However, there has been much rebuff from the Democrats within the Congress and the White House.

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Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave?

Out of Africa – Did the Colonial Powers ever Really Leave? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Africa may have achieved independence, but the old colonial ties are still important as France’s decision to send troops to Mali to fight Islamist extremists shows.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This is a very intriguing infographic (download high-resolution image here).  How are old colonial patterns a thing of the past?  How do old colonial patterns continue to affect the African continent? 


Tags: Africa, states, language, infographic, historical, colonialism.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 4:04 PM

Colony powers are still located within Africa. Just because Africa is technically independent doesn't mean that British Colonial power isn't still in place.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, September 11, 2014 2:11 PM

unit 4

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, March 26, 2015 11:08 AM

This article reminds us all of the growth-stunt that colonialism in Africa brought to the continent.  It is not surprising to see that most African countries still depend heavily on their old colonial masters for survival.  People who may casually follow African politics might think that colonialism started with the Berlin Conference and ended in 1990 or so, but one could argue that it hasn't ended due to the urgent dependency African countries still have on their old colonizers.  Africa might be the most beautiful continent in the world but has the worst story of any in the world.

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Too rich for its own good

Too rich for its own good | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Democratic Republic of Congo is potentially one of the richest countries on earth, but colonialism, slavery and corruption have turned it into one of the poorest
Seth Dixon's insight:

One thing that baffles many students is how a resource-rich region can be an area of underdevelopment and poverty.  Understanding the historical geography is key for students being able to see that natural wealth does not correlate to enriching the local population.  Kinshasa, the capital that seemed so promising as the site of the famous "Rumble in the Jungle between Ali and Frazier, is now a city of chaos.  


Tags: Congo, political, conflict, resourcespolitical ecology, Africa.

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Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 1:04 PM

Geography talks a lot about the impact of globalization and imperialism. One of the best examples of this is found in The Democratic Republic of Congo. For its entire history, imperialist nations have sought out this country's resources and were not hesitant to exploit the population to accomplish this end. On of the great ironies in globalization is that the countries richest in resources are the most exploited. Take to the extreme as in Congo, the economy is so crushed that there is no way for the country to recover. 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:09 PM

Its all about greed. If people only had the respect for each other then with all the natural resources on earth we all could live comfortably.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:40 PM

It's a shame to know that there's a country of hopelessness out there with a potential to be a great one. The long term causes of colonialism had a huge impact on their development as a modern country. They were once a great empire but was diminished down to nothing by the European. Hopefully there will light to the darkness of Congo in the near future.

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Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age

Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"It has taken between 50-300 million years to form, and yet we have managed to burn roughly half of all global oil reserves in merely 125 years or so."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many who research natural resources and their production believe in peak oil.  Peak oil is defined as the maximum rate of the production of oil in any area under consideration, recognizing that it is a finite natural resource, subject to depletion.  In essence, oil will run out some day because it is a non-renewable resources; so oil production will peak, and then permanently decline.  Some are skeptical of these claims and feel that the oil industry is in a much stronger position than peak oil proponents suggest.


Tagsenergy, resources, environment, environment modifyclimate change, political ecology.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 14, 2014 4:28 AM

Peak Oil: The End of the Oil Age

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, October 27, 2014 11:40 AM

Resources shape the behavior of people living in a given geographical region. On Earth, the abundance and efficiency of oil has caused our societies to be built and operated with the use of oil. Human's needed fuel and found oil to be a natural resource that could fit their needs. But all good things must come to an end. Even though oil and gas are cheap and efficient ways of fueling our society, there are disastrous consequences like environmental degregation and over dependence on foreign oil that leads countries to be entangled in conflict that cost lives everyday. Now that we have the analytically tools to project when oil will run out it allows people to reevaluate their use of oil and gas and weigh the cost of using a resources that will eventually run out and leave the earth in ecological distress. The global oil reserves have been cut in half in just 125 years, although this use of oil led to many technological and medical advances that propelled society into an age of advancement unprecedented it is time to pull back the reigns and calibrate our expectations on how much oil and gas we should keep using.

Molly McComb's curator insight, May 27, 2015 11:11 AM

Talking how the global oil and gas output has decreased and how it will decrease in the future with the creation and use of other forms of energy. 

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Natural gas leaking from faulty wells, not fracked shale

Natural gas leaking from faulty wells, not fracked shale | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"A new study adds to growing evidence that the risk of fracking contaminating drinking water wells is to due to problems with the lining of the gas wells, not the high-pressure fracturing of deep shale to release natural gas. In a new study, scientists examined isotopes of helium and two other noble gases to identify the source of methane found in drinking water wells in the Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania and the Barnett Shale of Texas, areas where a lot of fracking has taken place. The pattern of isotopes suggested that the stray gas had leaked out of the well casing near the surface, rather than escaping from the fracked deep shale, according to a story in The Dallas Morning News. The findings will be published online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."


Tagsenergypollution, resources, environment, environment modify, ecology.

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YEC Geo's curator insight, September 30, 2014 8:43 AM

Interesting to see if this is a one-off, or if other researchers can duplicate the work elsewhere.  It will also be interesting to see what the reaction will be from those opposed to fracking.

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Canada on mission to map Arctic, lay claim to broader boundaries

Canada on mission to map Arctic, lay claim to broader boundaries | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Canada has dispatched two icebreakers to map the Arctic seabed beneath the North Pole to support a bid to extend the country's maritime territory deeper into the waterways at the top of the world.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Canada, Russia and Denmark (Greenland) are all seeking to expand their maritime claims in the Arctic.  Globally speaking, the retreat of Arctic sea ice can be seen as a unmitigated disaster, but disasters for the many can open up new economic opportunities for the few.  When trapped under ice, extracting resources is cost prohibitive, but the melting sea ice will make the Arctic's resources all the more valuable (including the expanded shipping lanes).  This fits in with the APHG new course outline which includes political ecology (the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment).
 

Tagseconomic, environment, political, resources, water, sovereignty, coastal, environment depend, territoriality, unit 4 political, Arctic, climate change, political ecology.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, August 18, 2014 7:19 PM

Option - marine environments and management

Kevin Barker's curator insight, August 19, 2014 8:53 AM

Canada and Russia have at least one way they will benefit from a warming climate and both are eager to see that they take advantage of it.  Using remote sensing is a way to identify and formalize where is their legitimate claim to territory and resources.  What problems might arise with the retreat of the arctic ice?

MsPerry's curator insight, August 25, 2014 3:30 PM

APHG-Unit 4

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The Last Drop: America's Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis

The Last Drop: America's Breadbasket Faces Dire Water Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Editor's note: This story is one in a series on a crisis in America's Breadbasket –the depletion of the Ogallala Aquifer and its effects on a region that hel...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This isn't new, but it is a new development that the media is covering the issue that has been going on for decades.  The Ogallala aquifer is the primary water source in an agricultural region  from Texas to Nebraska in dry, but agriculturally productive states.  The reason behind their agricultural success in the dry high plains is that more water is being extracted from the aquifer than is naturally being replenished.  This is the obvious result of a human-environmental interaction where the individual actors are incentivized to deplete a communal resource.      


Tags: agriculture, agribusinesswater, environment, resources

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Linda Denty's curator insight, July 24, 2014 6:46 PM

Could this happen in Australia also?

Jamie Strickland's curator insight, July 25, 2014 10:46 AM

Thanks to my good friend, Seth Dixon for the original scoop.  There had been quite a bit of news reporting on the drought in central California this year, but this midwestern region has been experiencing water stress for years with little national attention.  I plan to use this article in both an upcoming presentation as well as an example when I teach "Tragedy of the Commons" in my Environmental Dilemma class.

Kate Buckland's curator insight, July 26, 2014 10:32 PM

Good to compare to how we use water resources in Australia

Scooped by Seth Dixon
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Egypt to 'escalate' Ethiopian dam dispute

Egypt to 'escalate' Ethiopian dam dispute | Geography Education | Scoop.it

While construction of Africa's largest hydroelectric dam continues apace, downstream neighbour Egypt is crying foul.  Egypt's main concern is water security, as the country faces a future of increasing scarcity. Nearly all of Egypt's water comes from the Nile, and its population of 83 million is growing at nearly two percent annually."

Seth Dixon's insight:

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located ocated near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  As stated in this BBC article (with a nice 1-minute video clip), Egypt and Sudan currently get the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why Egypt is adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan and is actively lobbying the international community to stop construction on the dam, fearing their water supply with be threatened.  Oil might be the most economically valuable liquid resource in North Africa, but water is the most critical for human habitation.   


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development. environment, water, energy, borders, political.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 31, 2014 12:30 AM

This is interesting, and I found it tough to decide what side I want to take.  For Egypt I could see this as being a very real scare.  Ethiopia is building a dam for a resource for power which will cause less water to get to the people of your country.  This is scary considering the Nile is the only source of water.  Ethiopia on the other hand is just pushing through with the project insisting they will work with Egypt on when they fill the reservoir.  They argue that the loss of water to Egypt will not be a huge loss and people will still be able to go about their business as normal.  I think that production of the dam should be paused for the time being and research should be done as to the effects this dam will have on both countries.  With this if the dam is going to cause too many issues, all the time, effort, and money that went into it wouldn't be wasted.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 2:32 PM

In a complicated geographical issue, both Egypt and Ethiopia have ample reason to oppose the plans of the other concerning the damming of the Blue Nile. The damming of the Nile could prove devastating for Egypt, which draws 85% of its water supply from the river. With an increasing population and issues with water scarcity already abundant, it is clear why Egypt is fearful of the proposed plan, as the ecological effects could be devastating. For Ethiopia, the damming of the Nile could prove incredibly fruitful, allowing the nation to more easily engage in trade and could encourage some serious international investment in the region- a move that would not only benefit Ethiopia, but Egypt as well. It is for that reason that Egypt is willing to compromise on the issue, but until its water supply can be protected and secure, tensions over the dam are going to continue to escalate.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
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Logging and Mudslides

Logging and Mudslides | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In recent decades the state allowed logging — with restrictions — on the plateau above the Snohomish County hillside that collapsed in last weekend’s deadly mudslide.
Seth Dixon's insight:

There are several reasons for mudslides--some are purely a result of physical geography and others are related to land use patterns.  This last week's mudslide in Washington state was a combination of the two and although this impacts one place (see on map), it is a good teaching moment to discuss the environmental impacts of land use patterns and resource extraction projects.  As seen in this interactive, the river was cutting at the base of the hill, while loggers were clear-cutting at the top of the mountain.  Trees help prevent erosion as the roots hold the soil in place--a critical piece to the puzzle in a very rainy climate.  With $1 million worth of timber on the slope, logging companies persisted despite objections from the Department of Natural Resources and some restrictions (but in hindsight, those restrictions clearly were not enough). 


View the impact in ArcGIS online: Before and After Swipe, LiDAR I and II, and Imagery.


Questions to Consider: Other than economic worth, what other ways are there to value and evaluate the environment?  How could this landscape have been protected and managed better or was this mudslide inevitable?   


Tagspolitical ecology, resources, environment, environment modify, industry, physical, geomorphology, erosion, landforms.

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Geofreak's curator insight, April 3, 2014 1:39 PM

Mijnbouw en aardverschuivingen, een goede combinatie ...... 

PIRatE Lab's curator insight, April 7, 2014 11:48 AM

There are several reasons for mudslides--some are purely a result of physical geography and others are related to land use patterns.  This last week's mudslide in Washington state was a combination of the two and although this impacts one place (see on map), it is a good teaching moment to discuss the environmental impacts of land use patterns and resource extraction projects.  As seen in this interactive, the river was cutting at the base of the hill, while loggers were clear-cutting at the top of the mountain.  Trees help prevent erosion as the roots hold the soil in place--a critical piece to the puzzle in a very rainy climate.  With $1 million worth of timber on the slope, logging companies persisted despite objections from the Department of Natural Resources and some restrictions (but in hindsight, those restrictions clearly were not enough). 

 

View the impact in ArcGIS online: Before and After Swipe, LiDAR I and II, and Imagery.

 

Questions to Consider: Other than economic worth, what other ways are there to value and evaluate the environment?  How could this landscape have been protected and managed better or was this mudslide inevitable?   

El Futuro deWaukesha's curator insight, April 18, 2014 12:03 AM

Working on an Inquiry of recent natural disasters with first grader.  

Suggested by Thomas Schmeling
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This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal

This Map Shows Why The Battle For 'Ukraine's Soul' Is So Pivotal | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The tug-of-war for Ukraine.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Strategically, Ukraine matters much more to Russia than it doesn't the EU, which is why Russia is flexing there muscles.  Russia's major market for their natural gas are linked through these key pipelines.  


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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, March 1, 2014 12:26 AM

This infographic gives an idea of why Russia is so invested in Ukraine. The energy infrastructure built during the Soviet era runs almost entirely through Ukraine. A significant amount of gasoline consumed in Europe comes from Russia via Ukraine, while over 2/3rds of all the gas Russia exports to the EU goes through Ukraine. This puts Ukraine in a position of power, but the country itself is divided between the East and West making siding with the EU or Russia difficult. These are lasting effects of the Soviet era.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 4, 2014 11:28 AM

Besides the very intense cultural and political split that exists in Ukraine and the conflict as a whole, one of the key factors in this situation is gas.  This infographic shows that both Ukraine and the EU gets their gas from Russia, and Ukraine is the area which the gas lines flow through.  As soon as many people in Ukraine showed interest in joining the EU, Russia reminded Ukrainians and the world of this fact

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 20, 2015 2:51 PM

The tug-of-war over Ukraine's gas lines not only creates political and cultural divides but also a lot of tension. Ukraine has power in its gas lines because it has a resource that is valuable and others need.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
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Political Ecology: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom

Political Ecology: Mapping the Shale Gas Boom | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Where in the United States is fracking unlocking natural gas from shale rock?


Seth Dixon's insight:

New to the APHG course content is term political ecology.  Briefly, the Political Ecology Society defines it as the study of the political and economic principles controlling the relations of human beings to one another and to the environment.  Anytime people are managing the environment in a way that is politically contentious (such as fracking in the USA), that topic can be analyzed using political ecology.

 

Tags: political ecology, fracking, energy, resources, environment, environment modify.

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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 29, 2013 9:53 PM

In class we studied "fracking," or the fracturing of shale deep in the Earth with blasts of fluid, which produces a harvestable oil yield and much pollution to aquifers in the area.  I live at a house sometimes, where the water is rusty- and it really prevents me from doing much of anything with the water.  I can't cook with it, I can't shower in it, I can't drink it, I have to use bottled water to even brush my teeth because the simple rust content is so vile.  I cannot even imagine what the industrial acid- hydrochloric acid, as well as other contaminants in the water- would do to the water someone relies on...  I think of situations where neighbors trees are dangling over someone else's property, and how branches may be required to be cut down because of their interference with neighboring property, and I would hope that something can be done about protection of aquifers, along the same times... If there is something negative or unwanted affecting someone's water, something really should be done about it.  Knowing that there are negative consequences that come along with fracking, I really can't fathom why people do it!  I live in a protected watershed area in Scituate that does not allow development of any kind on one side of the road because of the Scituate Reservoir.  People are not allowed in the Reservoir Property at all, let alone not allowed to dump waste or cause any sort of harm to the environment, because a huge portion of the state of RI gets their water from that reservoir.  I am not an absolute tree-hugger, but I also don't think that such problematic activites should be 'stirred up' in areas that affect something that humans rely on and need to survive.  While I see that I am not affected by these shale fracking ops as are indicated on the map, I also DO care about the peope in those areas! Why should they be subjected to such putrification of their water resources?  I am once again perplexed by the darkness of humanity.

Liam Michelsohn's curator insight, December 10, 2013 3:48 PM

This was a very interesting topic to read about,  its clear the issue of fracking has so many cracks to it(haha). While whats occuring is completly unnatural, the economic forces behind it are clear, this is a big way to help give amercans cheeper gas. However the effects it has locally are increadibly destuctive and will likely have futher consiquences as fracking continues. I noticed by looking at this map that policialy it seem like fracking is occuring in the red states, seems they want to use there land for the resouces even though it might destroy. While politicaly librals want to protect there enviorments of there blue states. This really adds anouther levle to it and how the placment of these new gas companys is panning out arcosss america.

Kyle Kampe's curator insight, May 28, 2014 11:06 PM

In AP Human Geo., this relates to the concept of the ecological perspective of geography because it describes the relationship between political geography and the ecological makeup of a region.

Scooped by Seth Dixon
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Hydraulic Fracking

Hydraulic Fracking | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking', is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside."


Seth Dixon's insight:

This website, Dangers of Fracking, is clearly not produced by the oil industry.  What I enjoy about this resource is that as you scroll down, it adds more context to the environmental issues and geographic factors.  This type of website promotes holistic thinking and an interdisciplinary approach to complex problems.  Why am I leery of the fracking companies and what they say?  This is why


Tagsenergy, resources, environment, environment modify, ecology.

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Denise Pacheco's curator insight, December 17, 2013 3:37 PM

Hydrographic Turing puts people in  safety and health risks. Because the water is contaminated and because of the oil spills, blow outs, and fires. They put chemicals into the ground in order to make cracks in the earth to collect natural oil, but they use people's land in order to collect the oil. People are complaining about these industries because they now have to buy water every month instead of getting it from their sinks or wells. Not to mention some houses have already blew up or caught on favor thanks to hydro fracturing. They need to put a stop to this, at least do it on land that is not being used and far away from people.

Jacqueline Landry's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:07 PM

The development of gas is important for energy but there are health and safety risks with cracking in neighborhoods. Quality of air and water is important for survival. Nature matters and people matter, they need to find a middle ground. 

Kuzi's curator insight, October 20, 2014 9:42 AM

The visual example explained the procses

Scooped by Seth Dixon
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An Underground Pool Drying Up

An Underground Pool Drying Up | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Portions of the High Plains Aquifer are rapidly being depleted by farmers who are pumping too much water to irrigate their crops, particularly in the southern half in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Levels have declined up to 242 feet in some areas, from predevelopment — before substantial groundwater irrigation began — to 2011.


Seth Dixon's insight:

The article connected to this map from the New York Times can be found here.  "Two years of extreme drought, during which farmers relied almost completely on groundwater, have brought the seriousness of the problem home. In 2011 and 2012, the Kansas Geological Survey reports, the average water level in the state’s portion of the aquifer dropped 4.25 feet — nearly a third of the total decline since 1996."


Tags: wateragriculture, environment, consumption, resources, environment depend.

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Michael Miller's curator insight, May 20, 2013 1:41 PM

The recent PBS special on the Dust Bowl also addressed this current problem and how some American farmers are not learning from past mistakes.

Bonnie Bracey Sutton's curator insight, September 2, 2013 5:58 PM

Really helpful information. Thank you. I had been wondering about this.Students should have an awareness of the water problems we have , and of various groundwater problems. Thank you.

Suggested by Aulde de Barbuat
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China's Water Crisis

China's Water Crisis | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For years, China claimed to hold an estimated 50000 rivers within its borders. Now, more than half of them have abruptly vanished.
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Paige Therien's curator insight, April 26, 2014 12:04 AM

China is attributing the disappearance of over 50 percent of their country's rivers to inaccurate sources; more effective technologies today give an accurate picture of China's waterways compared to the former data based off of sources from the  1950's.  While it is probably true to some extent that previous numbers were off, there still needs to be much concern for the state of China's current waterways and why waterways that once existed have disappeared.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 4:48 PM

Cutting corners in safety and cleanliness has caused pollution in the rivers. All the money they saved cutting corners now has to be invested in diverting clean water to northern areas of the country. I hope someday they realize that you cannot do things super cheaply without paying for it in another area.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:41 PM

What has happened to these rivers? Are they purposely being depleted from China? How do they expect to supply water for their residents if they are building things over these used-to-be rivers?