Geography Education
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Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.
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EnviroAtlas

EnviroAtlas | Geography Education | Scoop.it

EnviroAtlas is a collection of interactive tools and resources that allows users to explore the many benefits people receive from nature, often referred to as ecosystem services. Key components of EnviroAtlas include the following:

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video is a brief introduction on how to utilize the EnviroAtlas mapping platform that has been created by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.  This has great potential for the classroom and as a portal for students to explore the data on their own.      


Tags: mapping, environment, physical.

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steve smith's curator insight, May 23, 2014 3:59 PM

This looks great, will be having a play with this soon !

Mirta Liliana Filgueira's curator insight, May 24, 2014 3:38 PM

Enviro Atlas. Mapa Interactivo.

Allan Tsuda's curator insight, May 25, 2014 9:21 PM

Unbelievable, tremendous resource. I wish I had this one growing up. It is a US gov site (EPA), and is for US geography. I'm betting you can search around for similar sites for other locales around the world. Great demo. Demo runs on Adobe Captivate. The demo took a little bit of time to load on a wired connection through a high speed fiber optic connection. Or skip the demo and play around with the maps. Site not all that fast. Still, it's worth waiting for if you want the data.

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The Habitable Planet

The Habitable Planet | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Habitable Planet is a multimedia course for high school teachers and adult learners interested in studying environmental science. The Web site provides access to course content and activities developed by leading scientists and researchers in the field."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Much like the Power of Place resources were created by Annenberg Learner to share World Regional Geography videos, the Habitable Planet has diverse resources for Physical Geography and Environmental Science.  In essence, it is an excellent free online textbook.   


Tags: textbook, environment, physical.

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dilaycock's curator insight, May 15, 2014 8:32 PM

This looks like a great site. I'm always impressed with the resources that come out of Annenberg. Many thanks to Seth Dixon for this Scoop.

Julie Wicks's curator insight, May 22, 2014 8:10 PM

Unit 5 and 8 are resources for AC Geography year 7 units.

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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.

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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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Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile?

Will Ethiopian dam dry up the Nile? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (known as Gerd) is now about 30% complete.  Once completed, in three years, it will be Africa's largest hydropower dam, standing some 170m (558ft) tall."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Located near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps), Ethiopia plans to dam the Blue Nile before the water heads to Sudan and eventually into Egypt.  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 colonial-era treaties and Egypt is opposed to Ethiopia's plan, fearing their water supply with be threatened. 


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


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Albert Jordan's curator insight, April 1, 2014 3:06 PM

In an area fraught with political instability, non state actors, and rebel groups all too willing to fight for power and the wealth that comes from it - it will be interesting to see how the conflicts shift over time as this dam gets closer to completion. Will Egypt attempt to sabotage it or will they take a more diplomatic approach and try to work with the Ethiopian government diplomatically again?  Perhaps Egypt will whisper in to the ear of Sudan or the various "rebel" groups in the region, considering diplomatic means have apparently failed so far. With Sudan's use of the Blue River also going to be affected by Ethiopia's damming, it will be interesting to see if a cooperation between Egypt and Sudan occurs. Perhaps Ethiopia would like to see a deeper conflict between Sudan and South Sudan, keeping their affected neighbor off balance.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, April 16, 2014 6:47 PM

It is extremely difficult to divide a river. The Ethiopians will benefit immensely from this project but the Egyptians could lose everything if the Nile dries up. This is going to be a difficult problem to solve.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:45 PM

There is no way the whole Nile river is going to be dried up because of this damn. Ethiopia won't let that happen. To say that the river is going to have the same amount of water in it, thats not going to happen. Obviously the Gerd is going to have a huge impact on the water supply of the Nile but it definitely isn't going to dry up the whole thing!

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World of Change

World of Change | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Earth is constantly changing. Some changes are a natural part of the climate system, such as the seasonal expansion and contraction of the Arctic sea ice pack. The responsibility for other changes, such as the Antarctic ozone hole, falls squarely on humanity’s shoulders. Our World of Change series documents how our planet’s land, oceans, atmosphere, and Sun are changing over time."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This article from NASA's Earth Observatory highlights 25 classroom-ready examples of environmental change that can readily detected with satellite imagery. 


Tags: remote sensing, land use, environment, geospatial, environment modify, unit 1 Geoprinciples.

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Juan Carlos García Arpín's curator insight, February 10, 2014 6:39 AM

Un planeta en cambio permanente

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Drying of the Aral Sea

Explore a global timelapse of our planet, constructed from Landsat satellite imagery. With water diverted to irrigation, the inland Aral Sea has shrunk drama...
Seth Dixon's insight:

The collapse of the Aral Sea ecosystem is (arguably) the worst man-made environmental disaster of the 20th century and 21st century has seen the desertification continue.  Soviet mismanagement, water-intensive cotton production and population growth have all contributed the overtaxing of water resources in the Aral Sea basin, which has resulted in the shrinking of the Aral Sea--it has lost more of the sea to an expanding desert than the territories of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg combined.  The health problems arising from this issues are large for the entire Aral Sea basin, which encompasses 5 Central Asian countries and it has profoundly changed (for the worse) the local climates.  Compare the differences with some historical images of the Aral Sea on Google Earth or on ArcGIS Online (also see this article from GeoCurrents).  


Tags: environment, Central Asia, environment modify.

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Kaitlin Young's curator insight, October 7, 2014 11:27 AM

The Aral Sea’s receding waters could prove fatal to the surrounding agriculture. Both Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan diverted the rivers that flowed into the Sea in the 1960s to feed their growing cotton and rice farms. Over the last five decades, the lack of a water source flowing into the Aral Sea combined with harsher droughts due to climate change have caused the water to evaporate at an alarming rate. As the water evaporates, large deposits of minerals remain on the bare lake bed. Winds pick up the mineral deposits and often spread them onto farms, where the increased salinity destroys rice paddies and other crops. The destruction of crops causes less food production, so less money is made by the farmers and more money has to be spent to bring in food to avoid famine. Cotton crops are also destroyed, so the region loses yet another source of income.

The increased evaporation of the Aral Sea has also caused an incredible increase to salinity levels in the lake itself. The extremely salty water cannot be used without heavy removing the salt, which is incredibly unaffordable in an already stressed region. Small subsidence farmers and local farmers cannot use the resource at hand. The fishing industry has completely collapsed, thus removing another important resource from the area.

If a wounded economy and unreliable food was not enough, the air born minerals blown away from the lake are causing numerous health problems. Respiratory issues, such as asthma, are becoming more and more common in the communities surrounding the Aral Sea due to the minerals and industrial debris in the air. The disappearance of the Sea has created the perfect conditions for the collapse of a region. The struggle that the people have to endure often escalates into increased social and political unrest, and disputes often occur. The Aral Sea exemplifies how one small environmental change can set off a chain of devastating events that lead to irreversible effects.

               

Amanda Morgan's curator insight, October 19, 2014 8:19 PM

The drying of the Aral Sea opens our eyes to how fragile our environment is and the scarcity of resources.  We need to become more aware of our resources, because as they saying goes, the "well will run dry."

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 1:14 PM

The massive changes to the Aral Sea can clearly be seen through the course of a decade. It's so unbelievable that from 2000 on ward it shrunk significantly and the video also showed the development of agricultural land that surrounds the rivers feeding into the Sea. The more water being irrigated and are not putting into the Sea the more it dries up because the water is evaporated with little to no rain going back to it. This is definitely one of the worst man-made disaster that have happened to this region.

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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, 2016 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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A. R. Wallace: The Other Guy to Discover Natural Selection

This paper-puppet animation celebrates the life of Alfred Russel Wallace, who is co-credited with Charles Darwin for the theory of natural selection.  Read the story here: http://nyti.ms/1fhBbGw

Seth Dixon's insight:

Some of the greatest discoveries in biology began as spatial discoveries.  Alfred Russel Wallace made some amazing advances in biogeography and discovered the appropriately named Wallace Line


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, historical.

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Kelsey McCartney's curator insight, December 10, 2013 9:40 PM

A sweet animation of the wonderful Alfred Russel Wallace, the oft unaknowledged simualtaneous discoverer of evolutionary mechanisms.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 9:13 PM

Wallace is one person you rarely hear about in the classroom, especially as a person who made a dent in science as a co-founder of natural selection. As someone who did his research in Brazil, Darwin, founder of the Natural Selection theory believed that Wallace may have come across one of his published manuscripts in order to make his claims be known. But one thing Darwin may have missed is how Wallace was reaffirming is scientific claims. 

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'Absolute Bedlam' In The Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan

'Absolute Bedlam' In The Philippines After Typhoon Haiyan | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The news from the Philippines, where it's feared that last week’s powerful Typhoon Haiyan killed more than 10,000 people, isn’t getting better as hundreds of thousands of people struggle to survive and authorities struggle to get help to them.


"Its absolute bedlam right now," says Richard Gordon, head of the Philippine Red Cross.  “There's an awful lot of casualties, a lot of people dead all over the place, a lot of destruction.”


According to the BBC, a huge international relief effort is underway, but rescue workers have struggled to reach some towns and villages cut off since the storm.


Tags: physical, environment, water, disasters, Philippines.

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Rebecca Farrea's curator insight, November 14, 2013 8:50 AM

Even though the death toll resulting from Typhoon Haiyan is around 1,000, it is expected to reach 10,000.  International aid will hopefully help cities such as Tacloban City recover from this storm.

Jack Born's curator insight, November 14, 2013 9:16 PM

This is insane. It has affected millions of people and and even killed people. Its good that so many people are going to help though.

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 7:05 PM

With so many of the citizens living on the coast, a large typhoon like this completely destroys most of the country. When this much devastation happens all at one time it takes a very long time to recover.

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Submarine Canyons

Submarine Canyons | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Submarine canyons were identified by the pre-SONAR mappers, but it wasn’t until this technological advancement that we realized how common a feature they are. We now know that there are hundreds (perhaps thousands depending on your definition) of submarine canyons incising into continental shelves and slopes all over Earth."


Tags: physical, environment, water, geomorphology, erosion, landforms.

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Tony Aguilar's curator insight, October 13, 2013 2:56 AM

submarine canyons are a natural underwater phenomenon with no clear explainable cause. They are located in parts of the world sush as New Zealand and off the coast of Santa Monica california. These canyons at the bottom of the ocean may have been ancient rivers from before prehistoric times, and the erosion and subduction of the tectonic plates over millions of years leave the remains of channels of rivers from the past. Another theory is that they are caused by water forces that caused the sea bed to erode and make way for an actuall canyon. With the use of Sonar technology we are still discovering phenomons of the submarine world as sciene progresses. These canyons are common and are found all over the Earth and give is an understanding of what the world may have looked like long ago.

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Rapid Landscape Change

Rapid Landscape Change | Geography Education | Scoop.it
BOULDER, Colo. -- National Guard helicopters were able to survey parts of Highway 34 along the Big Thompson River Saturday. Here are some images of the destruction along the roadway.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This photo gallery would be stunningly gorgeous if it weren't horrifically terrifying.  When the landscape changes this dramatically in a short time span, watch out.  See another photo gallery here, but this gallery from the Boston Globe, shows a more humanistic side of the story. 


Tags: physical, environment, water, disasters, geomorphology, erosion, images.

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Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 26, 2013 9:29 AM

Looking at these photos reminded me of the video that we watched in class where water was rushing under a road and within minutes the road started to fall apart and eventually ended up completely divided in half. It is amazing how quickly the water can erode what is underneath and cause such damage to the road and area around it. Looking through the pictures it almost makes you nervous to drive on such a rode again because it all happens so quickly. It goes to show you just how powerful that water is to cause destruction like that. It is not easy to destroy a road like that. Again it goes back to the goegraphy. This type of thing doesn't just happen everywhere. Having a river like this presents the possibilities of something like this happening. Once is starts eroding it happens quick. A road that may look driveable one minute may be completely eroded 5 minutes later. It is amazing how a rush of water can cause such damage. Even if there are set systems to get the water through, sometimes the water rush is too powerful and breaks through and erodes the earth underneath anyway like we saw in the video in class. I have never seen anything like these picture before, and it really is amazing to see what can happen. 

Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 12:59 PM

By looking at these pictures you can see that the water just completely ruined this road. The road sunk in and collapsed as well. Will this road ever be safe to drive on again if it gets fixed?

megan b clement's comment, December 15, 2013 11:24 PM
National helicopters caught these pictures along the Thompson river while the water rages next to a road. The destruction of the water and its erosion had deteriorated the road.
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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.

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San Diego

Ever since I was a kid, I have always been mesmerized by extraordinary beauty of my hometown, San Diego. The city has many hidden treasures that have always captivated…
Seth Dixon's insight:

While there are wildfires raging in northern San Diego county (see interactive map), my heart goes out to family and friends there.  The recent drought in California makes the condition perfect for wildfires to spread.  This video is a nice glimpse of San Diego during better times.  

   

Tagsweather and climate, Californiawater, environment, urban ecology.

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The Great Green Wall

The Great Green Wall | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Great Green Wall initiative uses an integrated approach to restore a diversity of ecosystems to the North African landscape.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The Great Green Wall initiative is composed of 11 countries that are cooperating together to combat the physical and human geographic characteristics that make the Sahel one of the more vulnerable ecosystems in the world.  This swath running through Africa is the transition zone where tropical Africa meets the Sahara.  The Sahel is susceptible to drought, overgrazing, land degradation and desertification.  These issues of resource management and land use transcend international borders so this "Green Wall" was created with the intent to protect the environment, landscapes and people of the Sahel from desert encroachment (as an aside, the Green Wall spatially corresponds nicely with the apocryphal Mountains of Kong). 


Tags: Africa, development, environment, waterbiogeography, ecology, environment depend, physical, weather and climate, supranationalism, political ecology.

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Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 5:53 PM

The great green wall initiative project, is a project which wants to plant tens of thousands of trees, roughly fifty thousand trees alone in Senegal. The point of this is to restore a failing  environment. Around five hundred million people are living in a desertification area. Both human and nature is at fault for this creation of a transition zone getting bigger and bigger, Humans are not necessarily taking care of the land like it should be taken care of and as for factors of nature such as climate change, drought and not enough rain. There are social impacts that may affect the area too, experts think that improvements in land and economy may help curb terrorism in Mali. 

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:59 PM

The great green wall is a way of separating the desert from the rain forest in Africa The Sahel is the area that separates the deforestation and the desert and would be a way to keep the desert in a different climatic region of the country.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:40 PM

this a great i think, the only way that countries in an area with such harsh environments can survive is by helping eachother and using their own beneficial land to help other and recieve help for their own deficiencies. 

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The World's Largest Trees

"The world's second-largest known tree, the President, in Sequoia National Park is photographed by National Geographic magazine photographer Michael 'Nick' Nichols for the December 2012 issue."

Seth Dixon's insight:

There is a beauty and magnificent in nature, both is the microscopic and delicate as well as the grand and powerful.  The biosphere's diversity is a great part of it's allure that keeps geographers exploring for to understand the mysteries on our planet.  The incredible image at the end of this project really is truly stunning.  


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, California.

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Hemant Galviya's curator insight, April 17, 2014 2:55 AM

hiiiiiiiiiiii

Basant Kerketta's curator insight, April 21, 2014 4:26 AM

Magnificent !!!

These kind must be saved.

Wish I could plant and replicate this size and height here in my home town.

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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.  

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Drain the Great Lakes

This represents less than 10% of the Terragen CGI created for "Drain the Great Lakes", a TV documentary made for MSP, National Geographic Channel & Discovery Canada by 422 South in Bristol, UK. I created all the Terragen landscape work over a period of 7 months in 2011."

Seth Dixon's insight:

What would the Great Lakes region look like if the lakes were drained?  This visualization is a tremendous exploration into hypothetical geographies. This video has been added to the the interactive map, Place-Based Geography Videos.  


Tags: physical, environment, water, visualization.

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The world's oldest living tree

The world's oldest living tree | Geography Education | Scoop.it
At 4,841 years old, this ancient bristlecone pine is the oldest known non-clonal organism on Earth. Located in the White Mountains of California, in Inyo National Forest, Methuselah's exact location is kept a close secret in order to protect it from the public. (An older specimen named Prometheus, which was about 4,900 years old, was cut down by a researcher in 1964 with the U.S. Forest Service's permission.) Today you can visit the grove where Methuselah hides, but you'll have to guess at which tree it is. Could this one be it?
Seth Dixon's insight:

I freely admit that I have a strange fascination with the twists and turns in a majestic tree; I find that they are great reminders of the wonders and beauty to be found on Earth. 


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, historical, California.

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Beatrice Do's curator insight, January 31, 2014 3:40 PM

the exact location is kept a close secret O_O

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, February 5, 2014 7:17 PM

After reading this article, I am pleased to know that the world oldest non-clonal organism is located in California. It is amazing that a tree could still stand after almost 5,000 years. Hopefully, people do not destroy this tree, as it is fascinating. 

Suggested by Mike Busarello's Digital Storybooks
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"Lost" New England Revealed

"Lost" New England Revealed | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"New England's woody hills and dales hide a secret—they weren't always forested. Instead, many were once covered with colonial roads and farmsteads."

Seth Dixon's insight:

I love living in New England and finding stone walls from old farmsteads; an archaeology professor at UConn is using geospatial technologies to map out the remants of that historical landscape.  This is a great example of using spatial thinking across the disciplines. 


Tags: remote sensing, geospatiallandscape, historical, environment modify.

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Alison D. Gilbert's curator insight, January 8, 2014 10:55 AM

Through the most recent technology, man has been able to discover that wooded areas of New England where once vibrant communities, homesteads and settled communities.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, January 26, 2014 10:44 PM

Thanks to dedicated archeologists and the LiDAR, we can see the creations of a once small, abandoned community in New England. Even through the thick forest, the LiDAR can detect rocks walls and small dirt roads. Hopefully, we can find more of these ancient communities in other areas around the world.  

Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, January 28, 2014 12:48 PM

History is revealed with the use of high tech scanners known as  LiDAR's. With the use of these scanners, scholars learn that many areas of New England, including forested areas in Connecticut and Rhode Island, once were farming grounds. These "lost" pieces of history now lead scholars in new directions in dicovering the past, and details to its future.

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Island Biogeography

Part I, island biogeography in a World Regional context...click here to watch part II, why island biogeography matters in places that aren't on islands.  All links archived at: http://geographyeducation.org/2013/12/06/island-biogeography/

Seth Dixon's insight:

Island biogeography operates on different principles than we see on the continents.  Soem extraordinary creatures such as the komodo dragon and thylacine can be found in isolated places removed interactions with more generalist species.  Alfred Russel Wallace made some extraordinary discoveries combining biology and spatial thinking. 

 

Island biogeography is pertinent today since habitat fragmentation (from urbanization and argicultural land uses) has rendered 'islands' out of the wilderness that isn't being used by humanity.  Some animals such as the cougar are locally extinct from their historic ranges (extirpation).


Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, Australia, Oceania.

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Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 11:45 PM

It is fascinating to see how life evolves differently on isolated islands. The unique biomes often lack enough diversity to fill certain roles, so the animals move to fill them. For example, the komodo dragon was able to evolve to its large size because there was not large predator sitting on top of the food chain to prevent its growth. Sadly, the unique nature of island biogeography also makes it much more delicate, and species are much more likely to become extinct.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 4, 2015 12:35 PM

There are times where I wish certain species don't spread.  Other times I understand the migration and think it's great.  If humans died out then I believe all species would flourish just as Sir Ken Robinson says.  

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:06 PM
Island Biogeography is the theoretical explanations as to why species occurs, it also studies the species composition and species richness on an island.. it is not specific to land masses around water. Isolation gives species a strong place in their environment. The fact that new species and things show up are amazing, but sometimes new species are not properly adapted because there is no other general force against them and they do not ever learn to defend themselves.
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The Philippines' Geography Makes Aid Response Difficult

The Philippines' Geography Makes Aid Response Difficult | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Typhoon Haiyan was enormous and hit a 400-mile swath on the Philippines.  The Philippines is a single country, but it is composed of over 7,000 islands; hundreds of islands are in need of relief aid, if not more.  The islands are in an archipelago which naturally fragments the land mass and isolates the residents making transportation, utilities and communications logistically difficult even in the best of times.  If the first few days after the typhoon, supply chains were cut off and many desperate people looted the sparse food resources available. The necessities to sustain life—food, water, shelter, medication and basic sanitation—are the all major concerns in the aftermath of the typhoon.      

While the police are saying that order is being restored, the effects of flooding pollute water resources and increase the spread of infectious diseases because of the poor sanitation.  The Philippines is gripping for an impending medical crisis from the spread of diseases in addition to the medical trauma that people suffered during the actual typhoon.  Richard Brennen of the World Health Organization (WHO) believes that these geographic difficulties make the relief efforts in the Philippines more difficult than the 2010 relief efforts to help Haiti after the massive earthquake.   


Tags: water, disasters, Philippines, medical, development, diffusion.

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Kenny Dominguez's curator insight, November 30, 2013 10:59 PM

This is a devastating time for the people of the Philippines. All they have to worry about is staying alive and being close to there family members. Help is on the way. Everyone in the world should pitch in and try to help them in anyway they can. But what I would like to find out is why this has happen when it has not before in this country. This country I have not seen in the news before this big devastation had happened. I am also curious to find out how come the help aid is taking so long to arrive when people are dying because they have no food available for them because it has been destroyed or it is trapped under all the debris from all the buildings that have collapsed because they were not structured properly. this situation is a repeat of hurricane Katrina in the united states were all the house were not hurricane proof and were built in places known for disaster.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 19, 2014 10:37 PM

Due to the fact the Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands, it makes aid response very difficult. When natural disasters such as typhoons occur in the Philippines it can negatively affect hundreds of islands, making it difficult to help the people on every island. It can takes days for supplies to arrive on some of the islands, and sometimes people do not even receive necessary supplies such as food and water. Countries, which are composed of numerous islands, face many challenges.  

Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 7:09 PM

Fortunately, the Philippines has a relatively stable infrastructure so even though lots of areas were hit, the human fatalities and issues are not as bad as they could have been. Unfortunately, these are many islands and getting from one to the next is very difficult when all communications and landing areas are compromised.

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Maldives

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

The Maldives is a small country in the Indian Ocean composed of 1,200 islands.  Virtually every spot in this country is under 8 feet in elevation.  Pictured above is the capital of Malé, which has the largest population (explore these islands on a variety of scales).   


Questions to Ponder: What physical forces and processes account for the presence of these islands in the Ocean?  In a geological time scale, what does the future hold for these islands.  What would be the main economic assets of the Maldives?  What would be the main economic and environmental concerns of this country?


Tags: density, sustainability, economicenvironment, environment adaptclimate change, urban ecology.

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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:54 PM

The creation of the Maldives was a evolutionary process that was created with hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. However most of the 1200 or so islands are disappearing. As many of these islands have been created and built upon, the soils are losing their strength. Now we have a process of erosion not only from rain but also from the sea waves. As this eats away at the islands they are getting smaller and smaller and unless they start bringing in artificial land area they will someday disappear.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 10:39 PM

The Maldives Islands were created by Hotspots in the Pacific Ocean. Many of the one thousand islands that are there are slowly disappearing. The islands are being destroyed by rain and from sea waves that crash onto the island itself. Soon the land, just like Kiribati will disappear because they just keep shrinking in size more and more. Their economy revolves mostly around tourist money and parts of the islands have been highly developed for high end tourist marketing.  

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 19, 2015 4:33 AM

Honestly a nation like the Maldives would only be possible with today's technology. the lack of resources, land and linking landmass would have made it stuck in an era with villages at best. The modern country if you ask me is also a disaster waiting to happen. Their cities are right on sea level. A single tsunami or storm would devastate them never mind rising sea levels. I just think they are acting unsustainable and their growth without lack of native resources will lead to their nations ultimate failure. While I wish these people success their islands are also eroding due to reefs so geography is pretty much against them at every turn. In the future hopefully a solution to these problems can be found but until then this will likely be an area that will have to be evacuated in the future like many others.

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Can We Save Venice?

Can We Save Venice? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Seth Dixon's insight:

Venice is sinking--no news there.  Some of the sinking is natural based on the geomorphological processes on being in a lagoon and some is based on how people have modified the physical landscape.  The GREEN on the map represents restoration efforts to stabilize the city while the RED indicates that human-caused activities have produced sinking.  Additionally in this new study, researchers have used remote sensing data to differentiate between the anthropogenic sinking (human-caused sinking) and the natural sinking in Venice.  This city is a perfect example of the three major types of human and environmental interactions [we 1) depend on the environment, 2) adapt to the environment and 3) modify the environment] and shows the issues associated with these interactions.  Click here for a hi-res image of Venice and to see why I love the city. 


Tags: remote sensing, geospatial, physical, environment, geomorphology, erosion, environment modify.

 

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Jason Wilhelm's curator insight, October 7, 2013 12:42 PM

This detailed account of the problems faced by the people, and city, of Venice is a great account of the idea of Human Environment Interaction that is central to Human Geography. Human actions are causing the city to sink while more human actions are attempting to raise the city out of the water.

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 28, 2013 3:24 PM

It is no surprise to anyone that one day the beautiful city of Venice will one day be completely submerged under water. However looking at this map makes it hopeful that the process may be slowed down or even stopped! Looking at the map the green boxes represent the parts of Venice that have been uplifted, while the red boxes represent the parts that are sinking. What was surprising was that there appeared to be more green boxes on the map than red. Most of the boxes, both green and red, are along the coastline. I would think since most of the damage is along the coast line it would be a little easier to try and uplift. Hopefully the green boxes can make up for the red boxes in order to keep Venice from continually sinking. With these advances who knows where we will be in even another twenty years. We may be able to continue to uplift Venice to prevent it from submerging under water. It appears that the city is making progress in this process from the data given in the map. 

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 16, 2013 3:53 AM

As we all know Venice is known for its lack of streets because the city is navigated by canals. This map shows where humans are actually causing the city to sink (in red) and where through restoration and consideration are helping the city stay afloat (Green). These little acts of restoration can become increasinly important in the future with growing population density. Lets hope that Venice doesnt get to populated though so the next generation dosent have to refer to it as the lost underwater city of venice.

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Inside the Colorado deluge

Inside the Colorado deluge | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Two things that helped make this rainfall historic are breadth and duration. Colorado can get much higher rainfall rates for brief periods and over small areas."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Our thoughts are with our colleagues and friends in Colorado as they are dealing with the impact of this historic weather event.  The geographic factors that contributed to this flooding are explained in this article from the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR).  Some are calling this a millennial flood, as it is well past the 100-year stage of flooding.  You may view the areas impacted on an ESRI storymap. and in this NASA imagery


Tags: physical, disasters, environment, water, weather and climate.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, September 16, 2013 3:40 PM

The devastating flooding in Colorado has impacted so many. The rainfall Colorado has experienced makes it the most on record. The massive amounts of flooding and devestation in areas like Boulder are caused by the highly populated valley areas.  

Al Picozzi's curator insight, September 17, 2013 4:13 PM

Almost seems like a perfect storm scenario.  Large amouts of rain over a long perod of time over a large area.  This combined with a late summer/early fall heat wave and tons of moisture in the air, with climate change all contributed to the disater in Colorado.  They also believe the changes made by people to the physical geography over the last hundred years or somade have contributed to teh flooding in the area.  Development can effect the way a place floods.  Where there were once open fields and trees, there are now parking lots and houses which just can't absorb rainfall.  Makes you ask the question, shouldn't there be more study of where we exapnd our cities and what effect this will have in case of a major rainfall, earthquake, blizzard, etc?

Tony Aguilar's curator insight, September 18, 2013 5:27 PM

      What was interesting about this particular deluge was how much rain fell and how it happened in such a short time. Meteroligist high wet density levels of vapor that rose to high altitutdes and was able to condense into water and help in a perfect combination of weather to create a powerfully dangerous flash flood.

    The article recounts a former major colorodo flood that occured in 1978 and had killed over 150 people during a centenial celebration.

   After this occurence warning signs were put up beside the roads to warn travelers of flash flood possiblities and to promote safety. These floods do not happen in Colorado often and are usually a surprise. They do not when the nextmajor flash flood may occur in the boulder region but they know through historical patterns that it will happen again. 

This article stood out to me because I have friends that live in these areas and had to run for safety and move their cars to prevent damage in these same areas. The good thing is that the people that I know from this area are doing ok.