Global news with a spatial perspective: Interesting, current supplemental materials for geography teachers and students.
Curated by Seth Dixon
The AAG has requested that I share this with geography educators and I'm delighted to do so because this is fantastic program; please encourage students to apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. "This program aims to provide opportunities for youth to learn more about online geospatial technologies and how to apply them in service to their communities, while gaining a deeper understanding about different places and cultures of the world. It is conducted by the Association of American Geographers (AAG) with funding and support from the US Department of State Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, Youth Programs Division. The MyCOE partnership has actively led more than ten years of youth leadership programs, finding solutions to sustainable development challenges in local communities using geographic concepts and tools, while connecting with each other globally."
Melani Smith is Director of Planning and Urban Design at downtown Los Angeles based Meléndrez, a landscape architecture, urban planning, and urban design firm. Melani’s…
"The Los Angeles of America’s imagination is rarely downtown Los Angeles. When we envision L.A., we think of the beach, 15 miles away, or the starred sidewalk of Hollywood, or the sprawling suburbs of the San Fernando Valley. While not the center of our Los Angeles, downtown Los Angeles is nonetheless visible —it is a backdrop to films and television shows set in L.A., and, just as frequently, serves as Any City, U.S.A., easily transformed into New York City, Washington, D.C., and the generic cities of car, cell phone, or drug store commercials."
"A basic truth about the cultural geography of the California border [is this]—two very different city-building traditions come crashing into each other at one of the most contentious international boundary lines on the planet. In this collision, in the shocking contrast of landscapes, lies one critical ingredient of the border’s place identity."
As a geographer native to the San Diego region (with family on both sides of the border), I found this article very compelling. Relations across the border are economic, cultural and political in nature, and the merger of those varied interests have led to an uneven history of both cooperation and separation. Herzog analyses three distinct factors that have shape the landscape of the California-Mexico border zone: urbanization, NAFTA, and global interruptions (9/11).
Are you a high school teacher looking for some funds for your classroom? The My Community, Our Earth: Global Connections and Exchange Program (PDF) is connecting high school students in the U.S. with their peers abroad (in Bolivia, Ghana, Nicaragua and the Philippines) through virtual online meetings. The Association of American Geographers is especially eager to have AP Human Geography teachers participate in this program. These meetings are arranged through online video conferences, online phone calls and chat sessions using Skype. The purpose of these meetings is to stimulate thinking and collaboration between high school students across international borders around sustainable development themes such as climate change, green economy, food security and hazards and vulnerability, while enriching cultural literacy. We are looking for formal and informal educators in the U.S., at the high school level, who would like to participate with us.
For every time that you complete one hour of exchange and submit one MyCOE exercise to our online system, you will receive $300 for your classroom (personal check or Amazon gift card).
Ready to Participate? Please send e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Geography is a broad and diverse field, but one thing geographers have in common is using a geographic perspective to have an impact on the world. In this video, a few talk about the many ways that geography helps them to make a difference."
This video is a great demonstration of the diverse and practical applications of geography. This is a great answer to the oft-asked question, "but what does a geographer DO?"
Projections of urban growth indicate areas where biodiversity is at high risk.
The AAG Smart Brief is a fantastic source of geographic news. This is what they said about this article: "Areas such as tropical Africa and eastern China are expected to be hot spots of urbanization during the next several years, according to researchers, who used satellite imagery and other data to project future urban expansion through 2030. 'We're not forecasting population, we're forecasting the expansion of urban space,' said Yale University geographer Karen Seto. Their efforts could be used to assist conservation initiatives, Seto noted."
The disaster underscores the need to diversify our crops.
AAG: The drought that has hammered much of the country has clearly illustrated the dangers that come with limited agricultural diversity, writes Macalester College geography professor William G. Moseley in this opinion piece. Federal subsidies have encouraged the growth of corn, but this crop is quite vulnerable to drought, Moseley writes. "A more diverse cropping landscape would mean viable farms, healthier diets and a steadier food system," he writes.
The Association of American Geographers (AAG) is now Beta-testing a new website to address some of the issues from the NRC report, “Understanding the Changing Planet, Strategic Directions for the Geographical Sciences.” This site, builds on the idea that geographers can communicate truth in ways that other disciplines don’t offer, or “the geographic advantage.”
The four aspects the geographic advantage (as conceptualized by the AAG team) are:
1. Relationships between people and the environment
2. Importance of spatial variability
3. Processes operating an multiple and interlocking geographic scales
4. The integration of spatial and temporal analysis
To ensure that this advantage is harnessed, the AAG prepared 11 modules within these 4 categories of key issue facing the world:
--Rapid Spatial Reorganization
This is a link to the AAG preliminary program for the meeting this weekend. I'll be presenting Friday at 2:40pm in th Social Media, Research and Pedagogy session (in the Gramercy Suite B, Hilton NY, Second Floor). The title of my presentation is "The Social Media Classroom: Bringing Globalization to Geography Education." I hope to see some of you there.
"The CGGE has built a collection of online modules for undergraduate courses in geography...Six modules are currently available: National Identity, Population and Natural Resources, Global Economy, Global Climate Change, Water Resources, and Migration."
Each module includes:
1. A Conceptual Framework that introduces students to some of the key concepts, theories, and analytical approaches in geography.
2. Case studies illustrating how geographic concepts, methods, and technologies can be used to investigate and solve problems in different places and countries.
3. Collaborative projects that use e-learning technologies to connect geography classes in different countries for online collaboration and discussion."
If you haven't yet discovered the AAG's CGGE site, it is a treasure trove of activities, ideas, lesson plans, and case studies.